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In Her Bath

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Sherri and Matt W. discuss their recent bathroom renovation with kitchen & bath CRATE.

What do you love most about your new bath?
Sherri: The overall, updated look is the thing we love the most about our new bathroom. We also love our frameless shower doors! They are so much easier to keep clean and give a seamless look to the shower. 

Who did you work with in designing your bath renovation?
Sherri: We worked with Casey Soderlund and Willy Stevens from kitchen & bath CRATE (kbCRATE).

What did you like most about working with Casey?
Sherri: Working with Casey was a huge benefit! There are so many decisions to make when choosing all the details of a remodel and she was able to offer suggestions that we might not have thought of, while keeping the big picture in mind. She helped the process go faster because she knew the types of materials we would be interested in. And at times when we couldn’t decide between two options, we trusted her opinion on which would look the best.

What was the most challenging part of designing your bath renovation?
Sherri: Space issues were our biggest challenge. I would have liked to put in a new freestanding bathtub (mostly for aesthetic), but we really couldn’t fit one in if we wanted to enlarge the shower, even a little bit. We also had to work around the window by enlarging the shower. We certainly could have removed the window, but we also wanted to stay within a certain budget, which can always be another challenge to a renovation.

Where did you look for design ideas?
Sherri: Pinterest and Houzz were great sources of design ideas. Going to a tile store such as Bedrosians in Modesto or a bathroom supply store like Standard Plumbing Supply in Manteca also gave us some ideas of items that we liked.

What advice would you give someone looking to design or remodel a bath suite?
Sherri: Definitely hire a designer or a construction company like kbCRATE that includes a designer. A designer can make all the difference between an average space and a spectacular space that you can be proud of for a long time. It’s always a good idea to spend time beforehand looking at all kinds of design ideas–online or in person at a store. And then, of course, hire a contractor that you trust and that communicates with you regularly throughout the process.

The bath suite can be a relaxing retreat; what features did you include for personal relaxation and rejuvenation?
Sherri: Nothing in particular. I believe the overall feel of the bathroom is one of tranquility and relaxation.

Why did you decide to renovate your bath?
Sherri: Our bathroom was definitely dated. We also had an old bathtub that we very rarely used and we wanted to increase the size of our shower.

Are there any new features and technological innovations, such as heated floors, hands-free fixtures or wireless technology that you included?
Sherri: Yes! kbCRATE installed a new vent/fan above the shower. The fan is much quieter than our old one and comes on automatically when motion is detected or when the humidity gets to a certain level.

Describe the updated surfaces that you chose, and why you chose them.
Sherri: We chose a piece of granite for the countertops. We were able to find a remnant that not only looked great and incorporated the colors we wanted to use in the bathroom, but because it was a remnant, it saved us money. For the shower, we chose large tiles in order to reduce the amount of grout lines. We chose the wood-looking tiles for the floor that have been so popular in the last few years.

Casey Soderlund and Willy Stevens of kbCRATE share their thoughts about modernizing Sherri and Matt’s new bath space.

What challenges did you encounter in renovating this space? How did you solve them? 
Casey: I helped with all tile and paint selections. The client wanted both grays and browns incorporated and was concerned about the pink in the countertop coming out too much, so we made sure to stay away from those tones, focusing more on the warm grays and browns.
Willy: The customer didn’t want the tub any longer, so what could we do with the space created by not having a tub? We increased the size of the shower and encouraged the customer to find a furniture piece that they liked that would work in the corner.

What special features did you recommend for the space to create a more functional and organized space? 
Casey: For the shower area, we had a shower diverter included so the homeowner could switch from the shower head to the hand-held shower wand. Our team also installed a new, large shower niche to give shampoos, soap and other shower items their own space.
Willy: We recommended towel hooks in the glass, since there wasn’t much wall space for a towel rack. Now the customer can open the door, reach out and grab a towel to dry off with, and not have to walk across the entire bathroom as before to grab a towel.

What are your favorite aspects of this bath renovation? 
Casey: I love how the tile in the shower goes all the way to the ceiling; it’s dramatic and adds height to the bathroom. The frameless shower enclosure keeps the open feel, adds style to the bathroom, and allows you to see the beautiful tile selections.
Willy: Getting rid of the banjo wall and framing in the wall where the full-sized mirrors were once recessed made the space feel more modern. The larger shower, with 80″ high frameless glass, is a huge plus. Frameless glass shower door systems are another great way to give the customer the appearance of a larger space. I love that we were able to increase the size of the shower as well.