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A Case Study: Master Ensuite Bath Remodel

The Objective

The purpose of this study is to give a comprehensive look at a master ensuite bathroom remodel for baby boomers.

Ageing-in-place design does not need to look like a bathroom out of a retirement home.  It can have a sassy, elegant look and at the same time functional and efficient.

This remodel will show how we fuse functionality with aesthetics through careful planning, expert implementation and meticulous selection of materials and finishes.

The Situation

Remodeled back in the 80’s with oak cabinets, tile counter top and mirrored walls.  The bay/transom windows provide abundant source of natural light during the day and ventilation all year-round; but the shower and the tub, positioned in front of it, create a challenge.   The absence of a door from the bedroom is a privacy issue with the toilet just behind the doorway and faces the mirrored vanity area.  The walls of the wet area, including the inside of the bay window, are tiled in.

Shower and Tub
Awkward position of toilet. Windows are difficult to open and shut with the tub obstructing the access.
Outdated Oak cabinets with tile counter top.


Client Wish List

  • Stay traditional
  • White cabinets
  • Barrier-free shower
  • Clean look
  • Open to relocating plumbing to solve the issue of the shower glass and the bay window
  • Loves the look of “bling-bling”


The Solution

Proposed Plan

In order to make this room functional, the layout needs to be reconfigured.  With this in mind, the clients are aware of the impact on the budget.  Relocating water and drain lines are a major feat.  But the long term benefit of a workable and usable bathroom is greater than the effect of a dent in the budget aka the retirement fund.

We separate the tub and the shower and move it away from the window.  We basically rotate the location of shower, tub and toilet,  1 step counter clockwise.  The toilet is relocated between the wall and the shower; providing privacy.  The freestanding tub, is placed next to the vanity, creates a focal point when you enter the bathroom.

The shower dimension is a few inches smaller than the previous but is more functional with it’s barrier free access.

Running a horizontal band around the bathroom establishes a break. The 12 x 24 field tiles continue on the upper part of a wet area; shower and tub, and paint on rest of the walls including the bay window. The wainscot is in 3 x 12 subway Carrara tile capped with a bullnose trim.

60″ Freestanding tub from Kohler with floating stone shelf from Caesarstone; material and ogee detail match the vanity counter top.
Toilet and “barrier-free” shower
Taller vanity height and under counter sink. Wall tower unit houses plenty of storage. Listelo band and Carrara tile backsplash with Benjamin Moore Aura Silver Fox wall paint.

Sconces on each side of the mirror provide sufficient artificial light combined with overhead LED lights and natural light.  Mirrors are from Robern.

Notice the blend of color temperatures of general, ambient and natural light.  It creates a perfect fusion with the white and grey tones.

The grey tinted mirror frame on the Robern mirror apply a punch of color on the walls and pull some of the accents on the listelo, together.

In Conclusion

The clients are very ecstatic and pleased with the outcome.  Not only do they  have a very functional space, the upgrade is definitely worth it.

A happy wife is a happy designer life.


When you have a challenging design issue, our office welcomes your inquiry.  We are pleased to service the needs of our clients by listening and doing beyond what is expected of us.

Remodelup is open Mondays thru Saturdays from 8am til 6pm.

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