Tell us a bit about the background of this project.
There actually used to be a door where the half-shower wall is, and the original shower was actually about a foot shorter in size. There was also a big tub that took up a whole corner of the master bath. What these clients wanted to do―and this is a big trend nowadays―is that they'll get rid of the tub in their master bath to accomodate a larger shower and create storage space. That was our game plan on this particular project, which would also create a more open floor plan in the bathroom itself. Because there was a wall with a door beforehand, the space looked a little cramped. But now it flows a lot better. I hear this from people time and time again: that they don't utilize the tub and it just takes up space. By removing it, they can have a really nice, large walk-in shower and create more storage.
What were some hurdles you ran into, and how did you navigate around them?
This one did have some structural challenges. The wall that we removed was a load-bearing wall. So when we removed that, we actually had to hide another beam in the ceiling to keep everything supported. We chose to have it in the attic so it's not visible on the ceiling. The homeowners wanted to keep that natural, flowing feel throughout the space. And it's still a load-bearing beam; you just can't see it.
As far as design challenges, our big goal was really to give them more storage space and to figure out how to do that in a way that would look really nice. We decided to install this large pantry-like cabinet system at the end of their vanity and utilize the remaining space as a bench, where they could sit down and get dressed. They can now do that without having to leave the bathroom.
What kind of building materials did you use to achieve this look?
What's your favorite design feature?
What has the client response been?
They gave us a huge compliment, which was that we were able to take their general idea on paper and make it a reality. They had a bunch of pictures with ideas they liked and some that they didn't. With this one we took all of those ideas and created something that was theirs―something that nobody else has but still incorporated the elements they wanted: the open feeling, extra storage space, the colors. We take those preferences and do a three-dimensional rendering to show them what they're getting.
We've been doing 3-D renderings for years. Most people have a hard time visualizing what a space will look like, so we have a technology that can sketch our blueprints into 3-D renderings. They can even see a video walkthrough of what the project will look like before any construction begins. They can tell us things like, "I don't like the half wall," or "I actually don't want a wall at all." That way we can really fine-tune a project so the customer knows what they want. Then we can develop how to do it.