Design Review: Master Baths

Design Review: Master Baths

bathroom remodeling

Biggest Kitchen & Bath Trends For 2016

Amy Albert, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Builder

The hit TV series Downton Abbey was an entertaining reminder of many facts of history, including that, even in the grandest English homes, the kitchen was once a humble workroom (ample counter space for elaborate meal prep by Mrs. Patmore and Daisy notwithstanding). In American homes, the kitchen was long seen as humble, too: It had low-quality finishes, little daylight, and was isolated from the rest of the house.

“Now, you can’t get your guests to leave it,” says architect Mark Larson, principal of Rehkamp Larson Architects, in Minneapolis. Living room, command central, and the place where the best gabfests always seem to happen, the kitchen’s importance endures as gathering spot and showplace, even if its owners are less than diehard cooks.

Now the ante for baths has been upped as well. No longer just a room for life’s necessities, baths are a place to unwind, escape, and indulge. They feature soothing lighting, sculptural soaking tubs, amply sized showers, and cozy places to sit. High-end designers in warm-weather climates report increased demand for master baths that connect to a private outdoor shower. Tech, which entered the kitchen years ago, has made its way into the bath, too, with steam showers that can control temperature, lighting, and sound, and toilets with integrated bidets and adjustable settings. For holding the attention of new-home seekers, kitchens and baths both loom large. Here are the trends worth knowing about for their beauty, practicality, and appeal to buyers.

Decorating in Blue

The color blue can be bold and bright or soft and soothing. Get inspired by these looks starring blue, and find your favorite shade for decorating.

Adding color to a room doesn’t have to involve paint. White walls and whitewash furniture in this entryway create a gentle backdrop for a collection of cool blue accessories and decorative elements. A vase filled with orange roses adds a splash of contrasting color for visual interest.

More From Better Homes and Gardens

Creating a Color Scheme-Read More

Bath Remodel Strategies: Dealing With Low-level Budgets

A small budget for a bath redo is considered to be under $10,000. What kinds of limits does this impose, and how can you work around them?

Despite a lackluster economy, a lot of people are thinking of remodeling their baths and are willing to pay to do so. However, experts say, you don’t have to have Bill Gates’ income to create an attractive, comfortable bath for your family.

“I would tell you,” says Thompson Price, president of Callier and Thompson Kitchens, Baths, and Appliances in St. Louis, “that for a standard 5′ x 9′ bath redone from floor to ceiling, the minimum price is not going to be much under $10,000. That’s not top-of-the-line products, but it’s not the most inexpensive products, either. It’s good quality, decent products done properly by licensed tradespeople.”

To redo your bath for $10,000 or less, the watchword has to be quality. You can get results you’ll be proud of for $10,000 or less, but of necessity you will find yourself focused on return on investment. Here are some of the strategies for keeping your eye on the prize:





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Bright Ideas for Infusing White Bathrooms With Colorful Decor

by Jeanine Hays in Design Inspiration, Paint Colors & Palettes (Reprinted from Design Happens-a feature of HGTV

We all know that colorful decor can make an significant impact in spaces like the living room, kitchen and bedroom. But what about bright, bold hues in a white bathroom?

Rainbow-inspired decor, from the elegant chandelier to the striped basket and towel, brightens up this neutral bathroom from House to Home. While not a French empire-style chandelier like the one featured in this space, Urban Outfitters‘ candelabra-style Gypsy Chandelier is equally fun and decadent with its multi-colored acrylic jewels. And at $159, it’s a steal.

If you’d like your bathroom to feel light, airy and glamorous, take a cue from this chic space tagged on We Heart It. Here are some tips for creating this look on a budget. Skip the mosaic tiles and instead paint a white wall with horizontal stripes in a silver metallic or pearlescent finish. Z Gallerie’s Devon Mirror is similar in style to the one here. Then splurge on a Tolix Marais Armchair from Design Within Reach for a glitzy pop of color.

Read More from HGTV


Case Study-How Using Design Build Services Kept Renovation of Old Home Budget Friendly, But Transformed Into Dream Home For New Family..

Scope Of Work – Even though this project’s scope of work was straightforward from the start, a lot of assistance was required from our side to jump-start it. This young couple lived in a row house in Baltimore and decided it was time to start a family, but their old house was too small to even consider adding more space. The best solution was to invest in a new home and to get it prepared for the new arrivals.

Unusual Challenges – Once they set eyes on a 1940s house, they needed a helping hand with all the paperwork required to obtain a loan for their renovation needs. We then moved forward with the design phase which encompassed a full-house interior remodeling to turn the two-unit dwelling into a single family home. Once our clients approved our design proposal, we submitted all construction documents including 3D renderings, material specifications and construction estimates to the lender and soon after the project was fully funded and the construction phase was underway.

Budget wise, we had to keep it as tight as possible but deliver the same quality of work our clients expected from us while meeting their need for a spacious and more suitable environment to raise their children.

One particular goal was to turn a second floor unit into living quarters for the whole family, keeping the privacy of the couple a top priority. Since this was a budget-driven project, we had to focus on the most pressing issue, functionality.

The Challenges – The existing 2nd floor plan had four bed rooms, one bathroom and a kitchen. In order to keep this part of the project well within budget, we had to find ways to make use of the available interior space to avoid any extra expenses related to demolition and/or relocation of windows…, and the kitchen area was particularly problematic, since by law, a single family unit can only have one, so definitely it had to go.

However, as much as we wanted to keep structural elements intact, we had to remove two load-bearing walls in the first floor directly beneath the location for the new Master Bedroom. On the second floor kitchen, another wall had to be moved a few inches to allow more room for the new toilet and tub location. By shifting the load, new beams had to be installed so we had to find a way to maintain an even floor thickness all throughout the second level.

During the design phase, we encountered another problem. Our clients had already purchased a fair amount of tiles, even before they bought the house. They wanted us to incorporate them into their new Master Bathroom design – making sure that all the tile pieces they already had would suffice.

They also wanted to install an original claw-foot tub to go along with their modern-looking master bath, and the search could have easily pushed us back in our schedule since the rough-in could not be completed without having the specifics of the tub in hand.
They also requested a large shower area plus a linen closet – The mechanical duct work had to be relocated and water/waste lines had to be completely removed and replaced with more suitable pipes as well as all electric wiring and features.

Creative Solutions – Once we identified the main problem, the kitchen, we devised several schemes but ended up with the most practical and cost effective solution which would also be as functional as our clients needed it to be. We settled for a Master Suite scheme which would take up fifty percent of the second floor area leaving the other two bedrooms and bathroom for the kids. The new Master Bathroom would replace the existing kitchen and all windows would remain in place.

To keep the thickness of the floor, we reinforced the sub-floor system by sistering all 2×10 joists. We were then able to move one of the kitchen walls a few inches to one side which permitted us enough room to install a large shower area and the toilet isolated by a knee wall along with the linen closet our clients requested. In the remaining space we installed a double vanity with sufficient storage space for his and her individual needs.

We installed a claw-foot tub replica which was custom-made to look like the original piece our clients were not able to find, and even though the rough-in was delayed until we could get the specifications for the new tub, we succeeded on finishing everything else around this particular issue while we waited… Everything remained on schedule after all!

The tile our clients liked and purchased long before they bought this house ultimately became the determining factor for the quality, color and texture of all finish components in this beautiful Master Bathroom. And we even managed to produce a surplus which was carefully stored in case a replacement will be needed in the future.

As for all duct work and plumbing lines, we replaced the old plumbing layout according to building codes and all air ducts were reworked. New vents and registers were installed. The electric box and wiring were updated and many more outlets were added to supply not only this bathroom but the entire house.
Overall Results– Once this project was completed we felt so happy for what we had accomplished. We were able to deliver the results our clients were looking for within their budget. That was our main goal; not to go over what such a cheerful young couple soon to start a new family could afford…,  and now they have more space than they’ll ever need…