2019 Readers’ Choice Bathroom of the Year Winner

An accent on blue and an emphasis on bright: Meet your 2019 Readers' Choice Bathroom of the Year winner!
2019 Reader's Choice Bathroom of the Year blue wall paint

Our 2019 Readers’ Choice Bathroom of the Year winner. All photography by Gail Owens.

With an accent on blue and an emphasis on bright, a master bathroom design by Luz Del Pozzo and the team at CairnsCraft Design & Remodel was the winner of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles 2019 Readers’ Choice Bathroom of the Year contest. Here are the difficulties the original bathroom presented and the team’s practical—and pleasing—solutions.

BEFORE. (Photo by Marie Cairns)

Problems

“The fact that it did not have enough light was the first thing we noticed when we got there,” says Marie Cairns, owner of CairnsCraft Design & Remodel. “We could also see that the shower was very small and that there wasn’t enough storage.”

Lighting

An easy solution to allow natural light to flood the space, was switching out the dark window treatment on the almost-to-the-ceiling window. The new clean-lined shade in a lighter tone brightens the look and also doesn’t cover up the window’s top decorative arch, which allows daylight to seep through even when the shade is rolled down. The arch is high enough that no one can see in. The shade can be rolled down for privacy—or up for reflecting sunlight (“which dances across all the white surfaces,” Marie says) and a view to the beauty of backyard blooms.

2019 Readers' Choice Bathroom of the Year winner

“We added recessed LED lights in the ceiling, a recessed light above the shower and three sconces at the vanity area that are all separately controlled,” Maria explains. “This was far better than the one small light they had above a mirror at the sink.”

Larger shower

The clients were not happy with their tiny shower. Since they did not use their tub the solution was simple: dump the tub. The new larger, walk-in shower has enough room for a corner bench. “That bench and a handheld showerhead with a dual-function valve means our clients can sit and relax while enjoying a warm shower,” Marie says. “Soaps and shampoos are within easy reach right above the shower seat.”

Inside a frameless glass enclosure, the shower brings in a more contemporary look.

Storage

The two sinks in the previous bathroom were useful but, without storage, were impractical. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairbrushes—everything—landed on the countertop because they had nowhere to go. “We installed a vanity cabinet, which gave them 50-percent more storage,” Marie explains. “We also installed a wall-hung medicine cabinet to help keep the counter uncluttered.” A handy charge station at the medicine cabinet and an easy-access pull-out tray installed under the sink are happy bonuses. Another plus? A comfy seating area—with a convenient storage drawer underneath—at the end of the vanity next to the window view.

Materials

Large glossy white tile with minimum grout joints give the bathroom a more modern feel. Decorative trim tile in gray with a geometric pattern lends interest on the shower wall and in the shower niche. To tie in with the decorative trim, the quartz countertop and porcelain tile flooring were also chosen in a subtle gray hue.

Accent Wall

A dark royal blue accent wall adds drama to the space. “This client loves deep blue, which reminds her of the ocean,” Marie says. “It’s her favorite color and she likes it so much that she even wanted the entire vanity in blue.” Instead, neutral tones complement the rich blue, making the accent wall a highlight for the space.

Grand Program

“Our client was thrilled with the Builder Trend software program we used,” Marie says. “I took photos and videos every day so that she could see what was happening on a daily basis. Plus, she could access our schedule whenever she wanted so that she knew what we were doing and when.”

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