Unlike architects, clients seldom care to explore how little space will comfortably serve their needs. If anything, they generally like to have a bit extra. That was especially true for the owner of this lakeside retreat/retirement residence on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and with good reason. “He’s 6 feet 7 inches or 6 feet 8 inches tall," explains architect Christine Albertsson. "He wanted the house to be designed around his comfort as a super-tall person.”" The master bathroom, with its generous scale, reflects that requirement as much as any other room in the house.

Albertsson and partner Todd Hansen gave the bath a simple layout with a large central circulation space. An oversize tub lies along the north wall, its deck extending into a glass-enclosed shower as a seat. The opposite wall presents a substantial, 38-inch-high sink counter flanked by twin linen cabinets. The counter, cabinets, and water closet are recessed into a thickened wall, minimizing their intrusion into the room.

Exposed Douglas fir rafters and board-paneled walls acknowledge the house’s cabinlike character. But they are joined here by more refined materials—Carrara marble at the counter, tub deck and baseboards; white ceramic subway tile at the wainscot and shower wall; and glass tile in the shelf recesses—yielding an effect that Albertsson sums up as "Elegance—in the middle of the woods."

project: Upper Peninsula Residence, Iron River, Mich.

architect: Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Minneapolis

builder: Daniel Benson Builders, Land O’ Lakes, Wis.

resources: plumbing fixtures: Kohler; plumbing fittings: Grohe, Kallista; hardware: Emtek, Hettich; interior doors: Marvin; lighting fixtures: Ginger, Juno; paints/stains: Benjamin Moore; windows: Marvin