Calm, Cool + Protected

Thanks to a mix of natural materials and modern innovation, architect Scott West carved out a fortress of solitude in a lakeside master bath

When his clients built a vacation retreat beside a placid lake, architect Scott West made it his mission to create a soothing space where the couple could experience more than a moment of zen. “The goal of the bath—as with the rest of the house—was to find a modern design language that felt appropriate for the rural context,” says West. “I wanted to embrace a certain rusticity, organicness and warmth in the materials—a crisp ‘wabi-sabi’ with subtle natural tones and patterns.”

Case in point: in order to balance West’s desire for plenty of natural light with his client’s need for privacy, the designer incorporated a series of clerestory windows to achieve both. From there, he layered in a mix of natural elements—wood-like tile floors and custom vanities fabricated by George Peker’s Addhouse topped with Walker Zanger’s White Macaubus—along with man-made materials in earthy tones, such as the chevron tile wrapping the fireplace and planks of porcelain tiles surrounding the sunken bath and in the shower. 

West’s goal of achieving “visual serenity” for the space is no more apparent than in the large, recessed rain shower. “I tend to keep things simple and not overcomplicate with a dozen different controls and heads,” he says. Instead of flooding the space with excessive accessories and gadgetry, he kept it clean, adding only a “boulder” seat that the homeowners found at a local landscape shop. “In retrospect, I think the browner tones of the rock make for an interesting counterpoint,” he says. It’s a great example of where collaboration with clients produces more interesting results.”

In these uncertain times, the master bath offers just the right amount of quiet and beauty. Says West, “The world is a complicated, overstimulating place, so I think a respite such as a bathing space should offer calming serenity.”  

CABINETRY Custom by George Peker’s Addhouse VANITY COUNTERTOPS White Macaubus by Walker Zanger TILE ON HOOD Gubi by Walker Zanger FLOOR TILE Volcan by Specialty Tile Products BATHTUB Duravit SHOWER and TUB FIXTURES Hudson Reed

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