Like the kitchen in this Menlo Park, Calif., house, the master bath boasts a strong connection to the outdoors. Architect William S. Duff Jr., AIA, placed it next to a private master suite garden that uses a wooden fence and lush landscaping to block the neighbors’ view. Glass accordion doors fold back to link the bathtub and vanity area to the garden any time the clients wish. When they crave additional privacy, they can close the doors and pull down built-in shades. The room draws plenty of cross-ventilation via the large garden opening and an opposite-side doorway leading from the master suite hallway to the home’s backyard.

Duff chose materials that convey a sense of harmony and order. Soothing green glass tiles clad the freestanding tub, the vanity backsplash, and the shower walls, continuing all the way up to the ceiling and even extending to the strip of wall above the accordion doors. Slate tile flooring echoes the gray engineered quartz vanity top, which matches the kitchen counters.

The slate segues into a series of teak slats that start just outside the shower enclosure and envelop the tub. They’re spaced slightly apart and sit atop a hidden dropout and drain for collecting excess water, “so you can step out of the bath or shower and drip,” Duff explains. He and his team kept the slats going right up the wall on the far side of the tub. The combination of earthy teak and glossy tile achieves a perfect blend of warm and cool tones, making the bath an ideal place to relax and unwind.

project: Wheeler Residence, Menlo Park, Calif.
architect: William Duff Architects, San Francisco
general contractor: Bay West Enterprises, Redwood City, Calif.
landscape designer: T. Delaney/Seam Studio, San Francisco
resources: accordion doors: NanaWall Systems; bathroom fittings: waterdecor; bathroom fixtures: Americh Corp. (Zuma Collection), Dornbracht Americas, TOTO USA; countertops: CaesarStone USA; flooring (slate): American Slate Co.; shades: Lutron Electronics Co.; tile (glass): Original Style; towel warmer: Myson.