Fort Atkinson, WI— Every good designer has walked onto a job site to see a once-trendy design that, sadly, has surpassed its expiration date. Award-winning designers see these outdated rooms as a blank canvas for a master’s brush.
The Master Design Awards, now in their 30th year, honor outstanding building projects in wide-ranging categories that cover the spectrum of both interior and exterior design. Sponsored by Kitchen & Bath Design News’ sister publication Qualified Remodeler, the contest garners entrants from across the country, who submit photos and project descriptions to be judged by a panel of their peers.
This year’s award winners included some of the best and brightest professional remodeling projects completed between January 1, 2008 and May 23, 2009.
The entries were judged on aesthetic appeal, construction techniques, handling of challenging situations, attention to detail, functionality of the remodeled space, financial/budgetary success and the overall impression of the finished project. Judging took place in 22 categories, from kitchen and bath projects to outdoor living and whole-house remodeling projects. Awards were announced and presented at a ceremony on October 27, at the Remodeling Show in Indianapolis.
Bath Over $50k – Gold Winner
Out of the most common problems spring the most uncommon solutions. This was evident in a Majestic Hills master bath that the Chandler, AZ-based TriLite Builders was called upon to remodel.
Suffering from an overdose of pink, the ’90s-inspired design had, among other problems, a functionless, obtrusive walk-in closet/dressing area, bulky soffits and poor lighting.
The clients wanted to turn the bath – which the designers termed “nauseatingly pink” – into an inviting, elegant, spa-inspired space with improved function and warmth.
A key safety issue also needed to be addressed: There were steps leading to the shower and the toilet, and the clients worried about tripping on these when using the bathroom at night, or when getting out of the tub with wet feet. For that reason, eliminating the steps was one of the first orders of business for this project.
One thing the original master bath had going for it was architectural interest that could be capitalized upon. Existing archways over the original closet area inspired the project’s designer to incorporate similar arches elsewhere: from master bedroom to bath and also from the adjoining office to the master bedroom.
The existing arch now adorns the freestanding contemporary volcanic limestone soaking tub. The tub itself, from Victoria & Albert, was selected both for its style and for the limestone’s ability to help maintain water temperature.
A highlight of the design is the Giallo Santo granite and opalescent glass tile design in the area behind the tub, which resembles a waterfall. These tiles are also found in the tub niche as well as in the walk-in shower.
As part of the remodel, the shower also received a complete upgrade to replace the outdated cultured marble shower with glass doors. A new rain showerhead helps to create the spa-feeling the clients so desired.
The designer specified fixtures from Grohe’s Allure collection, as well as dual china sinks from Xylem for the vanity.
The existing bulky soffits over the vanity and tub/shower area were jettisoned to contribute to a more streamlined simplicity and elegance.
“The symmetry of the new arches and precise layout for the placement of fixtures and the tub niche had our project manager sharpening up his math as well as his carpentry skills,” the builders noted in their design statement. The wall and niche behind the tub had to be framed before installing floor tile and the actual tub. There was no margin for error as the niche was to be 1/4" above the finished height of the tub.