Our all-time favorite Japanese-inspired bath? This compact, spa-like bathing space in the Hughes/Kinugawa house in Auckland, New Zealand, by architect Andrew Lister. Recreate the look with the following elements:
Above: A vintage Noren entry hanging textile adds a dash of color in the Hughes/Kinugawa house. For something similar, visit Cloth & Goods in Portland, OR (we'd choose a Table Runner from husband wife designers Rowland & Ricketts, who use historical Japanese techniques that are entirely organic and sustainable). Photo by Richard Powers.
Above: Perhaps the most handsome towel warmer we've seen: the Universal Towel Warmer from Waterworks; prices start at $1,664 for the nickel model.
Above: When bathing in the local bath house was common practice, bathers would don a yukata and carry a bucket filled with their soap, shampoo, and washcloth. This Japanese Bath Bucket is made from cypress; $63 from Goods from Japan. The Hinoki Bath Stool, produced by a wood craft studio in mountainous Kiso, Japan, is $170 CA at Mjölk in Toronto.
Above: Cotton shirt stripe Yoshii Bath Towels, made in Japan of a special ultra-lightweight cotton, are $61 each from Rikumo.
Above: Based in the Northern California town of Petaluma, Sonoma Forge makes rough-hewn, industrial-looking fixtures and fittings for the modern bath; the Short Deck Mount Waterbridge Lav Faucet has a 2.25-inch spout height and an 8-inch center spread; $1,440. Go to Sonoma Forge for dealer information.
Above: The Rectangular Hinoki Bath by Oxfordshire-based Indigenous Tiles is available with either straight or sloped ends. For something similar, consider a Japanese Ofuro Bath from Sea Otter Woodworks in Haines, Maine. Another good source is Tokyo-based Bartok Designs, founded by Italian architect Iacopo Torrini, who produces custom tubs and ships worldwide.
Want to learn the secrets of Japanese bathing? Remodelista's Sarah Lonsdale lived in Japan for 10 years; read her post How to Bathe Japanese Style for ideas.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 5, 2013.