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For The Home

Before & After Bathrooms

Author: Carly Scholl
Issue: January, 2018, Page 38
A spectacular slab of blue onyx frames an angular soaking tub like a modern art sculpture. Flanking the vessel are his-and-hers showers customized to the homeowners’ desires. Designer Esther Boivin hid as much plumbing and fixtures in the ceilings and walls to keep the space visually clean.
Creative ContemporaryA dazzling contrast of white and blue,
this luxurious bathroom retreat balances function and form

As part of a total home remodel, this cerulean master bathroom got the deluxe treatment from Scottsdale-based interior designer Esther Boivin. “The space needed desperate help,” she recalls. “It had curved walls, dark colors and didn’t adequately use the footprint. Luckily, the homeowners trusted me to give them something mesmerizing.”

Boivin created a more streamlined vanity that comprises sleek lines, marble countertops, crackle glass and layers of lighting for an cool, calming effect
Boivin set out to create a new en suite bathroom that would inspire emotion and uplift the couple every time they walked in. “Oftentimes during a remodel, homeowners try to fix what’s already there and they don’t see beyond what’s right in front of them,” she says. “I wanted to give them something unique and exclusive, but I needed to start from scratch.”

Her first order of business was demolishing the curved vanity wall and straightening out the space to achieve a streamlined, soothing composition. Using natural materials, including stunning blue onyx, marble and stone, Boivin created a sense of luxury and authenticity, while the continuous linear designs in everything from the shower walls to the corner vanity evokes an aura of ease and gracefulness. Now the sink and counter space is set beneath a window with a stunning desert view. Adjustable LED lights set into the cabinetry illuminate the ethereal crackle glass below the marble counters, while geometric glass wall sconces and a shimmering tiered chandelier shed plenty of illumination on the area in addition to the natural light.

“I always try to bring life and shine to any room I design,” says Boivin. “I like to use materials and finishes that can glow on their own with just a little natural lighting, such as a subtly sparkling wallpaper, or a pattern of polished and honed marble floor, polished and honed to perfection.”

The focal point of the new room is the expansive his-and-hers shower divided by an elegant soaking tub, which is framed by an oversized slab of blue onyx behind it and blue glass tile below. Instead of cluttering the visual effect with faucets or fixtures, Boivin had the tub filler installed in the ceiling directly above so a cascade of water serenely falls into the bath seemingly from the sky. To the right of the tub, a rainfall showerhead and a door to the outside pool area beckons the husband to rinse off with ease after a swim, while the wife’s side features handheld fixtures as per her preference. Together, the dual-shower/tub space is a functional, artistic interpretation of ordinary bathroom necessities.

Running nearly the full length of one wall, vintage-style cabinetry gives the master bathroom a soft feminine tone. Hexagonal gray floor tiles continue throughout the space and into a glass-enclosed shower, which features stripes of subway tile.
A Hint of Vintage - Soft hues, classic finishes and subtle nods to the past breathe new life into these master and loft bathrooms

For Scottsdale-based designer Angelica Henry, this double-bathroom remodel project was more personal than any other professional endeavor—simply because it was her own home. “While I feel it is second nature to me to determine what works for any given client, I had a much more difficult time determining that for myself,” recalls Henry. “I unquestionably appreciate both sides of the client/designer relationship more after going through this process.”

The first step in her remodeling plan was removing the entire master bathroom and starting from square one. “The area was virtually the size of a powder room with zero counter space, a very shallow cabinet that offered little storage and a freestanding cabinet above the toilet. It read at best as a secondary guest bath rather than a master.” By also gutting the adjacent closet, entry hall and laundry room, Henry greatly expanded the footprint of the space and took advantage of every inch.

A marble-topped bathtub is subtly tucked into the corner of the space. Classic sconce lighting illuminates the cozy respite.
“Because the house is an old A-frame and already has a casual and vintage quality infused in some of the spaces, I really wanted to focus on those aspects and make the home more cohesive,” Henry explains. “I chose timeless materials, including subway and penny tiles, classic plumbing and lighting fixtures, painted cabinets with molding details and even a faucet reminiscent of an old water pump.”

A spacious walk-in shower blends seamlessly into the corner thanks to the frameless glass panes that show off a playful striped pattern of gray and white subway tiles lining the interior walls. In the opposite corner, a marble-topped built-in bathtub is finished in the same tiles. Between the two is a demure vanity, complete with a triptych mirror and an elegant ottoman where the designer can sit and enjoy her new bathroom.

Not only did Henry set out to remodel her master bath, but she also wanted to completely revitalize her home’s loft lavatory. “The original design felt dreary and cramped. The ceiling was low with an awkward tub/shower combo and shower curtain, and the colors read a little dark for a second story bath.” After gutting the space, she took advantage of the newly uncovered ceiling vault by creating a spacious, pentagonal shower at the far end of the room. A porthole window lets in soft natural light that illuminates the white subway tile and contrasting penny tiles lining the space. These charming details, along with more painted cabinetry and a monochromatic color palette, thematically tie the loft bathroom to the master, creating a cohesive tone throughout the home.

“All of the spaces now feel like they belong in the house and like they might have been there the whole time—nothing reads as a ‘fix,’ which can sometimes be a challenge in a remodel situation,” Henry says. “The loft bath is so open and bright with so much character it is truly unrecognizable from the original. And instead of a lackluster guest bath, the master bathroom now actually feels like a luxurious and spacious place for relaxation and enjoyment.”

After revealing a vaulted ceiling during the remodel, designer and homeowner Angelica Henry created a roomy house-shaped shower complete with a quaint porthole window.

A wraparound shower lined with striated tile embodies the peaceful aura of a spa. A teak bench and wall-mounted towel rack ensure additional ease and accessibility.
Organic Modern - A soothing, spalike aesthetic
defines a remodeled master bathroom and powder room

When faced with an utterly outdated master bathroom from the 1980s, with an equally drab powder room to match, Scottsdale-based interior designer Joi Prater knew she had her work cut out for her. “The homeowners spent a lot of time deliberating about how their bathroom needed to function and work for them,” she says. “They had very specific needs and wants, and they thought about every detail carefully.”

The projected vision for the space was, as the homeowner says, “totally updated and modern, with a bit of a spalike feel and filled with luxe materials. We love contemporary design, but with warmth and sophistication and use of quality finishes. We also like the materials and the space as a whole to be practical.” Prater helped the couple to make decisions based on what they really wanted and not about what they felt pressure to incorporate. “Neither my husband nor I take baths, and we wanted to use the entire former space that had the tub and shower and make it one continuous shower,” remarks the lady of the house.

In keeping with the couple’s wishes, Prater did away with the room’s sunken tub, poor lighting and unevenly laid gray flooring tiles and revamped the space to include high-end finishes, luxurious details and a hint of understated glamour. A neutral palette of dark brown, shimmering silver and soft grays and whites delivers the desired aesthetic, while a crystal chandelier emits elegant mood lighting. To accent the new quartz counters, Prater installed white mosaic glass inlaid with seashell fragments, which lends an organic undertone to the room. For functionality, subdued LED fixtures illuminate the his-and-hers vanity, and cantilevered mirrors help bounce light around the space.

The remodeled powder room features a freestanding vanity topped with a vessel sink. To add texture and shine, designer Joi Prater replaced a traditional mirror with 3-D glass tiles that reflect light and add interest.
The main attraction in this sleek bathroom, however, is the new shower. “It’s a true walk-in shower now, with no curb, so you feel as if you are in spa setting,” says Prater. “As an accent tile, I used polished marble with a linear pattern wrapped around the shower’s interior, and installed a teak bench and handheld showerhead to encourage relaxation and ease.”

In the new powder room, where there had originally been bland wallpaper and dated cabinetry, Prater installed a freestanding vanity similar in style to that of the master bath, and finished the petite vignette with 3-D mirrored tiles and a graceful pair of wall sconces for a warm glow.

With a simple, serene blend of natural materials and finishes and a subtle sense of sophistication as the common thread, the updated bathroom meets all the desires and needs of the homeowners. “Joi took care of every detail,” says the homeowner. “She totally understood our style and gave us options within that context. We couldn’t have done it without her.”
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