Bath Studio: Inner Glow
Part of a remodeled master suite, this earthy, serene bath occupies what was once the worst spot in the house. “There weren't a lot of windows,” says designer Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, and those faced a high concrete retaining wall. To open the room to the outdoors, Thorsteinsson and Minarc co-principal Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir repurposed the neglected space between the building and wall as a vest-pocket courtyard with a fountain. A wall-size sash lifts to incorporate the space into the bathing area. “It's a 10-foot-by-9-foot single-hung window, basically,” Thorsteinsson explains.
Inside, the palette consists of materials that would fare equally well outdoors: concrete, glass, porcelain, and teak. “We tried to use all materials in their natural form, if possible,” says Thorsteinsson, who matched the concrete floor with a concrete stucco finish in the steam shower and defined bathing areas with flush panels of teak decking. The same wood climbs up from the floor to form a backsplash at the tub and a full-width bench in the shower's glass-roofed corner window bay.
This master bath remodel appropriates an existing concrete retaining wall as the backdrop for a small courtyard, capturing space and light that had gone to waste.
An adjoining space, lined with a vanity cabinet on one wall and a dressing table on the opposite, enjoys a view of Los Angeles' Westridge Canyon. But the bath chamber, with its private view and spalike seclusion—all carved from leftover space—gives the “better” side of the house a run for its money.