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By the time interior designer Alison Kripke came on board, the plans were drafted and the foundation poured for this Shingle-style home in Norwell. That didn’t stop her from suggesting a major change: redrawing the plans to create an unconventional layout that places the master bathroom in front of the bedroom.

“I took a chance in doing something different, more of a luxury boutique hotel idea,” recalls the Cohasset-based Kripke. “Fortunately, the owners were totally gung-ho.”

The entrance to the master suite is an impressive sliding barn door; a shower room and a water closet sit on either side. Straight ahead, a voluminous space holds the tub and vanities, and through that area is the bedroom. Says Kripke: “It’s a little different to walk through the bathroom to get to the bedroom, but there’s a huge 14-foot cathedral ceiling that brings in beautiful light that I thought would feel wonderful in the bathroom.”

Above the tub, another handcrafted iroko piece, striking cast-glass Bocci pendant lights add dramatic sparkle.
Above the tub, another handcrafted iroko piece, striking cast-glass Bocci pendant lights add dramatic sparkle.(Emily O’Brien)

The idea was to make the space feel as “unbathroom-y” as possible, says Kripke. “Everything in the room is very furniture-like. Nothing about it says utilitarian.”

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The tub is made of iroko wood, which mimics teak at a slightly lower price. To fabricate the one-of-kind specimen, Kripke called on a college friend who works at Howard Boats in Barnstable. “I saw some wood tubs online, but none of them were the shapes I wanted. If anyone could make what I had in mind, I figured it would be a boat builder,” she says. “It’s a lot more complicated than it looks because of how the corners meet and angle in.”

The tub nestles up to a fireplace with a hearth in each room and a soaring slate chimney, which introduces both aesthetic and literal warmth into the minimalist space. Another local shop, Woodworking by Peterson in Pembroke, made the iroko vanities. Ann Sacks tiles in matte-finish teak encase mirrors; sinks softly echo the tub form.

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“Faucets have the appeal of a bamboo Asian-inspired spigot in a brushed stainless finish,” says Kripke. “We tried to take everything down to its purest form. It’s a very Zen, streamlined space.”


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