Alone and To­gether

Western Living - - EDITOR’S NOTE -

When ar­chi­tect Ryan Scarff de­signed the en­suite for his fam­ily’s new home in Cal­gary (“Right as Rain,” page 56), he imag­ined that it would be an oa­sis for him and his wife: flooded with nat­u­ral light thanks to wrap­around win­dows and a skylight, it would al­low for a few mo­ments of peace each morn­ing be­fore the much-loved chaos of fam­ily life be­gan.

It didn’t quite work out that way. In­stead, his seven-year-old fell in love with the skylight and now bee­lines for the bath­room to as­sess the day’s weather and re­port it loudly from his “throne” each morn­ing. “It’s not al­ways the re­lax­ing sanc­tu­ary we had in mind,” says Scarff with a laugh. “But it’s be­come an­other great place for all of us to spend time to­gether.”

That idea res­onated with me—that while we of­ten think of bath­rooms as per­sonal, pri­vate re­treats, they also be­come cen­tral hubs in their own right. We’ve de­signed them to han­dle the morn­ing rush, with choices like a dou­ble sink that al­lows a cou­ple to chat while one ap­plies makeup and the other brushes their teeth. (The one time my nephew brushes his teeth with­out a bat­tle, for ex­am­ple, is when I’m vis­it­ing him in Cal­gary and we can watch each other brush in the mir­ror.) What we think of as a place de­signed for soli­tude is just as much a spot for fam­ily time, and pos­si­bly the odd ar­gu­ment over who’s tak­ing too long with the hairdryer.

We’ve high­lighted a few of our favourite de­signs in this is­sue— bath­rooms that are made for, yes, that spa-like at­mos­phere that ev­ery­one cov­ets, but also for the busy­ness of fam­ily to­gether time. And there can be just as much joy in each of those mo­ments, both those spent to­gether and those spent alone.

While we of­ten think of baths as per­sonal, pri­vate re­treats, they also be­come cen­tral hubs in their own right.

Be­hind the Scenes Set­ting up for our “Re­turn of the Tea Party” (page 65) at The Cross (from left) Lawren Moneta, Ja­nis Nicolay and Naomi McDougall prep the shot, while Sylvie waits pa­tiently (top).

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