This series is blogging the step by step process of a Modern Makeover! Client is from Marietta, Georgia, and the list includes a Master Bathroom, Bedroom and Kitchen. If you are catching this for the first time, be sure to catch up on past posts!
- 1. Modern Makeover – Master Suite & Kitchen
- 2. Modern Makeover – The Bedroom Take 1
- 3. Modern Makeover – Shopping for Plumbing
The first half of the day was dedicated to finalizing all of the plumbing fixtures at PDI. Here are a few other considerations that were debated and clarified as we worked through the budget and shopping list before heading to the tile showrooms.
Lavatory Sinks & Counter Top
- The homeowner, Marcia, was very clear in that she was simple, straight lines in an under mount bowl, preferably integrated. Since this is a direct reflection on the counter top selection, I looked to the budget to see $1200 allotted for the sinks and “granite” counter tops, which had not previously been considered up to this point. The style of this room is so minimal, so granite (and its movement) was clearly not the right direction.
- Marcia did request as much white as possible, and had shown pictures of thick counter top materials, so I suggested the use of Corian. This would allow a seamless application with the sinks, the thick edge treatment (w/o high premium up charges) and a pure (motionless!) white color. I picked up the phone and called the fabricator of choice, Intown Design of Atlanta, to get a rough estimate. I knew there would be a big savings going to a Group A color of Corian v.s. Granite. The unexpected part is that Corian does not offer the desired rectangular style sink in their pre-made styles. Intown Design would need to manufacture this themselves from raw material,. Would the savings of the per square foot cost of granite be enough to make this up?
- Running the numbers gave way to $524 for the counter top, saving 50%, not quite enough to pay for the custom integrated sinks, but this was the best option to fill the order! Otherwise, using a porcelain sink by KOHLER and paying for an undercount charge would be competitive, but not offer the total seamless look that was desired. So numbers need to be crunched elsewhere.
Medicine Cabinets & Lighting.. and Cabinet Layout.
- During the initial design phase Marcia requested an abundance of storage. Understanding her style, I voted for a higher budget than one might consider for this project. Knowing the simple lines and quality, I truly felt that KOHLER’s Robern line of medicine cabinets would be a perfect fit. $2,000 was allotted.
- Considering the needs of the client (quality of their vision, tasks, etc), it was quickly decided that side lighting was the best alternative. So rather than a full wall of mirrors, individual units were chosen to allow for sconces. Below is an illustration I quickly sketched to show how the desired cabinet layout affected the mirrors, lighting and overall balance.
- The plan on the left was what was originally requested: sinks are separated (more elbow room) and it gives an abundance of drawers. But the balance was off with the large big space in the middle, in addition the vanity design looked too typical 🙂
- Plan on the right, while with some compromise, gives the best options overall. The sizes of the cabinetry had to be divided precisely to allow equal spacing for the sconces. Money was saved with the need for only 3 lights and now each vanity area will receive a custom pull out to accommodate personal toiletries.
The really interesting part of this element is how OFTEN the importance of these elements are not considered BEFORE a contractor begins a project. This effects electrical and plumbing locations, and without thorough planning, could mean very costly modification charges. If you do not want surprises, do not discredit the value of each element in the room before a hammer starts swinging.
Ok, so we’ve nailed down the cabinet layout, counter tops, sinks and lighting layout. Big work in less than 30 minutes of debate. The winner for the medicine cabinets was the PL Series from Robern®, measuring at 24″x40″ . The bonus here is that the medicine cabinets are nearly 1/2 of what was budgeted, so it easily pays for the “upgraded” features with the counter top and sinks. The question on the table is whether we can recess the cabinets into the wall, which is a soft spot with the homeowner. She fears the water splashing (not avoidable totally, but too much with surface mount cabinets) on the mirrors. This simply cannot be guaranteed until the walls are opened. So we specify recessed for the order, but know there may be additional cost to buy the mirror side kits(Shown below) in the event that are surface mounted.
Next stop? Tile shopping, come follow along .. this is a fun day!