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New Bathtub under skylight providing lots of natural light in a Master Bath remodel by Strite Design in the Boise Foothills
Bathroom Remodel

It was bad enough that this ‘80s style bathroom was weighed down in oak and somber finishes — it was also strangely configured.  We breathed new life into its design by opening it up and letting the light shine in!

Vision

Here was a master bathroom that enjoyed a killer view of downtown Boise — but the spatial constraints of its layout hardly did justice to the expansive view from its foothills perch.  Our goal was to not only create a sense of spaciousness, but to further enhance this with a lighter and cleaner look and feel.

Challenge

Two major factors to the choppy layout of this bathroom were the peninsula vanity in its center and the large spa tub that took up an entire corner.  An existing shower that was enclosed in a 3’x3’ space added to a claustrophobic feeling.  To dramatically change the layout of this room, the vanity and the tub had to go.

Accomplishment

Removing the peninsula vanity and the spa tub dramatically opened up this room.  We kept the location of the existing shower, but increased its size and installed a glass enclosure.  This gave the space a transparency that complimented the room’s newly discovered openness.  We created a half wall for the shower to give it some privacy, and installed the shower controls in this wall.  In place of the spa tub we added a stylish free standing tub.  We replaced the existing brown carpet with lighter colored tile.  What had formerly been a single vanity against the wall became a double vanity with new cabinetry and a full tile backsplash.

Highlights

It was our good fortune that a skylight already existed in this room — but thanks to the changes we made to its layout and fixtures, its light was no longer swallowed up in a morass of dark wood, tile, and carpeting.  At last, the open dimensions of the space inside did justice to scene it overlooked outside.

 Click on photos to enlarge. 

Bathroom remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathrooms Remodeled

Even after 30 years, our clients loved their home in the foothills above Warm Springs Avenue in Boise.  The floor plan gave it an intimacy that one of them described as like “living in a treehouse.”  Eventually, however, one aspect of any home that can become not only outdated but dysfunctional are its bathrooms.  It was time to rekindle the magic with a master bath and guest bath makeover.

Vision

Our clients had never really cared for the bathrooms in their home from the day they moved in, and as the years went by, both the master and guest bathrooms became increasingly outdated.  The original plan was to update the master bathroom, but on closer inspection of the tile in the guest bath/powder room, we discovered that the wall behind it was rotting out.  Fortunately, our clients had had thirty years of thinking about how they would ideally like both rooms to look that they could share with us.

Challenge

The master bathroom was cramped and dark, a feeling that both he original wallpaper (which was beginning to peel away) and the dark brown tile in the shower and tub areas contributed to.  While we wanted to give the room a more spacious and lighter feeling, keeping the costs of the remodel to a minimum dictated that we stay with the same layout — which was fortunately a good one.  In the case of the guest bath/powder room, our client wanted the update to reflect a feeling of water through softer colors and more light.  A Google search using the words “zen bathrooms” yielded plenty of inspiration when it came time to choose tile, cabinetry, and finishes.

Accomplishment

To open up the master bath space, we removed full height walls, including the shower wall, and put in a new window.  The vanity and toilet stayed in the same location, but we shifted the shower just enough to install a custom pan, while keeping the new tub in same location. New cabinets, sinks, floors, and fixtures not only gave the room a more contemporary look, but contributed to the overall feeling of light and space.  For the guest bathroom, our project manager painstakingly ferreted out the elements that fit with our client’s design vision, including exactly the tile to achieve the “water effect” she was looking for.

Highlights

Among the happy surprises with the guest bathroom remodel was our discovery of an affordable frameless glass shower enclosure and a frameless mirror that created what our client described as a “floating” effect.  How zen is that?

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Bathroom Remodel

We like to think of our business as more than just a craft.  It’s the art of the possible.  The very best remodeling jobs are the ones that deftly combine solid design and quality craftsmanship to address a need…and then go beyond the utilitarian to the imaginative.  This case study is a good example.

Vision

This bathroom remodel was part of a larger project, and one that presented us with a client’s desire for not only a more pleasing environment, but for something they before had: a laundry room.

Challenge

To easiest way to “add” a room is to expand the square footage of a home — but that wasn’t in the budget for this bathroom remodel.  What we did instead was to “borrow” the space we needed to create a laundry room from a less critical area: a hallway that led to the garage.  Fortunately, we were also working with an oversized bathroom layout that had not been well thought out as originally constructed.

Accomplishment

We achieved our twin objectives of an improved bathroom layout and the addition of a laundry room by bumping the bathroom wall out into the garage area, then moving the wall between the bathroom and the hallway to create the laundry room space.  In the bathroom itself we removed a spa tub (typically used as a clothes drying area), and added a frameless shower where the tub had been, while keeping the existing plumbing from the original shower in place.  For privacy, we patched over the window that had formerly looked on the tub and added a smaller one above the new shower area to let in natural light.  By increasing the size of the shower, we were able to add a second shower head on a slider bar, so it could now be used to wash the dog.  We also redid the toilet room.

Highlights

More than just creating a new utility space and a more attractive and practical layout for the bathroom, this project made a difference to the rest of the home as well.  The washer and dryer had previously been in the hallway leading to the garage — a hallway that was also open to the kitchen.  Whenever they were in operation, the noise from the washer and dryer resonated throughout the house.  As a result of the remodel, this noise could now be contained in a separate enclosure, without having to sacrifice anything more than wasted space.

Click on photos to enlarge. 

Remodeled Bathroom by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling can be a bit like a potato chip…it’s hard to stop at just one. This lower level guest bathroom was part of a larger remodel project, and with so many other rooms getting a makeover, it was hard to resist this long overdue update.

Vision

While our primary objective was to give this bathroom a more contemporary look, it was a perfect opportunity to address a very obvious issue: the bathtub was done with a great pipe line. At 48-inches long and half again that deep, it hardly seemed useful for more than just a catch basin for the shower…or a good place to wash the family pet!

Challenge

We kept the layout of the bathroom as it was and replaced the tub with a shower. To make the shower more accessible, we borrowed space from an adjoining closet. The green toilet and matching sink had to go…along with the shag carpet!

Accomplishment

In addition to a new sink and toilet, we gave the bathroom a more contemporary look by removing the drop down soffit and putting in a floating cabinet. In place of the previous lighting, which was in the soffit, we added more stylish pendant lights. We replaced the shag carpet with tile that complimented the new counter top.

Highlights

As dramatic a difference as this remodel made to the guest bathroom, it was a very economical project. While new construction seldom contains any surprises, the same cannot be said for remodeling. In this case, the demolition phase revealed some very interesting wallpaper, and evidence of two previous remodels. We think this last one is the best one.

Click on photos to enlarge:

Bathroom Remodel

Not every remodel project has to be a full-scale makeover.  Sometimes the goal is simply to change the esthetics of a space to reflect a different set of circumstances in one’s life — like the departure of children for college and the big world beyond.

Vision

When our client’s children were still living at home, they shared a hall bathroom.  Needless to say, with two growing kids, the emphasis was on functionality.  When the children went away to college, however, the role of the bathroom shifted to accommodating guests — and our client wanted the esthetics of that room to reflect a more contemporary and welcoming design.

Challenge

Because our client’s home was slab on grade, we faced some constraints in the placement of fixtures if we wanted to make this remodel as economical as possible — and since our client’s goal was to “freshen” the look of the room rather than a perform a complete makeover, we stayed within those constraints and focused on the greatest impact for the lowest cost.

Accomplishment

While keeping the plumbing in the same location, the team that provide residential plumbing services santa rosa ca made the floating toilet less obtrusive in a small bathroom by installing the tank in a wall cavity.  We put in a new shower, replaced the old vanity with a larger and more contemporary one, and added new tile and fixtures.  To compliment these upgrades, we went with a new color scheme that better suited a more “mature” audience than a couple of growing kids!

Highlights

Anyone who has ever watched their children grow up and leave the nest knows what a bittersweet experience that can be…but one upside can be refashioning your living space to reflect a newly rediscovered sense of freedom.  Because we were able to accomplish this for our client so economically, we have since been asked to convert the children’s bedrooms into a single living space — proving once again that the highest compliment one can earn in our business is a repeat customer.

As footnote, we should add that this particular remodel project earned our firm a first place award in NARI’s photo competition.  We’re very proud of that!

Click on photos to enlarge. 

A master bathroom remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathroom Remodel

This master bathroom suffered from some bad feng shui.  Fortunately, we’ve learned from years of experience that small changes can yield big results…if you know how to make them count. It’s a zen thing.

Vision

It was bad enough that this bathroom was cramped and dark.  To make matters worse, it had doors that did more to obstruct than reveal.  Our client wanted us to find a way to change all that, without demolishing the room and starting over.

Challenge

The “flow” of this room was badly hampered by a mirrored closet bifold door that consumed floor space — resulting in a very cramped vanity area.  Adding to this obstruction was the swing door into the toilet/shower room that swung the wrong way, forcing one to walk around the door to reach the toilet area.

Accomplishment

To open things up and improve the flow of activity in this room, we removed the wall separating the toilet/shower area.  In its place we added a half wall that separated the toilet from the vanity.  In the space opened up by this modification, we added a window above the toilet, which provided natural light to the formerly dark bathroom.  We removed the closet door and replaced it with a pocket door, which is often the best solution for a cramped space.

Highlights

To enhance the esthetics of the functional changes we made, we replaced the cultured marble vanity with a granite top, added a tile backsplash, and updated the fixtures.  In lieu of the expense of new cabinetry, we sanded and refinished the existing front cabinets and added hardware.  We also fully tiled and reframed the shower and refinished the hardwood floor.  Looking at the before and after pictures, it’s hard to believe that this is the same room — which just goes to show that little feng shui goes a long way.

Click on photos to enlarge

Remodeled ¾ bathroom by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathroom Remodel

A three-quarter bathroom makes plenty of sense when it is the only bathroom in the house besides the master bath.  After all, you want your overnight guests to have a place to bathe that doesn’t involve them traipsing through your bedroom.  But when a three-quarter bathroom is one of several with a shower and/or tub, you might want to consider other configuration options.

Vision

Our client’s three-quarter bathroom was next to their dining room, and they wanted a more formal ambiance to harmonize with that room.  Since the tub/shower unit was essentially wasted space, we eliminated it in favor of a more updated look and layout.

Challenge

The toilet in the original bathroom was in an odd location, and was installed very close to the wall (probably to avoid a joist), which made it rather awkward to use.  It was also visible from the hall — not quite what one might consider a decorative accent.

Accomplishment

In place of the tub/shower unit, we installed a vanity.  Where the original vanity was located, we installed a new toilet, and gave it a more discreet appearance (or lack of appearance) by constructing a pony wall.

Highlights

Besides reconfiguring the guest bathroom, we enhanced the powder room ambiance by installing a “floating” cabinet, new vanity, light fixtures, and mirror that completed the transformation our clients were looking for.  This was, by the way, the third bathroom remodel we completed in this home.  The best customer is always a satisfied one.

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No threshold on shower before remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Master Bath Remodel

No home, however well designed, can continually meet our needs — much less our desires — because these both continually change.  In the case of one couple that we had worked for in the past, ambulatory challenges required a master bathroom remodel that combined convenience, accessibility, and more efficient use of space with a fresh look.

Vision

In previous blogs, we’ve talked about how spa tubs can be not only an impractical, but a huge waste of space.  In the case of one bathroom remodel, ambulatory issues required the redesign of a shower to make it both safer and more accessible.  Creating the space to accomplish this, as well as addressing other features that would better suit our clients‘ needs as they aged, meant removing the old tub — but that was just the start.

Challenge

Besides making the shower easier to get in and out of, including accommodating a chair if needed, we wanted to get rid of the old shower pan.  These will eventually crack and fail and are impossible to clean.  And while new showers have curbs, we wanted to avoid these because of our clients’ ambulatory concerns.  Addressing these issues also required us to make the toilet more accessible rather than have our clients negotiate another doorway.

Accomplishment

Removing the old spa tub and replacing it with a vintage standalone bathtub opened up a lot of space for the rest of our remodel, which included integrating the toilet into the main room rather than have it situated in a separate space.  At the same time, we both protected the toilet and maintained some privacy with a half wall.  We were able to forego the use of curbs in the shower by notching out a floor joist where it was being installed and insetting a new floor into the joist, creating a gentle slope toward the drain.  We also built a bench into the shower.  By removing the soffit above the vanity, we created additional space for a cabinet, since our clients had also wanted more storage in the bathroom.  We were able to add even more storage by setting the toilet out just enough to install a deeper cabinet above it.  As a final convenience, we installed heated floors with a programmable thermostat for added comfort on chilly mornings.

Highlights

This remodel project did much more than respond to the changing needs of an aging couple — we created a much better flow to the room, in part by squaring up the angles.  We also updated its appearance through new tile, his and her sinks, and new cabinets.  After all, even as we age, we still appreciate a fresh take on the world.

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