A bathroom should be a sanctuary; a place to wash away the stress of the day and to begin anew. Dubbeldam Design Architects (DDA) created such a retreat as an extension of the master bedroom on the top floor of a residence in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood.

The project, as a whole, was a contemporary renovation and addition to the narrow, 100-year-old, semi-detached house. The owners wanted an overall modern look that combined environmentally friendly features with an abundance of natural light.

The entire third floor was transformed from an attic into a modern master bedroom and ensuite bathroom with a walkout roof deck.

“It’s a pathway to the light,” explains Heather Dubbeldam, principal. The bathroom’s layout maximizes natural light intake, creating a zen-like feel while opening up the small 140-square-foot space. The Maax Collection Zone tub is sunken to provide clean sight lines and encourage the sense of a bigger room. A main feature of the space, it’s equipped with whirlpool jets and a chromotherapy feature. The tub is filled by water flowing down from the ceiling like a waterfall, from a Kohler bath filler, from the Purist collection. Behind the tub, the multifunctional Blue Lagos limestone shower wall conceals the shower fixtures, holds an air diffuser, and has built-in heating coils to warm towels and bathrobes.

Translucent glass partitions and light-coloured materials within the space allow natural and interior light to bounce through the room, while the vanity, made of North American cherry, adds warmth. The theme of openness is further emphasized by the lack of door or wall to divide the bath and bedroom. The space simply functions as a continuation of the master suite, with the ethereal fireplace acting as a transitional element. The environmentally sound gel fuel fireplace, framed by Rosal limestone, is open on three sides, to be enjoyed from both rooms.

DDA (along with Troke Contracting and K. H. Davis Consulting structural engineers) created not only a bathroom but also a special hideaway to cleanse the body and mind. “The clients love it,” says Dubbeldam. “It’s almost like their tree house, it feels like a little house in the sky.” CI