Launch Slideshow

Bath: Long Hall

Designer, developer and homeowner Sean Bell works around multiple obstacles to design a bathroom for a Seattle home.

Bath: Long Hall

Designer, developer and homeowner Sean Bell works around multiple obstacles to design a bathroom for a Seattle home.

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    Lara Swimmer

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    Stainless steel screws fasten the bath’s plywood panels to an earthquake-resistant shear wall. The screws’ tight symmetrical pattern not only meets required construction techniques, it also becomes a nifty design detail.

Upstairs, Bell was stuck with a long hallway to access bedrooms and baths, but he worked hard to avoid the dreaded bowling alley effect. He varied surface textures and alternated opaque and translucent segments to add visual interest to the corridor. And he placed the master bath behind a frosted-glass partition that filters light into the hallway. Wooden shelves frame the partition and break the hallway's flat planes. Inside the bath, shelves and their contents create compelling shadows.

Because the structure of the house is expressed, there was nowhere to hide unsightly plumbing, so Bell boosted the bathroom floors by six inches. The extra lift accommodates pipes and allows for a shower pan beneath the entire room. “Water drains through the Ironwood floor into the pan,” he explains. Ironwood holds up well to moisture, as do the marine-grade plywood walls.

Glass panels provide another layer of protection for the wood walls inside the shower. For the double vanity, Bell cut holes in some salvaged teak tables and configured them for sinks. “When I do bathrooms, I try to get a lot of air movement to avoid moisture issues,” Bell says. In this case, he speced wall-to-wall windows that flood the room with light and fresh air.

kitchen: open wide