The latest bathroom designs are light-filled and surprisingly open-concept, offering
unobstructed sightlines from bed to tub (and a challenge to occupants’ inhibitions)
A woodsy escape made for sharing – and solitude
An airy, light-filled environment with enough flexibility to suit a family: That was the challenge architect Gilles Saucier addressed in the master suite of a family home in Sutton, located in southwestern Quebec near the U.S. border. Set on a lush wooded site with impressive views in every direction, the house was designed to connect with its surroundings and the clients wanted the ensuite bathroom to follow suit. The catch: They craved a little solitude, too. “The open concept is based on the parents’ request to have a space for themselves that could be connected to the children’s suite while maintaining a degree of privacy,” says Saucier. To accomplish both goals, Saucier linked the bathroom to the bedroom area, creating a single, harmonious space: In addition to floor-to-ceiling windows that run the length of the suite, the material palette is also linked: The teak wood used for the bed frame also encases the rectangular tub and creates a simple floating vanity, lending a warmth to the aesthetic that complements the view outside. And though openness is central to the design, Saucier added a sliding opaque partition that runs the full width of the room and can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of privacy it creates.
A lofty boudoir brings the outdoors in
When Marek Sikorski, founder and owner of the European-style supermarket chain Starsky Fine Foods, decided to renovate his two-storey condominium in Toronto’s Candy Factory Lofts a few years after moving in, his aim was to replicate the expansive privacy he had encountered in his travels to the Himalayas and the Kalahari Desert. The avid sportsman and wilderness lover turned to designer Johnson Chou to craft a light-filled master suite that suited his sense of adventure and his love of wide-open spaces. Though Sikorski knew from the beginning that he wanted a bathtub integrated into the bedroom, Chou took the concept one step further by arranging all of the elements of the bathroom into what he describes as a “collection of objects.” A custom-designed Corian sink is tucked into a short hallway that faces a glass-encased shower. Behind it, an enclosed toilet can be accessed from both the hallway and the outdoor terrace (which also houses an outdoor shower – something Sikorski set his heart on from the start). A curvaceous tub, located just a few feet from the edge of the bed, sits atop a Statuario marble floor and against a panel of black slate. “It is extremely liberating to get out of bed, brush your teeth and run a bath without borders segregating one space from another,” says Sikorski. “The flow is magical” − and has also been put to the test: Although the room was designed as a bachelor pad, Sikorski now shares it with his fiancé. “The integrated ensuite and bedroom bring us even closer to one another. We have nothing to hide,” he says.
A penthouse retreat with a spa-like feel
Having bounced among homes in Ottawa, Montreal, New York and London, Bill Fox and Bonnie Brownlee, political communications specialists, were ready for a place to touch down – a home that would be a “much-needed escape from a fairly fast-paced life,” Brownlee says. In their penthouse condo in Toronto, that calming, soothing environment is most prevalent in their ultra-luxe ensuite. In response to Brownlee’s request for “marble and tiles everywhere,” architectural designers Merike and Stephen Bauer of Reigo & Bauer created a galley-style bathroom running the length of the bedroom but separated from the rest of the room by a glass partition that lets in natural light to dance off the Carrara marble walls and white Corian tub and countertop. “Bathrooms are often placed at the centre of the building in condo layouts, eliminating natural daylight in these spaces,” Merike says. “The glass wall was a means of admitting daylight to what would have otherwise been a dark space while opening up the bathroom to feel larger in scale.” Black glass floor tiles, interspersed with hits of copper, provide contrast to the light-grey marble walls and stark-white soaking tub (along with a toilet, which is partially obscured by a frosted glass partition). The tiles continue into the adjacent shower room, where they encase the walls and ceiling, creating a distinctly spa-like feel. “It’s an incredible space to be in every day,” says Brownlee. “It’s so comfortable, peaceful and lovely to look at. And best of all, it’s functional. It always makes me smile.”