Making a Scene
Kevin Alter sees architecture as a backdrop rather than a leading character in a custom home. This new Austin, Texas, master bath shows off his design philosophy with clean lines that allow interesting finishes and natural light to attract attention. “Because everything is clean and simple you notice wood grains and patterns and changing light through the course of the day,” he says.
White marble tops a double vanity and then flows down to surround the tub on one end and turn into shower seating on the other. The marble's veining contrasts with the rigid pattern of white glass tiles on tub and shower walls. Alter speced vertical-grain cherry cabinet doors while drawers feature horizontal grain to generate another distinct pattern.
Because the room is only 143 square feet, Alter used the ceiling plane to articulate function instead of taking up floor space with dividers. An entry vestibule is devised by keeping the ceiling low around the door and a linen closet but letting the center section vault up to clerestory windows above the vanity. Alter says he “treated the shower and bath like little sidecars and dropped the ceilings above them.” He adds that lowering the ceiling above these areas helps trap steam to keep bathers warm.