Tag Archives: remodel

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Outdated Oak cabinets with tile counter top.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.

Ready to #remodelup?

1-323-719-2204  |  http://remodelup.com

All Images are Copyright by Remodelup and K+B DECON

A Case Study: Kitchen Remodel


The purpose of this study is to give an in-depth look at a typical kitchen remodel .  To provide an understanding on how the entire process works in order to eliminate unpleasant setbacks.  The study hopes to shed light on the importance of having a plan beforehand.  That communication between the  owner, designer, contractors and vendors, is very crucial to avoid the should’ve, could’ve & would’ve.

The Situation

This 1953 California Ranch custom home in Burbank, required a lot of upgrade when the homeowners purchased this in 2012.  For the past 4 years they have been remodeling this 3 bedroom/3 baths, continuously.  The kitchen, being the most important room of the house, was the last to get an upgrade.  With the holidays just around the corner, they did not plan to have any work in kitchen done until the new year, which was 2 months away..

Kitchen then.

Things that needed consideration for the new design:

  • Incorporate the “V-groove” on the cabinet doors which can be seen as an architectural detail all throughout the house.
  • Stay within the budget.
  • Keep the existing footprint.
  • Create a modern approach to a transitional kitchen.
  • Design cabinets to anticipate appliances replacements in case of breakdown or defects. To foresee possible changes in sizes or specs by appliance manufacturers.

The Challenges

Here are some challenges during the initial design process :

  • What will the gap of the V-groove door detail be?
  • How can the white laundry machines flow seamlessly with the new stainless steel appliances and make that area a multi-purpose, catch-all, parking spot for groceries, laundry, purses and toys?
  • How to transition the wood floor in the dining room to the new porcelain tile in the kitchen without using wood reducers?
  • Can the engineered quartz, being the preferred counter top surface over granite, fit into the budget?

The K+B DECON Approach

Material swatch.

Within a couple of weeks from the initial meeting, we presented 4 schemes to the owner.  Our design schemes started from the simplest to a more complicated approach giving the owner the option to decide which among the schemes fit their long-term goals.  They approved the open layout,which was the most expensive of all the 4 schemes. Not so much as the cabinetry, but the construction became a little more challenging.  More work, more money.  The approved design set things in motion.  A more accurate bid was generated.  Materials for floor, countertop, and walls were selected.   A final color match of the door stain was produced for the client to approve.  Appliances were purchased and the schedule for construction was set.  It was a moving target but all vendors were made aware of the schedule so they can anticipate their own work load.  Each party (owner, designer and contractor) had a different task and a responsibility but all shared the same goal.  To start and finish the project on-time; per specs, per budget.  On the day of construction, all major decisions were made.  Every materials were ordered and on cue for delivery and installation.  It was just a case of implementing the design and whatever we find between the walls and beneath the floor and the ceiling were matters to be addressed at that point in time.

Kitchen during construction: Day 1
Kitchen Now: View from dining room
Kitchen Now: Built-in laundry with floating shelves above.
Beautiful glass backsplash complimented the honed quartz counter top by Caesarstone.


Open bookshelf breaks the ‘panelling effect’ of the V-grooved doors.

The Result

By managing the client’s expectations, we eliminated most of the gray areas.  We were also fortunate to work for a client who kept an open mind during the entire process.  Who trusted us and the rest of the crew to deliver our best.  We encountered some minor obstacle: new laundry machines to replace the old one due to a broken part which could cause leaks in the future.  This created a setback with the counter top installation and the cabinetry around it.  But a quick phone call to the cabinet shop, they produced and installed 3 new panels in a matter of days.  We promised the client the process will take 6-8 weeks.  They moved in after 6 1/2 weeks.

One happy client = mission accomplished!