Flotation devices

When a couple walked into Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based JRP Design & Remodel Inc.’s showroom, they were looking to undo their compartmentalized master suite in Westlake Village, Calif. –  and transform it into an open, comfortable space. 

Floor plans of 30 years ago almost always resulted in very segmented spaces with little design flexibility. Justin Pecikonis, UDCP, President of JRP Design & Remodel remembers the 30-year-old ranch home having a “bedroom with a full dividing wall, small walk-in closet, small bathroom with a vanity and basically a secondary room with a shower and water closet. [The client] came in with an inspiration photo from Houzz with a floating wall.” 

Pecikonis says the client fell in love with the rustic-looking wood on display in JRP Design & Remodel’s showroom. “She wanted a really dramatic look,” he says, which the wood achieved; it comprises the floating wall. “We ran with it after that.”

“The floating wall is unique,” continue Pecikonis. “It takes the right space to be able to put that in there. The client saw that and she really thought it was just amazing. She liked the accessibility of getting through the wall, and she loved the idea of having a floating vanity.” 

Floating elements didn’t end with the dramatic wall. “The floating theme was a combination of accident and planned,” remembers Pecikonis. “The client really liked the open feeling. She definitely wanted a two-person shower so throughout our design process we were able to figure out how to create that big, open, damless shower, making it large and airy; it turned out to be fabulous.” 

Rustic wow

“The look of the floating wall with the barn wood and the wall-hung vanity is absolutely marvelous,” Pecikonis says.  “I think the charcoal limestone [on the wall] is absolutely stunning in person. It’s such a beautiful backdrop, as well as the walk-in shower with continuous heated floors throughout the whole bathroom. You have to have a special space and special master suite to be able to fit that and pull it all off.”

Pecikonis and his team designed the space so the wall was open on both sides to the bathroom. They also lifted the ceiling 2 ft. to further enhance the openness. “The way the house was framed there was essentially a drop soffit throughout the bedroom, as well as the bathroom and closet area,” he recalls. A small addition off the side accommodated the walk-in shower and toilet area.

Re-wiring much of the house proved to be quite a challenge. The house’s age meant it sported a lot of plaster with flex conduit and pulled electrical, which is outdated by today’s standards. The original electrician wired the entire house inaccurately in a manner Pecikonis refers to as a “spaghetti mess. It was an excessive amount of electrical work that needed to be rerouted, as well as a subpanel being relocated to accommodate the new height.” He also rerouted all of the plumbing.

Pecikonis says perhaps the biggest challenge in the three-month-long project, aside from designing a large enough closet, was trying to figure out where to put the toilet. “We didn’t want it to take away from the big, open space with the shower and bathtub yet we wanted to figure out how we could still maintain privacy.” Creative thinking yielded a solution: setting it in the corner between the exterior wall and door, as well as installing frameless, frosted shower glass to conceal it and simultaneously provide privacy and airiness. 

Although the client likes the rustic look, “she also likes the glitz and glamour,” says Pecikonis. “We worked with her and put together the elements so we could give her the wow and still maintain that rustic look. It’s an interesting combination – not the normal. We definitely achieved a really stunning design.”