Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2014

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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32 | Kitchen & Bath Design News July 2014 By Kim Berndtson Project Case Study { Spotlight on creative, problem-solving kitchens and baths } M arilyn Monroe brought a certain aura of sophisti- cation to the big screen during her relatively brief acting ca- reer. However, her likeness captured in a black-framed poster that adorned the 1970's-era master bath wall of this home in Minneapolis, MN, did not em- body the same grace and elegance. In fact, the entire bath, while functional, was only that…function- al, and lacking any style. "It ft the requirements for being a bath, but ofered little else," says Paul Knutson, Knutson Residential Design, in St. Paul, MN. The residential designer worked with general contractor Ben Quie and Sons to transform the space into an award-winning bath that captured the 2014 NKBA award for best 'Before & After Bath ' and the 2014 Regional Chrysalis Award. GAINING ARCHITECTURAL COHESIVENESS The clients had actually considered selling the house before the renova- tion because the bath just didn't ft the rest of the house. "It really afected the way they were looking at the en- tire home," he says. "They were ready to move out and fnd something that was already renovated, in a style they both liked." A number of aesthetic and func- tional challenges prevented them from enjoying the space. Visually, the bath lacked cohesiveness with the rest of the house, especially with the master bedroom, making it dif- fcult for the couple to consider it a 'master suite.' There was little in the way of so- phistication or refnement, and poor material and color choices made the space feel dark and dreary. Function- ally, it felt small and cramped, despite its relatively large size. The bathing, vanity and toilet areas were poorly organized and disconnected. Inad- equate lighting made the space feel dark and static and storage was lim- ited, with the bulk of it inconveniently located in a hall closet. "They were looking for something that ft their style, with a little more elegance and grace," he says. With a laundry list of challenges, Knutson set out to give the couple a glowing, traditional bath with the HIS AND HER SPACES • The nearly 8.5' long vanity, while smaller than its predecessor, is much more functional and features Kohler sinks with Brizo open-channel faucets. "The previous L-shaped vanity was a mix of 'his' and 'hers,'" Knutson says. "There was no defnition. Now, each has clearly defned his and her spaces." • Multiple custom mirrors, combined with custom lacquered furniture-style cabinetry topped with granite, ofer refective surfaces to make the room feel larger. GLASS-ENCLOSED SHOWER • The new shower features glass and marble mosaics with glass walls that open up the space, while multiple showerheads add to the luxurious bathing experience. • Knutson treated the bathing, vanity and toilet areas as individual, formal compositions, "using symmetry and a repetitive rectangular motif (the tile 'rug', the niche, tray ceiling, shower pan and mirrors) to connect them to one another for a more unifed architectural expression," he explains. "The repetitive use of rectangular recesses not only unifes the bath, but connects it to similar forms in the master bedroom," he adds. BATH TRANSFORMATION Embodies Elegance and Grace Minnesota designer overcomes aesthetic and functional challenges to create a space with sophistication and architectural cohesiveness. Photos: Troy Thies Photography TILED NICHE Ofers a special place to display fowers or artwork KBD_32-33_PCS.indd 32 6/16/14 1:55 PM

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