High Ceilings, Higher Hopes

A home renovation helps a master bathroom achieve greater heights

Story by Randi Jo Gause • Photos by Photo Arts by Janna

When Jennifer and Kyle Johnson sought to renovate their entire home in 2010, they had high hopes for improving their master bathroom – literally. Although generous in size, the dark, drab and poorly designed space left much to be desired. So, the couple completely gutted the original bathroom and started anew, beginning with a new and improved layout.

Conceived by architect Mark Ivy, owner of Ivy & Co., 16-foot ceilings were incorporated into the renovated home's blueprint. In order to create separation between the bathroom and the master bedroom, without disrupting the flow of the space, he constructed an eight-foot-tall dividing wall. Then, a relight window fills in the space from the top of the wall to the ceiling. The relight window enhances the openness while maintaining acoustical privacy, and also allows natural light to filter in.

"The original bath, on the north side of the home, didn't take advantage of the home's south-facing position," Mark explains. "With the relight window, the homeowners can now take advantage of the natural light filtering in from the south side of the home."

This unique architectural design left the Johnsons' entourage of designers and contractors with the challenge of creating a bathroom with high style to go along with its high ceilings. To complement the room's sweeping features, the couple collaborated with Joe Starr from Armour Construction to establish their vision for the interior: to create an extension of the outdoors inside the sanctuary of their bathroom.

"The design style is what I call 'harvested'," describes Joe. "The materials selected were at some point meant to appear as if they could have been harvested from the site itself."

The new bathroom integrates warm and cohesive elements, beginning with dual onyx glass sinks top-mounted on the vanity, alongside stainless steel standing faucets. Elongated his-and-hers mirrors adorn the wall, along with vertical lights extending along either side, compliments of Lighting Designer Nina Phillips from Phillips & Co.

The dated white corian countertop was replaced with smooth, modern granite in swirls of black and brown to anchor the room's color palette. The countertop features shelving underneath for extra storage space. The dark green wallpaper behind the vanity was swapped with a luminous backdrop of one-square-inch metallic glass tiling in alternating shades of steel-gray, bronze and charcoal.

In a neighboring nook, dramatic cobblestone floor tiling crafted from hand-selected Homer beach rocks leads the way to a jetted tub, spilling onto the wall and forming a gentle curve.

"I love the natural rocks on the shower floor – they feel very nice under foot," adds Jennifer.

Formerly a standard one-piece fiberglass tub and shower, the couple's jetted tub is now surrounded by beige, rust and ash hues in a sleek slate tile, a material that prevails throughout the home.

"We used the same materials throughout the house, which made the whole remodel a lot easier and I like the continuity throughout the house," Jennifer describes.

The Johnsons' new space, inspired by nature, transcends fashion, trends – and ceilings. Their new haven of tranquility allows them to immerse themselves in the outdoor environment without sacrificing the comfort and amenities of the indoors.