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Remodeled bathroom by Partners 4

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New bathroom by architect John Idstrom

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In terms of space, the design of a master bathroom can be challenging. But for this project, the challenge was not in having too little space, but rather a surplus that presented lots of options.

Architect John Idstrom of Partners 4 was commissioned to design a new bathroom for the owners, who say the former room was dated.

"The bathroom is within an addition built in the 1980s. It had not been remodeled since new and was looking very tired. It had a lot of white tile and laminates, and a huge tub and small shower, which did not suit."

The owners say it was essential that the new bathroom retain the architectural integrity of the 1970s house, which has a contemporary style.

"We wanted to explore the various layouts that would be possible. The bathroom had to be light, airy and clean lined, and rich in terms of materials – with a touch of whimsy – but we didn't want marble or granite."


Idstrom says the chosen layout was largely determined by the position of an existing skylight. Symmetrical his-and-hers vanities were cantilevered on opposite walls directly beneath this window, to maximize the natural light pouring in. The vanities feature thick Corian countertops and softly grained Poggenpohl Teak Decor Quartz cabinets, which have underlighting that enhances the sense that they are floating.

"The bathroom is divided into three zones, with the bathing area beyond the vanity units comprising a large shower and freestanding tub," says Idstrom. "An enclosed toilet room is positioned near the entry. We introduced a flush teak platform and teak benches to the shower, and ran the limestone floor tiles right under the glass walls for a seamless look."

The owners say the teak is reminiscent of a boat deck, which is a reference to the boating activity on the nearby lake.

Modern square-edged faucets complement the clean lines of the bathroom – the sculptural tub filler incorporates Corian that is similar to the vanity tops and shower walls.

The bathroom also features a cantilevered storage unit, whimsical freestanding towel hangers and colorful art works from the owner's extensive collection. A novel bubble chandelier in the center of the room is echoed by the pattern in the window blinds.

First published date: 19 June 2013

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Credit List

Architect John B A Idstrom II AIA, CID, Partners 4 Design (Minneapolis, MN)
Vanities Poggenpohl in Teak Decor Quartz; wall cabinet by Crystal Cabinet Works, Inc
Vanity tops, shower panels, backsplash Corian in Glacier White
Basins Kohler Iron Impressions
Faucets Dornbracht
Shower fittings Kohler
Shower glass Minneapolis Glass
Tub Wetstyle
Mirrored cabinets Robern from Pipeline Design Showroom
Lighting Bubble light fixture from The Collection on 5
Accessories Custom teak bench and floor in shower by Butcher Block Furniture, Inc
Flooring Limestone tiles from Fantasia Showrooms