Alone and Together
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).