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With geometric forms, reflective glass and limited colors and materials, this bathroom provides a sanctuary for its owners

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Natural light makes an enormous impact on any space. Plenty of it and a room will feel warm and inviting, not enough and it will be dark and depressing.

Architect Jan Gleysteen wanted the bathroom of this master suite to be a haven where the owners could relax and feel reinvigorated.

Like the rest of the home, he has introduced as much natural light as possible, adding skylights to supplement windows.

"Light adds energy to a space," he says.

"Skylights don't present the privacy issues that windows do, and the light that comes in from above has a completely different quality; it is softer and changes during the day."

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In this room, direct light from natural sources is supplemented by reflected light. A pair of mirrors above the glass-topped vanity, the shower door and sandblasted privacy panels separating the toilet and bidet from the rest of the bathroom all help to reflect the various forms of light.

The color scheme contributes additional warmth and energy to the space. Small, honey-toned onyx mosaic tiles line wet areas such as the shower, the backsplash behind the basins, and the floor. To continue this theme, the vanity is finished in a light maple wood.

"These soft, golden tones are used throughout the house, creating a feeling of warmth," says the architect.

Fittings in the bathroom were also chosen to create sculptural elements.

The vanity cantilevers off the wall, and the bathtub is designed to be a freestanding piece of furniture. Both add to the sense of lightness in the space.

"The bathtub has a simple, primordial shape, reflecting the purpose of the bathroom as an area for cleaning and regeneration," says Gleysteen.

To maintain the sense of serenity, only simple, geometric shapes feature in this space – for the bath, shower, light fittings, faucets and even the recesses in the shower where shampoo can be stored.

Louvres on the windows provide privacy. They also reinforce the horizontal elements of the room, and contrast with the strong verticality of the shower and vanity mirrors.

This spacious master suite has been designed to feel like a hotel suite, says the architect. A small apartment within this home, it is accessed by its own private staircase, and includes a bedroom, a sitting room which doubles as a dressing room, and the bathroom. With a music zone for each space, it is an ideal retreat for the owners, he says.

First published date: 08 June 2007

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Credit List

Architect Jan Gleysteen, Jan Gleysteen Architects (Wellesley, MA)
Floor and wall tiles Roma in Yellow Onyx
Vanity Duravit Starck
Faucets Vela
Shower enclosure Century Frameless
Shower fittings Hansgrohe Axor
Bathtub Starck
Toilet and bidet Duravit Starck
Lighting Wolfers Lighting; Ginger; Juno
Blinds Barrows
Ventilation Fantech