August 17, 2018
More homeowners are looking to grow old in their own home. This might mean a lot of functional changes, but thankfully aesthetics do not have to be sacrificed in the process. One such client looked to designer Brenda Helms of Edmond, Okla.-based Edmond Kitchen & Bath to make her master bath into a sanctuary in which she felt pampered and safe.
The homeowner loves taking baths, but as she grows older it is increasingly dangerous for her to get into her tub.
“She had the worst of all scenarios,” said Helms, explaining that the tub was sandwiched between a vanity and the shower, with the tub faucet mounted in the center of the deck. “There was only a narrow section of space to get into the tub without hitting the faucet and the hot and cold handles.”
In addition to this awkward layout, there were small steps leading up the tub. While these were meant to help, they only made the step down into the tub more hazardous.
To provide a safe and accessible tub and curbless shower for the homeowner, the design team shifted the location and angles of the tub and shower. The tub – now a freestanding piece – is situated parallel to the wall with the faucet close to the vanity, eliminating stepping around the faucet to enter the tub. To make the shower curbless, the design team installed a linear drain to remove the step-over in a traditional shower. This involved demoing and re-pouring all of the concrete in the shower space, but the result is a shower fit for any stage of life.
“The primary element of universal design used in this space was size and space for approach and use,” said Helms, who used 20/20 Design to convey the new floor plan and surface selection proposals. “There is now a clear approach to the tub, as well as the shower.”
Just having an accessible design was only part of the project; the client also wanted a modern, spa-like look that was easy to clean. To create this appeal, the design team started with including as much natural light as possible.
“By turning the tub so that the short side of it ran into the wall with the window, more light could flow into the open shower area,” said Helms. “We also created a niche focal point on the long wall of the tub with artwork to balance out the window.”
Porcelain tile flooring with a linear design was installed diagonally toward the window, drawing the eye directly to the light. To contrast this pattern, square, beige wall tiles cover the room from floor to ceiling. These are broken up slightly by an accent wall of mosaic tile, which covers the backside of the shower wall facing the main bath.
“The stone accent wall is probably my favorite part,” said Helms. “The stone is a clear natural product that adds a very unique aspect to the room.”
The shower also contributes its own natural element: marble tile, which covers the shower from floor to ceiling and adds to the luxurious appeal of the redesign. The interior of the shower also boasts a bench and a hand shower.
“We debated over an additional partial wall to contain shower splash, but ultimately we decided it wasn’t needed,” said Helms.
For the vanity, the design team chose a semi-custom line of cabinetry in a smoke finish to provide an updated look and complement the white and gray colors of the marble tiles. Quartz countertops and single-lever faucets fulfill the client’s request for an easy-to-maintain bath, and pullouts make sure everything in storage is always accessible.
“Functionality is something we take for granted until a space doesn’t function as this one used to, so it was very satisfying to create such a difference for our homeowner,” said Helms.
Designer: Brenda Helms
Photography: David Cobb
Accent Wall Stone: Emser Tile
Cabinetry: Medallion Cabinetry
Floor Tile: Emser Tile
Freestanding Tub: Oceana London
Freestanding Tub Filler: Brizo
Linear Drain: Schluter
Shower Bench: Silestone
Shower Fixtures: Delta
Shower Wall Tile: Ceramiche Campogalliano
Sinks & Toilet: KOHLER