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An American take on a traditional Japanese bathroom

An American take on a traditional Japanese bathroom

On this master bathroom remodel in Mahopac, NY we were challenged with creating a space that squeezed a lot into a small layout. Combined with creating a bathroom that felt authentic to the homeowner’s Japanese roots, this project was a fun challenge for our team.

Modern master bathroom with floating vanity, arched bathtub, glass door and pocket door.
<noscript><img decoding=async class=wp image 987 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Full View from Entrance 2 TEKRA builders 850x600 300x244png alt=Modern master bathroom with floating vanity arched bathtub glass door and pocket door width=772 height=628 ><noscript> Modern sleek American take on a traditional Japanese bathroom

Collaboration

Along with some valuable knowledge from the homeowners on Japanese culture and bathing habits, we teamed up with Allison Miller of Allison Grace Design to help bring the ideas to life. The goal for this master bathroom was a sleek modern aesthetic, with some added wood tones to add warmth to the space.

 

You can check out more of Allison’s work on her website, www.allisongracedesign.com.

 

Background on Japanese Bathrooms

The bathroom in a typical Japanese home consists of separate rooms. One room will contain the sink, a changing area, and a deep soaking tub that is integrated into the shower. The other room houses the toilet, also known as the water closet.

Pocket door open to room with custom walnut cabinetry
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 984 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Pocket Door and Cabinet TEKRA builders 600x850 244x300png alt=Pocket door open to room with custom walnut cabinetry width=506 height=623 ><noscript> Added custom cabinetry in the water closet for additional storage

Contrary to common practice in America, the bathing process in Japanese culture is more for relaxation than getting clean. The occupant will first shower and wash thoroughly, and then soak in the tub. Soaking in the tub can sometimes be for hours at a time, with some homes having a TV in the bathroom for entertainment.

Aerial view of shower with gray modern tile and linear drain
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 989 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Shower Aerial TEKRA builders 850x600 300x244png alt=Aerial view of shower with gray modern tile and linear drain width=767 height=624 ><noscript> Waterproof enclosure that contains both the shower and bathtub

 

Design Challenges and Constraints

In order to add a bathtub into the shower enclosure, we needed to relocate the existing toilet, and remove the linen closet. Limited on space, Allison selected an arc-shaped corner tub from Aquatic. The baseboard heat, originally located in the new shower area, was moved to under the double vanity. We custom-built the walnut vanity to maximize the functionality of the area.

 

Japanese master bathroom with arched tub, floating walnut vanity, medicine cabinet
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 986 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Tub and Vanity TEKRA builders 850x600 300x244png alt=Japanese master bathroom with arched tub floating walnut vanity medicine cabinet width=763 height=621 ><noscript> Maximizing functionality with a corner tub by Aquatica

 

Stripping the room down to the studs, we were able to add, remove, and reroute the plumbing and framing as needed to accommodate a new space. Limited by the tight floor plan, we chose to install a wall-mounted toilet by Toto, which made a tight space feel more expansive. Another benefit of the wall-hung toilet is that it is easy to clean under and around.

This bathroom also features heated flooring in the main area, as well as the shower. You can learn more about floor warming here, as well as a review on the thermostat we used here.

Modern walk in Japanese shower with bathtub, linear drain and floating bench.
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 985 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Tub and Shower TEKRA builders 600x850 244x300png alt=Modern walk in Japanese shower with bathtub linear drain and floating bench width=587 height=722 ><noscript> The tub and shower are combined in a single waterproof enclosure

 

Modern gray large format tile shower with chrome Delta hand shower and controls
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 983 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Hand Shower Fixture 3 TEKRA builders 600x850 244x300png alt=Modern gray large format tile shower with chrome Delta hand shower and controls width=455 height=559 ><noscript> Chrome shower fixtures give this bathroom a sleek modern appearance
Custom floating walnut vanity with undercabinet lighting and double sinks
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class= wp image 988 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 Vanity Wide Angle TEKRA builders 850x600 300x244png alt=Custom floating walnut vanity with undercabinet lighting and double sinks width=821 height=668 ><noscript> Custom built floating walnut vanity with grain matched door fronts
Custom walnut vanity with engraved TEKRA Builders logo on dovetail drawer
<noscript><img loading=lazy decoding=async class=wp image 991 lazyload src=httpsstaging2TEKRAbuilderscomwp contentuploads20190719002 TEKRA Drawer TEKRA builders 850x600 300x244png alt=Custom walnut vanity with engraved TEKRA Builders logo on dovetail drawer width=778 height=633 ><noscript> The TEKRA team custom built the walnut vanity to help maximize the functionality of the space

Final Thoughts

 

A team-focused approach early on allowed us to determine exactly what the homeowners had in mind. It was an honor to pay respect to Japanese traditional, while giving it a unique flair. Making this master bathroom remodel feel more like home for the clients was the best part of it all.

 

You can learn more about our services, by visiting out About Us page. To see more Project Spotlights like this one, visit our Portfolio page.


TEKRA Builders is a design-driven custom builder and remodeler located in Dutchess County, NY performing work across the Hudson Valley.

 

author avatar
Dan Arket