April 16, 2013

 Heavy with idle space, a Carlisle, Penn., master bath lacked more than functionality.

“Basically they did not feel at home when they were in their bathroom,” said designer Mike Womelsdorf of Harrisburg Kitchen and Bath. By filling in the empty space with neutral colors, wood vanities, and recessed lighting, the void bathroom gained both modernity and warmth.

Drawn to two particular displays in the showroom, the client preferred down lighting and furniture-style vanities.

“Based off this, I married the two styles and brought out the best in both that he liked,” said Womelsdorf. “The color palette was based off this display that they fell in love with.” Earth tones in the display inspired the natural materials in the design.

For the vanities, the soft-pink countertops became cherry wood with a Sorrel finish and mocha glaze.

“The glaze style was used to make the detail of the door style pop and set it off,” said Womelsdorf. The wide-framed, traditional Verona doors provide a basis for the bath’s transitional appeal. “Being transitional instead of modern or traditional makes it less likely to become outdated,” he added.

Complying with the homeowner’s preference for a natural look as well as an update, Womelsdorf chose granite countertops in a palette of platinum and gold.

“Standard backsplashes are usually four inches, but we chose to do a higher backsplash topped out at six inches to show off more of granite’s beauty,” said Womelsdorf. The granite also frames accessory drawers on the left vanity.

Above the vanities, a bulkhead hides a sloped roof and decreases its impact in the space.

“The sloped roof made it feel like the bathroom was coming down on you,” said Womelsdorf. Runway lighting typical with the home’s age also detracted from the space. “That had to go immediately,” he added.

Recessed lights in the ceiling were installed to avoid distracting from the natural aesthetic.

“Lighting choices were not hard to choose because the existing lights were so bad,” commented Womelsdorf. In the wood bulkheads above each vanity bowl, recessed lights were added for everyday use.

On a daily basis, the homeowners rarely used the whirlpool but still requested that it match the rest of the updated room.

“The whirlpool tub looked like it was just sitting there and had no interesting details in this area,” said Womelsdorf. “The whirlpool should be a focal point and make you feel at home.”

 Four different colors of Italian natural stone tiles frame the new whirlpool. “These colors added the contrast we were looking for to create focal points,” said Womelsdorf. The tiles additionally cover the floors and the shower.

“We wanted to create a shower experience, not just another shower,” he said. Body sprays, a handheld fixture and a rain-shower head were installed, as well as a bench. Using the voided space between the wall framing, unevenly stacked recessed niches give the shower more character and accentuate the Italian tiles.

“With the naturalness of the tile, the layout of the colors and the faux finish-painted walls, it really gives this bathroom a taste of Italy,” said Womelsdorf. “More importantly, gives the clients a place to call home and feel comfortable when getting ready for a long day.”

View this bathroom gallery.


Designer: Mike Womelsdorf⎯⎯Harrisburg Kitchen and Bath; Construction: Harrisburg Kitchen and Bath; Tile: Dolce Vita; Vanities: Yorktowne; Plumbing: Moen

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