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Remodeling and Home Design

A refreshing remodel achieved while keeping the fixtures in the same location.

Mar 1, 2014 | Bathroom Remodels

Bold, beautiful and refreshing......

When our friends called us to remodel their bathroom, this is what we began with......

When we met they explained they wanted to update the room, without breaking the bank. Storage was a top priority, a double sink, and a clean fresh look. They wanted the bathroom to relate to the rest of their early 1900's home, and accommodate a family of four. 

In order to stay within budget, we left the fixtures in the same area adding a second sink and hand held shower. We also kept the original cast iron tub and resurfaced it making it look like new. This saved on costs, but also kept a beautiful original feature to relate with the rest of the home.

We used an Ann Sacks glass tile to brighten up the space and give it a vibrant look. A hand held shower was added which allowed the family to bathe their two children easily. The two soap niches were installed for storage of shampoos, so the tub is free of clutter.

The old vanity had a lot of unused space on either side of it that we captured when creating the custom fir vanity. The cabinet style and wood tone also relate to our clients beautiful kitchen remodel they did a few years prior.

One of the most innovative solution we did was to add an electrical outlet to the interior of the drawer so items like hair dryers and curling irons could be plugged in for quick and easy use, but out of the way to reduce clutter.

The floor is a low maintenance porcelain tile which was also used as the base board for a modern look that is easy to clean and doesn't need to be sealed. A fir storage cabinet was made for over the toilet to accommodate towels and toilet paper.


Designing Bathrooms

Feb 2, 2012 | Bathroom Remodels

I had a client ask the other day, “how did you look at this (bathroom) and come with the end results?” She suggested to me to write about it, and so hence here is a blog post on some thoughts on how to start with a design.

The beginning is the most fun- the phase of brain storming and dreaming. I ask my clients to gather images of what they like. Tear pages from magazines, snap some photos, or use Pinterest. Pinterest is a web site that allows you to capture web images and organize them into folders. It’s an easy, quick, and free tool that I highly recommend. I linked our site here so you can take a look.


So let’s start by looking at this bathroom’s before shots.

Bathroom before

It was a pretty bad space, not well taken care of (cabinet doors loose, corners chipped, dirty). It was the kind of space I love to redo as I have no guilt and no question that this bathroom needs a remodel.

The things I look at are the space, how large is the room, how is the lighting (windows and lights), are the fixtures (toilet, sink, shower) in good locations? Remodeling is already expensive, so when you can leave fixtures in the original locations that will help cut down on costs. This is especially true with toilets, as moving the stacks are usually challenging and expensive.

Bathroom before- vanity view

The size of this bathroom was large (10’4? x 7’7?). Therefore I didn’t need to look at re-framing walls to change the size. Often we take a section of an adjoining closet, hallway or room next to the bathroom to grow it a bit and make the feeling more comfortable. I also liked the locations of the fixtures, there was no interference with doors hitting knees while on the toilet, and enough room that someone could be by the toilet and someone else at the sink at the same time. You need to think about details like that and lifestyle (the way couples, families or individuals use bathrooms, you learn a lot).

Master Bath Floor Plan

We use Sketch Up Pro as a computer tool for designing the bathroom and looking at dimensions. You can see how we added the tub/shower area in the floor plan. We played with the drawing to decide how large of a tub to put in that would be comfortable to use as well as the right scale for the space.

Remodeled bathroom

We wanted an open feeling, that was natural and relaxing as well as durable and low maintenance. We choose porcelain tile which we love as there is no sealing and on going care needed. We sourced salvaged fir to bring in character and history to the room. The old bathroom had no windows. We added a satin etched (for privacy) window to get some natural light in the room. We also put in shower rated 4? cans over the tub and shower, as well as a vanity light for multiple light sources.

Floating shelves

The detail for the floating shelves was thought out during the framing. We used 5/8? ribbed dowels and cast them into the studs before sheet rock. Then after sheet rock and paint we matched the dowel ends to the wood and drilled into the wood. It’s not an easy detail as you need to be precise, but I love the end result of no visual supports.

Wall tile

In picking out tile it’s important to think about color, size, and texture. These tiles have a relief pattern on an otherwise simple white matte tile. It brought a lot of interest into the back wall, especially when the light and water hit them.



May 27, 2011 | Bathroom Remodels

I love bathrooms.  Probably because it’s an area where you can put so much “bling” into a space.  There is a lot going on from the toilet to the tile there are tons of details to think of and therefore tons of areas to add some creativity.

For tiles we use a lot of porcelain.  It’s through body so if you happen to chip it down the road its a bit harder to see, you never have to seal it making maintenance easy, and the designs coming out of Italy are gorgeous.  We shop a lot at Surface in SE Portland.  Kara, is a wizard.  Here is a link to the site: http://surface-home.com/

Grout has come a long way.  We specify epoxy based grout for the shower floors.  If you can’t tell I don’t like to think of doing on going maintenance.  This epoxy based grout doesn’t have to be resealed we use it on the shower floor which takes the majority of the wear and tear.

Texture is the other element that I am into.  We took a trip to Las Vegas recently where texture shines.  I love how texture can bring in a totally different element adding depth and imagination into a surface.

bathroom tile layout

This bathroom has porcelian wall and floor tile and glass tile in the shower area.

Here are some photos of the bathrooms as of today.  Keep in mind the tile hasn’t been completely grouted or caulked, those finishing touches will make things look perfect.  Next step is using reclaimed fir to build custom bathroom cabinets!

I love the subtle texture on the wall tile- this tile lines one of the walls and it looks like rain is dripping down the wall!