Back in September, which feels like a lifetime ago now, I posted some inspiration photos for a new client project. My clients had relocated to rural Iowa, south of Des Moines, from Alabama to be closer to family, and contacted me to help them transform their home from 80s granny to a more modern and masculine farmhouse style. I was totally down with this design concept since their home is actually a farmhouse in the country!
Their first major undertaking was to remodel their awkward and rundown master bathroom into a more functional and relaxing space. As I mentioned in my previous post, they didn’t want me to specify white for any of the finishes like the flooring or trim, mostly for maintenance reasons. It was definitely a design challenge, but after gathering some inspiration images, I could start to envision a direction.
The design process dragged out a little longer than I would have liked. Our baby arrived two weeks early on November 18th instead of around December 1st or later. I had planned to hunker down over my Thanksgiving break and produce all the plans and selections for this project. Instead, I was learning how to feed, diaper, and soothe a tiny person. Luckily, my clients are ICU nurses and incredibly understanding of the post-partum recovery process. They also sent me the cutest most genius baby onesies ever.
Bathroom Before Photos
I’ve never met one of these enormous corner tubs that I didn’t want to rip out immediately. They take up so much space!
The shower is fully enclosed which makes it feel dark and cramped. A leak inside the walls resulted in a build-up of mildew and possibly mold, which made the need for this remodel all the more pressing.
In this photo, you can see that the vanity doesn’t have much going for it. It’s small by master suite standards, and the mosaic tile countertop is a cleaning nightmare.
A couple more photos so you can see where we’re starting from.
On the plus side, there is a lot of great light between the two huge windows and the skylight.
Those windows treatments are a relic from the previous owners.
Existing Space Plan
Here’s a look at how the space is currently arranged.
My very first step in the design process is always to measure and draft the existing conditions because it’s the only way I can really start to understand the space and its potential.
The bathroom is located at the front of the house with a southern and eastern exposure. After drawing up the floor plan, I realized that the adjacent office had a little closet we could potentially use to improve out layout options for the bathroom. Although the room felt tight and cramped while we were standing in it, drafting the floor plan helped me to realize that there was plenty of room to meet my clients’ wish list.
This master bathroom remodel is my clients’ first major project in their new home and is going to set the design direction for the entire house. My clients prefer a transitional style with clean lines and warm neutral finishes. They wanted to add architectural interest to the house, which was updated in the 90s and feels fairly bland and boring. It was important that we increase the functionality of this bathroom while maximizing its best features – ample space and natural light.
Enlarge the shower. As you can see from the before photos, the current shower situation is pretty bad. I wanted their new shower to have access to all of the great light from the windows and skylight and feel more like a spa and less like a coffin.
Improve the bathtub situation. My clients requested a free-standing tub, and I was happy to oblige. There is plenty of room for one. The sculptural form of a tub and smaller footprint will help the room to feel less cramped.
Minimize plumbing relocation. I strive to keep pluming as close to its existing locations whenever possible to save time and money. In this case, I will probably need to shift the toilet, but I think I can avoid moving it across the room.
Make room for a double vanity. They really wanted to incorporate two sinks with better lighting and more storage, and I agree that this is a must-have.
Add architectural interest. My clients didn’t necessarily articulate this as a request, but I thought it was important to start adding character to the house through the use of moldings, trim, and architectural detailing whenever possible.
Update all finishes. I think this is pretty self-explanatory from the before photos. We will be gutting the room and starting from scratch with new tile, paint, cabinetry, etc. I selected materials with durability in mind as well as their aesthetics.
In my next post, I’ll share the space planning concepts that I developed and which one my clients chose. Stay tuned!