On the Level
Eliminating steps improves a master bathroom
An arched opening leading to a Rancho Santa Fe home’s master bathroom perfectly frames a tub tableau that’s so inviting you want to hop right out of bed and into a relaxing soak of bubbles.
The French cast-iron bateau tub, which highlights the scene, is centered underneath a meadow of bright yellow blooms depicted in the artwork of Larry Horowitz’s Field of Daisies.
The site was not so idyllic before designer Cheryl Hamilton-Gray was called in to help with a remodel, spurred by a flood that nudged the homeowners into action for a better space plan. They had not been happy with the tricky-to-navigate level change to access the toilet room.
“We offered a couple of solutions,” Cheryl says. “The plan chosen was to make room for his-and-her water closets by using a freestanding tub instead of the built-in tub with a wide deck that previously overwhelmed the room. We also saved space by reducing the oversized shower.
“The most difficult part of the remodel was removing the steps to the WC and shower,” Cheryl continues. “The workmen were there for days drilling the concrete away, carefully avoiding the post-tension beams in the slab.”
Gray/taupe porcelain tile resembling wood replaced previous flooring. A smaller tile module in a complementary color was chosen for the shower area. On shower walls, large-scale, glass subway tile added a spa feel.
“New mirrors, accessories and lighting were selected to complete the updated look, introducing two-tone metals and a natural branch theme,” Cheryl says. “The end result is an earthy but sophisticated retreat.”