Warm welcome

Every element of this master suite introduces a cozy spa feel,from the natural color palette to the double-sided fire
A view of the maser bathroom featuring tiled bathroom, bathroom accessory, bathroom cabinet, cabinetry, flooring, furniture, interior design, room, sink, wall, orange, brown
A view of the maser bathroom featuring tiled flooring, recessed bathtub, timber vanity with dual recessed basins, mosaic tile wall coverings

If it can be hard to combine a couple's personal preferences in one master suite project, imagine how tricky it would be to design a bedroom and bathroom to appeal to many thousands of people.

That was the challenge facing designers Leah Rourke and Jenny Martin of Pure Design Firm, when a charity commissioned them to design a home as a lottery prize.

"We were appealing to a broad audience, so we went for a look that was warm, with traditional touches," says Rourke. "In the master bathroom, we were aiming to create a glamourous, up-market retreat that was cozy and welcoming a space that people could imagine relaxing in. It helped that the home is on the top of a hill, so the homeowners will feel they are in their own secluded spa."

Key to the cozy ambiance is a two-sided gas fireplace, which was positioned between the master bedroom and bathroom.

Floor plan of the bathroom angle, area, design, diagram, drawing, floor plan, font, line, product design, text, white
Floor plan of the bathroom

"The fireplace opens up the space and creates a master suite feel," says Rourke. "You can see through the fire from the tub or the shower into the master bedroom, and vice versa."

Directly behind the fireplace is a large, deep tub, positioned so that the homeowners can also enjoy views towards the city. The adjacent shower has one seamless glass door, but is otherwise open, which adds to the room's spacious feel.

Elements of glamour have been added, such as a small glass chandelier over the tub and a custom-designed twin vanity, with stained alder cabinetry and a thick concrete countertop. Three niches, recessed into the mosaic-tiled wall above the vanity, bring additional visual interest.

"Three is always a happy number in design, so we created three mirrored recesses to provide a decorative feature, and to give the space an expansive feel," says Rourke. "Recessed lights in the niches introduce front lighting, which creates a softer light than from overhead lighting alone."

A view of the maser bathroom featuring tiled bathroom, ceiling, countertop, estate, floor, flooring, home, interior design, living room, room, wall, window, orange
A view of the maser bathroom featuring tiled flooring, recessed bathtub, timber vanity with dual recessed basins, mosaic tile wall coverings

Natural materials in sandy tones, such as limestone floor tiles, add to the relaxed feel, as do the finishes. The concrete vanity top has been custom colored to complement the tiles, and lightly polished to retain some of its naturally pitted surface.

The spa-like ambiance is supported by discreet technology, such as controls on the outside and inside of the shower which allow the homeowners to step straight into a hot shower. A sensor automatically turns on a light in the vanity toe kick when someone walks into the room, casting a gentle glow at night.

Dec 02, 2007

Credit list

Interior designer
Leah Rourke, IDIBC, CHBA and
Undermount china, from Cantu Bathrooms
Schonbeck; New Orleans; crystal chandelier
Main contractor
Scansca Construction
Custom in alder with concrete top
Tierra Sol, Byzantine
Wall tiles
Julian tile, marble mosaic
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