Sarah’s Style File – July 2013

032113__sarah_forWebWelcome to Sarah’s Style File, I’m Sarah, Foster Remodeling Solutions Senior Design Consultant and each month I’m bringing to you a feature project for you to experience the remodeling process with us!  For this month’s highlighted project I have chosen a 2nd floor reconfiguration which created a larger functional hall bath for the kids, a staircase to the attic, a 2nd floor laundry and an amazing master suite for the homeowners! As you can see from the before and after plans we did not add any space, but we did make the space they had more functional. When the previous owners of the home built the addition it created an odd “pass-through” room before you got to the master bedroom which was also an unusual L-shaped configuration. In the master bath while it originally had double sinks, it only had a small shower and the husband really wanted a larger custom shower while the wife really wanted more of a retreat space with a nice soaking tub. Other wish list items included the 2nd floor laundry area, stairs to the attic space and an update to the very small hall bath that the three children shared which lacked both character and storage. In the after plan you can see we accomplished all the goals of the clients with some smart space planning.

Master Bedroom – After


For this project the main focus was creating a more efficient space plan and really utilizing the square footage they had but was ineffective. By extending the main hallway and relocating the hall bath to the previous “pass-through” area, which was an underutilized sitting area, we were able to create a larger bathroom for the kids with more storage and a linen closet off the hallway. Where the previous hall bathroom was located we stacked a staircase to the attic over the existing staircase to the 2nd floor and built a laundry closet suitable for a stackable washer/dryer unit, these changes allowed us to check off all of the smaller items on the owner’s wish list. In the new reconfigured master suite we demolished everything except the hardwood floors. We then installed a walk-in closet and an en suite bath with a large custom shower, vanity, and soaking tub along the back wall of the room. Both rooms were fitted with pocket doors so that we could use every inch wisely. While pocket doors are a more expensive option (due to the new wall construction, specialty hardware, and a solid core door so that its heavy enough to stay on the sliding hardware) they are a great tool to use in space planning when you have a limited size area, so they are perfect in closets and bathrooms where you don’t want to take up vital space with the swinging of a hinged door. By reorienting the master suite we were able to give them the larger custom closet they needed, designed a new bath to accommodate the larger custom shower, a good sized vanity with drawer storage and the lovely modern soaking tub with the new window above and it really opened the room up to feel more open and airy.
Before                                          After

Before                                                          After

Previous colors used in the finishes upstairs varied from plain off-white to dark burgundy, so color-wise we wanted to brighten the space by adding warm neutrals and then choose certain areas to make statements. In the main hallway we matched the existing Red Oak flooring and painted a bright warm neutral tone. Keeping the kids bathroom fairly neutral with ceramic wall and floor tile along with the paint color and vanity allowed the clients to pop color in the space with towels and a colorful shower curtain, all of which could be changed or updated at a later date and still coordinate. The main saturated colors we used in this project were in the master bathroom. The homeowners wanted a “Tuscan” feel in the space so we used warm deep tones with details and patterns to play up on the theme. On the floor we used a through-body color porcelain tile in a deep clay color with tumbled edges. The great thing about through-body porcelain tile is that unlike ceramic tile, which has a glazed finished on top of the clay, the color is all the way through the tile, so should you drop something and it chips it won’t be as noticeable. Porcelain is also in fact more durable than ceramic because the tile itself is fired at a higher temperature creating a stronger material. We installed an interesting pattern with the floor tile as well, we installed a 3″ x 3″ tile on each corner of the 12″ x 12″ and then a 3″ x 12″ long tile to frame each side as you can see in the photos. For the tile wainscoting and walls in the shower we used a ceramic tile with a specialty deco accent tile to add depth and a little intricacy to the space. On the shower floor we used glass mosaic tiles in a deep burgundy tone which also had a slight amount of iridescence that reflected quite nicely. Also in the shower, we installed an oil-rubbed bronze Kohler shower system with a water-tile rain fixture on the ceiling, a standard shower head and four water tile body sprays. The frameless glass shower enclosure allows you to see all the beautiful tile and fixtures nicely. For the vanity we installed a maple vanity with a black glaze and a brushed finish adding to the rustic feel of the room. The countertop we used was Cambria Shinebrook with a step half bullnose edge; this has a nice natural look even though it is a manufactured quartz surface! For the tub area we tiled using our ceramic wall tile and installed recessed niches for candles or accessories at the front of the tub and hidden in the backside of the knee wall next to the vanity to create a calming escape for the clients.

Before                                            After

Master Bathroom – After

Thanks for joining me this month on Sarah’s Style File and I look forward to seeing you again in August!! As always, if you have questions about a project or you are thinking about remodeling, give me a call here at Foster Remodeling Solutions!

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

written by: Sarah Wolf, Design Consultant