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A Mindful Master Bath

Designed to fit individual tastes of the homeowner as well as aging-in-place components, Carnemark design + build creates a luxurious yet accessible master bathroom.

authors  | January 10, 2018

After many years of living with his late wife, who specified interiors, our client decided to opt for a luxurious master suite update more suited to his individual tastes. Mindful that he would be aging in the home, we set out to create a design that would be polished, functional and fully accessible.

The client wanted first to remove the rarely used soaking tub to make the space feel bigger without altering the original footprint, so we started by converting the tub area into a large walk-in shower. For long-term mobility, we fit the shower with an extra-long custom linear drain that allows the floor to be completely flush while keeping the shower walkway clean and dry.

Carnemark Design + Build

Photos: Anice Hoachlander, Hoachlander Davis Photography

The bark-like porcelain floor tiles were coated with a slip-resistant finish and were juxtaposed to the darker stone-look finish on the vanity wall. The dual finishes create definitive contrast, adding a warm, organic feel to the space. A large custom block bench and recessed niche make for a comfortable resting spot and convenient shelving. The polished thermostatic hand shower and oversized multisetting rain showerhead guarantee the perfect temperature and assure a relaxing spa-like experience.

The original plan called for making the traditional street-facing window in the shower more true to the new modern design. But when the neighborhood homeowners’ association wouldn’t allow modifications to the front of the house, we had to get creative. The solution: a thick pane of frosted glass with graphic clear banding—just transparent enough to let sunlight in while creating privacy, without altering the exterior wall.

Doorways to the main entrance and the separate water closet were widened and fit with coordinating frosted, sliding glass doors with chrome hardware, making them both accessible and handsome to the eye. Walls were prepped for future assist bars. The custom doors and window covering add a dramatic artful element, elevating the overall design. The existing ceiling provided an interesting angle to the room that we decided to keep.

Photos: Anice Hoachlander, Hoachlander Davis Photography

The homeowner requested lots of organized, durable storage within the bathroom. A floating vanity in warm gray, white lacquer cabinetry makes sure necessities are within reach yet can be easily tucked away. Above a super- sleek lift-up mirrored medicine cabinet—which lights from within when opened—features fogless settings, heating and cooling controls, and USB ports and outlets in one handy location. The hand-blown glass pendants and chandelier, fit with long-life LED lighting, are as elegant as they are functional, providing good task light and contrast.

Two tall columns of cabinetry with plenty of shelving for linens were also added on either side of the water closet to guarantee a convenient place for everything. Inside the water closet, a luxurious self-cleaning toilet with integrated bidet includes a nightlight, built-in air-deodorizing system, warm air dryer and more. The streamlined vanity fit with a sloped basin and hovering faucet creates an efficient spot to wash, while the cabinetry beneath keeps essentials close at hand.

Instead of multiple dimmers and ventilation switches, we installed a wireless program that puts all of these functions on one easy-to-manage wall-mounted control. The automated, fully-integrated system allows the client to use his cellphone or iPad to program the lighting for timed dimming and to easily control room temperature.

The master bathroom now creates an enticing, relaxing respite for our client, yet will remain a remarkably practical space for years to come—proof positive that accessible design can be luxurious at the same time. |QR


In 1987, Jonas Carnemark founded a company to realize his creative goal: to bring home remodeling dreams to life with both beauty and purpose. Since then, he has grown a 20-person design/build firm, where devotion to the clean lines of modern design flows easily alongside attention to comfort.

A Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), and Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP), Carnemark often serves as a voice for the profession, leading discussions and seminars and writing articles. Recent speaking engagements include a keynote address on green remodeling at The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS); a presentation at the 2016 Dwell on Design event; and design seminars at various state and local chapters of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

Homeowners throughout the Washington metropolitan area and nationally have celebrated the company’s results. Renowned as a top designer and builder, Carnemark has been a judge at national remodeling competitions, such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Annual Design Awards, and has been regularly honored as one of Home & Design magazine’s Portfolio of 100 Top Designers.

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