January 30, 2023
Michael Sauri, president and co-owner of Arlington, Va.-based design/build firm TriVistaUSA knows very well the hurdles of working in a condominium building. Construction crews can’t start too early or wrap up too late. Constraints on parking and unloading materials and equipment obstruct deliveries. Not to mention the noise complaints from building residents, many of whom were working from home because of the pandemic.
Sauri’s solution to these external impediments? Chocolate and earplugs. At the outset of this bathroom remodel, “We dropped off an assortment of goodies to the neighbors as a peace offering and as a direct way to allow them to approach us if they had any issues,” he said. “We also had to ensure easy and direct communication with the condo association so that we could stay on top of any issues before the arose.”
The room itself also proved problematic. Adjoining the primary bedroom, the entry to the bath was through an underutilized walk-in closet. The TriVista team gave new order to the closet, improving the capacity and efficiency of storage. They also replaced the swinging doors with pocket models, conserving floor space – a prime objective in the compact bath.
“Our client knew exactly what she wanted: to create a space that was sleek, modern, unique and timeless,” said the designer. “We looked at the project as a carefully composed jewel box: clean and with seemingly effortless sense of luxury.”
The tub was removed and a large steam shower enclosure put in its place. A floating vanity topped by a solid-surface counter with an integral sink opened up the floor plane without changing the footprint of the room. In addition to multiple medicine cabinets, the designer was able to build in a tall cabinet between the toilet and the shower. Its wooden door is a material contrast to the rest of the bath finishes.
The choice of the black and white color palette was guided by the large, industrial-style window in the room. Sauri explained, “If we had colorized the bath, it would have detracted from the view and interrupted the bond with nature.”
While working in a multi-family building can be frustrating, Sauri sees a valuable upside to the situation. “When you work on a project in a condominium, you have one client but many bosses,” he said. “But if you really embrace the challenge of the conditions, you can be very successful. There are potential clients in the building and in the neighborhood.”
—By Leslie Clagett
Designer: Michael Sauri, TriVistaUSA
Photography: Constance Gauthier
Faucet, Shower Fittings: CEADESIGN
Medicine Cabinet: Robern
Shower Drain: Effendi
Tile: Ann Sacks
Vanity with Sink, Mirror: Antonio Lupi