• Once Deborah Maher took out her whirlpool tub, she was able to add extra cabinets and expand the shower. Elisabeth Arriero – earriero@charlotteobserver.com

Lake Norman resident Starr Miller considered getting rid of the whirlpool tub in her master bathroom when she realized her housekeeper was in it more than she was.

“She has to climb in it and clean it every week. It’s a total dust magnet,” said Miller, who works as an interior designer in Davidson. “Every time I walk by it all I think is, ‘That’s 42 square feet of wasted space.'”

Miller is not alone.

Patricia Dunlop, a spokeswoman for the American Society of Interior Designers, said many people are opting to replace their oversize tubs and Jacuzzis for extra vanity, shower and storage space.

“We all have more products and appliances in the bathroom than we used to,” said Dunlop. “We want the space to be calm and relaxing, so having the ability to put those items away and keep the space clear and serene is important.”

And while most interior designers and real estate agents agree it’s still important to have at least one tub in the house for bathing children, animals and other needs, oversize tubs are now seen as a frivolous use of space.

Dunlop cited one study that found the average whirlpool tub is used only seven times during its lifetime as reasoning for the shift in home design priorities.

Residents would rather invest in shower amenities that will create a spa experience, such as multiple shower heads, benches, steam showers and jets, said Miller.

Huntersville resident Deborah Maher said remodeling the master bathroom was her first priority when she moved into her home in Birkdale.

While the bathroom had an elegant whirlpool tub with stone work all around, it also had a vanity with only one drawer and a tiny shower.

Maher decided she was through with large tubs after living at her previous residence in Cornelius, she said.

“All I ever did was dust it and put decorations around the edges,” she said. “I never used the thing.”

So Maher worked with Miller to redesign her bathroom. With the help of sub-contractors, they removed the tub, expanded the shower by 2 square feet and added plenty of cabinet space for the couple’s bathroom supplies.

Maher said she’s most pleased with the shower, which now features a bench, a rain shower head, a handheld shower head and a built-in shelf.

Miller said she has many clients like Maher who are opting for larger showers over whirlpool tubs. Still, Miller said homeowners should be cognizant of how the remodeling will affect resale value.

“It’s more about how you do it than whether you do it,” she said. “If you take it out and do something fabulous with the rest of the bathroom, you can come out even or above. If you take it out and don’t do anything, I would suspect you’re taking value out of your home.”

Kathy Byrnes, a Realtor with Re/Max Executive at the Lake, said most real estate agents still consider a bathroom to be a full bath even if there is no tub. What really decides the classification is whether there’s a shower in the room, she said.

Source: Charlotte Observer

BY CANDICE OLSON Scripps Howard News Service – As any designer will tell you, lighting is crucial to good design. This is particularly true when lighting a bathroom. It’s the one room in a home that’s often overlooked, but improper bathroom lighting can make the bravest among us refuse to look in the mirror.

My clients, Tertia and Jason, know all about that. The couple and their two sons live in a house built in 1987, and while most of the home was updated, their master bathroom remained oblivious to the passage of time. With floor-to-ceiling black wall tiles, a cramped shower and no storage, the ’80s bathroom was really showing its age.

And don’t get me started on the lighting. The room had one bleak overhead fixture that made showering a nightmare, while the vanity lighting was so unflattering it’s a wonder Tertia managed to put on lipstick in the morning.

They wanted a bathroom that was functional — and had a warm, contemporary vibe. So, putting the principle of bathroom-lighting design into play, I got set to create a modern, spalike retreat for Tertia and Jason.

I started by gutting the entire space — walls came down, counters came out, tiles were scrapped. Then I painted the ceiling white, bathed the walls in soft beige and installed charcoal porcelain floor tiles with a nonslip surface.

From there, I laid out the fixtures and finishes. I created a gorgeous vanity by the room’s window, which was a good source of natural light. I put a soft chiffon blind on the window and flanked it with two mirrors. I then installed a counter constructed out of butterscotch polished quartz, a perfect foundation for “his and hers”cast glass sinks. These deep sinks sit on top of, and beside, new dark wood cabinetry that provides a ton of storage.

Adjacent to the vanity, I created a spectacular feature wall comprised of small wooden square tiles of different depths. Against this wall, I selected a beautiful free-standing tub and a modern toilet.

On the wall facing the tub I designed a large shower out of tempered glass, more quartz, a stunning mosaic-tiled backsplash and small porcelain tiles that match the floor.

Modern bathrooms can often feel cold and sterile, but the wood wall, dark cabinetry and warm quartz in Tertia and Jason’s bathroom work to offset the cooler fixtures and finishes.

The best part of this project was shopping for, and installing, some amazing lights. I installed recessed lights in the ceiling and worked in spotlights above the feature wall to accentuate the wood tiles.

I chose waterproof, in-floor lighting to highlight the sculpted tub and lights for underneath the sinks. I also selected incandescent silver sconces for the vanity — soft lighting that is good for when she applies makeup.

But the real showstopper is the fixture above the tub — a laser-cut steel globe that allows light to be cast all around the room.

This bathroom is a perfect example of how good design that includes layers of light can transform a space. By using techniques such as spotlighting a feature wall and up-lighting a tub, I gave Tertia and Jason a bathroom that is ideal for their morning routine — or their evening reprieve.

As I always say: “If you light everything, you light nothing.”


965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
Phone: 970-453-2230

Email: information at trilogybuilds dot com
Facebook: TrilogyPartners
Twitter: @trilogybuilds
Instagram: trilogybuilds
Youtube: The Trilogy Partners Channel
Houzz: trilogy-partners