Elegantly detailed materials culminate in lighthearted surprises in this master bath. Architect Nils C. Finne, AIA, chose cool stone and glass to balance a rich fir ceiling, for example, but speced cherry wood cabinets to highlight the use of that wood throughout the rest of the Redmond, Wash., house. Sand-colored limestone tiles cover the floor, but then extend 8 feet up the walls to “create a space within the space,” he says, adding that custom glass mosaics in irregular strips on the floor “break up that stone wrapper.”

  • Credit: Courtesy Finne Architects

Clever contradictions continue elsewhere in the space. Of note is the custom steam shower Finne designed with alternating clear and sandblasted glass panels to create a “play of translucency and transparency” within. A subtly canted glass ceiling in the shower keeps condensation from dropping onto its occupant. And a pivoting transom above the shower door vents the steam.

Another custom touch takes its cues from the alternating shower panels. The twin mirrors above the vanity are flanked by recessed fluorescent lights covered with sandblasted glass. A blackened steel frame and a strip of cherry wood along the top complete the composition. “The lamps are positioned behind two pieces of sandblasted glass,” Finne says of the detail, “for a greater diffusion of light.”

architect: Finne Architects, Seattle
general contractor: Schilperoort & Brooks, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
resources: glass tile: Oceanside Glasstile; plumbing fittings and fixtures: California Faucets, Duravit USA, Elkay USA, Hansgrohe, Kohler Co., TOTO USA