A luxuriously updated condo ensuite with some smart forward-thinking design features.
Who says that “open concept” has to be reserved for kitchens and family rooms? There is no need for the bathroom to be segregated into smaller areas either. It used to be that bathrooms were just that: a room to bathe in. While the luxury of a master bathroom has become more important, sometimes an open-concept bathroom with a large “wet area” can provide both function and luxury as it did for these homeowners.
They bought an older condo in the city, mainly because it provided them with the square footage they wanted with all the conveniences. While they were both still young and working, they were also getting closer to the retirement years. A condo that provided them with a life lived on one floor, with no exterior maintenance, seemed ideal.
The master bathroom in their new unit was nothing they hoped for—a large built-in bathtub, a small shower, and a toilet between them. The vanity area was in an adjacent room divided by a wall. We knew this would have to be completely rethought in order to work for them; remembering the plumbing locations could not change so as not to affect the condo units above and below.
THE MASTER PLAN
We decided to extend the room to include the vanity and water closet areas, and to rework all of the elements. Figuring out the locations of the major features, like shower, vanity, toilet and tub, were going to be paramount to the success of the project.
Before we decided on the finishes or the fixtures, we knew that we would be better off creating a complete wet room, which would allow us to work with the existing plumbing structures. The built-in tub was removed to make room for the new shower locations. A standalone tub was installed in place of the shower. The drains and water supply existed for both, so we used them in a different way. The vanity occupies the same space it had before and the toilet is a water closet just off the main bathroom.
BATH TO THE FUTURE
We now had a very large shower area that we could make luxurious, not just because of its size. We could also make it barrier-free by using a strip drain that sits close to the tub; the shower required no curb to contain the water. The slant of the tiles would lead the water to the strip drain to be taken away. Although not currently necessary (or ever, hopefully), should either one require mobility assistance in the future, a walker or wheel chair could be rolled directly into the shower with no barriers.
To make the entire area water-worthy, we selected a larger-format marble tile for the walls and mimicked the floor detail to provide character. The mosaic marble floor provides a beautiful pattern and adds some grip to avoid a slippery shower.
All the walls of the room are covered in marble and the tub, with its gentle architectural line, was placed on the far side of the wet area. The shower head was mounted directly into the ceiling to provide an experience that mimics being in a heavy rain. Body jets were also installed for added relaxation and a hand-held for easy clean up or should either need assistance in the shower.
The vanity was custom built to provide both homeowners with a generous surface area, undermount sinks and storage mirrors. The interior of the vanity has rollout shelves, not only to maximize the storage capacity but also to recognize that bending down may become more difficult at some point in their lives. The wall behind the vanity was also tiled; however, the shower water never reaches that part of the bathroom.
A water closet was created for the toilet just beyond the tub. We recognized that it would be used for those “middle of the night” trips to the bathroom, which become more regular with age. We created a light valence between the wet area and the vanity and added a motion-detected strip light. The whole room gets a warm glow at night, which allows you to see your way, but is soft enough not to interrupt the sleep in the master bedroom.
Everyone wants to have an open-concept living area; however, an open-concept master bathroom provides not only luxury and class but function that will serve for years to come.
Photography By Larry Arnal
WALL TILE: conceptflooring.ca FLOOR TILE: saltillo-tiles.com VANITY: custom built by Impressions Kitchens COUNTERTOP: super white granite from Emporium Marble and Granite TUB AND TUB FILLER: aquabrass.com STRIP DRAIN: myshowergrateshop.com UNDERMOUNT SINKS: kohler.com 8-INCH SPREAD FAUCET: aquabrass.com SHOWER HEAD AND HAND-HELD: aquabrass.com ART: Designer Inspired Interiors, pelosoalexander.com Lighting: robertabbey.com
Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander are co-founders and principals of Peloso Alexander Interiors. They bring 35 years of combined experience to creating environments that merge the client’s lifestyle, personality, and architecture. pelosoalexander.com, twitter @glenpeloso & @glenandjamie, Facebook.com/glenpeloso
Come see Glen & Jamie at the Toronto Fall Home Show at the Better Living Centre. They will be offering design advice at the R&D booth.