A Model Master Bath

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Men laying new hardwood flooring

When Victor and Robin Young began remodeling the master bathroom of their Roswell home, they had no idea that the project would lead to television cameras, a visit from a famous interior designer and a couple of high-tech gifts. But when Philips Electronics requested the use of their newly renovated bathroom for a television shoot, the Youngs could not say no. And when Philips brought Stephen Saint-Onge of While You Were Out as the on-air talent, the couple knew their bathroom had star quality.

The road to fame and (good) fortune started when the Youngs decided to completely tear out the master bathroom in their 35-year-old home and transform it into a retreat that they could really enjoy. Since Victor is a real estate developer for Millard Bowen Communities, he helped his landscape architect brother, Downey Young, design the initial plans. The renovations called for a framer, a plumber, an electrician and an expert marble craftsman. Instead of hiring separate professionals to complete each task, Victor located Tadeas Rzyman, owner of Atlanta Bath Remodeling, who was able to work with the Youngs plans and execute them completelyeven while adding a few of his own twists.



Photography by Victor Young

Maximizing Space
Although the original bathroom contained ample square footage, it was chopped up into small areas, making the overall effect cramped rather than spacious. There was a mini shower and toilet room, a bathtub room connected to a walk-in closet and a larger double sink area with some corridor space leading to it. I took out the common wall to the walk-in closet/tub area to open up the space, Victor says. Then in what is now the toilet/bidet/urinal room, I removed the existing shower stall and toilet.

Once these changes had been made, the facilities could be rearranged to create an open environment. In the old shower and toilet room, a toilet, bidet and urinal were installed. During the design of this space, Victor and Robin had an important discussion.

Robin told me that if I didnt do the urinal, then we could build additional linen storage on that wall, Victor says. I told her that I would make a dealif I never had to lift the toilet seat again, then I didnt need a urinal. Robin quickly capitulated. (In addition to adding convenience, a urinal uses a lot less water than a toilet, according to Victor.)

The original walk-in closet became a glorious spa tub, and windows were added on the corner walls above the tub.



Distinctive Details
To heat things up, a large shower with two showerheads and a built-in bench with steam bath took the place of the original tub area. Victor credits Rzyman with the clever idea of adding a slight slope to the shower ceiling so that when the steam bath is on, condensation does not bead up and drip on the users head. Instead, the water travels down the wall. Rzyman inserted a glass vent above the shower door that can be opened to vent steam during a shower, but closed to keep steam in during a steam bath. Further, the Youngs selected frameless shower walls, which visually keep the space open.

The dual-sink vanity remained in place, although new sinks were installed and the dark cherry cabinets were painted a light taupe with white trim. Rzyman added Italian marble throughout and deco tile details to create an Italian spa sort of feel. The Youngs called in local decorative artist Crissy Stead of Christinas Interior Finishes to faux paint the walls in a soothing sage green, which picked up the green veins in the marble. Finally, they installed recessed can lights with dimmers in the ceiling, which help create ambiance during a bath in the spa.

With the help of Rzyman, and by putting effort into finding the best prices on materials and fixtures, the Youngs kept the total cost of the project at about $22,000. And from start to finish, the bathroom construction took only about three weeks to complete.


Although the original bathroom contained ample square footage, it was chopped up into small areas, making the overall effect cramped rather
than spacious.

Unexpected Attention
After a few months of enjoying their new oasis, the Youngs were in for a surprise when public relations firm Manning Selvage & Lee contacted them about allowing Philips Electronics to use the bathroom to promote some of the companys products in a television shoot. (A member of the PR firm had been a guest in the Youngs home and admired the bathroom.) The Youngs agreed to let Philips use the bathroom, and when the video crew arrived, the homeowners left for a vacation.

Philips brought in designer Saint-Onge to select accessories for the set. They also put a mirror portrait television above each vanity sink and set up a satellite media tour broadcast from the Roswell home with Saint-Onge as the personality. When the Youngs returned home, they found everything just the way they had left it, with the exception of the two mirror portrait televisions and nice accessories that were left behind. For the technologically uninitiated, a mirror portrait television looks and reflects just like a mirror. But when it is turned on, the bottom half becomes an LCD TV. Now, Victor watches the news while he is shaving, and the Youngs 5-year-old son, Noah, watches cartoons while brushing his teeth (so what if it takes him 10 minutes to brush these days?).


It seems like even more of a bargain when the value of the televisiions is added inthey are worth $5,000 each.


Starting Over
The Youngs were pleased with the cost of the remodel before the Philips crew arrived. However, it now seems like even more of a bargain when the value of the television mirrors is added inthey are worth about $5,000 each.

Currently, the Youngs are building a new house and are planning to duplicate some elements from the bathroom in the new home. I love this bathroom, Robin says. If we could just pick it up and take it to our new house, that would be ideal.


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