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This remodel involved introducing another level for the master suite


Naturally, the way a house is used will affect the approach to any remodeling project. An out-of-town second home – used as a base for teenagers at college and as a weekender – may well need a greater degree of separation between the master suite and noisy living areas.

The owners of this house faced exactly this scenario, and in search of peace and quiet, asked architect Rebecca Devine and builder David Wilkes to literally go through the roof of their three-bedroom, single bathroom house. In response, a pop-up section was added to the rear of the dwelling, with a spacious master suite, stairway and utility attic, says Wilkes.

"The addition was to be in keeping with the 1920s era of the home and also in empathy with neighboring houses of a similar period. To this end, the addition has a gabled shingle roof and on the inside is finished with a shiplap wood ceiling and classic subway wall tiles."

Despite the use of traditional finishes, the new spaces have a crisp, contemporary look and the simple material palette plays a part. A substantial walnut sliding door – much like a barn door – separates the master bedroom from the bathroom. The same wood was used to create clean-lined cabinetry in both rooms. The floor in the bedroom is a rift-sawn white oak. Otherwise the walls, floor and painted wood ceiling are all white – an appropriate backdrop for the warm wood tones. Both the white and the natural wood surfaces contrast the black stone countertops to optimum effect.

While the tonal palette is simple and light, texture was introduced to provide interest. The penny tile flooring in the bathroom offers a quite different appeal to the larger subway brick tiles.


"A feeling of spaciousness is built into this design," says Wilkes. "I created two vanities, set at opposite corners of the bathroom. A larger cabinet was constructed to screen off the toilet within the open-plan room."

The shower, however, has its own dedicated niche, complete with a seating bench. The stall is surfaced in the same tile as the bathroom walls, again making the room seem larger.

Overall, white surfaces and the free-flowing connection between the bedroom and bathroom achieve the desired sense of seclusion.

First published date: 30 March 2012

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Credit List

Architect Rebecca Devine, Devine Austin (Austin, TX)
Builder David Wilkes, David Wilkes Builders
Tub Bancroft bubble massage bath, Ferguson
Vanity Engineered stone in Raven from Architectural Tile & Stone
Cabinetry Custom in oil-rubbed walnut by Bruce Mende
Basin, faucets, shower fittings Kohler from Ferguson
Flooring Wide-plank white oak from Mike's Hardwood Floors
Wall tiles Subway in white from Architectural Tile & Stone
Toilet Aquia elongated by Toto