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Mid-century Modern bathroom

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Perched high above a lake on a wooded lot, this Mid-century Modern house boasts a new master suite that maximizes the picturesque location

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Houses built in the 1950s may be great examples of the Mid-century Modern style, but they don't always provide modern convenience, or make the most of a spectacular view.

This 1950s home was a good example of the genre, but the owners could see there were ways it could be improved with an addition to house a new master suite.

The couple commissioned architect Jim Fraerman of Fraerman Associates Architecture, Inc to design the addition, which positions the suite on the upper level of the two-story house – the same level as the living areas.

"This was the best way to take advantage of the beautiful view of the ravine and lake," Fraerman says. "And because the site is forested, it is extremely private."

To get the most benefit from the view, the bathroom is a long room, designed to provide a sightline from the bedroom right through the room and out a window to the trees beyond.


The vanity cabinetry is placed against the outside wall, with two separate mirrored medicine cabinets suspended in front of the windows. With a mirror over a make-up area on the opposite side, and two side mirrors, the leafy outlook is reflected over and over.

"The mirrors, along with the reflective surfaces, capture the trees and the view, and make for this continual play of light," says Fraerman. "This gives the whole suite a very clean, bright atmosphere."

The reflective surfaces include gray quartzite vanity tops, white marble walls and flooring, and white cabinets in Nuvacor – a polymer surfacing material that provides added visual depth.

"As well, the sinks have an etched glass surface that looks quite different from porcelain," says the architect. "This creates an additional level of translucency."

The bathroom incorporates separate his-and-hers closets – the two entries are positioned either side of the make-up area. There are also two separate toilet rooms off these entries.

The shower, at the far end of the bathroom, has a flush entry. It also features a bench seat that extends through the glass to form a ledge below the window.

First published date: 13 July 2014

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Credit List

Architect Jim Fraerman AIA, Fraerman Associates Architecture, Inc (Highland Park, IL)
Builder Windsor Builders
Cabinet company Exclusive Woodworking
Vanity countertops Princess quartzite
Basins Vitraform
Faucets Waterworks
Cabinet doors Nuvacor
Stone tile floors and walls Marble from Stone Source
Lighting Ralph Lauren from Visual Comfort; Juno
Blinds Lutron