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Divine Design Candice Olson



Candice Olson combined high-tech and retro accents to make this bath a welcoming, spacious retreat.  SHNS photo courtesy HGTV

Master Bath Makeover
Bathroom revamp blends convenience with luxury

Alissa and her family live in a great 1900s home smack dab in the center of the city. While it sparkles with charm, the house has the unfortunate space issues of many older homes, particularly in the bathroom. The master bath was small and cramped, and the family had to fight for sink and shower time.

While Alissa wanted to expand the room into a larger, more luxurious suite, she knew it would entail stealing space from her adjacent closet. And the only thing Alissa disliked more than the awkward bathroom was the thought of sacrificing storage space. Thus, I gathered my crew together and geared up to beautify the bathroom and create a home for Alissa’s expansive clothing collection.

I started by knocking down the wall that separated the bathroom from the closet and creating a functional room that combines a bathroom and a closet and dressing area. I installed a recessed pocket door between the two spaces that can be used when privacy is required. I reorganized the existing walk-in closet to make it more user-friendly and pilfered a bit of space from the master bedroom for another small closet.

With space and layout problems solved, it was time to concentrate on the luxurious aspects of the redesign: high-end fixtures and spectacular finishes.

I replaced Alissa’s small, cast-iron bathtub with the most magnificent soaker I could find — an overflowing infinity-edge tub with chromotherapy lights. Next, I installed a deluxe steam shower with a built-in bench surrounded by an outer layer of glass. The shower features interior walls covered in a marble composite and a strip of green-glass tile.

I also ripped up the old, traditional toilet to make room for the most modern model on the market: a hatbox shaped, tankless unit with a self-closing lid.

To ensure all this modernity didn’t detract from the home’s older character, I added a few antique retro touches, including a long dark-wood vanity with two big wood-framed mirrors. I then added two asymmetrical sinks, a backsplash of green glass in a geometric pattern and sleek chrome hardware.

To further the room’s bright, airy look, I installed recessed lighting, put in some pendants over the vanity, added a funky light fixture above the tub and affixed lighting in the steam shower.

While the room had a lot of natural light, I covered the windows in rustic, wooden blinds for privacy and added valances in green and cream fabrics. To stay with the room’s clean colors, I included a durable, vinyl floor that looks like inlaid mother-of- pearl.

Since I wanted to make this bathroom the envy of the most ardent technophile, I wired the room for sound and video. I installed a funky television behind the mirror, put up water-resistant speakers in the ceiling and shower and hooked up an MP3 docking station for tunes — all of which can be accessed via remote control.

After a few finishing touches, including a chic rubber ducky and a bar of organic soap, the splashy makeover was complete. By using modern fixtures and finishes, sumptuous lighting and materials and a combination of high-tech and retro finishing touches, Alissa’s bathroom is now big on space and luxury.

See more Divine Design columns by Candice Olson
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