A comprehensive master bathroom renovation in a circa 1980's center hall Colonial has won a regional “Contractor of the Year” (COTY) award for Michael Nash Design Build and Homes. The recently-completed makeover to a home in the Mt Vernon estates section of Alexandria was named “best residential bathroom in the $75,000.00-$100,000 category” in an 11-state competition sponsored by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

The winning solution converts an existing bathroom and adjacent changing area into an open spa bath that boasts many cutting-edge amenities. The remodel features a walk-in steam shower, pedestal whirlpool bath and a sauna. A custom-designed make-up table and several original “built-ins” provide accommodations that smoothly integrate into a stand-out “transitional style” interior.

Acknowledging the prize, Michael Nash president and founder Sonny Nazemian credited his design and production team:

“We achieve cost benefits for our clients by exploring ideas that advance their design agenda while maximizing the investment,” Nazemian noted. “Since the COTY is about outperforming the limits of a budget, winning one verifies that our core mission remains on track.”

For the winning homeowners (who are now approaching retirement) the award is also an acknowledgment of many hours researching contemporary design styles.

“The process works especially well when the homeowners have given a lot of thought to style and space-use preferences,” the Nazemian observes. “In this case, we were wanted to balance textured surfaces, glass and an interplay of colors and tones in an interior design that facilitates everyday requirements.”

Looking back, what began as a quest for a larger master bathroom with a view of the back yard and pool gradually evolved into a multi-component luxury spa.

Along the way, the Michael Nash team eliminated both an interior closet and a wall between bath room and dressing room, and installed a 5' x 6' picture window in a brick-and-block bearing wall just above a two-step Jacuzzi platform.

A new dressing area with make-up table has been positioned to the hot tub's left; to the right, the remodeler installed a walk-in steam shower complete with bench, rain shower head and body sprays.

A frosted glass door to shower's right reveals an infrared sauna the contractor installed by borrowing a few feet from a closet in an adjacent bedroom. Personal storage cabinets flank opposite sides of a black stone vessel sink.

“There are more decision points in a bathroom than any other part of the house,” Nazemian says. “As a company, we've concentrated on developing an interior design staff skilled at helping homeowners discover their personal style. It's our combination of broad-based purchase options and seasoned talent that gets each new project off to an inspired start.”

But the first question is often more basic: Can an out-dated “production house” floor plan be transformed into a free-flowing postmodern design that stays strictly within the bathroom's existing footprint?

“The owners wanted to replace the old shower with a much larger walk-in design that wouldn't require a built-in curb to keep the water in,” the remodeler says. “To meet these requirements, we raised the bathroom floor about an inch. The shower is now lower than before, and bevels slightly toward a linear drain-- so there's no need for a built-in lip around the shower.”

“Of course, this kind of change requires precision,” he adds. “Water is always the judge of whether a shower design works well.”

The open shower tucked behind three seven foot glass walls sits on black pebble stone flooring that visually connects it to a freestanding pedestal tub clad in textured tile, There's a small bench at one end, and a hand-held shower nozzle within easy reach. Overhead, the stainless steel “waterfalls” rain shower head features a range of body sprays with varied pressures.

The shower's inside wall is finished in contrasting light and stone tiles with a softly accentuated moire pattern; there are three shower heads; “cubbies” designed to hold personal items are within easy reach.

For a still more leisurely bathing experience, the Jacuzzi positioned under a picture window presents a restful treetop view. With the new crystal chandelier catching outside light, the magical new space shimmers into life like something out of a fairy tale.

Built-in linen closets on “his” and “her” vanities flanking opposite walls hold towels and personal-use items Scone lights with layered glass cast a glimmering light on the entire scene.

With its mission-style cabinet facings and black marble surfaces, the vanities present clean, linear elegance in a room that is now refreshingly simplified and spacious.

John Byrd has been writing about home improvement for 30 years. He can be reached @ 703 715-8006, www.HomeFrontsNews.com or byrdmatx@gmail.com. Send photos of interesting remodeling projects to: b2b@homefrontsnews.com

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