Have you ever had a job that was too good to be true? Listen to our story.
Last year, a young couple who had recently moved into a converted apartment in Chicago contacted us. They had done some research and selected us to design and renovate the master bath in their high-rise condominium. Like every great salesperson, I set an appointment and met with them with the objective to uncover their needs and then tell them how we could meet those needs and make their daily lives a little better. What transpired was quite unique.
Most clients have some idea of what they are looking for in the type of remodeling they are about to undertake. But when I started probing, they stated that they had done their research about who we are and what we do, and chose us because of our expertise and creativity. Therefore, they said, they were giving us a clean slate. They challenged us to create something exceptional. This has only happened a few times in my 30-plus year career, and I was only too happy to oblige.
Eventually reality set in. I asked them one key question: Do you have a budget in mind? Everybody has a budget, including this client. This simple question led to more questions and ultimately a lively discussion about design vision, something they initially said they wanted to turn over to us.
Their design vision was for a very clean and sleek, almost high-tech, looking bathroom. To maximize this, we decided we needed to move some fixtures. Because the project was located in an apartment building, we had to investigate what, if any, plumbing could be relocated. We were in luck. Because of the construction of the apartment building, we had some flexibility on the relocation of fixtures.
As you can see by before-and-after plans, we eliminated the tub and incorporated a large walk-in shower. We then relocated the toilet to where the shower was. This niche provided some privacy, and with the use of a decorative glass screen, shielded any user. We floated the vanity between the wall and the built-in linen cabinet, and also floated it 10 in. off the floor. For the vanity top and shower bench we specified a 3/4-in.-thick glass top and installed LED lighting underneath so the tops actually glowed.
We also added a few square feet to the bathroom as a way to incorporate the linen cabinet and relocate the door to the closet. By relocating the closet door, we accomplished two objectives: First, we were able to add additional area within the bathroom; second, and more importantly, the existing closet door was located directly opposite from the bedroom door, which opened up into the living room. Now the clients wouldn’t have to worry about leaving the bedroom door closed at all times. It also affords them the opportunity to hang art on a wall that can be seen from the living room.
All in all the project was a success. I was able to successfully read my clients’ design intent for their bathroom as well as the types of the materials they sought. Material selection with this client was truly a bonus. Their enthusiasm has proven worthwhile as they have already recommended us to several friends.