Sept. 12, 2019
Our master bathroom remodel is finally completed and it feels surreal! This project honestly turned out even better than I had pictured when we first embarked on the design process with the goals of bringing the master bathroom up-to-date, creating continuity with the rest of the home, and making the space feel as large as possible. I drew my inspiration from the modern, rustic elements found in other areas of our home like natural stacked stone and reclaimed barn woods while keeping the color palette clean and neutral so the design will continue to feel fresh for years to come.
In 1999, when the home was built, master bathrooms tended to be much smaller than they are now, with oversized built-in tubs leaving room for comparatively tiny showers. Now 20 years later, many homeowners and contractors are updating these smaller bathrooms by eliminating the tub altogether and using that space for beautiful, custom showers. While I understand that temptation, as a Realtor I've known too many home buyers who would not purchase a home without a 5-piece master bath to even consider this option from a resale perspective. Further, regardless of my lack of ability to enjoy a good soak on a daily basis, having the option to do so is a luxury I'm not giving up either.
Even though we were knocking down walls for this remodel, the bathroom didn't have a lot of square footage to grow into without eliminating the master closet or sacrificing space from the master bedroom, neither of which we wanted to do. Instead, we focused on using the existing bathroom space as efficiently as possible by eliminating the oversized, built-in jacuzzi and an unnecessary wall in favor of a frameless shower and more elegant and space-conscious freestanding tub. This increased the visual square footage of the room and allowed us to expand the shower considerably from its former size.
I've always dreamed of a freestanding tub so actually shopping for one felt a bit like shopping for an engagement ring- almost too good to be true! While Hydrosystems makes a number of beautiful bathtubs, its relatively compact size and clean lines made the Alamo Freestanding Bathtub a perfect fit for both the area and aesthetic. Installed at an angle, this understated tub is both classic and contemporary and the perfect statement piece in our master bathroom. If you're not familiar with Hydrosystems, one of the things that makes this company truly unique is the fact that it makes every tub custom to order, so you have 20 colors to choose from, not to mention luxurious upgrades like Chromatherapy and Hydroblanket systems. We chose to add the Thermal Air System which is explained best in their own words: "Thousands of tiny heated bubbles engulf your body in a therapeutic massage from the top of your neck to the soles of your feet. Thermal Air will exceed your expectations by producing a full sensory experience that soothes the body and makes it more receptive to the massage.The air movement -- from strategically placed, barely visible air jets -- activates the immune system and increases blood circulation. The combination of heat and air movement, along with the water, creates an unparalleled therapeutic effect while relieving sore muscles, joint paint and inflammation." Yes please! How could I resist?
Of all the oil-rubbed bronze finishes on the market, I'm head over heals for Pfister Faucets' Tuscan Bronze. The body of the faucets are a brushed black, with antiqued copper accenting on each decorative bevel that gives the faucets and hardware a sophisticated look. Standing tall beside the bathtub, the Tisbury Freestanding Tub Filler contrasts with and complements the tub perfectly, while the custom shower components, towel racks, and sink faucets which I mixed and matched from a few different Pfister lines are the perfect finishing touches to add depth to the completed renovation. All of the hardware and faucets for this remodel were from Pfister and, once again, I couldn't be happier with the way they pulled everything together!
To the right of the tub, our lovely custom vanity with open shelving made by Tharp Cabinets here in Northern Colorado is everything I asked for. The truffle stain is a rustic gray with a distressed finish that pairs beautifully with the chiseled edge granite, modern vessel sinks, and tuscan bronze faucets that top it off. The distressing of the cabinet and raw edge of the stone feel so rustic I could almost pretend we've moved into a mountain home near Beaver Creek. This chiseled edge countertop is a signature edge profile of Castorena Granite and Quartz in Fort Collins and truthfully, the pictures don't do it justice because it is stunning in real life!
Two parallel rectangular sinks made of gleaming porcelain are the perfect companions to the freestanding tub. Tying together the bright white and clean lines with their own distinct profile, these vessel sinks from MR Direct are updated and classic all at once. Their broad size and narrow depth made them fun to incorporate into the design, and I especially enjoyed the opportunity to be creative with the faucets in a bit of an unexpected, off-centered placement. Best of all, the sinks are very functional with the slope of the inner bowl breaking the water's fall more gently than similar vessels with flat bottoms that end up splashing when in use. Even when the faucet is running at full blast, not a drop of water splashes outside the sink.
Set above the countertop, is a mirror that I actually purchased about 6 years ago and wanted to incorporate into the design. There is something weirdly gratifying about being able to tear down walls and rebuild a space from the ground up, but still find a place for an older piece that we brought with us from our last house when we lived in Timnath Ranch. Things don't have to be new to be beautiful! I often incorporate used, distressed or antique pieces when I design a space, so while this mirror doesn't have as extensive of a history, it feels like a part of our history having come with us from our first house and it is very much in character for me. I particularly love the gold beaded design on the inside of the frame which complements the copper highlights on the faucets and inspired my search for the perfect two-tone light fixture which I tracked down at the Light Center in Fort Collins. While I am still officially off the brass bandwagon, occasional glimpses of the contrasting metal can be very complementary in the right design, and helped the light fixture to feel unique, trendy and timeless all at once.
Gray walls have a magical way of making a space feel larger and more refined, and were a no brainer for the new bathroom given our overall goals for the remodel. Alternating two rows of matte gray field tile with a 2-foot band in a linear mosaic in the same tone made for a subtle and sophisticated backdrop for the dark bronze hardware and bright white tub. Perfectly matching the paint color with the wall tiles made for fewer visual interruptions which gives the room an uncluttered, spacious feeling and gave me the freedom to design something a bit unexpected for the shower niche.
On the floors we wanted a wood-look tile in a hue featuring a strong grain pattern and variation in the wood like you'd find in reclaimed barn wood. We did all tile work in a random pattern, rather than selecting a more traditional off-set or grid pattern, which made for a more organic look overall, especially on the floor tile which were installed like you'd lay wood planks. The gray pebble mosaic for the shower floor is freckled with occasional brown stones, tying the wall and floor tiles together, and is smooth enough to feel comfortable underfoot, but varied enough to have some texture. Thank you to Hannah at Sutherlands Lumber and Design Gallery in Fort Collins for your collaboration on the tile for this project!
One of the finishing touches for this remodel was to update the golden oak trim to white, as we have throughout the rest of the house, and updating from the glass block window to a framed window in an obscured glass from Pella. There are a lot of options for more attractive obscured glass these days, so the glass block style isn't necessary for privacy on bathroom windows. We've upgraded most of the windows throughout our house to Pella Windows from the 20 year old original windows it had when we bought it. We really like Pella for energy efficiency, in addition to the sleek, updated look of the windows, we have noticed that the temperature is more comfortable inside our house and our cooling costs in the summer were lower since we've had them installed.
Ever looking for space-saving storage solutions, we installed two recessed niches from Fox Hollow Furnishings, one on the wall across from the vanity and the other in the water closet. These pre-built, painted wood niches were very easy to install and the framed design was cohesive with the look of the finished remodel and the white trim throughout the rest of the home.
And now for the before and after comparison to show how far we've come...