Taylor Residence – Master Bedroom

  • Louis Pereira

    Hi John – Great new segment!…

    I particularly the detail in the West Melbourne House of the clear glass transom at the top of the wall. This is an excellent technique to gain natural light into spaces away from exterior walls, especially where you don’t have an option for skylights – i.e. lofts, apts etc…


  • Louis Pereira

    Here are some additional relevant concepts…

    Image 1 – Kaehler-Moore Architects
    Image 2 – Minarc


  • John Brown

    Thanks for the two images. They are good examples of a headboard doing double duty as storage. I particularly like the Minarc project because it creates a dressing area behind the bed, and adjacent to the bathroom (in the back right side of the image). If that had been a wall instead of a low headboard the area infront of the tall storage would only be a dark closet. This way it can share the light and space with the rest of the room.

  • Ira

    I also this is a good new segment.

    In the Kurkova Residence I like the dark wood closet and the way it both separates and connects the entry door and the bed.

  • Carson

    I like the way the red chair is situated inside the dormer at the back of the room in the Beverly House project.

  • Rhonda

    In the last project, the Beverly House I like the sliding doors opposite the bed. I like the way they extend from one side of the room to the other. Do you think that the door right in front of the bed conceals a TV?

  • John Brown

    Good comment about the doors. I think you are probably right about the TV. The nice thing about the consistency of a full wall of doors is that they could conceal a whole variety of different uses- hanging space, dresser storage, TV/media, perhaps even a wet bar or a study desk. With the doors all closed all of this complexity is hidden from view and the room becomes simple and serene.

  • Louis Pereira

    I too like the idea of having a series of sliding doors like the Beverly House project for reasons explained. I also like the fact that, even if it was just a wardrobe closet, that it’s part of the same space and not a separate room – as in a Walk-in closet’ – which takes up floor space unnecessarily.

    Here’s a couple more samples of that…


  • Louis Pereira

    I’m a huge fan of these small details…i.e. small recessed coves and minimal trim.


  • John Brown

    I agree with you about those small details.

    The idea of exposing the joint by creating a small recess, or reveal, between ceiling and wall or between two materials was an idea that first arose with early 20th Century modernism. This strategy was the opposite of the historical architectural technique of using a third element of trim such as a cornice to cover the joint between ceiling and wall or a piece of door casing to cover up the joint between drywall and door frame.

    Architects use both strategies depending on circumstance, budget, and context. In the case of the millwork in the Kurkova image that you and Ira mentioned,think how different that piece would read if there was a big piece of trim covering all of the joints between the wood and the wall (think of the average cookie cutter kitchen). It wouldn’t be as successful because it wouldn’t read as much like a separate object as it does now.

  • Ersi

    This type of headboard furniture is something we have planned for our house and one of the reference images I gave our architect is the following. The image is from a flooring company (www.bodarto.ch) and I don’t know who the architects were, sorry. What I really like about this is that the side table function has been moved to the back (though I do realize that the bedside clock situation will have to be rethought) and floor is opened up.

    As for the four examples you worked through, I was mostly captivated by the natural light and/or views in the first two rooms. One could put practially anything in the Lake House room and it would be gorgeous!


  • John Brown

    Good to hear from you. This is a very nice example of how versatile bed millwork can be. The bed frame is very thin isn’t it. I also like the concealed lighting above the shelf. Quite beautiful.

    I see that the bathroom is located behind the bed in this project. Notice how the architect centered the long window on the circulation space defined between the back of the bed (on the left) and the tall millwork piece (just visible on the right). This serves to really “lock” the location of the bed into the room in a very architectural way and ties the bed into the architecture of the room.

  • Louis Pereira

    Very nice image Ersi! Bodarto website showcases some interesting work.

    Your example above reminds me of a similar approach i took on one of my design projects (Image 1). I had similar details with the recess above the headboard (finished in zebrano) and the rest in wenge. This millwork piece served several functions as a headboard, shelf, and additional storage for blankets, pillows and books etc. It also separated the Master Suite from the bathroom with the sinks on the opposite side. (Image 2)


  • Lina

    Hi John,

    Would you be able to elaborate a little more on the idea of having a small reveal between the ceiling and wall? Is there a specific term for it? I did not know the idea came out of early 20th century Modernism and I’d like to learn more about it and especially, how it is done.

    In general, I dislike trim immensely and I’m delighted to have found another option!

    By the way, my husband and I have been avid followers of your website for quite some time and are really enjoying your recent changes!

  • John Brown

    Hi Lina,
    A very good question. Contemporary building practices with drywall ceilings and walls have pretty much perfected the seamless transition between the two planes so neither a piece of trim or a reveal is necessary.

    If the transition is between a piece of millwork and the ceiling (as with a kitchen cabinet or the piece in the image you mentioned) there will always be a joint as one material butts up against another. As I said, there are two ways to deal with this.

    The first is to put a piece of trim on top that overlaps both elements. This is cheaper and requires less skill, which is why it is so prevalent in cookie cutter houses.

    The second is to “hide” the joint in a deliberately created reveal, or recess. In this case, the shadow created by the recess conceals the joint. I will upload a quick sketch of the two options to illustrate what I mean.

    The second option obviously requires a lot more time and skill to execute and is therefore much less common. As I mentioned this form of detailing developed in early modern architecture as a reaction to their dislike of ornamentation. In historic architecture, these trim pieces were often decorated (think cornice and door moldings). In fact Adolf Loos, an influential early modern architect and theorist wrote an essay in 1908 called “Ornament and Crime” – but that is another story.

    I usually counsel a balance between the two approaches. I think there are many places in a house in which simple, unadorned trim can be okay – such as baseboards and window/ door casing. While it is possible to eliminate these pieces the cost is really high for the visual return that you get. However, I think that any kind of trim around built ins, cabinetry, and other millwork should be avoided.

    Most cookie cutter home builders don’t know how to do this. In fact, I have even seen houses with quarter round trim hiding a badly cut joint between a granite counter and the back wall of a kitchen.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. I am glad you are enjoying the site and thanks for watching.

  • John Brown

    Here is a quick sketch showing the difference between an exposed trim detail and a recessed reveal detail.


  • John Brown


    This is a good example of the use of the recessed detail by Christopher Polly Architects of Sydney Australia. Click on the link to see the listing for the whole project.



  • Lina

    John, thanks very much for all the additional information you shared about creating recesses. I found the sketch really helpful and can definitely see why this method is not very commonly used! Thanks again!

  • John Brown

    You are most welcome. Thanks for getting involved and please let me know if you have any other questions. Chances are that other people will also be wondering about the same issues.

  • truus

    hello John ,
    What a delight to see rationality enter the house.I just became aware of your website and I am an instant fan. I worked all my life( in Calgary) with design and less able people , trying to match their abilities to the environment .I carried a pocket size chain saw- figuratively speaking ! What a battle that was. Now I am aged, I want to have light , height and comfort. I made my own bed from plywood , but my scope was 4 by 8 ft sheets . Those wide sheets I could not handle. Perhaps there is a corner on your web where cheaper solutions are promoted, made by the house wife ( like myself) or handy man . I admire your pioneer work in the field !

  • tony

    what u think about my home,give some idea


  • tony

    i knw hand rail don’t look rite and cargpet also,everything i have low budget,but what you think



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