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Mastering Space

A well-shaped building envelope provides the setting for a dramatic bathroom that surrounds its owners with a beautiful yet practical environment.

He’s Mars; she’s Venus. They want a master bath that answers his need for neat and tidy, hers for a place to spread out her toiletries each morning. Since it will be located on the second floor, on wooded property along a quiet road, they both want large windows to bring the outdoors in, but maintain their privacy. And happily, they find an accommodating space in the floor plan of their new home.

On the first floor, the husband’s office, with its semi-octagonal shape, suggests the footprint of the room above, an ideal location for the master bath. The bumped-out window opening provides a light-flooded yet sheltered space for the clawfoot tub that was on the couple’s list of must-haves. Because the broad window area gives the room width, a solution to his and her grooming requirements becomes obvious.

“We really didn’t want a cavernous bath with a long vanity and side-by-side sinks and mirrors. It just wouldn’t work for our different habits in the morning,” says the wife.

Instead, the architect found space for single but spacious vanities on opposite walls, flanking the tub but leaving the beautiful window view unobstructed. The back-to-back configuration was perfect for the couple’s needs.

“With those windows offering a prospect of a wooded landscape, it feels like you’re in a treehouse,” notes architect Sabrina Foulke, who drew the plan. The matching vanities, in a curved-front custom design by Bella Pietra Kitchen and Bath, give each spouse the necessary personal space; the cabinets are enhanced by twin mirrors with glass frames and delicate beaded borders. Combined with a custom window pattern of circles within a crossbar, the look is traditional, but very glamorous.

“Marilyn would be happy with this bath,” notes Foulke.

Since the architect captured bath storage space in a separate toilet room, plenty of square footage remained for another must-have: a shower enclosure that includes a heated dressing/undressing area, and a step-down, open shower with a window to the outside.

“We travel to Mexico frequently,” notes the homeowner, “and we love the outdoor showers in that part of the world. Obviously, we couldn’t duplicate the location in New England. But the shower window, and another one in the dressing part of the enclosure, give us the natural light and the feeling of openness that we wanted.”

She adds, “I love stepping into the shower and seeing the trees in the backyard!”                                                               


Builder: Karp Associates, 203-972-3366, karpassoc.com
Architect: Sabrina Foulke, Point One Architects, 860-434-7707, pointonearchitects.com