Some Reassembly Required

bathroom remodel by Dream House Dream Kitchens
Photograph provided by Dream House Dream Kitchens

Sometimes we need to talk about the jacuzzi tub in the room. Everyone has to walk around it, it takes up almost a third of the bathroom, and it’s lucky if it gets used once every other year. When these homeowners wanted to update their bathroom, which meant bye-bye jacuzzi tub, they were giving themselves a significantly more functional bathroom. The catch for Lindsay Nelson, designer at Dream House Dream Kitchens, was that she wouldn’t have the normal two months to work on it.

Jerry Schmidt of Dream House Dream Kitchens says, “[The homeowner] gave us a start date which we did not have available at the time, which basically gave Lindsay only two weeks to draft it, pick everything, and get it all ordered so we could actually start on time.”

One of the first things that struck Lindsay was the height of the ceiling, just under nine feet. “The way everything was set up didn’t really give justice to the height of the room,” says Lindsay. “They have such tall ceilings, but everything felt heavy. The dark walls brought that ceiling down.” In addition to dark-blue walls, tower cabinets on vanities across the room from one another only went up six and a half feet, leaving the upper 20 percent of wall space an unused extra.

In order for the room to show itself off, that upper wall space would need to have purpose. Instead of two vanities, Lindsay utilized one long his-and-her vanity with a white countertop to help the space feel longer, and the tower cabinets on either side now reach up to the ceiling. Between the towers is a decorative white-and-blue backsplash that, again, extends up to the ceiling.

“That’s the idea between these tall vanity mirrors,” says Lindsay. “We really wanted to bring the eye up, and when you do a tall mirror like that, there’s not a lot of room for a top-mount sconce. So we went with a side-mount sconce, and what that also does is provide better lighting.”

Lighting the vanity thoughtfully with Edison bulbs creates a double lighting effect off the mirror, and recessed ceiling lights give the illusion of natural light to play off the gray motif that connects the dark blue of the cabinets to the neutral color of the walls. As a result, bolder colors pop rather than run muddy.

The hardware and fixtures provide just the right accent of brushed brass and further add a modern aesthetic to the room alongside an industrial feel. “It’s not a round stem on the faucets, but more of a hexagon,” says Lindsay.

The transition continues to the new steam shower, a must-have for the homeowners, which has the only window in the room. Built-in shelving and seating provide a focal point in the bathroom that’s ready to use in seconds, as opposed to the preparation needed for the jacuzzi tub. The shelving is backed with the same tile as the vanity, providing harmony to the spaces. “Each decision was just as important as the next to get that cohesive look and to get that overall wow factor,” says Lindsay.

What was once a room that had everything it needed to technically be called a bathroom now has a seamless role in function. The homeowners can enjoy the amenities without having to make an event of it. “The old bathroom felt real chopped up,” says Lindsay. “And the space just wasn’t utilized as well with that layout and with that tub.”

Though most projects with limited time might feel a lot more stressful and the end result could fall into question, Lindsay never had those worries. “It was fun,” she says. “It was the fastest turnaround I’ve ever done on any space. Thankfully, the clients are very decisive, and it was pretty streamlined. We didn’t take a lot of time to sit here and dwell on the decisions we made, so we just made the decisions and went with it. It turned out pretty awesome. Just as good as any of the remodels we spend two months prepping on.”

Kyle Jacobson is the senior copy editor and lead staff writer for Home Elements & Concepts.

Photographs provided by Dream House Dream Kitchens.

Dream House Dream Kitchens
5117 Verona Road
Madison, WI 53711