"There is an uncluttered, Zen-like atmosphere that gives the room a floating feeling," she says.
She continues: "In terms of materials, we chose a soothing palette that is almost monochromatic in nature, with the dark wood accenting the monochromatic accents of the home."
Complementing the look is custom cabinetry created by The Carol Kurth Collection, made of wenge wood and featuring a dark, chocolate espresso color.
There were challenges facing Kurth and the design team when they began, she notes. "The room itself had an existing skylight, and one of the challenges was how to treat it so that it didn't look like a hole in the ceiling. We created a liner that had a recessed reveal but features the dark wood of the cabinetry. It also softens the effect of blazing sunlight coming through the skylight," she explains.
Kurth integrated a Japanese-style aesthetic into the space by using a Sogee screen that is found behind the windows. "The screen allows the client to bring light in but mask out the outside," she adds.
Safety was also an issue, she relates, noting that the client had concerns about mold growing on the heavily tiled walls. "[To minimize the client's concerns] we did a staggered design that included a clean border around the room and added detailing to give the space a more complete look," she explains.
Other products used to create the serene atmosphere included a Purist Suite tub from Kohler Co., radiant floor heating, recessed ceiling luminaries from Bega and dark patina, timmeren sconces from Holly Hunt.
Kurth also points out that function and flow were equally as important to the success of the space. To that end, many of the storage options were concealed throughout the space, she says.
"A lot of the cabinetry conceals medicine cabinets, which help reduce clutter. Many of those cabinets open up at the base of the sink, where towels hang on the rail, and they pull out and open as drawers. The one on the left opens for cubby storage and the one on the right has a little trash bin in it," she explains.
In fact, Kurth believes that this remodel is indicative of the styles that clients are pining for today, and will continue to desire for some time to come. "We are seeing clients going toward a more metropolitan look or a minimalist and modern look, such as this project. But, on the other hand, people still request things that are more of a shingle, country style," she says.
Kurth concludes: "I think we will see more people using technology in their day-to-day lives, which may make things more complicated from a design perspective. The idea is to interpret each person's own sensibilities."
When Keith Steier was asked to make the most of a smallish master bath, it served as a reminder as to one of the key trends in wellness-oriented bath remodels.
Steier, who serves as owner of Manhattan, NY-based Knockout Renovation Services, Inc., explains: "One of the trends is a simple look, so people are using wall-mounted sinks, pedestal sinks and vessel sinks as opposed to vanities with cabinets."
He continues: "This [7'x7'] bathroom had a bathtub, but initially was [somewhat] small. In fact, it was your typical 1980s-style, white bathroom with very little floor space and a vanity sink and tub."
To remedy this, Steier gained additional space from an adjacent closet. He expanded the space enough that he was able to create a walk-in shower space that is enclosed with two half walls. "The half walls have built-in recesses for shampoo and soap. Adjacent to that is a copper bowl sink that is set into a cherry wood counter," he explains.
"Furthermore, the counter is actually suspended between the stone tiles that surround the bathroom."
For a more natural feel, Steier selected Dal-Tile tumbled stone with a sand color. "The bathroom is actually floor to ceiling tumbled stone," he says. "Tumbled stone is not very techy and offers a more down-to-earth feeling."
Yet another key element for a "feel good" bath is lighting, says Steier, who selected lighting from Murray Feiss for the project. He explains: "Having dimmers on the light is definitely important, because you can set the lighting to not shock you when you walk in, and you can set different moods."