Large window walls in master ensuite make the most of mountain and lake views

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This master suite in a hillside home by Mason & Wales has a minimalist interior and comprises a bedroom, bathroom, study and changing room

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This master bedroom suite, perched on the top floor of a three-level contemporary holiday home high above Queenstown, offers an uninterrupted vista across Lake Wakatipu to the mountain ranges beyond.

Architect Francis Whitaker of Mason & Wales says he wanted to give his clients the feeling of floating high in the sky while looking down on the township far below.

"The entire house is spectacular, but the master suite is particularly special," says Whitaker. "Every room has floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and the oval bathtub sits within its own glass pavilion at the outer end of the property."

The suite's run of rooms comprises the master bedroom, bathroom, a changing room and study. In addition, there's a spa and meditation area on a private adjoining terrace. All these spaces are in line, so they each enjoy a direct aspect of the scenery.

With the architectural bones in place, interior designer Di Henshall was asked to add the finishing touches to the light-filled suite of rooms.


"Anything that was going to obstruct that view was never going to work," says Henshall. "The clients wanted to feel part of the landscape – to be able to lie there at night and look at the stars, or the reflection of the moon on the lake, or the snow on the mountains."

And they also wanted that experience from wherever they were in their master suite – whether lying in the bath, taking a shower, or sitting outside in the spa.

"For such a large space, there's not a great deal in it. And that's exactly the point," says the designer. "The palette is very understated, so as not to compete. Nothing interrupts the experience."

Henshall's design input is all about the finer details, such as the window blinds that are recessed into the ceiling so that every inch of the view is captured, and the expansive mirrors behind the vanities that reflect the views.

Even touches like the seamless thresholds between the timber connecting floor, the tiled bathroom, and carpeted bedroom add to suite's pared back, understated feel.

At night time the rooms take on quite a different personality again, thanks to a well thought out C-Bus lighting system that creates a soft, subdued ambience. Subtle pin lights on the floor and ceilings have been installed to give just enough glow to illuminate the room, yet not so much as to take away from the views.

"The suite is also a very personal and private space," Henshall says. "There are family photos and specially commissioned artworks decorating the walls. When the owners close the door to their master suite, they are totally alone with the view."

First published date: 24 May 2017

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Credit List

Architect Francis Whitaker, Mason & Wales
Interior designer Di Henshall Interiors
Vanity cabinetry 2-pack painted finish Resene Triple White Pointer with Formica Cinnamon Ash internals
Basin Barcelona 64 Vessel basin
Taps Hansgrohe Metris 260 Highriser basin mixer
Bath Barcelona freestanding bath
Bath filler Life floor mount bath mixer
Bath accessories Tombolo oak bath rack
Flooring Timber from CTC Flooring; Industrial Sage natural tiles from Ace Stone & Tiles
Wallcoverings Oak linings from Herman Pacific; Industria Sage natural tiles from Ace Stone & Tiles
Heated towel rail Tranquility single bar
Accessories Plaza by Streamline and Eletech
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner