Nils C. Finne often designs renovations of older residences, such as this farmhouse in Fall City, Wash. When doing so, he likes to bring in more modern elements to contrast with and complement the existing structure. “You get a conversation between the older home and the new spirit of the work,” he says. “I’m convinced that if you do it in a thoughtful and considered way, it sets up a new dimension for the house.”
In the case of the farmhouse’s master bath, he enlarged and reframed an existing bump-out. The new piece is reinforced with steel, and cantilevers over the home’s east and north sides. A view of the Snoqualmie Valley had been largely ignored by the old bath, but Finne remedied that by making the exterior walls almost entirely glass. A freestanding tub takes full advantage of the newly panoramic views. LED-lit mirrors are suspended above the vanities and in front of the windows “so you don’t lose the transparency,” Finne says. There are no sight lines from neighboring properties into the bath, but a hidden shade pulls down anyway to provide extra privacy.
The room measures about 115 square feet, and to make it seem larger Finne made the shower floor flush with the rest of the floor. “It’s a bit of a struggle—you have to create a cutout in your floor frame,” he says. “But it makes the room feel bigger.” Maple cabinetry and honed limestone counters and floors give the bath a soothing, natural palette. And a sapele and blackened steel bench designed by Finne provides a convenient place for towels and clothing. “It’s like a little treehouse up there,” he says. “And not many treehouses have bathtubs!”
Project Credits: Builder: Treebird Construction, Fall City, Wash.; Architect/interior designer: FINNE Architects, Seattle; Structural engineer: Swenson Say Fagét, Seattle; Living space (bath): 115 square feet; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider. / Resources: Fittings: Duravit; Fixtures: California Faucets, Dornbracht; Lighting (recessed): Lightolier; Tile (shower): Ann Sacks; Windows: Loewen.