Catherine Wilkes creates an in-home spa experience.

By Kathryn Stouffer

As part of an entire master-suite remodel, local builder Catherine Wilkes and designer Mark Cravotta teamed up to transform a bachelor’s dark and dated bathroom into a spa-inspired escape.

In order to achieve the warm and relaxing aura of a spa, Wilkes first addressed the flow of the space, rearranging key features to maximize square footage. She removed an underutilized and oddly placed kitchenette located in between the bedroom and bathroom and swapped the tub and shower locations to open up the flow. From there, she focused on the visual appeal, installing walnut and teak elements, custom frosted glass, soft lighting, and like all high-end spas, a towel warmer, among many other updates.

With any remodel, bigger picture structural changes must be made to accommodate certain preferences. With this project, Wilkes and her team reframed the shower and recessed the floor to allow for a curb-free shower, in addition to dealing with the installation of the weighty artisan privacy glass, which runs 200 pounds per piece. Wilkes shares more details from this master-bath remodel as well as her tips on tackling bathroom updates yourself.

For smaller bathroom updates on a tighter DIY budget, Wilkes recommends the following changes.

Paint cabinets for a relatively low-effort, high-impact change.

Swap out bathroom hardware. Opting for sleeker cabinet handles, towel bars, toilet-paper holder and robe hooks will eliminate unnecessary visual clutter and distraction.

Switch light fixtures and plumbing fixtures for more modern designs. • If your budget permits, changing tile, countertop surfaces and shower doors can breathe new life into a space.

Are you prepared to tackle a full bathroom remodel? Wilkes’s first tip is to, “move out or into another area of the house.” From there, Wilkes advises the following.

• Take the opportunity to rethink the space. She encourages clients to think outside the confines of the space: “Would the bathtub or shower work better in another location? Do you have enough natural light?”

Consult a designer to help you differentiate between trends and timeless updates. Avoid installing trendy or bold colors for countertops or tile as these are more costly to change than paint.

Enlist the help of a professional to ensure a high level of finish and fine craftsmanship. Contractors and designers can also help with city permits and code requirements.

Recreate this look with these key elements in your own space.

New Ravenna glass tile in Tortoise Shell—featured on shower wall, and extending throughout the space

Kohler bathtub

Architerra tile



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