Home improvement solutions: Creating a spa-like retreat


As the modern bathroom has evolved, the needs and wants of homeowners have also changed with the times. No longer considered a utilitarian room in the home, bathroom designs are changing the way we live and play, offering a taste of serenity in the privacy of the home as homeowners indulge in their everyday experiences. With this in mind, the goal of this project focused on reversing the condition of an old nineteen fifties bathroom to create a desirable, modern and enhanced space that would be conducive to the needs of a busy, working couple.

The original bathroom was small, dark, inefficient and a totally undesirable space. In addition, the homeowners wanted to create a warm and inviting environment that would make their morning experience enjoyable. The original master bath, located on the upper half-story of the house featured a sloped ceiling in a very small area. The area contained a reduced-size tub and shower, minimal vanity and sink configuration. In addition, due to a lack of windows, the area featured no natural lighting.

New layout
To address the lack of natural lighting, the designer built-in two skylights that dramatically changed the atmosphere of the space. A new 48 inch high knee wall allowed for the placement of electrical switches and a towel bar, while the glass block contributed to the bathrooms spa-like look and feel as well as adding privacy in the shower area. Dealing with space limitations, each of the walls had to be adjusted and the toilet reconfigured. A bench seat in the shower was added with a four inch ledge behind to allow for head room. The designer created a make-up center from a previously unused space and recessed the vanity into a walk-in closet.

The materials in the design provided an important element to the finished look. One of the most unique aspects of the space incorporated the use of Velux Skylights into the sloped ceilings. Oversized Daltile brings a sense of warmth, comfort and style to the room, in addition to the Moen and Toto plumbing fixtures. The cabinetry is Kraftmaid and features a Silestone top and the Elk lighting answers a functional need while promoting a contemporary yet stately style.

For the homeowners, all of their needs were addressed with the finished project. The end result is great space to relax and unwind from a day of hard work. Each detail of the bath was carefully considered to compliment the overall design of the space. The new bath is unlike any other in the neighborhood, capturing the individual style of the homeowners. The success of this project rests on the homeowners great ideas, collaboration with the designer and a winning attitude to produce a stunning project.  

Herb Standwood is with Case Design Remodeling, Inc., with locations in Bethesda, Chantilly, Falls Church and Annapolis.