She wanted a new shower. It came with a new kitchen and bath.

When my daughter and son-in-law bought their first home together two years ago, the young couple had three dreams: a new kitchen, a nicer bathroom, and a baby. Last month they got all three.

Except for the outdated kitchen and tired main bath, the 15-year-old Craftsman-style house had everything Paige and Adam wanted for what they hoped would be their growing family — great location, good schools and enough bedrooms.

The worst part of the home was the shower, which Paige, who gets her patience from her mother, wanted to replace the second she moved in. “My college dorm had a better shower,” I remember her saying day one. Indeed, the small cubicle smelled like a mushroom farm, had a calcified door, and would have fit right in at a campground.

Before: The existing bathroom. (Courtesy Marni Jameson)
Before: The existing bathroom. (Courtesy Marni Jameson) 

How quickly could they fix that? An interior designer and a contractor each told them that if they wanted to replace the shower, they would need to replace the adjoining bathtub. If they replaced the bathtub, they would need to replace the floor, and they might as well update the vanity too.

Anyone who has ever remodeled knows how a small change leads to a big change which leads to a total gut. And in the Denver area where they live, between the labor shortage and the building boom, most contractors would not want a job that small. If they remodeled the kitchen, too, they’d have a better shot at attracting a contractor.

Welcome to the world of home remodeling.

Disheartened, Paige and Adam pressed pause. That was not wasted time. Over the next two years, they envisioned what they really wanted in these rooms. They separated the must-haves (an eat-in kitchen with a gas cooktop) from the nice-to-haves (more counter space). They dreamed. They planned. They got pregnant. They hired a designer.

After a “discovery call” to get a sense of the project’s scope, time frame and budget, interior designer Kate Clapp of Kate Saige Interiors met with with them at their home. She shared her ideas and assured them they could get what they wanted.

“She got it,” Paige said. “By this point, we were just so happy that someone knew what we wanted and had a hand on the wheel, especially with a baby on the way.”

Clapp replaced the door between the primary bedroom and bath with a classic arch, then added a larger glass shower featuring Spanish ivory subway tile, a soaker undermount tub surrounded by a quartz deck, and an updated vanity with the same quartz countertop over cabinets repainted in Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige. The remodeled bathroom also has slate plank flooring and new light fixtures, mirrors, faucets and sinks. (I’ll share the kitchen improvements next week.)

The change, in Adam’s word, was “existential.”

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