Although the vanity is not wheelchair accessible underneath, the countertop curves narrowly toward the mirror so it becomes unnecessary to lean over to get close to the mirror. “We designed that so my wife can do her makeup up close without a separate mirror, and I found I’m always walking over to that space to put in my contacts,” Levin says. “When I don’t have them in, I can’t see as well, and I want to be as close as possible to the mirror without having to lean over. Realistically, you can stand wherever you like in front of the mirror, but the ability to get an extra 8-inches closer to the mirror without leaning is valuable.”
Levin specified direct and indirect lighting fixtures. There are light fixtures by the mirror and 4-inch recessed can lights in the soffited ceiling directly above. Rope lighting, ideal for the curved vanity because of its flexibility, snakes underneath the floating vanity and provides an indirect light source utilized as a nightlight. “It gives a glow to the bathroom at night, which is great because in the middle of the night, turning the overhead lights on can be too harsh when your eyes are adjusted to the dark,” Levin explains.
The bathroom relates to the new adjacent master bedroom through color. For example, the trim in both rooms is a mocha-brown color. The bedroom carpet is a striped, textured prairie color. “We used the metaphor of walking through the prairie to get to the beach when we chose our palette of colors,” Levin explains.
Because Levin chose to finish existing basement space, he had a blank slate to work with. “It was an unfinished open room and we could do whatever we wanted,” he recalls. The deck and grade around the basement, however, prevented the possibility of windows or natural daylighting. To offset that obstacle, Levin charged himself with creating a visually exciting space. “When you look out a window you have something to look at for a minute,” he says. “But if you go into a room without a window, you have nothing to look at except for what’s in the room itself. If the room itself isn’t exciting and fun to be in, then it’s boring.
“Our goal was to have a room that was functional but at the same time a lovely space to hang out in for my wife and me,” Levin continues. “We actually spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom. I hang out with her while she’s getting ready for the day or to go out at night. It’s also the space where, when we’re done for the night, we regroup from the day and download what happened. We spend a lot more time in there than I thought we would.” Levin attributes some of the bathroom’s comfort to having additional space; his old bathroom was much smaller and he and his wife often interfered with each other’s activities. With all the customization, the project took about two months to complete, which Levin says is about 30 percent longer than a typical bathroom.
Levin cites the multiheaded shower spa system as his favorite feature. Although he had room to install a bathtub, he and his wife do not have time to wait for a tub to fill and then enjoy it. “With four kids we don’t have the time in the day to use something like that to relax, but with a multiheaded shower system we have found it to be very revitalizing and a spa-like experience you can enjoy on a daily basis.”
It’s often said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, after seeing photos of Levin’s bathroom on his company’s website, clients are expressing interest in floating vanities and curvatures similar to Levin’s space. Another hit with clients has been the heated striated tile brown bench inside and outside the shower. (It is intended to bring to mind driftwood that floats ashore.) “We’ve always been advocates of putting a bench in the shower, but the idea of having a bench outside the shower has resonated with a lot of our clients,” Levin says. “Almost every master bathroom we’ve put in since doing this one has had some form of seating. We think of it as a place where clients can hang out and share space without being on top of each other.”