The challenge: Dan Wellik wanted to inject a modern vibe and sophisticated sensibility into his 2004 condo in northeast Minneapolis. His first big remodeling project was remaking the humdrum master bathroom to add upgraded finishes, streamlined style and spa-like amenities. "I wanted to go with more muted masculine colors," he said, "and to turn it into a retreat."
The designer: Greg Walsh, Walsh Design Group, Minneapolis, www.walshdesigngroup.com, 612-317-0045.
Master suite retreat: Since Wellik's bathroom is connected to a walk-in closet and the master bedroom, the design is "geared around Dan's lifestyle of getting ready for work in the morning and going out at night," Walsh said.
For a masculine yet refined look, Walsh mixed dark, rich materials including oversized porcelain tile, textural grasscloth wallpaper and quartz countertops. The cabinets are a clean-lined wood-grain laminate that "feels and looks like wood, but is durable for a bathroom," said Walsh. "It's a cost-effective alternative to exotic woods."
Shower central: Walsh replaced the never-used tub with a generous-sized shower, outfitted with three different shower heads. "When I turn down the lights and turn on the rain shower, it feels like I'm in a spa," Wellik said. "It's such a great way to start or end my day."
Coffee and cocktails: In the morning, Wellik can pull out a coffeemaker stored in an appliance garage and brew a cup of java without leaving the suite. In the evening, he can mix drinks from a countertop bar beneath cabinets for glassware. A mini refrigerator holds beverages. "I can pour a glass of wine or make a martini while I'm getting ready to go out," he said.
Design challenge: Walsh had to keep the existing plumbing intact due to the condo's concrete walls.
Product cubbies: Shelving was built into the tiled shower wall to keep the bathroom tidy and organized.
Earthy palette: Shower and floor tiles and mosaic glass backsplash are in shades of gray and black with brown accents. "Even though it's modern, it has a nice warmth to it," said Walsh.
Layers of light: Under-cabinet lighting, reflective pendants in front of the mirror and indirect soffit lighting, all on dimmer switches, help create a relaxing setting.
Touch of glam: Metallic accents in the grasscloth wallpaper and gold metallic paint on the ceiling add a bit of shimmer.
Art niche: Walsh had a pedestal built and lights installed to showcase an Asian statue Wellik found at an antique store. "I really wanted to have a nice piece of art in the bathroom that draws your eye in," he said.