A Masterfully Updated Master Bathroom
When Kathy and Tom Huff remodeled their North Hampton vacation home, they didn’t remodel the outdated master bathroom. “We decided we could just live with it,” Kathy says. After enjoying the beach cottage-style home for a year or two, they decided the bathroom was ready for an update. “The Huffs liked the idea of a clean, modern bathroom,” says their architect, Robert Carty, of TMS Architects in Portsmouth. Together with interior designer Cristina Johnson, also of TMS, and builder Chris Ragusa, of CM Ragusa Builders in Seabrook, the trio transformed the space, creating a contemporary, luxurious retreat befitting a summer home.
The original bathroom, tucked under eaves off the master bedroom, had “a lot of open, wasted space,” Ragusa says. Carty reorganized the floor plan, opening up the space with a barrel vault ceiling that incorporates an existing arched window.
Framing the space and working around existing plumbing without disrupting downstairs rooms was a challenge. “We didn’t want to get into changing the exterior walls of the house or the roof,” Carty says.
“We had to frame the barrel inside a traditional gable roof structure,” Ragusa says. “So we had to mimic the arches in the ceiling while allowing for trim. It was tight, but we did it.”
The re-imagined bathroom is sleek and stylish. The walls—including the shower stall—are warm, gray ceramic tile; the radiant-heated floors are covered in a textured ceramic tile that mimics wood. A pair of floating vanities, with quartz countertops, are fronted in black, striated laminate, set off by shiny chrome fixtures. Minimalist, unobtrusive LED lighting underneath the mirrors and the vanities mimics daylight, as does a thin light, recessed in the ceiling arch, that brightens one side of the bathroom.
Stylish amenities include a large tile shower—with a rain head, body sprayer and hand shower as well as a shelf to hold toiletries—and a separate curvaceous bathtub.
But the pièce de résistance, inspired by boutique hotels that the Huffs have enjoyed visiting on their travels, is a coffee station—where the couple can grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the ocean views from the balcony off their bedroom. The station, which includes a bar sink, was created near the couple’s walk-in closet. “It’s perfect—we don’t have to go downstairs to get coffee,” Kathy says.
Custom cabinetry throughout, built and finished by Ragusa’s carpentry team, provides extra storage.
It all adds up to an elegant place to relax and rejuvenate. The Huffs love the contemporary design. “It’s different from other spaces in the house, but it flows beautifully,” Kathy says.