April 29, 2018
By Chelsie Butler
A couple with a growing family in Scottsdale, Ariz., wanted to update their 1050s home to include a proper master suite – eliminating the need to use a smaller separate bath on a daily basis. Molly Loughney, lead designer for Fitch Hill in Phoenix – along with her husband and general contractor Chris Loughney – added 600 square feet from some unused yard space on the side of the house, but the major challenge was making economically savvy choices for two clients with “champagne taste on a beer budget.”
Splurging and Saving
The three must-haves for the client included matte black plumbing fixtures, marble flooring and customized vanities with a woodgrain finish. Not all these elements could be included and still meet the project budget, so the designer came up with some creative alternatives to keep it on track.
- Maybe not Marble? With no room in the budget for natural stone, Loughney showed her clients multiple tile options, and they opted for a gray porcelain floor tile in a hexagon pattern for the overall space. The porcelain shower floor and insert feature a whimsical basket-weave pattern, and white subway tile makes up the remainder of the shower. They also chose a Carrara marble-look quartz for the shower bench and vanity countertops.
“By giving my clients physical samples to see and touch, they felt active in the decision-making process,” she said.
- Viable Vanity. According to Loughney, her clients loved the idea of a natural wood vanity to break up the cool tones of the tile and plumbing fixtures, but she wasn’t sure how to fit this element into the design given the budget. Before she and her team suggested a less-expensive option, they did some research.
“We found the best value by hiring a local furniture maker to build the vanity in a white ash,” she said. “We were even able to add a small drawer unit and shelves in the bathroom niche to maximize storage in an otherwise useless space.”
- Must be Matte. This finish was the clients’ deal breaker in their master bath. Although the designer tried to steer them in the less-expensive direction of chrome or satin nickel, they would not budge.
“I found the best value in the Delta Trinsic line,” she said. “For the quality, price and style, this option was a homerun for my clients, and the matte black really brings the whole look together.”
It Takes a Village
Although Loughney admits staying on budget was the most challenging part of this project, she said it was also the most rewarding because the homeowners were more open to her material proposals. She provided 3D renderings and mood boards to illustrate what the finished project would look like with certain choices.
“We got to a point where the wife liked certain things, but he was a little more challenging because he is not as visual,” she explained. “He ended up being the biggest cheerleader for us and even gave the bathroom its own style – Southwest modern.”
Project Team: Molly Loughney (Designer) & Chris Loughney (General Contractor), Fitch Hill
Photographer: Elliot Clark
Barn Door Hardware: Sure-Loc Hardware
Faucets & Tub Filler: Delta
Floor & Shower Floor Tile: Fired Earth
Mirrors & Shower Glass: Modern Glass
Sconces: Linea di Liara
Vanities: Custom-built by The Awesome Orange in Tempe Ariz.
Vanity Hardware: Southern Hills
Wall Tile: Daltile