GRAND BEST MASTER BATH IN A CUSTOM HOME

THIS BATHROOM IN A SPEC HOME was not designed with a particular buyer in mind, but for builder Ray Miller and Albertsson Hansen Architecture, the vernacular theme was clear. “The overall idea was to do a contemporary rendition of a farm-style home,” says Miller, who also was the developer. “We wanted the space to be soft and warm, but we didn't want the lines to be traditional or conventional.”

This vision turned specific when it came to amenities. What Miller had in mind was a modern space with a separate shower, a freestanding tub, an enclosed toilet room, and two sinks. It was up to architect Todd Hansen to develop the requirements into something tangible.

The palette is restricted to three primary materials: ceramic, wood, and glass. Ceramic fixtures anchor the space, while the glass enclosures help distribute light throughout. “We sandblasted the glass halfway up the enclosures to give users privacy,” Miller explains. The height of the sand-blasting was specifically chosen “so that a person standing in either space could see out in the clear areas above,” Hansen adds.

At first glance, the bathroom walls appear to be painted sea foam green, but closer inspection reveals a surface clad in the same sandblasted glass as the enclosures. “The sandblasted plate glass wainscoting was our minimal approach to glass tile,” says Hansen. “The glass adds texture, color, and an unexpected element in the space,” Miller adds.

Perhaps the most surprising material of all, however, is the reclaimed Australian jarrah wood floor—a tropical species chosen for its “moisture resistance and hardness qualities not present in all hardwood species,” Hansen says. The jarrah conveys warmth and acts as a counterpoint to the ceramic and glass. The result is a contemporary master bath that possesses the homespun warmth of traditional style.

Entrant/Architect/Interior designer: Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Minneapolis; Builders: Millerville, Eagan, Minn.; Birch River, Lakeville, Minn.

WOOD WORK The thought of a wood floor in a bathroom, especially after a steamy shower, is enough to make some people cringe. All that moisture can make wood cup and warp. But with the right species, there is nothing to fear, says builder Ray Miller. “There are three things to remember,” he says. “Make sure to use a wood that withstands moisture.” Besides jarrah, ipe (otherwise known as Brazilian cherry), redwood, and mahogany are good choices, Miller says. “[Second,] make sure to use a good marine-quality finish, and [third], caulk the perimeter of the floor for a good seal.”

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Photo: Peter Kerze BD060501264L2.jpgClick here to view image gallery.
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Photo: Peter Kerze BD060501264L2.jpgClick here to view image gallery.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.