Case Study:
Master Bathroom Renovation



There is nothing more gratifying than to see before and after pictures of a complete gut renovation. This bathroom renovation completed last year on Milwaukee’s East Side is one of those projects. The before picture shows a cramp dark bathroom with mismatched fixtures and styles. The floor plan left me wondering what is going on with the plumbing underneath. The toilet was immediately inside the entrance to the bathroom, and the headboard of the bed was just outside the doorway. Needless to say this floor plan was less than ideal. I knew that I had a lot of work ahead of me to move everything around inside. What I wanted was a large gorgeous modern/classic bathroom with lots of space, lots of light, and many luxurious features.

The floor plan is where I started. I knew that I wanted to move the toilet to a more concealed location inside the bathroom further away from the entrance. I also wanted the shower to have its own area separate from the main bathing area, where I wanted the double vanity and bathtub only. To achieve this I had to repurpose 2 closets that were inside the bathroom (the previous version of the bathroom has the master closets inside the bathroom). So I moved the master closet to an adjacent bedroom which gave much more space, and in turn, I could use that space in the bathroom for the toilet and shower.

Before, left. After, right.

Photography by Amy Lamb

Making an entrance is not just about being fashionable at a cocktail party, it also translates to Interior Design. A room will always make a first impression on the person who walks in. The questions I ask when designing a space are, How does a room grab you when you first see it? What leads you into the space? Do you feel transformed when you are inside? I addressed this concept with the floor plan and lighting. Using tricks every designer has up their sleeve. First I made sure there was a lot of contrast and dynamic visual interest on the furthest wall from the entrance to literally pull your attention into the room. Once you’re inside you realize how bright and well lit the accent wall is behind the black double vanity. This contrast in finishes adds drama to the space. The pattern on the cement floor adds a chic element that is repeated in every area of the bathroom. The artwork ties it all together by supporting the black and white theme. What this creates is a dynamic, bold, upscale design that thoughtfully uses every inch of space to maximize comfort and luxuries.

“What leads you into the space? Do you feel transformed when you are inside?”

For more advice on your bathroom renovation please call me to set up a design consultation, 414-510-3449, or see my blog for more posts on bathroom trends.

The challenging part of this design was to reconfigure plumbing in a 100-year-old house on the second floor. Thankfully I have the best plumber in the city, Roman Electric and Plumbing, someone with extreme patience and ingenuity. I rely often on the advice from the skilled contractors I use on the job in situations like this bathroom. The bathroom toilet closet was a place where a lot of thought and configuration took place. We figured out that the easiest way to run a new stack for our toilet was through a closet on the other side of the wall and then down through the wall to the basement. For the shower we had the same situation after opening up the floor and seeing how badly corroded the original pipes were, we had to replace all supply lines and drain lines. It’s this kind of dedication to the details and mechanics of a project that turns it from a good idea to a great finished project.

Without dedication and daily supervision of a project like this, we would never have gotten to the quality and style of this bathroom. The end product speaks for itself and has since been published in M Magazine for Bold design and winner of the award for Best Design in 2017 from The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse.