Inspiring Bathroom Remodels

Story by Gretchen Wieman • Photography by Chugach Peaks Photography

Suzanne Hueners knew that she wanted to undertake a bathroom redesign. But it wasn't until she was staying at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel on vacation that she stumbled on her ideal bathroom, complete with a wall of striking glass tile.

Naturally, Suzanne snapped a photo and later showed it to her contractor, Royal Interiors. It was exactly what she wanted. "And," she says with a laugh, "It's exactly what I got. I love it!"

For her powder bath makeover, Suzanne incorporated her love of warm, neutral palates with touches of drama. She and Royal Interiors capitalized on what was already there by adding thoughtful updates like a contemporary and slightly funky square vanity sink. Black slate on the floors and a black framed mirror over the vanity complemented the mosaic of glass tile covering the wall. Brushed nickel lighting completed the transformation and took the powder room from ho-hum to stylish and upbeat.

A room that's more than a bathroom

Suzanne also remodeled her master bath into a spa-like sanctuary with clean lines and a soothing color palette. After completing the powder room and a previous kitchen remodel, she knew the importance of starting with a clear goal in mind: she wanted a bathroom that felt like more. "I wanted to be able to walk in and love being there so much that I didn't want to leave," she says. "To me that meant two things: warmth and comfort." Updating the existing fireplace, installing radiant heat flooring and adding a European towel warmer helped to accomplish the spa-like feel.

The built-in vanity and shelving are maple, and the porcelain tile is a sandy tan with a subtle wood grain pattern. Black granite accents add a touch of excitement to an otherwise serene space, and echo the downstairs powder room. Removing decorative soffits opened up additional space and allowed more natural light in and soft lighting installed under the vanity casts a warm glow throughout the bathroom in the evenings.

Suzanne is particularly pleased with the custom built-in vanity that clearly delineates the restroom from the rest of the master bath, inspired by a magazine picture. Suzanne's design team recreated the look. "This is the best thing we did," says Suzanne. "It is so stunning and just a really nice element of the room." It also adds extra storage space, which helps with controlling clutter.

Jane Sedor of Firenze Designs, an interior decorator who worked on the project with Suzanne, says the remodel is part of a movement she's starting to see in the industry. "The bathroom is beginning to get its due as a living space," she says. "My clients are starting to upgrade their bathrooms to reflect the rest of their home. For the Hueners, we wanted to create a space that was not only more functional, but also beautiful and contemporary."

Although Suzanne had a clear goal in mind when she started the project, she says she spent a lot of time with Jane and Kjell Nordgaard of Telemark Construction, talking through ideas and envisioning ways to make the space reflect her vision. "I can't say enough good things about my team," she says. By being open to inspiration – from magazines, hotel bathrooms and professional designers alike – Suzanne was able to achieve her goal: a master bath that she finds hard to leave.