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New Ensuite Bathroom Recreates the Island Spa Experience

new ensuite bathroom

Sometimes, reentry into everyday life can be a bit of a letdown when returning from a beautiful vacation experience. Southeast Michigan enjoys less sun, and the everyday grind can be hard to shake loose at the end of the day.

For Katie and Matt, their spa island holiday was the inspiration for a home renovation. The couple so enjoyed their vacation resort that they dreamed of recreating the luxury spa experience in their own home. They wanted a bathroom that captured the luxury hotel experience, with the feeling of being on vacation all the time. 

Giraffe Design Build had renovated their kitchen several years ago, when a previous family owned the home. Katie and Matt loved the design and craftsmanship of the work, and gave Giraffe a call.

Discover more: Transforming a Drab Basement into a Warm Sanctuary

Designing a Luxury Spa Experience

luxury bathtub

The couple didn’t have a master bathroom to remodel, so the design-build team converted the spare room adjacent to the master bedroom. This allowed us to expand their walk-in closet as well, creating an ensuite bathroom and master suite. The project required bringing in new plumbing as well as designing the aesthetic elements.

As the new plumbing was being installed, Giraffe designers collaborated closely with Katie and Matt to recapture the luxury vacation aesthetic. To realize their dream, we obsessed over the details. Classic finishes highlight the room — traditional twin white vanities, framed mirrors, and brushed nickel introduce a timeless elegance. Firenze marble tile was laid throughout the bathroom, adding a European luxury. 

The centerpiece of the ensuite bathroom is a two-person shower with Euro glass door and a marble bench. Adjacent to the shower is a beautiful free-standing soaker tub, contoured for a serene bathing experience. A separate water closet was fitted with a half-light door with corrugated translucent glass. A window in the toilet area invites natural lighting, making the water closet feel bright and spacious.

Bright white walls, furnishings, and floor tile transform the space into a luxury spa, while brushed nickel accents and the grain of the marble tile create an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication. A refurbished vintage chandelier adds a touch of timeless grace. 

At the same time, it was important to design a space that represented Katie and Matt. They didn’t want a generic hotel bathroom, but a personalized bathroom that reflected their own character and personality. The result is a warm and luxurious spa experience that matches Katie and Matt’s unique personality. They enjoy a calming, serene ensuite bathroom that serves as a daily retreat from the outside world.

Handpicked related reading: The Rare Intersection of Excellent Craftsmanship and Inspired Design

A Collaborative Renovation Project

The family was a real pleasure to work with. Katie and Matt are terrific people, with three young children. They had a great vision from the start, and the renovation project was a collaborative effort as we helped them realize their dream. They played an integral part in the design, with a specific look and feel in mind. It was our role to lay it out, make sure the space was functional, and give expert guidance.

The finished product surpassed expectations. Using natural stone tile introduced an aesthetic challenge, because it’s very difficult to get the uniform patterns that the homeowners were looking for. There was no guarantee that we could achieve the effect they were after, but our tiler brought a patience and professionalism that made the effort a great success.

Vacation Every Day

bathroom vanity

Katie and Matt enjoy the luxury spa experience every day. At the end of a long day, they come home to their own private luxury spa and can transport themselves to their own island getaway. No matter how gray and taxing their day may have been, they have a retreat destination to get away from it all waiting at the end of their driveway.

Giraffe Design Build took the ideal elements of a hotel bath that Katie and Matt loved — the luxury feeling of an island spa — and brought it into an Ann Arbor home setting. We personalized it for the couple and made it feel like a home, while carrying over elements that were reminiscent of their vacation.

Dreaming of your own everyday vacation space? Giraffe Design Build is a client centric, design driven company motivated by the belief that the built environment profoundly affects people’s lives. Together with our clients, our team of designers and craftsmen transform existing spaces into joyful sanctuaries where families celebrate daily life.

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