Foster Lake’s Fine-Feathered Nest

When Jim and Sue built their custom St. Michael home in 1992, they deliberately downsized the master bath to make room for a fourth upper level bedroom that would accommodate their growing family. Now empty nesters, the couple called on Tomco Company to reclaim the space for a stunning master suite.

Tomco annexed an adjacent bedroom to create separate his and hers walk-in closets and a large tile bath with a spectacular view of Foster Lake. The master bedroom stayed the same size but got new trim, lighting, carpeting and knockdown ceiling texture.

Clients appreciate Tom’s approach and team

Jim, an aerospace engineer, was instrumental in the layout concept and Sue took the lead in selections. But they credit Tom Schiebout with presenting invaluable insights based on his nearly 40 years in remodeling and multiple professional certifications.

“He would say, here’s an option and the pros and cons, you decide.  He never decided, but he always gave us the benefit of his knowledge and experience,” Jim said.

“He also has a really good team of people working with him, Sue added. “They all took great pride in their work. They really wanted to do a good job and make sure we were happy with it. Just like Tom.”

The new suite is a textbook example of design-build done right. It combines efficient space planning, classic aesthetic appeal, smart features and exceptional craftsmanship. With hindsight, Jim and Sue say they would not change a single thing. Their favorite element is the large tile shower that replaced their tiny corner shower.

“I’m really happy the way it turned out. Every day I come in here and appreciate it. It’s just, ‘Wow. This is great,’” Sue said.

Smart Bath Design Features

The new suite features:

  • Shower controls mounted just inside the door rather than under the showerhead so you stay dry as the water warms.
  • Large, eye-level windows that maintain personal privacy without window treatments while maximizing the scenic lake view and natural light. (Jim stood in the old bedroom where the shower door would be to calculate the ideal window height.)
  • Two humidistat-equipped exhaust fans  automatically turns off after bathing when the air is dry.
  • NuHeat-equipped, large format porcelain tile to keep the floor barefoot comfortable and dry year round.
  • Separate comfort-height vanities with wall dual sconces for shadow-free use at the mirrors. Kohler Memoir comfort-height toilet. (Sue got the larger vanity by design.)
  • Deep, private shower with easy-clean frameless glass door, dry hooks for towels and a low mounted hand shower. (Jim says solid backing behind the tile will accommodate grab bars far, far in the future.)
  • Pleasing view of the prominent Kohler bubble tub and cabinetry from the bedroom, but privacy wall at the toilet.
  • Plentiful storage with twin vanities, built-in linen cabinet and both open cubbies and cabinets at the tub.
  • Well-lit closets between the bedroom and the bathroom that feature custom organizers with drawers, adjustable shelves and rods, and personal tilt-out clothes hampers. (With his own space Jim says he no longer has to adapt to hanger creep from Sue’s wardrobe.)

Bath is as beautiful as it is functional

The project demonstrates exceptional attention to architectural balance and symmetry

  • Materials and right angle shapes repeat and embrace the entire space.
  • New windows were moved and resized to be centered over the toilet and tub. (An operable casement replaced the dated octagon window over the toilet, and a broad fixed casement replaced two lower, narrow casements over the tub.)
  • The glass-tile accent band steps up and down and extends into the shower.
  • Matching HanStone Italian Waves quartz is used for the vanity tops and tub surround.
  • The porcelain floor tile is used for the baseboard and shower walls and borders the glass tile at the tub.
  • Rectangular shapes are reflected in the 66-in. Kohler Underscore bubble tub, Mirabelle undermount sinks and American Standard toilet and plumbing fixtures.
  • Electrical outlets, walls and cabinetry were laid out precisely to accommodate tile layout.

Topping tasteful design with a bit of bling

The couple agreed that the master bath needed the “bling” of a central chandelier to complete the upscale feel and chose the fixture together. It accents the subtle gray tones Sue selected for a soothing atmosphere that would not go out of style.

“I am not quite done decorating. I’m very particular so it usually takes me a while,” she said.

No rush. With the new suite completed and the extraordinary lake view, Jim says it is their forever home. And if they need another remodeling project down the road, they know just whom to call.