Santa Ynez Residence
Photo ' Jim Bartsch Photography

On a 20-acre site in Southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley, Frederick Fisher and Partners designed a large house open to its surroundings, taking advantage of the area’s balmy climate and stunning landscapes. The house’s plan is separated into three zones—living, working, and sleeping—but is fluid within those areas.

The master bathroom uses a disappearing sliding panel to separate the bath from the adjacent master bedroom so that, according to partner David Ross, “the two spaces blur the boundaries of each other.” The floor-to-ceiling window also blurs boundaries to the outside; it is located behind a ceiling-mounted mirror, which the firm approached “as a painting and not the traditional wall of mirrors,” says Ross.

A Japanese soaking tub is set in the middle of the room, and its unusual placement reflects its unusual function—intended for use after showering, the bathtub reuses the same water multiple times, reheating as necessary. The wooden cover—half is removed for access—is to prevent heat and water loss. A walk-in shower (not shown) is conceived in the same way as the overall room; nothing separates it from the rest of the space.

Architect: Frederick Fisher and Partners

General contractor: Coastal Builders

Dornbracht (fixtures, faucets); Dunn Edwards (paint); FSB (door hardware); Kohler (toilet); DuPont (countertop); Robert’s Hot Tubs (bathtub); Heath Ceramics (floor tile); Architectural Window Shades (shades); US Aluminum (windows)