Spa Bath’s Tropical Accents
Awarded Gold Medal By Professional Remodeler Magazine | By John Byrd
A spacious master bath renovation in a circa 1980’s center hall Colonial has won several peer awards for Michael Nash Design Build and Homes. The recently completed Chantilly makeover was named a Gold Award winner in the residential bathroom category by Professional Remodeler magazine.
The project has also won a “Best of American Living” award from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).
The winning interior design successfully converts a 180 sq. ft., builder-grade utility bath into an open, free-flowing spa bath. The remodel features a walk-in shower and free-standing pedestal tub artfully situated on river rock flooring. A custom-designed vanity and many original built-ins provide functional accommodations which are smoothly integrated into an interior that balances textured surfaces, glass walls and a subtle interplay of colors and tones.
Acknowledging the honor, Michael Nash president and CEO Sonny Nazemian, credited his design and production team.
“Homeowners who do their homework get the best results. Knowing the details you’re looking for can be a big advantage.”
– Sonny Nazemian
“This is an award about outperforming the limits of a budget, “ Nazemian notes. “Our goal always is to collaborate closely with our clients, finding creative solutions that will help maximize their home improvement investment. This prize tells me we’re doing our job well.”
But for homeowners Frederick and Dawn Febo, who have occupied the four-bedroom Colonial for 28 years, the award is also an acknowledgement of their committed research into many interior design considerations.
“The new space has wonderful effects; when you’re bathing, it feels like you’re outdoors,” Dawn says. “There’s much more natural light–it reminds me of the Caribbean.”
Not coincidentally, the Febos–who are both retired– decided to remodel their nearly 30-year-old bathroom because they had concluded it would need a more contemporary look when they eventually list the house for sale.
“We may be here for another 10 years,” Dawn explains, “but we thought if we’re going to remodel anyway, why not create something we can really enjoy?”
Thus motivated, Dawn soon became a devoted patron of home shows, HGTV, and selected web sites.
It was during this phase that she wandered into the Michael Nash showroom in Fairfax and saw a bathroom display featuring stacked ledger stone.
Having already spoken to a number of bathroom specialists, she was impressed with Nazemian, whose several remodeling credentials include a certification in kitchen and bath design (CKBR).
“We hit it off immediately,” Dawn recalls, “I was looking for a creative thinker to help me develop ideas; once I talked to Sonny there was no need to look further.”
In describing design challenges, Nazemian pointed out that there are more “decision points” in a bathroom than in any other part of the house.
“Homeowners who do their homework get the best results,” Nazemiam says. “Knowing the details you’re looking for can be a big advantage.”
The overarching question for Febo though was: how do you transform a dated “tract house” plan into something adventurous and free-flowing while staying within the bathroom’s existing footprint?
“For starters, we wanted to replace the old shower with a walk-in design that wouldn’t require a built-in curb to keep the water in,” Dawn recalls. “I wasn’t sure if this was even feasible.”
Fortunately, in bathroom design inches can make a difference.
After 28 years in the same house, the Febos decided to significantly upgrade their master bath. The makeover by Michael Nash Design Build and Homes successfully converts a 180 -sq. ft., “builder-grade” utility bath into an open, free-flowing spa bath. The project was recently named a Gold Award winner by Professional Remodeler magazine
The 4’ x 4’ open shower sits on smooth river rock flooring that connects it visually to a free-standing pedestal tub. Both bathing options are accessible from two sides. By raising the original floor one inch, designers lowered the shower, installing a floor that bevels towards the drain and eliminates the need for an obstructive built-in lip to contain the water.
The custom-designed vanity features frosted vessel glass mounted on a granite bianco romano counter surface. The mirrors rise up when pushed from below, revealing personal storage space, complete with electrical outlets.
“We raised the floor about an inch, so that the shower is lower than before” Nazemian says, “The floor bevels slightly toward the drain, so there’s no need for a built-in lip around the shower. These angles must be precise, of course. Water is the ultimate judge of whether a design works well.”
Ensconced behind two floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the 4’ x4’ open shower sits on smooth river rock flooring that connects it visually to a freestanding pedestal tub. Both bathing options are accessible from two sides. (You can shower, then treat yourself to a relaxing soak.)
The shower’s inside wall is understated granite with cubbies for personal items; the wall behind the tub was constructed out of golden honey ledger stone.
earby, there’s a two-plank dangling shelf designed for towels.
The riverstone abutts the bathroom’s main flooring: gray and tan poceilain tile picks up colors in the stacked stone behind the tub and in the vanity’s backsplash and custom-designed base.
“The effect is wonderful, like shimmering light” Dawn says. “Everything is pleasingly accentuated, yet well-ordered and tranquil. A beautiful place to relax.”
Other stand-out features include:
Vanity mirrors that rise up when pushed from below–providing access to personal storage space complete with electrical outlets. The his and her sinks are frosted vessel glass mounted on a granite bianco romano counter surface. Storage? Dawn say that “everything that used to be somewhere in the bedroom now has a place of its own in the new vanity;
A powder room behind frosted pocket doors. The ledgerstone motif repeated on the back wall provides a niche for displaying collectibles and support for a floating wall mounted commode. The water tank is behind the wall-–out of view.
Dangling hand-made wooden shelves custom-designed as a convenient towel rack; also, an eye-catching vertical accent in a visually intriquing space.
A rainforest shower with many adjustable fixtures, including a 6” chrome finish shower head at the ceiling and several hand-held bodyspray options.
“We’re very pleased,” Dawn Febo summarizes. “A friend of mine described the new space as very sexy. Amazingly, the room is exactly the same size as before, but it feels much larger. That’s good design.
The powder room’s ledgerstone backsplash provides a niche to display collectibles, and support for a floating wall mounted commode. The water tank is behind the wall–out of view.
French doors with frosted glass separate the spa from the master bedroom. The spa bath’s interior design carefully balances textured surfaces, glass walls and a subtle interplay of colors and tones.