Home on the Range
ColePrévost translates the Great Plains into a northern Virginia master suite
Anne Guiney -- Interior Design, 12/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Residential clients often bring ideas to the table, but rarely does anyone suggest Montana's big sky as the driving metaphor for a suburban house straight out of "Hansel and Gretel." Nonetheless, such was the request made by the owner of a house in Alexandria, Virginia. Though the 405-square-foot second-floor master suite wasn't exactly prairie-scale, architect Robert Cole and interior designer Sophie Prévost took the client's request to heart. Keeping the space wide open—using light for definition—ColePrévost of Washington, D.C., stripped out walls, removed a drywall ceiling to expose roof timbers, and installed a dark-stained Masonite floor. Running through it, a Lumasite strip covering a channel filled with rope lighting marks the spot where a wall once stood.
The bathroom is raised on a 6-inch-high tiled plinth to hide the pipes. On two sides of the shower, Lumasite panels backlit with fluorescents keep the water in. The only things separating the shower, tub, sink, and toilet from the bedroom are two full-height panels of acid-etched glass that glow when a dimmer switch in the bedroom turns on a row of ceiling lights. The bathroom isn't as exposed as it might seem, however. With the Lumasite illuminated, the shower enclosure becomes virtually opaque. From the bed, one can make out only the vaguest outlines of a figure.