I am drawing out two master baths this weekend. I don't do too many of them and I enjoy the challenge when I get one. The first is an exercise in more and my client wants me to use this image as an inspiration photo.
I don't like it, but nobody pays me to like what I design. When it's finished, it will be lovely and tasteful and my clients will love it. Their friends will too and for a lot of people, a master bath like this is something they aspire to.
Not me man, my fantasy master bath is one similar to the second design I am doing for another client. In my heart of hearts I'm a minimalist and so is client number two. Even though I will pour myself into both projects, project number two will satisfy me more because it strikes so close to what I like.
I like minimalism because it doesn't provide any distractions or places to hide. In a minimalist setting, some one's alone with his thoughts and for me that's a peaceful and enjoyable thing. I get it that not every one's wired that way but after years of considering why I'm so drawn to the kinds of room settings that a lot of people think of as cold, I've come to the conclusion that it's because I like my own company.
Anyhow, master bath number two is going to be as clean and unencumbered as I can make it. For years now, I've loved the shower systems made by Chicago-based LaCava. In particular a pan system they call the Tatami.
The Tatami is a series of fluted, porcelain blocks that sit in a shallow pan. This allows for a smooth and seamless transition from the floor in the room to the shower. Because this transition has been so smoothed out, it allows a designer to re-think the whole idea of a shower enclosure. The lower left illustration in this diagram shows how the Tatami works in cross section.
The shower set up I'm working on has a single, clear glass splash guard that will be about four feet wide and run from the floor to the ceiling. That's it. Just a single sheet of glass at the end of the room with the Tatami system on the floor.
This is sort of my idea for this shower. Sort of. Only in my plan, I'm going to use a single sheet of glass and leave it open at both ends. With a single shower head in the ceiling I can do this. Talk about minimalism. When this shower's not in use it will all but disappear.
Master bath number two is a lot more challenging to design because I can't rely on any of my usual tricks to make flaws in the structure of the room disappear. It requires me to think about every finish and every fixture because the few objects in the room have to work together to add to the sense that the room's empty.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with the vanity yet and I'm sitting here wondering this morning. I'm wondering how to pare down the idea of a bathroom vanity until it's just that, the pure idea of a bathroom vanity. How do I suggest utility without sacrificing utility at the same time?
There are times when I love what I do for a living, and having the opportunity to think like this on a Sunday morning is definitely one of those times.
So what do we think? Am I out of my mind? Anybody have a competing master suite philosophy?