Architect Mark English could have put the public areas of this house on the top floor. Instead, he gave that honor to the master bath. The reason is simple: “Placing the master suite at the top guarantees the best view,” he explains.

Located on a hillside, the house has a reverse plan, one in which the entry is at the top and the main living areas one level down. The top floor has unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay, so the firm used that context to inform its design. “The essence of the Sausalito bathroom is its oneness with the surrounding Bay and fog (which seem to be the same thing sometimes),” English says. “Our inspiration from the beginning was to choose elegant materials that would evoke moisture and quiet.”

A study in neutrals, the bathroom features a Bianco Spina marble tub surround and countertop. Laced with swirls of white and gray, it evokes the famous San Francisco fog, but even on the grayest day, light will pour into the space through two large fixed windows. “The interior glazing is greenish and etched on one side for both privacy and ‘dewiness’,” the architect explains. The cabinets and walls, he continues, are a light gray to “be calm and allow the exterior to be the focus.”

Frosted glass doors conceal the private areas of the bath, such as the toilet and shower, while glass sinks allow light to permeate. Everything is tied together nicely with light-colored wood floors that have been scraped and worked for a soft pillowed surface that’s pleasant underfoot.

Entrant/Architect:Mark English Architects, San Francisco Builder:Landmark Builders, Novato, Calif.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.