Bathroom: Empty nesters go all out for a relaxing retreat

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Fixtures can go wherever the homeowners desire in a new bathroom in a new space, but roughing in the plumbing and drain lines can be a challenge.

March 01, 2004


Fixtures can go wherever the homeowners desire in a new bathroom in a new space, but roughing in the plumbing and drain lines can be a challenge. This was especially true for this project. The existing home had only one bathroom, on the first floor, and the back of the property dives sharply after approximately 10 feet, which called for the addition to go up and out. Normally not a fan of bulkheads, Paul Wright ran one along the homeÆs rear wall at the existing bathroomÆs ceiling level. He then ran pipes through the new floor deck's joist cavities. He says the bulkhead created an architectural element preferable to "a box with drywall around it."

Paul Wright, project designer for Case Design/Remodeling, says the newlywed homeowners' approach to this job, a pet project symbolizing the merging of their households, focused on "eclectic" design rather than their basic need for a second bathroom.

A bay window over the tub serves as the 200-square-foot bathroom's visual center, giving a grand view of the rear of the property. The window, skylights and use of glass block to isolate the tub area maximize the natural light flow into the area.

Wright says a tiled sitting bench in the shower, double undermount sinks and the air-bubble tub make this space ultra-luxurious. Additionally, the master closet has a morning kitchen with a small refrigerator, a coffee maker and other amenities that cater to the homeowners' empty-nester lifestyle.


Remodeler: Case Design/Remodeling Inc., Bethesda, Md.

Project location: Alexandria, Va.

Age of home: built in 1955

Scope of project: master bathroom, part of a third-story addition in a whole-house remodel

"The homeowners wanted a lot of special things, and that gave me the freedom to design something nice," Wright says. "They also bought in a lot of magazine pictures of different designs and products they liked, which I enjoy because it gives guidelines and also gives me an opportunity to let them know whether I've had good or bad experience with a product."

The $54,000 project took six months. Wright estimates that once he completed the whole-house remodel that included this bathroom project, the home's appraised value tripled what the homeowners paid for the home.

Floor Plan


Countertops: Silestone by Cosentino Skylights: Velux Fixtures: Grohe Windows: Jeld-Wen (Pozzi) Shower tower: Maax Tub: BainUltra Toilet and sink: Kohler

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