The design solution for this ethereal bath started with exterior massing considerations at the outset of a whole-house renovation. “City zoning code doesn’t allow big massive boxes,” explains designer Daryl Olesinski. “At least 25 percent of the façade had to step back, per code.”

This mandate ended up being rather fortuitous, in that pushing the second floor back about 4 feet provided a perfect opportunity for a stretch of south-facing clerestory windows running the entire length of the second level. The design team added a few skylights and ended up with a space that was all air and light with views of sky and trees, yet completely private.

Capitalizing on the home’s newly stepped roofline, the master bath is completely open (its only enclosure is a central toilet closet) and incorporates two ceiling heights. The lower section is capped at 9 feet, creating a feeling of intimacy, while in the taller part, water cascades from a ceiling-mounted showerhead suspended 14 feet above the floor.

Ever budget conscious, the designers specified a basalt stone in matte charcoal as the predominant substrate in the floor and shower wall. “That allowed us to use a more expensive material on the opposite wall—a tumbled marble tile cut in a coarse pattern—which provides a nice texture,” Olesinski explains. “Then we balanced everything out with teak cabinets and shelves, simple white basin sinks, and Vola faucets.”

Interestingly, the remodel was engineered without a single piece of steel in the house, “which is very unusual,” Olesinski says. “If you provide enough wall surface, you don’t need steel for lateral support for earthquakes. This renovation was achieved for about $245 per square foot, which is extremely low for the area.”

Entrant/Interior designer/Bath designer:O+L Building Projects, Los Angeles; Builder: R.C. Baxley Construction, Culver City, Calif.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.