UNDERSTORY DESIGN BUILD

STOWE HOLLOW BEDROOM & BATHROOM

 

This project was a renovation and addition for clients in need of more space for their growing family. We built a 12’ x 20’ Master Bedroom off the back of their home behind an existing office. 3 Feet of the office became a hallway to connect the new Master Bedroom to the rest of the home. The remainder of the office became the new Bathroom/Laundry Room. The layout maximizes efficiency and allows the new and old spaces to flow well together.

 

OUR PROCESS….

  • From the beginning, we worked closely with the clients to determine their needs and preferences for all aspects of the project.
  • We understood what was important to them (budget, overall goal of creating more space, functionality, using natural materials), and which aspects they trusted our judgment for (best building practices, energy efficiency, aesthetics).
  • Sustainability is of utmost importance to our Design-Build business so we made many of our decisions through this lens. We used exceptional insulating strategies, water fixtures in the bathroom, LED lighting, and Energy Star rated washer & dryer.
  • We created a tight, but breathable, energy efficient structure. These considerations have greatly paid off! The new space remains very comfortable with little to no effort made for heating and cooling.
  • High indoor air quality is important to maintain a healthy environment; we used zero VOC paint and incorporated a humidistat in the bathroom.
  • Since the clients love spending time outdoors, we used wood in several places to create a connection to the forested Vermont surroundings.
  • We were mindful of how difficult it can be to live in a home under construction and completed in the project in a timely manner. The clients were eager to move in, and absolutely love the end result.
Hallway, pine trim bedroom door carpet
cathedral Ceiling, pine, wood

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN….

  • Closed cell insulation in the cathedral ceiling allows for maximum insulative value within a small space.
  • We used rigid foam underneath the new structure, on the exterior of their new bedroom walls, and along the rim joist of their existing home to give exceptional thermal performance.
  • All new walls have mineral wool insulation, which is energy efficient, water repellent, and fire resistant. In addition to air sealing all gaps and cracks, this helps to keep the space more temperature controlled.
  • The energy star rated stackable washer and dryer are efficient machines that are compact and fit nicely in the space.
  • Low flow showerhead
  • Toilet which uses only 1.8 Gallons of water per flush
  • Energy efficient bathroom light/fan which has a humidistat and incorporates LED lighting. The humidistat automatically senses when moisture is in the air and runs appropriately to control it, thus always maintaining good indoor air quality.
  • LED Vanity light- extremely efficient and the bulbs will last 30+ years
  • LED recessed downlight in the shower

 

shower head, tile, vanity

FUNCTIONAL DESIGN….

  • This project gives the homeowners a second bathroom and large master bedroom. The additional living space has been warmly welcomed by the whole family.
  • A back door in the bedroom leads to a small deck. This gives the clients another place to relax and a convenient route to their backyard.
  • Careful space planning in the bathroom allowed us to create a highly functional space. A stackable washer and dryer on the first floor will mitigate the inconvenience of traveling down a staircase to do laundry in the basement.
  • New pocket door rather than a swing door saves valuable floor space in both the hallway and the bathroom.
  • We maximized storage space by incorporating two pop-out closets in the bedroom, a very large bathroom vanity cabinet and utilizing an awkward nook in their existing office; we made the storage area accessible by building two large shelves and installing them on sliders so they can pull out for easy access (much like in kitchen cabinets). This solution makes the storage area very user friendly.
  • We incorporated a bench and shampoo niche in the shower. For the ladies of the home, this bench makes shaving in the shower much more enjoyable. Additionally, the bench offers a convenient element of accessibility should anyone using the shower need it.
  • An adjustable height hand shower along with a fixed showerhead accommodates everyone’s heights while showering.
  • A mirrored medicine cabinet provides abundant storage in an elegant and concealed way.
Stackable washer dryer

BEAUTIFUL DESIGN….

  • Tongue and groove pine for the bedroom’s cathedral ceiling gives the space an expansive feeling. This pine was also used for the wall behind the bed, a wainscoting perimeter, and the trim & baseboard. Not only beautiful, the wood brings an element of nature indoors which is greatly appreciated by the clients.
  • The rooms have a pleasant color palette of earthy neutrals, blues, and greens.
  • Wood looking tile in the bathroom gives a contemporary look that also incorporates the client’s love for nature-inspired materials.
  • A slab of red oak with a dark ebony stain gives the vanity countertop a rich, elegant surface.
  • Since the client’s water has a lot of iron, we did not use white fixtures, but instead used a biscuit colored toilet and sink, and stone looking porcelain tile for the shower floor. This subtle color will make iron spotting less noticeable over time.
Stackable washer dryer

BUDGET CONSCIOUS DESIGN….

  • We were budget conscious throughout the entire project. We used quality but reasonably priced fixtures and finishes.
  • We repurposed a window that we removed from the old office and used in the new bedroom.
  • We found a very large reclaimed vanity cabinet for the bathroom. We painted it with an antiqued faux finish, replaced the knobs, replaced one hinge and added shelves (which were also reclaimed). In the end it looked great and cost just a fraction of what a new similar vanity would have cost.
  • For their large vanity, we needed a large countertop. To save money, we found a slab of dried Red Oak. We finished it with a dark ebony stain and several clear coats to give it a smooth glassy finish. It looks and feels luxurious, but saved money by using wood. It’s durable and will last a very long time.
  • The tile we used for the bathroom floor and the walls of the new shower were not only beautiful, but also very affordable. We purchased them from an overstock area of a local tile shop. They cost less than half of what similar looking tiles usually cost.
  • We found beautiful and affordable lighting fixtures.
Vanity cabinet wood countertop storage
stackable washer dryer, walk in shower, vanity cabinet