Danny Zhou and his wife, Sherri, didn’t flinch at the fact that their bathtub required a crane for placement. When they designed and built their Rancho Mirage home — which broke ground in 2015 and required 22 months of careful planning to complete — the 8-foot-long tub was only one of many custom elements that needed some heavy lifting.
“We wanted to bring tropical living in a contemporary style to the desert,” Zhou explains. “The original design of the master bathroom put the bathtub inside the bathroom. But we tried to figure out something unique and more natural, and we came up with this inside-outside combination.”
The immense boulder traveled from Northern California to be carved and set down in the Zhous’ backyard. There, the vessel is generally shaded from the sun and tucked in the privacy of a modern minimalist pergola. Its elegant looks and organic fit for the space might undersell its size. “It’s a big stone,” Zhou confirms. “You can fit four people in there.” After a swim in the expansive pool that sits in the middle of the home, his kids love to jump in the tub as a fun way to rinse off. More than a mere toy, the tub also has a romantic side, providing a cool sanctuary on a summer’s night.
In harmony with this alfresco bathing beauty, a shallow infinity pool follows the contours of the home, stretching out behind the tub as another place for the children to splash and play and where the adults can arrange their lounge chairs to watch them. The pool bubbles lightly to fill the air with a soothing ambiance. “The sound of the water is peaceful to fall asleep to,” Zhou adds.
As owner of the Dosooz furniture showroom in Palm Desert, Zhou has incorporated a range of sophisticated imports throughout the home, with the help of HJH Construction. “Most contractors don’t want to do something that’s not on the drawing,” Zhou says. “HJH is very good about it and willing to learn new techniques.”
From an almost-too-heavy-to-hang 16-foot bronze door to a 9-foot-tall mirror with a TV behind it in the living room, they solved each challenge Zhou presented.
Zhou’s wife managed the interior design. In the master bath, she created tiered levels below the 10-foot ceiling to accentuate the chandelier and lowered the ceiling in the shower to accommodate a single piece of marble.
“HJH liked the idea of working with us because so much of the house is one-of-a-kind,” Zhou surmises. Which is the reason he and his family like it, too.
In the Zhous’ contemporary home infused with both modern and classic elements, a gray tufted round sette sits below a ribbon-like chandelier that drips with delicate metal strands. Just past this sitting area is the master bath.