Kitchen & Bath Design News

APR 2014

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April 2014 ForResidentialPros.com | 35 D e s i g n i n g m a s t e r bathrooms that meet all of the clients' cri- teria – within the appointed budget, on time, within con- struction constraints, all while creating their dream master retreat – can be a daunting task. The challenges are pres- ent in both new construction and renovation projects. Oftent imes, new con- struction master bathrooms are large in square footage, but poorly laid out. We are faced with plans featuring huge, oversized two-person bathtubs and small showers. Minimal space is devoted to the all-important vanity com- ponent of the room. In remodeling projects, we are challenged with small, uninspired three-piece bath- rooms placed in a corner of the master bedroom or serving both as a hallway bathroom and a master bath- room. These old bathrooms simply focused on providing the minimal space needed for the anticipated personal hygiene functions of the room. In many of these old bathrooms, there are small, dangerous bathtub/shower combinations. Today's cli- ent s wa nt to t ra nsfor m these rooms into a welcom- ing spa-like retreat that is comfortable and safe to use, both for their hygienic needs as well as for their "retreat" expectations. For both new construc- tion and renovation projects, there are three areas of the bathroom that have client- specifc requirements. • While many adults pre- fer the toilet to be in its own compartment, this seems to be less of a requirement for younger couples. • Regardless of age, two adults sharing a space often have very different ideas about what their vanity cen- ter should look like and how it should function. • Designers across the country tell me consumers are willing to give up a bath- tub all together in the master suite; their focus is on a well- designed, oversized shower. Based on my recent ex- periences designing master bathrooms, there are three strategies that might help you manage the space, the client and the budget when tackling these bathroom challenges. PERFORM A WHOLE HOUSE 'INSPECTION' All too often, the designer and client stand at the doorway of the existing small bath- room and assume the dream bathroom is just not possible. I suggest that you take an- other strategy: a whole house "inspection" strategy. Go on a search to fnd space that can be repurposed, refocused or rearranged to serve the bathroom's needs without compromising the other liv- ing areas. Here are the details of this strategy: • Make sure the prospec - tive client understands that, when you visit the home, you would like to survey the entire level of living sur- rounding the bathroom and learn how the family uses these others areas. Reassure the consumer that you are not immediately planning an expensive construction proj- ect. You simply want to be familiar with all surrounding spaces. Having these insights and dimensional details will • In this original master bathroom layout, the vanity area did not have the clients requested seated make-up station, and included an oversized jetted bathtub the clients did not want. • The design solution reorganizes the bathroom storage system so it is more aligned with the clients' desires. The bigger linen storage cabinet as well as the requested make-up station were possible when the big bathtub was eliminated. Design by Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, Ellen Cheever & Associates, Wilmington, DE; www.ellencheever.com • The before bathroom layout is typical in older homes: a linen closet accessible from the hallway intrudes into the bathroom space. • The design solution eliminates the linen closet, freeing up the foor space to be used in the bathroom. This change resulted in increasing the size of the shower so that it could include a bench. Note the ofset lavatory in the vanity: a larger space to one side of the sink provides more useful countertop space and more accessible cabinet storage. Design by Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, Ellen Cheever & Associates, Wilmington, DE; www.ellencheever.com • The before bathroom layout wasted a great deal of foor space in a large central hallway area that included a standalone vanity and access to two separate closets and the traditional three-fxture bathroom. The designer learned of a guest closet backed up to the bathroom plumbing wall. • The design solution 'traded' two separate, small closets for one larger space to be shared by the two adults. Two separate vanities were 'traded' for an L-shaped arrangement to also be shared by the adults. Part of the guest closet was 'traded' for bathroom foor space. These 'trade ofs' resulted in the inclusion of a highly valued large, comfortable and safe stall shower that was at the top of the homeowners' priority list. Note how the freestanding bathtub is placed against a wall, which included a ledge, allowing a standard bathtub ftting set to be used, rather a much more expensive foor-mounted piece. Designed by Pietro Giorgi, Sr., CMKBD, Giorgi Kitchens & Designs, Wilmington, DE; www.giorgikitchens.com KBD_34-41_DesignersNotebook.indd 35 3/14/14 10:44 AM

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