Happy accidents—designers will tell you they don’t happen that often during remodels. But they played a significant role in the redesign of this award-winning, 168-squarefoot master bath, situated in a 15th-floor apartment in the Windsor.
The project was a challenge from the get-go for interior designer Mark Haynes of the boutique Denver firm Mark Design. “The bathroom had gone through a cosmetic update 10 to 15 years earlier, but no effort was taken to make the space more functional because of the location of the main plumbing lines and bathtub drain,” he says. The immovable concrete subfloors and ceilings, as well as ceilings that were only 7’10” tall, made the project even more challenging.
All of that mattered because the new owners, Pam Wynia and Gary Sokoll, who had moved to Denver from South Dakota, really wanted a soaker tub. Since the tub drain could not be relocated, Haynes and his ace contractor, Charlie Collins of Collins Construction Management, decided to run the drain line along the existing subfloor and build a platform that would serve as a base for the soaker. And—here’s where the happy accident came into play—that platform elevated the space not only physically but also stylistically.
Being able to put the tub at the end of the room freed up space for two functional his-and-her vanities on opposite sides of the bathroom, which provided additional storage. To reduce the visual impact of running the plumbing line along the floor, and to make the ceilings appear higher, Haynes chose large-format ceramic tile in a light shade (24” x 48”, from TCL, represented by Al Studios), which created a monolithic look for the walls and floor and gave the bath a spa-like feel.
The sleek custom cabinetry from Christopher’s Plumbing (which also did the lighted mirrors and hardware) is a lacquered MDF. To brighten up the bath, which lacked natural sunlight from windows, Haynes also cleverly placed lighting underneath the cabinets and in the mirrors.
As for the vertical plumbing, which couldn’t be moved, Haynes once again made an obstacle into a virtue. “It was the clients’ idea to keep the plumbing exposed. We painted it white and encased it in frosted glass with a green tint to it, and we added a great linear drain to the shower to modernize it.”
No one would ever guess that the bath was designed to overcome so many obstacles—and that may have contributed to its winning the 2018 ASID Colorado Crystal Award for Best Bathroom Remodel. “I was shocked when they called my name,” Haynes says of the award ceremony. “But I think it won because of all of the challenges we faced. To work through those and still have it come out with so much space, and with such an intentionallooking design, I think that is what impressed the judges.”
As for the homeowners, they couldn’t be happier. “There was such a spirit of collaboration with both Mark and Charlie,” says Pam. “We felt that our input mattered and that we were heard.” At the same time, “We put our complete faith in Mark, because we knew he knew what he was doing, and the bath turned out very modern, very spa-like, which fit into what we were trying to achieve.”
Interior design firm
3149 S. Broadway, Ste. 1, Englewood