By Design > Soaking in the Natural Beauty

Lisa Schultz and Kraig Burnham of Merrimack have been steadily reshaping their home. Once the kitchen and upstairs bath were renovated, Schultz and Burnham realized that the master bath needed work to keep up with the home’s growing modern appeal. Now that its renovation is complete, the homeowners have an interior that is airy and relaxing, and an interior design that capitalizes on spectacular views.

Schultz says that five years ago, she was initially attracted to the home because “everything is at a different angle,” which gives the house character and separates it from other, typical New England homes. With a love for the outdoors, Schultz and Burnham were also drawn to the home’s site: set back from the road into a hill, the house is surrounded by trees and the front looks out to evergreens, large rhododendrons and meandering stone walls.

The house offers vistas from many vantage points, including one in the new master bath. Schultz said the original plan was to replace only the windows to make the space more energy efficient. But she quickly realized that the entire bathroom needed to be opened up, and decided to rethink the original plan.

For help, the couple turned to Cheryl Tufts of 3W design, inc. in Concord, who credits the phenomenal landscaping with allowing the large windows and the initial tub location to go unchanged. Tufts says that her “job was to bring the view from the soaking area into the rest of the master bath.”

Doing so required, in part, removing a wall in the middle of the space. This allowed Tufts to increase the size of the shower and change its shape from a rectangle to what she calls “a custom neo-angle.”

But there was a challenge: the wall slated for demolition housed all the plumbing. So some was moved to an outside wall that was deepened and reinsulated to ensure that pipes didn’t freeze in winter. Rerouting and protecting all that piping was no easy task, as the plumbers had to work in a four-foot crawl space beneath the bathroom. The toilet was also moved to allow more space for the vanities and balance the room’s layout, and a window was added above the toilet.

The warm tones of the Candlelight Cabinetry vanities and the Juperana India Gold granite on the custom cherry tub deck complement the natural setting, drawing attention to the fact that privacy in this bathroom is a result of the trees and not from drawn shades or curtains. The sleek finishing touches, including glass teardrop faucets, add to the contemporary comfort of this distinctive home. “Lisa and Kraig really wanted a bathroom for soaking and relaxing,” says Tufts, “and now they have an ideal space to unwind, sit back and take in the view.”