For this Chicago-area master bath, architects at Studio Dwell pulled off one of the most difficult tricks in bathroom design: maximizing natural light while maintaining privacy.

The 204-square-foot retreat, part of a larger overall master bedroom suite, exudes a secluded feel yet benefits from various light sources: A 12-foot-long clerestory window above the room's pair of sinks allows soft morning light to discreetly enter the room. Light also flows in from a private terrace via a floor-to-ceiling window, illuminating the open shower area and providing glimpses of the sloping terrain and nearby Fox River. All natural lighting is controlled with Kawneer high-efficiency windows to prevent solar heat gain without shading.

An ingenious floating concrete wall provides contrast to the smooth porcelain tile in the bath and separates it from the master bedroom where it becomes the headboard for the bed. It continues into the open shower, dividing it from the private outdoor terrace. For even more drama, the architects cantilevered a pair of long wenge wood vanities along the opposite wall, adding to the linear appearance of the room. 

Project Credits

Entrant/Architect Studio Dwell Architects
Builder McLeod Builders
Size 204 square feet
Cost $900,000 (entire house)