01 Mar 2012

bath of the year 2012

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Judith and Paul dreamed of creating a sanctuary for themselves.  The busy couple tended to spend minimal time in the master suite, rushing in the morning to get all family members where they need to be, and drained by the days’ activities by nighttime.  They were looking forward to having a functional and beautiful space for their master bath.

The existing bathroom was spacious, but the layout was not efficient for the home owners.  The large tub placed diagonally in the corner used up a lot of real estate.  This resulted in tiny his-and-her vanities that lacked usable counter space and cabinet storage.  A coat rack was the temporary solution for nonexistent towel bars, and the lighting only just illuminated the space.  The toilet room had the perfect architectural niche just waiting to be developed into something beautiful.

The couple had some requests; they wanted a steam shower, traditional design with neutral colors, more counter space and more storage.  Actually, a whole lot more counter space and a whole lot more storage.

The design process started with more effective space planning.  Bathrooms are where you begin and end your days, and first and foremost, they have to function well.  By moving the tub out of the corner, we had room for a complete wall of cabinetry with wall to wall counter space.  The clients wanted to keep the shower where it was so we replaced the pony wall with frameless glass to make it feel as spacious as possible.

The small window along the vanity wall added no meaningful functionality to the new layout.  Removing the window created symmetrical his-and-her vanity spaces with generous medicine cabinets. Each vanity area has three long drawers, a sink cabinet and a pull out shelf – triple the functional space they had before – and there is even space for a pull out hamper.  In order to have outlets where they are needed, they have been installed inside the wood medicine cabinets for electric toothbrushes and razors, and in drawers for hair dryers and curling irons.  We stayed true to traditional design by using dark cabinets with iron grillwork and a symmetrical layout.  Placing the random pattern natural stone mosaic vertically from counter to ceiling makes the space feel current.   Vessel sinks in a white sea salt finish float above the limestone countertop, and wall mounted oil-rubbed bronze faucets complete the traditional feel.

A tall cabinet with velvet lined jewelry drawers allows Judith to pick pieces quickly.  Towels and oversized items tuck away easily behind the large iron-work doors.  By moving the tub into the center of the room, we used what was previously dead space to create a luxurious place to unwind.  Having the tub flush mounted with the limestone deck makes it easy to enter the tub, and leaves enough space to light candles, and place a glass of champagne or a book.  Lights over the tub create task lighting to read, or can be dimmed to create a soft glow showcasing the tile.  Placing the TV above the tub on a swivel arm makes it easy to watch from any area of the bathroom – an important feature for the self-proclaimed news junkies.

Steam showers are known for their considerable health benefits, including improved circulation, rejuvenating the skin, increasing metabolism, and detoxifying the body.   Aromatherapy and music speakers were installed in this shower to enhance the therapeutic benefits. The basic layout of the original shower was maintained, but an overhead rain shower and an adjustable wall bar were added, as well as niches to hold shampoos and soaps.  By using an infinity drain, the polished 12” x 24” vein cut travertine used in the bath floor was continued into the shower.  A non-slip finish with a coefficient of friction of at least 0.6 was applied to ensure there was no danger of slipping and falling.  The quiet humidity sensing fan is turned on with the shower lights, but activated only when it sensing moisture.

Even the Water Closet got an update with a custom cabinet fashioned for the existing niche space.  An open space in the top displays favorite items, and the lower area is hinged on the bottom for easy access of smaller items.  A new elongated bowl with a comfort height seat completes the functionality of the tiny space.

The homeowners are amazed at how the beautiful and organized space has enhanced their lives.  The master bedroom is next…

Installed by Power Builders:  www.powerbuildersremodeling.com/

Tile installation by Koszo Tiling:  www.KoszoTiling.com

Special thanks to San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Magazine for awarding this remodel Winner 2012 Bath of the Year  www.sdhg.net
Before and After Photos:




Posted by Michelle Strausbaugh

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