They almost didn’t buy their dream house because of this room. As Michelle and Charlie toured a light-filled, mid-century house in Reston, they knew they had found The One. Then, upon stepping into the master bath, they promptly changed their minds!
This dark cave of a bathroom had dingy, wood paneled walls that surrounded a corroded copper bathtub. “It had a Finnish sauna feel, but was so trapped in the 70s that you could almost see the hanging ferns and macrame,” says Michelle. Finally the couple decided not to let this bathroom keep them from buying the home. They set out to design an updated room with a minimal aesthetic that pays homage to the era of the home.
They hired contractors OHI Design for this project. OHI removed every element, including the dividing wall between the sink and the toilet. They left the plumbing in place, but added double sinks and a rain shower. The couple also widened the entry and added several types of lighting.
Michelle and Charlie selected Heath Ceramic tile in Blue Opal for the shower, which was laid vertically, and a Corian countertop with integrated sinks. “The integrated sinks posed a bit of a challenge for the contractors who install granite in 95% of their projects” Charlie tells us, “It helped that we had specific images of what we were looking for.”
The dark, slate countertop was replaced with white Corian integrated sinks with Kohler fixtures.
Vertically run subway tile offers a contemporary design element to the room. The cobalt color is a rich feature wall, while the white tile keeps the room feeling fresh and sleek.
The paneled cabinetry was replaced with a sleek floating vanity in a cherry wood finish with discreet pulls. Lifting the vanity off the floor gives the appearance of a more spacious room. The Kohler fixtures were chosen by Charlie, who wanted to “bring a little bling” to the restrained design of room. The couple was inspired by the mid-century designer Arne Jacobsen, and looked for fixtures with a similar feel to his designs.
The light fixtures are from West Elm and were selected for their retro shape and subtle presence in the room.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the final product. The room is incredibly bright and airy, and we no longer cringe when we walk in. I took my first shower in this bathroom 4 years after moving in!” says Michelle.
Many thanks to Michelle and Charlie for sharing their bathroom renovation. Do you have a great before/after story to share? If so, please contact us!
Photos by Charlotte Geary