Sometimes the soul of a room can be encapsulated in a single iconic centerpiece. In this case, the Italian-designed Agape Spoon tub was so sensual and subdued that introducing competing features would have overpowered its beauty. So the architects at Minarc kept the other elements in this master bath remodel to a bare minimum, using “only raw materials in their most organic form.” The result is a quiet space, free of visual noise, that appeals to many of the other senses.

Warmth in this neutral realm comes by way of radiant floor heating and natural wood accents. Teak slats form a platform and backsplash for the white exmar tub. The same wood species is used in the shower seating and floor, providing a rich complement to the frameless glass doors and hard surface concrete.

“We were going for a luxury spa feeling, evoking water, earth, air,” says architect Erla Dogg Ingjaldsdottir of the eco-conscious space, which deliberately uses no carpets, tiles, or paints. The tranquil retreat literally becomes one with nature by opening up (via retractable wall) to a secluded outdoor courtyard with pebbled ground, native plants, and a metal water feature made by local artists. The resulting “light therapy” that floods the bath by day cuts down on electrical usage while promoting a feeling of wellness, say the architects.

“The clients wanted a relaxing environment where they could wind down from everyday stress,” Ingjaldsdottir says. This space provides exactly that with grace and light.

Entrant/Architect/Contractor: Minarc, Santa Monica, Calif.