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This ensuite captures the essence of minimalist style, while remaining highly functional, with plenty of hidden storage

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When a client briefs an architect to design a minimalist house, the concept can present both solutions and challenges, depending on the required use of space. In the bathroom, surfaces are expected to be smooth and clutter free, but creating storage along with the clean lines stipulated by minimalist design can become an issue.

Architect Edwin Elliott designed this three-bedroom holiday home as a rural retreat from city living. It is a large, open-plan house, with each bedroom having an ensuite bathroom.

The master bathroom is characterised by unusual ceiling angles, which are picked up from the exterior barn-shaped roof lines.

"Angular windows following the roof lines are key design features of the house," says Elliott.

The expanse of windows provides constant visual access to the landscape. Trees are reflected in the mirrors, and the mountain vista is visible through a long narrow window in the shower. Dappled light flows through the east-facing window above the spa bath, which provides ground-level views of the garden.

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The bathroom's lines and colours are visual reminders of the design echoing the surrounding landscape," says Elliott.

The bathroom is large by ensuite standards, fitting in a shower, spa bath, two basins and a toilet that sits behind a privacy partition. A stainless steel ladder-style towel rail is positioned to the right of the door, and stereo speakers sit discreetly on custom-built shelves above the mirrors.

Storage is taken care of by utilising the space under the tiled spa bath surround, which provides deep drawers. Additionally, mirrors sitting above the twin basins spring open to reveal recessed cupboards, which are deep enough to store the usual bathroom necessities.

"The clients wanted to keep the space airy, spacious and clutter-free, so there are no superfluous features. For this reason, there is no shower door installed, but a low, safety-glass shower screen is being installed to the side of the basin," says Elliott.

First published date: 22 June 2007

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Credit List

Architect Edwin Elliott, Elliott Architects (Queenstown)
Builder Graeme Tanner
Vanity Cantilevered Vero basins supplied by Metrix
Shower fittings Supplied by Metrix
Bath Clearlite spa bath
Tapware Paini Cox supplied by Metrix
Flooring Designa Tiles
Lighting Imported from Italy by Pepsa Light Technic