Small Bath Design & Remodel in McLean, Virginia
Project Overview: Four Brothers recently completed a three bath renovation project in McLean, VA. The clients had been living in their mid-century home for several years and intended to stay for the foreseeable future. The home had three full baths — one dedicated primarily to their two young boys (but also guests), another in the guest room suite, and of course — the master. The kids\’ bath had been maintained via DIY projects throughout the years, and admittedly, the original pink tiles were not a big hit with the boys. The guest suite bath suffered from an on-going plumbing issue in the master bath, which was located on the floor above. The ceiling showed significant signs of repeat water damage. The tiles in both the master and guest bath showers were in good condition, but certainly dated the home. These two rooms also lacked meaningful storage space for toiletries and towels.
Design and Layout: The clients came to us with a strong aesthetic vision for each bath. The kids\’ bath was to be clean, bright, and white with the warmth of a large wood vanity; the guest bath was to be modern, but tranquil; and the master was to be modern, elegant, and with a bit of glitz. To avoid any plumbing reconfigurations, each bath would maintain its present layout for tub or shower, toilet, and sink. All baths needed additional storage for toiletries and arrangements for towels. Additionally, the client tasked us with relieving a personal day-to-day woe for her — drying her hair. She needed a blow dryer that was easily accessible for use and could remain plugged in. Design challenge accepted!
Style and Finishes: The kids\’ bath received a new, deep tub and large format white tiles along the tub walls. The tile continued, floor-to-ceiling, behind the toilet and vanity wall as well. To maintain a minimalist look, we mitered the tile around the window on this wall as well and inset a large, frameless mirror into the tile itself. Foregoing a traditional lighting fixture, three small recessed puck lights were added above the vanity, and soft, grey tiling was used on the floor and as the baseboard. Finally, a curved, floating, walnut cabinet brought just the right amount of warmth and roundness to what may have otherwise been considered a stark space.
The guest suite bathroom received a fully tiled treatment to all four walls. The clients opted for a soft, warm white, large format tile that simulated the beautiful variance in natural stone. Dual niches and the window were mitered to create a clean, modern space, and bamboo cabinetry and shelving gave a nod to zen-like tranquility.
Finally, the master bath was fully tiled in a honed Calacatta marble. Large format, 12x24\” tiles were used on all four walls, 12x12\” on the main floor, and 4x4\” in the shower. Teak cabinetry picked up the faint, golden veining throughout the stone and an additional large mirror extending from the vanity above the toilet increased the feel of the size of the space. A skylight was centrally placed allowing light to flood into the shower and over the sink vanity. Two Moorish glass mini-pendants flank the vanity mirror providing an additional lighting source. And the blow dryer request? We modified a 7\” deep teak wall cabinet into a medicine cabinet by partially recessing it. An outlet was added to the interior of the cabinet thus allowing the client to leave her blow dryer plugged in and easily pulled out each morning during her daily routine.
Construction and Final Product: We began working on the kids\’ bathroom first, leaving the boys with the existing guest bath to use in the interim. The demolition phase progressed quickly and without much structural work to tackle, framing and drywall soon wrapped up, and the tub was brought in for installation. Once in place, the walls and windows were tiled and the large inset mirror was templated. The vanity arrived and was installed the same day. Plumbing work was finalized, and after the walls were painted, the accessories and fixtures were put into place. With the mirror installation, this bath was ready for use and it was time to start demolition on the guest and master suite baths. Since these two rooms were stacked and there was evidence of a plumbing issue, it made sense to work on these rooms simultaneously while the whole family enjoyed the new kids\’ bath. The lead carpenter, Sean, who had become a familiar face in the house, demolished both spaces to allow our plumber to assess any issues with water leaking between the floors. Also, with a number of recessed and niche elements in both baths, it was important to see exactly where the stacks in the walls were located. (Right where we thought!) After framing, new curb-less shower pans were poured in each bath and tile installation began. Given that both spaces were being completely tiled and there were a number of niches and two windows to miter, this phase took longer than any other, but the result was certainly worth the wait! Cabinetry, plumbing, and accessories were set in place after the tile was complete, and with two custom-sized, frameless sliding glass shower doors these baths were ready for use.
What the Customer Said: \”It has been a pleasure to work with Kristin, Stuart and Sean at Four Brothers. The design elements in each space reflect their knowledge and skill, as well as an understanding of what our vision as the client was for modern bathrooms in a smaller space. Not only were the bathrooms renovated on time and on budget; we really appreciated the ease of utilizing the online/app based technology to monitor our project’s selections, schedule, and progress. We would recommend Four Brothers to others looking for high quality renovations.\”