Interior designer Suzan Meredith and her husband bought their new-construction Ashburn home 17 years ago. Never a fan of the master bath layout, she wanted to sink her teeth into a redo since move-in day. But life got in the way, and it would be 15 years to fruition. Which meant lots of time to bookmark her wish list and sway her husband on its merits.
Now it’s her favorite space, and she got it just right. Years of planning produced must-haves and winning workarounds. She knew there was more closet space, if only she could get to it. That became her deal breaker; she weeded out contractors incapable of understanding the importance of reclaiming that hidden square footage.
After some convincing, her husband eventually came around to the idea of removing the rarely used soaking tub. Meredith enlarged the shower—it’s by no means oversize—glassed it in and added a genius pop-out vent to keep steam in, or exhale it out. Timed radiant heating warms the tile floor, the shower and the bench inside.
“I do really like traditional Northern Virginia homes,” she says, “but I did want to add an element of the modern spa bath.”
She gained a second vanity within the bath space—something she wanted from day one. The granite-topped white vanities boast loads of storage, and she replaced the hardware with crystal knobs—a suggestion from one of her design-oriented daughters. A pocket door saves space between the bedroom and bath, and in between, a new narrow wall frames one of her favorite pieces, her jewelry armoire. Its full-length mirror doubles as a shallow door, revealing her orderly collection of necklaces dangling from hooks.
“I’m a little bit of bling,” she says of her cozy, glittery bath, replete with chandeliers, crystal accents and a backsplash of “glass and sparkle, mirrored little tiles.” She loves movement in granite and knew the play of black, white and gray would “pop” off the tile and vanities.
It was all about “spa and comfort,” she says, referring to the luxurious radiant heat. Both she and her husband enjoy waking up to that enveloping warmth, but selling it took some effort. “As an interior designer, I do a lot of marriage therapy,” she jokes. She loves helping clients and couples with their must-haves and have-nots, finding common ground and design solutions.
Meredith never liked that the builder had installed one of the original vanities in the master bedroom, and one inside the bath. “I just thought that was so weird,” she says. Behind the original bathroom vanity was “a reach-in closet, and I knew that there was blank space back there.” This was her chance to reclaim it, tailoring it as she envisioned: part walk-in, part linen closet.
Favorite Feature of the Room
Her own style skews traditional, but she loves the light fixtures, she says of the shimmering chandeliers installed overhead and the miniature versions above the vanity mirrors. She got her bling touches: “I love that these are so modern, but they’re still crystal.”