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The light fantastic

A contemporary house among the trees has a bathroom that is both open and secluded

The vanity area is spacious and light, it architecture, bathroom, floor, flooring, home, house, interior design, wall, gray
The vanity area is spacious and light, it features a caramelized bamboo cabinets and limestone vanity top.

Conventional bathroom design has typically been guided by the need for privacy. Any windows in "the smallest room in the house" were tiny and covered with blinds, or made of textured glass to obscure a second-rate outlook.

But when these constraints can be put aside, bathroom design is limited only by the architect's imagination. In this contemporary home, set on a wooded site, architect Robert M Gurney uses a double-height window wall as a focal point. It is a means of capturing the abundant southern light, and the view serves as a natural backdrop for the sculptural .25 freestanding tub by Waterworks.


The centre piece of the bathroom is an architecture, bathroom, daylighting, estate, home, house, interior design, real estate, room, window, gray, brown
The centre piece of the bathroom is an ovoid bathtub positioned in a window alcove.

"This site offered us a lot of space in which to work," says Gurney. "As the structure evolved, it became obvious that we could create this amazing, light-filled room within the master suite, which was at the same time very private."

The dramatic glazing gives the feeling of being perched in the treetops; while the white interior walls, enhanced by strategically placed apertures and perforations, make the ongoing play of light and shadow an integral part of the interior composition. When selecting finishes, interior designer Therese Baron Gurney chose warm, neutral tones that would complement the view, no matter what the weather or season.

Clean white open space allows light into the ceiling, floor, home, house, interior design, real estate, wall, window, gray, orange
Clean white open space allows light into the master bathroom.

"Especially in winter, when the leaves have fallen and the view outside is mostly grey, white and blue, you want warm, yellow tones around you," she says. "Otherwise, with all the windows, you'd feel cold."

On the northern side of the bathroom a long double vanity in caramelised bamboo spans the length of the space, and offers plenty of room for storage and preparation. Window openings here are long, thin slots, positioned beneath the eaves of the roof. This, combined with the orientation, makes for a more diffused light in this area.

Credit list

Project architect
Brian Tuskey
Builder
Bloom Builders
Vanity cabinetry
Vertical grain caramelised bamboo
Basin
Kathryn by Kohler,
Flooring and wall tiles
Courtaud limestone tiles by Stone Source
Lighting
Lightolier; Bega; Sistemalux
Blinds
MechoShade
Interior designer
Therese Baron Gurney, ASID
Bathtub
.25 Bathtub by Waterworks
Vanity top
Baltimore limestone by Stone Source
Taps and shower fittings
Axor by Hansgrohe, in stainless steel
Toilet
Pacifica by Toto, in white
Ventilation
Panasonic

Story by: Kathleen Kinney

11 May, 2009

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design


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