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Pillars of Creation

Pillars of Creation

Danny Hamen

A master bathroom is a place for serenity and solitude—that sanctuary in your home where you can count on not being bothered by the pains of the outside world. As the decades turn, so does the concept of what a modern bathroom should look like. Designer and contractor Leo Winkelman, of Winkelman Design Home Remodeling, positions himself at the spearhead of style. Gone away are the days of garish old tubs, for the freestanding showers now reign supreme.
“Large, stand-alone showers are the way people are going for master bathrooms these days,” said Winkelman, pointing out that for this project he had to rip out the existing tub in order to conform to modern bathroom trends. The end result was stunningly elegant—a modern take on the master bathroom. Just don’t drop the remote to the television in the toilet.

We based our design after photographs that they had of a bathroom that they liked. They liked the large, open concept with a stand-alone shower. Of course, we had to modify the design a bit to adapt to their space. A lot of our designs are organic and they come together as we go; it is a really nice and freeing way to design something.

Tile on Tile:
We used all tile—they are much larger than they used to be. They look like planks of wood even though they are ceramic, making it look quite authentic. This is a natural design; we ran it in the shower and on the wall giving it a nice uniform feel. The back wall is the back of the shower, so it only made sense that we used the same tile. Using too many colors makes the design look too busy.

Corkscrew Lighting:
They actually came together later and were chosen by the decorator, Jim Smith, who found them on It is a great resource; you can look at tens of thousands of photographs of modeling concepts. You can even put in your zip code and they will send you contractors in your area.

Fashioning the Pillars:
We toyed with a lot of different ideas and tried a lot of interesting things. We were able to find the shower setups—the elongated head, and all the fixtures—but we were concerned because we never used them before. We actually set it up in my driveway. There was a temporary pole that we hooked up to my garden hose to it to see how it functioned. We were concerned that the towers were too narrow to stand on their own, so that’s why we decided to connect them to the ceiling. The end result looked very sleek and charming.

Vanity Project:
The vanity setup was original—what we did was change the vanity doors to give it the look it has now. Those are actually doors on the cabinets, but they look like drawers now. We didn’t have to change the cabinets, just the doors, making it look brand new. We changed the mirrors and the TV, but the vanity is all original.


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