Master bathroom flexes some muscles

Henry and Nick have been renovating their massive three-story Victorian house since moving in four years ago. They started at the bottom and worked their way up, but were baffled when they got to the final room: an awkwardly shaped master bathroom that was anything but functional. The third-floor space was cramped and outdated, and the guys were desperate to turn it into a modern-day “gentleman’s club.”

Recently, Nick was diagnosed with diabetes and told to commence an exercise regimen. It was then the project took on greater urgency and I was called in to help. For now they not only wanted a new bathroom, they needed a workout area to help Nick maintain a healthy lifestyle.

As it stood, the bathroom was chopped up into three separate spaces: a toilet/tub/shower space, a storage closet and a sunroom. So the first order of the day was to gut the maze of small rooms, pull out all of the old fixtures and start from scratch. Once this was accomplished, I was left with a huge, open space, which I painted in a crisp, neutral shade. I then put down clean white tiles overtop of radiant heating pads on the floor.

Next came the task of installing new state-of-the-art bathroom fixtures. I put in a gorgeous soaker tub, complete with a waterproof LCD television and remote control and tiled an adjacent area in a beautiful white and dark taupe mosaic tile. For a little something extra, I flanked the tub with gorgeous dark wood bookcases. I also installed a new toilet and a barrier-free shower stall with multiple body sprays, an overhead rain shower and a hand-held showerhead.

On the wall across from the shower, I put up a chic double vanity comprised of dark wood cabinetry topped with a white quartz countertop. I then put up two very tall mirrors and two modern polished stainless steel basins with funky wall-mounted spout faucets.

However, this bathroom was not just about relaxation. It needed a workout component to help get Nick moving. To that end, I put in a low-impact elliptical trainer with a heart-monitoring system. The machine, which has a good view of the television, sits beside new sliding glass doors with white linen curtains that will eventually lead out to a new deck.

I also created a dressing room adjacent to the bathroom that would make any fashionista giddy. For the ultimate organization, I put in a stunning dark wood storage system complete with shelves, drawers, clothes racks, a built-in ironing board and a washer and dryer.

To lighten up the room, I put up a chrome-disc chandelier over the tub and four sconces over the vanity. Then it was time for a few final finishes — a heated towel rack, some fluffy robes and some spalike amenities — and the space was complete.

By using masculine finishes, modern fixtures and space-saving techniques, this bathroom got a men’s-club-inspired makeover that blends serenity with functionality.

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas or information visit www.divinedesign.tv. Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.

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