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Art of relaxation

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With its pared-back design, sea views and materials that reference nature, this ensuite bathroom has a calming, Zen-like quality

Art of relaxation


Bathing is often considered a ritual – a time of quiet contemplation and serenity. And there's no doubt the sense of escape is heightened by a tranquil, luxurious setting and a wonderful view.

All these things come together in this master suite, which creates an eyrie in a new clifftop house designed by architect Henry Lin of PTG Architecture.

"With glazing on three sides, the ensuite bathroom pops out from the house on the upper level," Lin says. "The views are further maximised by the width of the opening between the bedroom and bathroom – a 2m door slides back to open up the entire space."

The architect says the owners have visited spa resorts in Asia and wanted their suite to evoke a similar feeling of quiet, understated luxury.

"This suite was all about pared-back detailing and materials that would be in harmony with the natural world. It was important that nothing was too ornate – we didn't want the bathroom to detract from the view."


To enhance the Zen-like ambience, an elevated, built-in tub is positioned beneath the windows. This is designed as a traditional Asian sitting bathtub, which provides deep water and health benefits. The tub is lined with the same timber-look porcelain tiles that feature on the floor.

"These tiles have a textural surface that mimics woodgrain," says Lin. "With their natural look and feel, they have a very calming effect."

Another textural tile with a wave-like pattern lines the walls, providing a direct reference to the rippling waters of the gulf beyond. Most of these tiles are white, but a darker grey version clads a central column, making this a distinctive feature. Deep blue-coloured glass towel rails are another visual link with the view.

The long, semi-cantilevered vanity has a thick riverstone top that wraps around a cabinet like a folded slab, forming a waterfall edge at one end.

"It's a very simple form that can be read at a glance, which is another calming device," says the architect. "The organic form of the asymmetrical basins reinforces the connection with nature."

Sparkling mosaic tiles behind the large mirrored medicine cabinets are another key feature of the room. The cabinets sit proud of the tiles, with LED lighting enhancing the three-dimensional effect.

Other decorative lighting includes Swarovski crystal sconces.

First published date: 25 July 2014

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