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Heart of glass

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Color-backed glass, crisp stainless steel and sleek white tiles introduce a serene, contemporary look to the bathroom in this remodeled home


In any villa renovation, the bathroom is right up there with the kitchen when it comes to work priorities. And these days it gets just as much attention as the kitchen – and often has a similarly large budget.

This bathroom reflects a contemporary design approach by architect Jonathan B Smith, who also owns the house. In designing the bathroom, Smith opted for materials that would enhance a light and airy look. The use of stainless steel and color-backed glass repeats a theme developed in the remodeled kitchen.

"I wanted to create a clear difference between the old parts of the house and the new," Smith says. "Consequently, both the bathroom and kitchen are very modern."

Color-backed glass lines three walls in the bathroom, enhancing the sense of a translucent, watery environment. A fourth wall features sleek, white brick tiles, laid in a soldier pattern.

"As with the kitchen, the bathroom presents a series of smooth planes," says Smith. "A narrow window by the shower appears to turn and create another plane on the ceiling. This panel is a light box that echoes the dimensions of the window."


Three different flooring materials delineate the separate areas of the bathroom. The dry floor area features kauri wood floor boards, while the semi-wet area has a concrete slab with underfloor heating. The wet area features a stainless steel tray and grills.

"The entire floor slopes to the flush shower tray, avoiding the need for a shower cubicle," says Smith. "This helps retain a light, spacious look."

A cantilevered toilet and customized stainless steel vanity unit also enhance the sense of space.

Storage is provided by a cabinet near the door, and a smaller cabinet above the vanity, which features a series of frosted glass doors – another aspect borrowed from the kitchen.

First published date: 01 April 2005

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Credit List

Architect Jonathan B Smith, Bellingham Architects
Fittings Opere Zucchetti Spin range from Il Bagno
Flooring Concrete; existing wood floors
Wallcoverings Color-backed glass
Toilet Duravit
Lighting Custom inset fluorescent light box