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Designing a Dream Bath
The area’s top stores for tile, stone, sinks, faucets, and more. Plus—designers who know bathrooms. By Kate Nerenberg, Lynne Shallcross
Comments () | Published March 1, 2009

Top Bathroom Designers

These firms have designers who specialize in bathrooms and who are recommended highly. Keep in mind that a good architect or interior designer can also design a beautiful bathroom.

Bath & Kitchen Creations, 43671 Trade Center Pl., Suite 112, Sterling; 703-996-8600; This family-owned design/build firm has a bath designer and handles lots of traditional bathrooms. Owner Bob Clements says they can work within existing walls to make a bathroom seem larger; techniques include using light colors, closet systems, mirrors, and glass-enclosed showers. Ceramic tile, safety features, and glass shower doors are common features of this firm’s baths.

Case Design/Remodeling, 4701 Sangamore Rd., Suite 40, Bethesda, 301-229-4600; 14301-C Sullyfield Cir., Chantilly, 703-803-2273; 701 Park Ave., Falls Church, 703-241-2980; The seven bath designers at this nearly 50-year-old company lean toward traditional styles and are experts at navigating small condo units. For a simple, streamlined bath upgrade, Case offers an Express Bath service with packages designed to fit existing floor plans. Senior designer April Case Underwood and three others are certified green remodelers.

Dee David & Co., by appointment, Falls Church; 703-560-6601; Dee David has more than 30 years’ experience and works only in Virginia. She incorporates safety into her designs and makes sure the products fit the user and the room: “The scale of the space as well as the scale of the clients are always considered.” Function does not preclude form; David and her assistant designer have degrees in interior design. Projects have a $15,000 minimum.

Design Solutions, 1598-D Whitehall Rd., Annapolis; 800-894-7349; Joni Zimmerman has been designing bathrooms for 30 years. She likes classic with a twist: She remodeled a powder room in her own home using Italian glass mosaic tiles. Another recent project included a steam shower with a liquid-fuel fireplace between walls of glass and a shower bench contoured to the owner’s body. What you won’t see in one of her designs: “typical tile that screams bathroom.”

Harvey’s Kitchens & Baths, 22560 Glenn Dr., Suite 115, Sterling; 703-444-0871; Certified bath designer Kara Reinertsen creates custom baths ranging from traditional to contemporary. The 31-year-old firm’s designs often include such indulgences as multiple showerheads, air baths, and heated floors.

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, 6935 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-657-2500; Bathroom specialist Carolyn Thomas strives to create bathrooms that will make clients feel “rejuvenated,” because, she says, “it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.” In December, she renovated a 20-year-old bathroom in the principal suite of Blair House, where guests of the President stay.

Kitchen & Bath Factory, 4624 Lee Hwy., Arlington; 703-522-7337; Before joining this 29-year-old company, designer David Doughton worked as a drafter for architects and engineers. He and fellow designer Russell Hawkins emphasize functionality and specialize in achieving more counter space and storage in small bathrooms. Doughton says they stay away from designer products because “they look pretty, but they aren’t functional.” Baths run from $12,000 to $23,000.

Kitchen Guild, Northwest DC, 202-362-7111; Fairfax, 703-323-1660; McLean, 703-893-8900; Alexandria, 703-518-5006; Three years ago, Kitchen Guild created BathExpress, a predesigned package that can be installed in less than a week. At its four showrooms, customers can mix and match accessories, colors, and styles. BathExpress services run from $10,000 to $20,000; custom design from $18,000 to $80,000, with powder rooms typically $5,000 to $10,000.

Reico Kitchen & Bath, Bethesda, 301-654-6000; Falls Church, 703-748-0700; Springfield, 703-914-4900; Annapolis, 410-571-8400; This company is the exclusive distributor of Harborview, a custom-look bath-furniture line that comes in three styles: traditional, cottage, and contemporary.

Shreve/McGonegal, 212 N. West St., Falls Church; 703-385-9441; This design/build/supply firm opened in 1915 and does gutting and restoration of bathrooms. In addition to designers, it has licensed plumbers, carpenters, and electricians on staff plus “reference rooms” at its showroom that teach about bath-design options. What would you never see in one of its bathrooms? Something that doesn’t function, says Jim Lynch, a certified bathroom designer: “When I get through, these rooms work.”

Tunis Kitchen & Bath Showroom, 7032 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-5513; Mark Watson, the bathroom expert at this highly respected firm, has 15 years of design experience as well as training in construction and drafting. Tunis specializes in contemporary baths that usually run between $10,000 and $30,000.

Great Bath Showrooms, Tile Shops, and Other Resources

Ann Sacks Tile Stone Plumbing, 3328 M St., Georgetown; 202-339-0840; This national chain manufactures its own line of tile. It specializes in art tile, offering more than 300 colors. The store also carries high-end stone, glass, and mosaic tiles. Two staff designers help create custom plumbing and tile.

Architectural Ceramics, Rockville, 301-762-4140; Bethesda, 301-718-8343; Alexandria, 703-299-6200; Falls Church, 703-714-0161; A favorite of architects, interior designers, and homeowners, this local chain’s huge tile selection includes custom, hand-painted, and ecofriendly tile.

Arena Stone, 9020 Edgeworth Dr., Capitol Heights; 301-499-2100; This large showroom carries natural stone including granite, limestone, onyx, and slate.

Arlandria Floors, 1800 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-548-4848; This 40-year-old firm offers a large selection of laminates, tile, linoleum, and ceramic.

Best Tile, 11601 Boiling Brook Pkwy., Rockville, 301-984-3399; 8196 Terminal Rd., Lorton, 703-550-2352; This importer specializes in tumbled and antique stone as well as porcelain, glass, metal, and ceramic tile.


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 03/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles