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Panorama Hills Renovation

My clients, in their early 60’s, had recently retired and purchased a bungalow across the country to be near family and the mountains. Having worked in different cities for the 14 years of their marriage, this was the first home they would share full time and they desired aretreat they could enjoy in tandem after a day out kayaking or hiking. My client’s goal was to create a modern, yet timeless space with a double freestanding tub, rain head shower, and double vanity that would fit their existing footprint. Although mostly in good health, they struggled with minor back and hip problems and needed an ergonomic design for their 4’11” and 5’6” frames. Given these issues and their desire to remain in their home for the next 20 years, we agreed that adding some aging-in-place elements to the scope wouldbe prudent.


Confronted with dated linoleum floors, diminutive vanity and oversized corner tub, the bathroom was out of sync with both their wish for a pared down design with classic finishes and their needs. Our first step was to remove everything but the existing walls and plumbing locations. Keeping these in place created additional budget to develop a wet-room design with bespoke plumbing fixtures and living-in-place features. The biggest constraint was a moderate sized footprint with three door openings prohibiting the movement of the main fixtures. However, by stripping the space down to the studs and subfloor, we were able to add in-floor heating, inset shower pan for a barrier free shower and just enough room for the coveted soaker tub. Next, we used varying statuario porcelain tiles on the shower walls and floor to visually push the walls outwards and take advantage of the natural light. A glass panel on one side serves as a splash guard for the large rainhead shower and a mounting point for their towel bar. Within the shower, a handheld fixture was installed within reach of a collapsible teak bench. Installed at a slightly lower 17” to fit the clients, it is available should decreased mobility become an issue. To enhance the client’s bathing experience, deliberate touches such as a long herringbone tile tub niche for wine glasses, teak shelves over the tub-end for amenities and additional handheld attachment on the floor mount tub filler for effortless cleaning were added.

Finally, in place of the previous vanity, we installed a custom wall hung shaker vanity of white oak laminate with motion sensor toe kick lighting for late night visits. We chose an organic white quartz countertop with integrated backsplash, designed to be both hard-wearing and easy to clean. Overall, accessories and fixtures were kept streamlined and the palette restrained with layered elements of wood to keep the ensuite from feeling clinical.

My clients assure me they are thrilled to have the serene and timeless sanctuary they dreamed of sharing through their retirement. I am incredibly proud of the tailored and thoughtful solutions created to meet their space challenges, future needs and taste.

Photos by Michelle Johnson, MJay Photography
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