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A compact soaking room with strong outdoor ties is rooted in Asian architectural themes.

A compact soaking room with strong outdoor ties is rooted in Asian architectural themes.

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    De Vido Architects

    Rhythmic millwork ties together a band of clerestory windows that run throughout the house. The windows bring in natural light from every direction and share that light with the home’s interior rooms.

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    De Vido Architects

    A line of green glass tiles, positioned at head height for bathers, creates an appealing visual break in the tall white walls and helps bounce light around the tight space.

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De Vido and his clients discovered a shared affinity for Japanese design and the elemental lifestyle it encourages. Their common passion informed many details throughout the house and landscape, but the sensibility is most evident in the master bath, where a traditional soaking tub—made in Japan—becomes the focal point for a compact, serene bathing chamber.

Not many people would be open to a wooden bathtub, but these owners took on the challenge. The wooden vessel must be filled with six inches of water at all times to prevent splitting and cracking. The tub sits within and drains through a waterproof shower pan lined with stones for overflow prevention. A large shower is only steps away—another nod to Asian practices. “The Japanese tradition is that you get clean before you go in the tub,” De Vido explains.

The room's cozy proportions and strong outdoor ties also originate in the Far East. Floor-to-ceiling glass adjacent to the soaking tub brings nature in while visually expanding the space. Natural materials and forms inside the room strengthen an indoor-outdoor relationship. De Vido purchased a 14-foot section from a locally felled tree to make custom furniture for the house, and several of those pieces are in the bathroom; the planks became a vanity, storage bench, and wall shelf. Irregular edges were left intact, but fine sanding and a high polish give the pieces a finished look.

Check out the corresponding kitchen.