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Escape the Blues

Anderson-Moore Builders was enlisted to turn an outdated bathroom into a tranquil retreat. The client gave the designer and builder creative control over the project.

May 31, 2006
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Sunny Sanctuary

A column-topped mini linen-closet echoes the styling of these shelves by the bathtub and divides the space, giving the illusion of a water closet. Metallic accents and natural stones used in the floor, shower space and countertop - granite, marble and travertine - lend the bathroom an earthy, ethereal air for relaxing.

When Anderson-Moore Builders was enlisted to turn an outdated bathroom into a tranquil retreat, the company started from scratch, scrapping every aspect of the existing space save the mechanicals for the steam shower. Similarly, many of the project ideas came "from scratch" — things owner and president Tracy Moore and his employees had never done on any other project.

For example, placing the double set of vessel sinks and wall-mounted faucets required a creative solution. The homeowner was not very tall, and the sinks had to be at an accessible height, affecting fixture placement. The owner also did not want a backsplash, opting for a mirror running from countertop to ceiling behind the sinks. Yet both the faucets and the two lighting sconces had to be anchored against that wall.

"You've got the difficulty of the spout and handles, a set for each bowl, the sconces, and an existing wall that's not quite square," Moore says. "Those are a lot of limitations, in addition to simple human error, and there's really no margin for human error." His suggestion for others who find themselves running fixtures through a mirror: plan on purchasing two mirrors.

The custom-designed vanity cabinetry has removable panels that hide the pipes while still allowing access to them.

To determine where the fixtures and controls for the tub would go so they were both within comfortable reach, Erik Anderson and his crew soaked in their surroundings, lying in the tub on numerous occasions to get the precise placement. The $51,000 project took six months to complete.

"When you first walked into that blue bathroom, you kind of laughed," Anderson, owner and vice president, says. "But the customer was very trusting, and she put a lot of trust in us and the designer, and she believed in what we did, so much so that we did two more jobs for her after this."

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The open shelves under the sinks gives the space a chic flair thanks to false backs that mask the plumbing.

Remodeler and architect: Anderson-Moore Builders Inc., Winston Salem, N.C.

Project location: Kernersville, N.C.

Age of home: 32 years

Scope of work: A 220 square-foot bathroom with freestanding tub,
steam shower and heated floors

Sunny Sanctuary

Adding an oval window through the existing, out-of-plumb brick exterior wall was the project's ultimate test of precision and planning.

Once Anderson established the tub's location, he measured for the window, then burrowed through the plaster and sheetrock to "reverse install" the window. Crews then traced a matching oval shape on the brick's outside, using the shape as a guide to cut the brick. The rough after-cut edges of the brick created a 3-inch gap between the wall and window, so a jamb was built from the inside to bring it more flush with the inside wall.

"Putting in the window added a day to our work, but I don't think the room would look nearly as beautiful and finished without it," Moore says. "Our main goal was not to have to patch the brick from the outside, which would affect the street-scape of the home."

Products List
Cabinetry: UltraCraft. Faucets: Barclay, Rohl, Toto. Fixtures: BainUltra, Toto. Lighting: Lithonia, Sea Gull. Radiant flooring: Easy Heat. Paint: Duron. Sinks: Franke. Windows: Carolina Trim Specialties.

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