The GHID Blog

Welcome to our blog, here we go in depth with our design projects and hopefully we teach you a bit about interior design and our industry. If you're looking for a specific blog post, check out our archive here!

Portland-Based Interior Design Firm Creates An Award-Winning Bathroom Remodel Under $50,000

Behind The Scenes Look At The Bathroom Design Concept

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Junior Designer, Daniel McCulloch gives us a behind the scenes look into GHID's award-winning bathroom remodel under $50k. Daniel tells us all about this master bath remodel and the various components that requested special attention to detail, innovative means of reclaiming lost storage space, and increasing overall functionality for our clients. Like all of our designs, this project required us to take into consideration the current needs of the client, but we also had to put extra emphasis on the secured longevity of the design by registering the needs of the clients as they age.


Interior Design Firm Designs A Master Bath To Be More Functional

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The remodel took place in a home located in Portland’s historic Irvington neighborhood. Because the homes carry a great deal of aesthetic weight and detail we did not want to create a design that detracted from the overall beauty of the home. After doing inspirational research we were able to manipulate cabinetry that incorporated additional storage while adding visual appeal to the bathroom.

The original bathroom included two oddly placed windows that did not serve a truly functional purpose and threw off the overall look of the space. Instead of simply replacing the windows we reformatted the wall and placed a hopper style window with mullions that correlated with the rest of the home.


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We chose hardware and plumbing that stayed true to the period of the home but also lent itself to time-less design without sacrificing on the quality of materials or craftsmanship. The polished nickel finish on the hardware brings in a flash of sparkle and has an element of warmth rather than the sterile feel of polished chrome.

Can lighting was placed above the shower and built in cabinetry for functional reasons, while a circular semi-flushmount illuminated the general space and rounds out the overhead visual lines. Two wall sconces flank the cabinet tower above the vanity bringing in a updated element and blending seamlessly with the forms in the cabinetry.


Can you describe the general design goals of the home/project?

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DM: Before we began, the master bathroom severely lacked storage, did not have adequate ventilation, poor lighting, and worn hardwood flooring.

During the initial planning stage we focused on increasing the functionality of the bathroom and then began layering in aesthetic elements.  The original bathroom had a well-used cast iron claw foot bathtub and the nostalgia had worn off. Our clients requested a shower that could be used for years to come. We removed the old tub and designed and walk in, low-curb shower large enough to hold two people. On one end we placed a rain showerhead and pressure showerhead on the other, as well as a wall mounted body sprayer.


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By specifying large format tile for the shower walls we cut down on visual grout lines while increasing overall clean-ability. To draw in an extra aesthetic touch we specified two courses of small format porcelain tiles to run around the perimeter of the shower. Visually it breaks up the understated field of tile and ties in the shampoo niches that sit on either end of the shower.

We addressed the lack of storage by designing a custom vanity with tower and by knocking into a wall cavity to create space for a built in linen cabinet.


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Can you describe the home's/project’s budgetary constraints or considerations?

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DM: The overall budget for the bathroom was set at $30,000. By working with vendors we were able to adequately source materials and products that fit within our budget constrictions without stepping away from quality materials or design. This value driven approach then translates over into the overall increased value of the client’s home. By adding additional storage features and other elements we were able to tie the master bath back into the master suite as a whole, creating a cohesive aesthetic and functional package for the home.


Can you describe any special challenges or obstacles faced during the home design?

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Because of the age of the home we were unable to source original blueprints for the home, it was also completely safe to assume that no wall sat perfectly at 90 degrees nor was the floor perfectly level. After the demolition phase we learned that the cavity in which a built in cabinet was to be placed was not hollow as initially thought. Rather, it housed an old no-longer used chimney that the homeowner was not aware of. After discussing with the contractor it was brought to light that the chimney could be simply removed, alleviating space for the built in.


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The back wall of the shower also proved to be a challenge, but one that was discovered mid-construction. Our initial designs called for the shampoo niches to be placed in the back wall of the shower. However, during construction it was brought to our attention that the back wall was only 1.5” thick. At first we were confused by the oddity, but soon learned that builders during the period in which the house was built would construct walls with flat stud orientation to cut down on required space and use of materials. The depth did not provide ample room for the shampoo niches we specified so we re-oriented the design and placed the niches within the two sidewalls of the shower.

If you have a bathroom remodel project, we'd love to help you!