• High ceilings and white walls contrast with the warm woods and give a feeling of airiness to the small space.

    Credit: Paul Warchol

    High ceilings and white walls contrast with the warm woods and give a feeling of airiness to the small space.
Architect Alfredo De Vido and his client discovered a shared affinity for Japanese design and the naturalistic lifestyle it encourages. Their common passion informed details throughout this weekend house, but the theme is most evident in the master bath, where a traditional soaking tub, made in Japan, is the focal point of a compact yet serene bathing chamber.

Not many people would be open to a wooden bathtub, but these owners took on the challenge. And it is a bit of a challenge because the wooden vessel must be filled with 6 inches of water at all times to prevent the wood from splitting. As a waterproofing meaure, the tub sits inside a shower pan filled with stones. The shower was placed nearby as another nod to Asian culture. “The Japanese tradition is that you get clean before you go in the tub,” De Vido says.

The room's cozy proportions and strong outdoor ties also resonate with the Japanese theme. Floor-to-ceiling glass creates a strong indoor/outdoor connection. And natural materials and forms are incorporated in the bath's vanity, storage bench, and wall shelf. They are made of wood planks milled from a local tree. Rough edges are left intact, but fine sanding and a high polish offer a touch of Eastern elegance.

Builder: Tedell Construction, Center Moriches, N.Y.
Architect: De Vido Architects, New York City
Photographer: Paul Warchol

Resources: Bathtub: Oregon Hinoki Products; Plumbing fixtures: Axor; Sink: Duravit.