The old master bathroom in the Dayton home of Jennifer and Dr. Joel Tobiansky, a cardiologist, was a typical circa-1980s design complete with Formica countertops, pastel colors, and a tiny pre-fab shower.
The new bathroom, stuffed with mesmerizing bathroom ideas, is nothing short of dazzling—no longer a bathroom at all—but rather an experience.
Jennifer and Joel teamed up with Chris Newman of Cheeky Monkey, a local decorative painting and interior design company, and Erich Eggers of Remodeling Designs Inc., to create a masterpiece unlike any other.
Before the materials were selected, a basic design for the bathroom had to be created. Even though the trend is to have a jetted or garden bathtub in a master bathroom, the Tobianskys opted against the idea, saying they wouldn’t use it. Instead, Joel says he dreamed of a luxurious shower.
The new design incorporates a zero-threshold shower in place of the old tub and a closet area. The original water closet remained, while the area that housed the original shower became storage space. The layout of the vanity area stayed similar but the finishes, like the rest of the visual decor, were dramatically changed.
Imagine a shower experience, provided by a computerized Kohler digital interface. A pre-set satellite radio station in the bathroom wakes you in the next room. As you sleepily step onto the warm tile floor thanks to radiant heat and enter the large shower, you simply hit an electronic pad that offers whatever pre-determined combination of body sprays and water temperature you desire. Surrounding you are a mixture of sleek blue glass tiles and tiny iridescent accent pieces. If you wish to sit down in the shower, the black granite seat is also heated.
Joel says the visually stunning shower, which is no longer “tucked away like an afterthought,” lets in plenty of natural light thanks to the two glass block windows. A sheet of glass on the side with all of the shower controls and sprays “is almost like an illusion,” says Jennifer.
Eggers credits Newman for envisioning the perfect combination of faux finishes and other materials. In addition to the black matte cabinetry, he suggested the use of the 1×1-inch Walker Zanger glass tile for the shower floor and bench seat wall, the 12×24-inch black tile for the bathroom floor, the fluted glass block windows and silver hardware and accents. Newman was no stranger to the Tobianskys and they trusted him completely. “Chris has done the entire house now, except maybe the garage. He has a way of seeing the end product before it is done. I could have trusted him even if we were out of town,” Jennifer says.
Another specific request of the Tobianskys was a little more challenging: a ceiling mirror. Eggers admits he wasn’t sure how to do it safely and without maintenance issues, but he’d seen plenty of casinos and hotels install ceiling mirrors so he knew it could be done.
He turned to the Internet and then the telephone, armed with a plethora of questions. The end result is quite a surprise. The approximately 6×4-foot ceiling mirror is made of mylar—the same substance used for balloons except with a much higher reflective value. It satisfied both safety and maintenance concerns, while successfully imitating the look of a mirror.
Seeing the bathroom at night is a whole new experience from Jennifer and Joel’s morning routine. Ambiance and track lighting installed in the ceiling and floor give the room an even more stunning appearance.
“I really love it at night after the sun sets. It’s extremely soothing because of the way they designed the lighting,” explains Jennifer, who adds that a light in the shower can also be pre-set to go on and off as a security feature.
In addition to the essentials, the combination of materials, finishes and lighting tops off this already over-the-top spa. And yet a point Jennifer emphasizes is the bathroom’s functionality. “It has the wow-factor but it’s so easy to maintain. It seems brand new every single day we walk through the door. We don’t take it for granted.”