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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. 

New mosaic tile backsplash and pebble flooring by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathroom Remodel

We love a good collaborative effort — which is how we typically think of our relationships with our clients. But we also enjoy working with other industry professionals.  One such professional is Gina Wegner, a talented designer with Seed Interiors.

Our client had hired a specialists for the interior design of their bathroom update, which was carried out as part of a larger remodel effort, and we were pleased to be the partner that was entrusted with bringing Gina’s vision to life.

Vision

Our client had decided to convert a child’s room into the master bedroom, and in the process convert the existing bathroom into something befitting this transformation that required some structural changes to the floor, as well moving a lot of plumbing.

Challenge

To fulfill the vision of the interior designer, our biggest challenge was structural.  To create the frameless shower, we needed to slope the bathroom floor.  This meant notching out a floor joist that went down about three inches.  Fortunately, we had a partition wall with a full basement underneath that served as a load bearing wall for the space we created.

Accomplishment

By sloping the bathroom floor to the shower we were able to keep the same tile as the rest of the bathroom.  By taking out a wall and shortening an existing vanity, we were also able to add sufficient space to put in a huge walk-in closet, a double vanity with counter top, and a powder room.  Additional designer touches included the use of hanging pendants that provided more precise lighting for the wider mirror we installed.  We also added a window for additional natural light and airiness.

Highlights

What started as a kid’s room and adjoining bathroom became a beautifully designed master bedroom and bath combination that flowed attractively together into a more private space for the parents.  This was a great design that was fun to work on, despite the structural challenges that had to be overcome to pull it together.  Of course, one of the hallmarks of a great remodel project is to make it appear effortless — no matter the reality.

Click on photos to enlarge. 

A complete kitchen remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho

Our clients loved their Southeast Boise neighborhood, and while the Tuscan-inspired exterior of their house was attractive, the carry over of that theme into its interior created a number of issues for the couple from the day they bought it.  Although our initial focus was the kitchen, this ambitious remodel soon extended well beyond.

Vision

Our clients’ home was certainly large enough from the standpoint of floor plan, but it always felt crowded to them — particularly when more than one person was in the kitchen.  Beyond updating the look of their home’s interior to reflect a more contemporary European style, what our clients wanted was a greater sense of spaciousness, and straighter, cleaner lines throughout.

Challenge

One of the drawbacks of the original kitchen was inefficient workflow, especially between the cooktop, the preparation space, and the refrigerator.  Our clients also wanted to improve the efficiency of their cabinetry as well.  Besides the kitchen, several other spaces suffered from what our clients repeatedly described as being “cramped” and dark.”  For one thing, the home had a beautiful backyard and patio area, but there was virtually no visual connection to it from inside.  The house had a separate dining room, but it wasn’t large enough to host the family gatherings they had envisioned — while the dining area next to the kitchen gave the term “nook” a meaning more synonymous with “cramped” than “cozy.”  Although it came as something of an afterthought, our clients asked us to address their home’s staircase, which while visually striking, also added to a bulky and dark look that plagued other areas of the home’s interior.

Accomplishment

Addressing our clients’ issues resulted in nothing less than a virtual gutting of their home’s interior, beginning with the transformation of their kitchen and dining area into contiguous spaces in which form followed function with a contemporary European sensibility.  Although we didn’t significantly change the footprint of the kitchen, we profoundly changed the nature of the space and visually opened it up — partly by adding a bank of windows over the kitchen sink.  This effect that was repeated in the former breakfast nook, which was squared off to pick up enough additional square footage to make it a viable family dining room (the former dining area has since become a cozy sitting room alternative to the family room adjoining the kitchen).  The bank of windows installed in the reconfigured breakfast nook also had the effect of bringing in views of the backyard to enhance the overall feeling of light and space in the home.  This effect was further heightened in the evening, thanks to the outdoor lighting.  The flow of the great room/kitchen/dining area was further enhanced by continuous cork flooring.

The staircase redesign took many hours to figure out.  The original had a half wall that went all the way up the stairs, and our clients had proposed taking out that wall to create an open bannister with a custom rail to match the curve of the stairs.  This would have been very costly, so we instead proposed demolishing the old staircase and reframing it to create the straight, clean lines that the couple was looking for as a consistent theme of their remodel.

In its original layout, guests who wanted to use the downstairs bathroom/powder room had to walk through a narrow passage way that led to the laundry room, and ultimately to the garage.  We relocated this bathroom to make it more accessible, then expanded the walls and ceiling of the laundry room area to make it a more practical workspace and quasi-mudroom.  We also remodeled the master bathroom, removing the soffits, updating the cabinets and fixtures, replacing the spa tub with a free standing model, and installed a more contemporary looking shower.  By removing the space that had been a separate toilet area, we were also able to expand the size of the walk-in closet, while adding to the overall sense of spaciousness in the master bath and giving it a sense of symmetry consistent with the rest of the remodel.

Highlights

Overall, this was a project that involved not only issues of esthetics and flow, but also a number of structural challenges as well — most notably with the staircase and dining room remodels.  Although Strite brought the best of its design and construction acumen to bear on the successful conclusion of this whole house remodel, that success was due in no small part to our clients’ participation in the design process.  The old adage in our profession remains true: the best work is engendered by the best customers.

Hit here to go to another post with more images of this home.

Hit on any of the following images 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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Trends

For those of you who were unable to attend this year’s Remodeled Homes Tour, we wanted to share the story behind the two projects we featured.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we thought we’d save a whole lot of pages by simply putting together this five minute slideshow presentation.

You’ll not only see the obligatory “befores” and “afters,” but the “whys and wherefores” as well!

The Treehouse

Lynn and Greg loved their home in the foothills above Warm Springs. “Everything about this house is just us…it’s very eclectic,” says Greg.   But there were aspects of their home that didn’t quite sustain the magic — most notably, the bathrooms