Before & after: Master bath makeover

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 27, 2013 - 4:10 PM

A single guy can unwind in this modern master bath restyled with a spa-style shower, coffee bar and masculine flair.

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AFTER: The calming color scheme, heated floors and a coffee/cocktail bar turn this master bathroom into a multifunctional retreat.

Photo: Photos by Greg Page,

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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.

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  • BEFORE & AFTER: Master bath by designer Greg Walsh. Photo Greg Page

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