Article from Houzz
If you don’t use it, lose it. That was the jumping-off point for these Virginia homeowners when it came to their large platform tub. The built-in tub, which the couple never used, sat right below the best spot in the bathroom: under two large skylights. So they decided it was time to lose it.
They also wanted to update the generic double vanity, the dark and narrow shower stall and the overall look of the space. They gathered design ideas on Houzz, then reached out to designers Emily Bickl and Camille DeLew for help making their vision a reality. The designers ditched the tub, of course, and created a generous glass-enclosed curbless shower in its place, putting it in the best light.
“After” photos by Ashley Sullivan Marks of Exposurely Photography
Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A professional couple
Location: Reston, Virginia
Size: 127 square feet (12 square meters)
Design: Emily Bickl (layout and cabinet design) and Camille DeLew (interior design) of Synergy Design & Construction
Before: The large platform tub with tile deck dominated the aging bathroom. “The clients hated the tub,” Bickl says. “It was taking up space, and they didn’t use it.”
A dark shower was crammed into a small nook between the tub and a water closet, which the couple wanted to keep.
What they didn’t want were the tan-colored walls, brown tile floor with an inset pattern and basic white double vanity. “Their biggest issue was that [the vanity] had low-quality materials and was much too plain,” Bickl says. “They really wanted a warm stain.”
After: The design team stripped the former space and started fresh. A spacious curbless shower with a wall-to-wall glass front now sits beneath the skylights, enjoying the sunshine during the day. “They definitely wanted the shower to feel open, and see all the materials in the shower,” Bickl says.
River rock tile covers the shower floor and extends to the main floor to form a border around light wood-look porcelain tile with radiant heat. “The inspiration photos from Houzz the clients showed us had cut stone being used as an accent on the bathroom floor,” Bickl says.
A custom double vanity with mahogany stain adds a dose of warmth. Opposite, a new linen cabinet improves storage. Soft blue-green walls (Rainwashed, Sherwin-Williams) create a soothing, nature-inspired backdrop.
Shower door: ABC Glass and Mirror; main floor tile: Etic series in color Rovere Bianco, Atlas Concorde USA; floor border tile: Mixed River Marble Pebble, MSI; ceiling paint: Ceiling White, Sherwin-Williams; trim paint: Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore
The upgraded maple double vanity features a rich mahogany finish and brushed satin nickel pulls that coordinate with brushed nickel mirror frames and sconces. The faucets are a stainless finish. Wispy gray veining in the marble-look quartz countertop picks up the metal finishes.
Two square towel rings complement the rectangular tube lights and rectangle mirrors. “The clients liked that square look that we used for the plumbing fixtures and accessories,” Bickl says.
Vanity: Unique Series, Cabico Custom Cabinetry; cabinet hardware: Griggs Pull in brushed satin nickel, Top Knobs; sconces: Bratto in brushed nickel, Kuzco; sinks: Farmington, Kohler; sink faucets: Ara in stainless, Delta Faucet
Shop for a double bathroom vanity
The frameless glass shower door features an 8-inch door handle, a 24-inch towel bar and square hinges, all in a brushed nickel finish.
The curbless shower entrance, textured tile flooring, teak bench and grab bar on the back wall of the shower give the homeowners safety features that help prevent slips and falls.
Textured 12-by-24-inch 3D porcelain tile covers the wide wall of the shower. Similar tile in a flat matte finish covers the two side walls. “We wanted to tile that whole end of the room but break it up by not using the same tile everywhere,” Bickl says. “The 3D tiles provided a different texture, without a huge contrast.”
Shower wall tile: More series in Tortora with a matte finish, 12-by-24 inches, Piemmegres
Before: The former shower stall felt squeezed into a nook next to the water closet.
After: With the shower eliminated, the design team added a built-in linen storage system with a mix of cabinets, open shelves and drawers. The pulls match those on the vanity.
A wider hinged door to the water closet makes it easier to enter and exit the space. New recessed niches inside the water closet provide user-friendly storage. “We used a little leftover space from when we removed the old shower to add those niches,” Bickl says.
The designers also added a new exhaust fan and heat lamp during the renovation.
Before: This look from the old tub toward the hinged bathroom door gives a sense of the basic look and feel the owners wanted to update.
After: A new pocket door replaces the old hinged bathroom door.
Towel bars set at different heights and a robe hook on the wall by the linen cabinet provide flexibility for hanging towels and robes.
New LED recessed lights illuminate the space at night or when the sun’s not shining. “I think we were able to bring in all the natural elements they love, to give them that soothing spa feel they were going for, without sacrificing functionality and storage space,” Bickl says.