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Kyoto bathhouse off her bedroom.

Kyoto bathhouse off her bedroom

One step transports homeowner Debbie de Gooyer half a world away when she moves from her bedroom to the Japanese bath added at the rear of her house. Carefully crafted shoji screens, hand-planed beams, and a tree-filtered view conjure visions of a serene Kyoto bathhouse.

The 8- by 12-foot room contains a shower and a 4 1/2- by 6-foot dark-tiled spa. Only 30 inches deep--great for stretching out--the spa is heated by a closed-loop heat-exchange pump on the house water heater. Removable cedar duckboards cover a subfloor and lie flush with the dark green marble tiles ringing the spa's top.

Built with a post-and-beam pine frame and mortise-and-tenon joints, the room uses few nails and no visible metal connectors. For privacy, part of the room has fixed panels of sealed and painted gypsum board set into grooves in the posts. To admit light or to open for garden views, four plastic-coated shoji screens slide in handmade tracks on two sides.

Designer-builder was David Putnam of The Millworks, Palo Alto, California.

Photo: Handcrafted details in bathhouse have distinct Oriental flavor, from temple-like roof to shoji screens and slender deck (engawa) pierced by graceful lemon tree
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Title Annotation:Debbie de Gooyer
Date:Jan 1, 1988
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