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Contemporary Concepts
Bathroom remodels embrace an open, airy feel

Photos by Doug Edmunds

June 2015

Lakeside Serenity

It was a slab of Statuary marble that served as Robin Swernoff’s inspiration behind the bathroom renovation in her Bayside home. Swernoff and her husband own Lakeside Stoneworks in Brown Deer, so it seems only fitting that her creativity spawned from a piece of opulent stone.

That same marble slab now functions as the vanity counter top in her newly remodeled bathroom. "It (the bathroom) was originally a Jack and Jill bathroom, but we decided to use it as our master bathroom," explains Swernoff. Despite being confined by its existing footprint, the couple transformed the room into a serene place of respite. "We live on Lake Michigan, so we wanted to incorporate the views into the design of the room," she adds.

Marble tiles laid in a herringbone pattern line the shower and vanity walls, and brown suede limestone covers the floor, a direct request from Swernoff’s husband. "We wanted to use classic materials and just give it a little bit of an edge," she says.

Standing Tall

When redesigning the master bathroom of a Story Hill home, Jake Ruiz of QRS Group, Pewaukee, employed an open concept space plan. "They (the homeowners) wanted it to be an up-to-date, open bathroom with a spa-like shower, but they didn’t want it to be a cold, harsh, modern feel so we tried to give them a good balance between the two," says Ruiz.

Marianne Kohlmann of Blue Hot Design, Glendale, worked with Ruiz to select the room’s neutral-toned materials and textiles. "When you want a neutral palette, it helps to vary the scale of the different elements using light and dark in that color scheme," explains Kohlmann, who chose polished marble walls and a basket weave marble floor pattern to accomplish the task.

The true focal point of the room, though, is its freestanding tower. Ruiz’s team laid each of the tower’s marble tiles individually, creating a divider that allows for a two-person shower but maintains the open concept feel of the room. "It makes their space feel much more inviting and a lot larger than it felt before," adds Ruiz.

Bigger Means Better

A previous master suite addition, which converted a Brookfield home’s existing bedroom into the master bathroom, created a generous amount of space for Timothy Benkowski of timothyj kitchen & bath inc., Milwaukee, to work with when tasked with remodeling the room 15 years later.

"It was bigger than a lot of bathrooms to start with," says Benkowski. Per the homeowners’ request, Benkowski removed the existing corner tub, replacing it with an open concept shower. "They found, like most people, that they didn’t use it (the tub)," he adds. The shower controls were purposefully installed at the opposite end of the shower head — a feature that allows its users to turn on the water and let it warm without getting wet.

Benkowski continued the room’s open style by adding 12 inches of space beneath the his-and-hers vanities, hanging the cabintry on the wall instead of anchoring it to the floor. Each of the personal grooming areas boasts mirrored panels that slide up and down to reveal a medicine cabinet underneath. The medicine cabinets, which Benkowski says measure about 7 inches deep, feature multiple outlets and internal lighting.



This story ran in the June 2015 issue of: