“It’s the hardest thing to do your own house,” says interior designer Tracy Hains of Che Bella Interiors, who recently decided to redo her bedroom and bathroom. The home sits on a beautiful lake shore, but its exterior beauty wasn’t quite reflected on the inside. The colors were dated with heavy blues and green tile, and there was a too-large bathtub you had to step up into. Not only did it take up a huge part of the floor plan, but it also proved to be dangerous to get in and out of because of the lip over the tub. On top of it all, there were basic storage elements Hains was looking for that just weren’t included. Functionality and style were lacking.
“I will buy this house,” Hains had told her husband, “but we are remodeling every inch of it, because it’s not who we are.”
And remodel she has. Hains, senior interior designer Calie Pierce, and interior designer Stefanie Cohoe worked together to begin the transformation in September 2020.
Much of the remodel’s style was inspired by the lake outside the bedroom window. Hains was looking to hint at a coastal feel without going over the top. Blue tile in the shower reflects the lake’s waters, and the calming color blends nicely into the bedroom space next door. “We tried to have lots of different textural elements to it, whether it was the ribbed tile or the cork wallpaper in the bedroom or the hexagon linen tile,” says Hains.
The team navigated difficult-to-remove floor tiles when they began the process of adding new in-floor heating. Proving even more challenging was the discovery that the bathtub was placed in a giant slab of concrete. The only solution was to use a jackhammer to chisel the concrete out.
One positive surprise was the discovery of extra space for the shower. Part of the closet from the foyer next door was just a void, and upon its discovery, Hains decided to place a shower and bench in the space.
Hains also achieved what she needed in terms of storage, installing hidden medicine cabinets recessed into the wall—making it easy to avoid clutter and keep counter space clear. “Some of the cabinets aren’t even full,” says Hains, laughing. “I hate to say it, but they’re not.” The space continues with a built-in linen closet adjacent to the tub. It adds even more storage options without compromising floor space.
Nearby, the bedroom features a sliding door that grants access to the deck outside. Hains loves the easy access to the natural lakeside ambiance, from sounds of wildlife to the soft motor of the occasional passing boat. The bathtub is no longer a hazard, and instead, provides the perfect escape for Hains to relax and decompress. (Or at least it will. For the time being, she’s living in the basement as the rest of her home receives its own remodel.)