Exton Master Bath Project: Before & After

The Before & After fun continues with another Master Bath reveal! This project was a unique reveal unto itself, in that initially we were hired to simply pick finishes based on an architect’s renovation plan, but in time, the scope of our role grew to include re-imagining the project completely. As Julie Andrews famously sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” Here was the existing master bath layout:


And here was the architect’s plan that our client was initially moving forward with, albeit with reservations:


Now lest you think we swooped in and took over, our client was not loving this plan well before we came on the scene. For starters, this initial plan involved moving the toilet far from its existing location, which is an expensive endeavor to plumb. This plan also continued to jam a double vanity into a corner, which prevented expanded vanity storage and lacked the symmetry and flow our client had hoped for. As much as the decision to repeat a step in the renovation process is difficult for a client, we appreciated the opportunity to take on the schematics from scratch and see if we could give them what they really wanted. Renovations are difficult enough without beginning under a less than thrilling plan! Here’s what we came up with:


As you can see, we maintained the toilet’s position, increased storage by creating separate his & hers vanities, came up with a pleasing symmetrical design, and re-worked the linen area & master closet. The clients were happy and excited to move forward with this new plan, and even happier with the end result.




Our client had a clear vision for several of the finishes, one of which was a desire for a wood look tile floor. Today, this would be an easy solution, what with the abundant options on the market. However, we actually undertook this renovation in 2013, before the wood-look tile selection became as vast as we currently enjoy. That said, we were really fortunate to have found this particular flooring, and it continues to stand up proudly against newer options.


Having made a flooring decision, we built upon it with custom charcoal vanities, and opted to keep the wall and counter selections light and bright.




One of the biggest inspirations for this bathroom design was the Walker Zanger arabesque tile our client wanted to use in the shower, which we were 100% on board with. We wanted to celebrate this beautiful tile by giving it a gorgeous shower entry, so we suggested building an arch that mimicked the tile’s curve.


To be honest, the General Contractor (who was not recommended by us) wasn’t able to translate this entirely, but we got pretty close, and it’s still a really special moment in this bathroom’s new life.

Rendering of the the intended shower arch

Finally, we reworked the linen area and master closet, carrying through the custom cabinetry and finishes we used in the bathroom.


In the end, we were so pleased to come into this project and help our clients move from tentative approval to all out enthusiasm. Listening really is one of the most important skills a designer employs, and we worked in earnest with these clients to both evaluate renovation goals and budget options in order to create a space that brings them joy at the beginning and end of every day.

Images by Courtney Apple

  1. Vanessa

    The curved arch, in either iteration, is really beautiful. I wonder that I do not see that more often.

  2. Ellen

    Lovely bathroom and fantastic layout! I wonder why the other architect moved so much plumbing around when it simply wasn’t necessary… We did a to-the-studs renovation on our home last year and had to move nearly every plumbing fixture. Half the house is on a slab, so that part was super fun (laughing/crying). Thanks for sharing your projects. I always enjoy the walk through your process as well as the gorgeous results 🙂

Leave a Comment