Conveniently located in the historic district of Mt. Vernon of Baltimore City, our clients bought their two bedroom, two bath apartment from a lawyer who was using it as his office. The kitchen had been turned into his storage room with shelves, and the plumbing connections capped off below the flooring. There was dated track lighting throughout, the hardwood floors had been splattered with white wall paint and covered up with wall to wall carpeting for the office, the bathrooms were dated, plumbing was leaking, and mold problems had begun to take hold. The entire apartment needed to have it’s ceilings re-laminated, new trim, new doors, new lighting, and new electrical and cable. Our clients had intended to renovate as soon as they moved in, but being busy with their demanding careers, they spent the last couple of years enjoying the local restaurants, ordering take out, and using their microwave. But what they really wanted to have redone, and was the impetus for the whole remodel, was a walk-in closet and a luxurious master bath with a large soaking tub. Since they enjoyed having friends and family over, and never felt proud of their current circumstances, they finally said “Enough is enough!” and gave Thomson Remodeling a call. Some of the challenges during the remodel involved the fact that the apartment building is concrete slab construction, which means all of the plumbing lines ran through a concrete floor with 1 ½" sleepers above, making replacement and re-routing the pipes quite difficult. Also, any electrical lines that ran across the concrete ceilings needed to be hidden discreetly. The kitchen area was very small, and the clients expressed a desire not to open the wall between the kitchen and the dining/living area. Also, there were 12" high bulkheads, a wide column dividing the kitchen that carried the duct work for the building, and air conditioning vents at the ceiling lines in the kitchen. Another spacial difficulty in the kitchen was and existing electrical box that carried the apartments entire circuitry. This box needed to be readily accessed, was currently positioned at such a height as to interfere with new wall cabinetry, and once the entire apartments electrical was updated, needed to be twice as big. The master bath and powder room spaces were quite tight for some of the clients needs. The goal was to give them what they desired and keep these tight spaces looking clean, crisp and spacious.
With all of this in mind, we went to work with our client approved plans. The clients enjoyed mid to dark woods and chose cabinetry and counter tops in darker tones. To counters balance the darker tones, a light colored floor and wall tile was chosen, as well as a soft toned wall paint. The floor tile was laid at a diagonal to give a more expansive feel. Careful attention was given to the kitchen lighting since the space was small and there was no natural light. We installed under cabinet lighting for task lights, an elegant s-shaped track light at the ceiling with adjustable heads for overall light, and rope lights above the wall cabinets (hidden behind the crown molding) to give an ambient glow at night. The wall cabinets not taken up to the ceiling to allow for the many air conditioning vents that existed, however focus was taken away from the ducts by capping the cabinets with crown molding. Since space was at a premium, we angled the corner cabinets and created a space for a large kitchen sink, and a lazy susan cabinet opposite. There are also other space saving cabinet conveniences such as a pull-out waste basket, tray dividers, drawers for pots and pans, and so on. The new, larger electric panel was reinstalled to face into the living room where it was painted the wall color and hidden behind art work.
The hallway between the master bathroom and bedroom was converted to contain a walk-in closet. The only access to the master bath now became through this closet. The existing master bathroom door was moved to accommodate an new 42" wide, 20"deep, effervescent bubble massage soaking tub. A custom pivoting glass door was installed so that the clients were able to enjoy full use of the tub and shower without feeling “closed-in”. Wall mounted faucets, furniture-like cabinets on stainless steel legs, with clean lines, and light toned tile helped to keep this bathroom feel spacious and luxurious. Also, a heated floor was installed to complete the spa-like feel.
In the guest bathroom we tore out an existing linen closet to install a shower in it’s place. We installed a fixed clear glass shower screen to create an open frame less look and used a rain head shower fixture to keep most to the water behind the screen. Wall tile was taken to the ceiling and along the back wall to create more height and depth. A pedestal sink was installed for ease and function. Another smaller closet was taken out to fit a European stacking washer and dryer that was ideal for the 24" wide closet and even had a pull out surface for folding clothes! A under floor heat was also installed in this bathroom to keep guests warm and comfortable.
The dated obtrusive track lighting was taken down in the dining/living room, guest room, and master bedroom. All ceilings were laminated to a smooth surface, new electric lines were hidden in the laminate and new ceiling fixtures installed throughout.
All wood floors were refinished and stained. New trim and doors were installed throughout.
Over 1100 square feet.
What once felt like an abandoned office that was being used as temporary living quarters has been transformed into a sophisticated haven in the heart of the city. This is now a luxurious living space for the couple to return to after enduring their demanding careers, cook a great meal, and take a long bath. They also enjoy inviting their friends and family over for holidays and special get together. The clients are simply thrilled with the outcome!
Mary Mosner, Designer; David Dagdigian, Lead Carpenter; Nissel Plumbing; Sippel Electric; Frank Berkowitz, Tile.
Ultracraft Cabinets, Milano style door, GE Appliances, Granite countertops, Kohler bathroom fixtures and tub, Warmly Yours electric floor heat matts.