Beauty & The Bath
Get inspired by three remodeling projects that illustrate the impact of a well designed master bath
Courtesy of Drury Design
The master bath is typically the largest, grandest bath in the house, so it stands to reason it should receive star treatment. As the room where most homeowners prepare for and unwind from their day, it should be a place that both invigorates and soothes — a refuge from the stresses of the workaday world.
Trends in bath design continue to embrace roomy showers, clean lines, neutral colors, natural materials and well-organized spaces, among other things, but style and selection of amenities is, in the end, a deeply personal choice that should be customized to suit your lifestyle. Read on to discover how three local homeowners worked with professionals to achieve the master baths of their dreams.
Home Location: Clarendon Hills
Design: Diana Burton, Drury Design in Glen Ellyn
What They Wanted
The homeowners had completed several remodeling projects on the first floor of their 1980s-era home and were keen to update the second floor, in particular the master bath, which was overpowered by a large Jacuzzi-style bathtub. The couple sought a roomy shower and a more functional floor plan, plus a contemporary spa-like aesthetic.
How They Achieved It
Working with designer Diana Burton, of Drury Design, they gutted the room, and borrowed a bit of space from the nearby bedroom to allow for reconfiguring the layout. “Just adding that small amount made a big difference, and I don’t notice the missing space in the bedroom,” says the homeowner.
The tub was eliminated in favor of an extra-large shower with frameless glass doors that, along with the existing skylight, make the room feel open and airy. Floating hickory vanity cabinets paired with quartz counters, wall-mounted fixtures and mirrors featuring built-in lighting also contribute to the room’s sleek, clean look.
In addition to the elimination of the tub and the expansion of the shower, another big change to the room was relocating the toilet to a separate water closet, which allows for more privacy.
One of the room’s more striking features is a teak wood ceiling. “I really wanted a wood ceiling like some I had seen online,” says the homeowner. “Diana helped us find something that would look good and function well in the space. It’s one of my favorite things about the room.”
Tile selections were in the same gray color family but in a variety of formats and textures, including a heavily textured tile used on the shower walls and sink backsplash. The neutral tiles and natural wood tones contribute a sense of calm to the room. “The home has a mid-century modern feel to it, but they wanted a little more of an Asian spa feel for the bath,” Burton says. “It was a very dramatic transformation of the space.”
“It’s just gorgeous,” the homeowner says of the finished project. “I feel like I’m on vacation every time I step into my bath.”
Homeowners: Paul and Suzi Dulle of Homer Glen
Design: Gary Lichlyter, Lemont Kitchen & Bath in Lemont
What They Wanted
Paul and Suzi Dulle say their Homer Glen home — which was originally built in 1960 and had seen several additions before they purchased it in 2001— has been a work in progress since they moved in. Just a few rooms were still in need of updating, including the master bath, when the couple reached out to Lemont Kitchen & Bath owner Gary Lichlyter.
The room was dominated by what Lichlyter refers to as a “turquoise swimming pool” surrounded by glass blocks, and the original toilet and sinks were the same garish shade as the massive tub. “I couldn’t stand it,” Suzi recalls. In addition to these unappealing features, the layout was convoluted, with the toilet situated in the center next to a tiny shower stall and surrounded by a closet. A fresh palette and improved flow and function were in order.
How They Achieved It
The entire space was gutted, leaving a blank canvas for recreating something much more refined and soothing. As Paul and Suzi had earlier ditched the turquoise sinks and toilet, they were able to salvage the replacements for use in the rehabbed bath, but nothing else was saved. One of the problems with the room was that there were two different entries. Closing off one of them provided a place to move the toilet into a water closet. As for the actual closets, which were located within the room, eliminating one closet uncovered an additional window, instantly giving the space a brighter outlook.
After removing the old tub, they situated a new, smaller jetted soaker tub between the two windows and added built-in benches beneath each window for seating and storage beneath. A much larger shower outfitted with multiple showerheads is tucked into a corner of the room and has an open feel thanks to an arched glass door and window.
The couple selected marble floors and counters, but didn’t want the room to look too plain, so Gary helped them come up with a color variant that allowed them to create a standout floor that combines rectangle and square marble tiles. “We worked with two different suppliers to source the marble,” Gary explains. “We used pieces that were the same width but different lengths to create a staggered pattern. It was a challenge to get it to work, but it ended up so striking and unique.”
Not only is the floor lovely to look at, but it is also heated, which helps keep the large space warm. Other color selections in the room followed the same muted palette, including warm beige walls, white cabinetry and varied tiles in the shower. The finished room is a much better fit for the couple, in terms of both function and visual appeal. “I like the lighting, the floors, the way the closet is now and the fact that the room is so open and bright,” Suzi enthuses. “It’s simple and elegant with a bit of an Old World feel, which we really like,” Paul says. “It’s just exceptional the way it turned out.”
Homeowners: Marty and Deb Scheckel of Naperville
Design: Patty Rosignal, River Oak Cabinetry & Design in Plainfield, and Chris Nance, Nona Jo’s in Naperville
What They Wanted
Having grown up on a dairy farm in Michigan, Deb Scheckel says she has a natural affinity for farmhouse style. She and her husband, Marty, even used wood from an old barn on her family’s property to panel a wall in the master bedroom of their Naperville home. When it came time to remodel their “very outdated” master bath, they sought to give it similar farmhouse flair while also making it a personalized, inviting retreat. “We wanted something for us, something we would enjoy — even if it meant getting rid of the tub and having a big, spacious shower,” Deb explains.
How They Achieved It
The couple consulted Patty Rosignal, designer and owner of River Oak Cabinetry & Design, who, with the help of Chris Nance of Nona Jo’s, set about creating the farm-fresh feel they longed for. A new layout replaced the huge tub and deck with an oversized spa shower and turned the space formerly occupied by the small shower stall and a linen closet into a seated makeup vanity area. In the revamped bath, the toilet was enclosed in a private water closet behind a space-saving frosted glass pocket door.
Though the new shower is a favorite element, Deb loves her new makeup vanity area, which features rollout hampers and other handy features. “It’s spacious, very well lit and well organized,” she says.
A shiplap wall behind the vanity with double sinks is one of the room’s focal points. In addition to conveying the farmhouse feel, the wall treatment highlights a pair of shapely mirrors from Nona Jo’s and makes the dark-stained alder cabinetry pop. Other farmhouse touches include the porcelain flooring that resembles barnwood, an orb-style chandelier and patterned tile on the makeup area wall and sink backsplash.
The room now has a grander entrance as well — Deb selected custom-sized double-doors that were designed to fit the existing opening. “Everything came together so nicely,” says Rosignal. “It’s probably one of my favorite baths we’ve done.”
Deb says the entire project exceeded her expectations and she is enjoying the finished space. “We wanted that chic barn look —rustic with a little glamour. Patty and Chris really took my vision and made it happen.”Edit Module