GRAND—Best master bath—custom home THE NAME ALONE—MASTER bath pavilion—conjures a private world full of serenity and peace, just the components you'd want in a master bathroom. In this case, an enlarged master bath became a separate pavilion for a practical reason: There just wasn't enough square footage in the original footprint of the house. “We had some width constraints because of setbacks, so it became a very long, narrow building,” says architect Rebecca Swanston. “But that worked to our advantage. We wanted to separate it from the original house so that it stood on its own and was simple in form but rich in detail.”

PRODUCT PICK FROM ARCHITECT REBECCA SWANSTON: onyx from Hilgartner National Stone Co.
PRODUCT PICK FROM ARCHITECT REBECCA SWANSTON: onyx from Hilgartner National Stone Co.

What were once two windows in the master bedroom became the two openings into the pavilion. To make the transition from the livelier bedroom to the more Zen-like bathroom, the architect installed glass floors and walls. The space between the glass walls was filled with a giant stone-walled terrarium and lizard habitat. Connections to the natural world continue in the bathroom, which features lots of light from a ribbon of clerestory windows that wraps the upper level of the building; walls of Douglas fir; slate floors; and spectacular onyx countertops and a vanity that are lit from within. Turned-wood vessel sinks, fossils embedded in the shower's stone wall, and a waterfall-like showerhead complete the sophisticated, rustic look.

“It all comes back to that feeling of peacefulness,” says Swanston.

Entrant/Architect: Swanston & Associates, Baltimore; Builder: Roy Cox Remodeling, Baltimore