Floor-to-ceiling windows along two walls are the first hint that this master bathroom remodel was designed for an adventurous person. The client, say architects Stuart Cohen, FAIA, and Julie Hacker, AIA, is a “very interesting guy who owns a telecommunications company and collects English Arts & Crafts furniture.” The room, therefore, finds the intersection of this dynamic duality.

The house, situated in the suburbs of Chicago, perches on the edge of a wooded ravine, so the owner had no qualms about keeping the expansive openings of the former sun porch. Custom in-swing windows were made to fit the porch's existing archways. The other side of the room overlooks the more public views of the driveway, so old English painted-glass panels acquired by the owner at auction provide privacy behind the tub. Cohen and Hacker wanted some of the room's bountiful sunlight to migrate into the master bedroom: two interior windows do the trick. The windows also do another trick, going from transparent to opaque with the flip of a switch.

“We would have solved that situation with shades,” Cohen chuckles, “but our client found this liquid crystal that changes obscurity with the introduction of an electrical current.”

architect: Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker Architects, Evanston, Ill.

general contractor: J.R. Simpson and Associates, Chicago

resources: accessories: Salvage One; ceramic tile: American Olean; lighting fixtures: Cavalier Antique Lighting; plumbing fixtures: Dornbracht Americas