That Christine Fritsch loves coastal living is evident the minute you walk into her Lake Sherwood-area home.
The entryway, with its vaulted ceiling, is bright and airy. White and light blues and grays are the primary colors, with breezy artwork featuring beach scenes and sailing vessels. A prized portrait of her six children — three out of college, one in college and two in high school — was taken on an East Coast beach. She met her husband, Dale, swimming laps in a Philadelphia pool, and all the offspring are swimmers.
As the kids started graduating from college, the Fritsches started remodeling projects on their 18-year-old home. First came new hardwood floors. Next was the just-finished master bathroom, which was in dire need of an update. The room had a large jetted bathtub and walls that limited space, with no place to store towels or other necessities. Plus, there was no door between the bathroom and bedroom.
The couple turned to Passow Remodeling for the project.
“What sold me on Passow was I could work with a designer, Jennifer Metzger,” Christine said. “She was great. She told me she would hold my hand and help me pick out paint colors. That’s what sold me.”
Even though Christine is a fan of some HGTV remodeling shows, she said, “Watching all those shows doesn’t give you the confidence to actually do a remodel. That’s why having Jennifer’s help was so great.”
The new bathroom is large and airy and fits the home’s style. The entrance has a pocket door where there wasn’t one before. Walls were moved to add a large linen closet, complete with a light that automatically comes on when the door is opened.
The new toilet has a self-cleaning feature. The exhaust fan has a humidity sensor, and the new tile floor is on top of electric radiant floor heating.
Christine talked about how Passow helped them through the decision-making process. She wanted to replace the jetted tub with a stand-alone soaker version, but when the Passow people helped her realize she only used the tub one or two times a year and there was another one in a different bathroom, she followed their suggestion to nix the tub and build a larger shower.
On the flip side, when Christine requested a window in the shower, Passow worked at making that request a reality. It’s not a “window” in the traditional sense, where it looks outdoors, but more of a cut-out in the shower wall to look into the rest of the bathroom. The result was one of the most eye-catching features of the space.
The room has a traditional window, which is a glass-block holdover from the original design. There is also a ceiling fan in the high, vaulted ceiling. The contrasting dark-blue cabinets were made by Custom Woods and feature a tower cabinet between the two sinks with hidden electrical outlets for charging electronics. The counter top is a gray-toned, speckled onyx.
Christine said the whole project was “fun, but overwhelming picking out all of the fixtures.”
“It’s amazing the difference in price between one type of tile and another,” she said.
“I’m amazed by what the bathroom used to look like and what it looks like now. I like how light it is, and we have space. We’re not on top of each other anymore. My daughter said, ‘Mom, it looks like a hotel.’ She’s right. It does.”
Linda A. Ditch is a freelance writer from Topeka. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.