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    Credit: Michael J. Lee

    A symmetrical layout and abundant clerestory light give this master bath its serene sense of order. Watery green mosaic tile set in a sinuous pattern backdrops the freestanding vessel tub.

The Courtyard Residence is made up of three linked pavilions, each with an independent identity. Architect Ruth Bennett and her clients conceptualized the master bedroom pavilion as a peaceful retreat from the world. The owners “see this as their refuge space, almost as if they were in a cottage of their own,” Bennett says. Located near the master suite’s geographic center, the bathroom conveys an even deeper feeling of remove. But while its landlocked position is great for privacy, Bennett notes, “we wanted to bring in light, so we used [interior] transom windows on two sides.” The result is a room that is inward looking, but with no sense of confinement.

Bennett and designer/cabinetmaker Paul Reidt extended the theme of concentric elements by posing a freestanding tub against a wall of wavy, seawater-color tile. At the opposite wall, a pair of tall cabinets brackets a furniturelike vanity cabinet. A shower and toilet compartment stand unobtrusively to one side—the former, behind a glass door; the latter, a solid one—preserving the symmetry of the bathing space. An abbreviated finish schedule of Carrara marble, ceramic tile, and cherry supports the contemplative aim of the design, and its application makes the room a suitable object of contemplation in itself. “It’s a simple approach,” Reidt says, “but we still wanted to make sure there was a sense of craft.”


Project: Courtyard Residence, Acton, Mass.; Builder: The Classic Group, Burlington, Mass.; Architect: RBA Architecture, Belmont, Mass.; Interior designer: Susan B. Acton Interiors, Cohasset, Mass.; Photographer: Michael J. Lee. / Resources: Hardware: Baldwin, Blum; HVAC equipment: Buderis; Interior doors: Trustile; Lighting fixtures: Cooper, DanaLite, Juno; Lightolier, Prima; Paints: Benjamin Moore; Windows: Marvin