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Bold bathrooms
Two redos merge design and purpose

By JANET RAASCH

Midcentury Modern

In remodeling Stephen and Roberta Isaacson’s Fox Point master bathroom, Nancy Miller of Form and Function Inc. faced a challenge in designing a luxurious space for her clients while catering to the room’s dual purpose as a powder room for guests. "From a design viewpoint, the interesting part was respecting the 1950s design of the house while bringing it into the 21st century," Miller says. Miller made the layout more workable by flipping the toilet and shower so the section of the bathroom adjacent to the hallway could become a substitute for a powder room. "What made it somewhat of a challenge was the in-floor radiant heat," Miller says, "so we wanted to make as few plumbing changes as possible." The warm, neutral, monochromatic "modern" color scheme is contrasted by white fixtures and shower wall tiles. Miller says vessel sinks, recycled glass mosaic tiles, custom maple cabinetry with square pulls and engineered stone countertops respect the house’s midcentury design, while making it 21st century modern. Finding the square knobs was the final detail that pulled the room together. "It’s an example of how little details can make a big difference," she says.


Treat and Retreat

The bathrooms in the 1990s builder’s house of Ed and Diane Gawronski were in need of updates. The Gawronskis wanted to move beyond the white tile and inconvenient layout of the master bath. "We wanted a calm, relaxing spa-like bathroom," Diane Gawronski says. Architect Rory Palubiski of Fein Design and Philips Construction gave the Gawronskis the elegant retreat they were seeking. Plumbing fixtures remained in place, but were updated. Tile and countertops in a neutral brushed marble changed the mood of the room. Dramatic maple cabinetry with birdseye maple inset panels along one wall houses his-and-her vanities. Two televisions tucked inside the cabinetry keep Ed Gawronski abreast of the day’s happenings. A heated floor, a chromatherapy bubble tub and a new steam shower added spa-like touches. "We use that every day," Diane Gawronski says of the steam shower. "It was the best thing we did." M