Creating Sanctuaries – Master Bathrooms Spas
With Interior Architectural Designer Kristi Wolfe Designs
by Cassidy Mantor
Interior architectural designer Kirsti Wolfe of Kirsti Wolfe Designs is the expert you need to help turn your master bathroom into your dream spa. She will create a personal sanctuary for ultimate wellness in the convenience of your own home.
Kirsti has 30 years of experience as an interior architectural designer. She has a background in interior design and a master’s degree in interior architecture. For the past 16 years, after starting her own business in Bend, she has helped homeowners design their dream interior spaces in custom builds and remodels. Her full-service firm is on top of the newest product lines and technologies for bathrooms as well as for the whole house. They also balance functionality with a design perspective to deliver clients an aesthetically pleasing space that flows and gives them exactly what they want.
DEFINING THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT
Kirsti’s approach to designing master bathrooms begins with getting to know you. Through a series of initial meetings, she asks questions to understand what you envision for your bathroom experience as well as your budget. She begins with items that need to be included, and then asks progressively deeper questions to understand how you live in the space.
“We dig deep. How you work with your partner in the bathroom is important because that could mean separate vanities or another solution because you can’t stand their mess,” says Kirsti. “At the early stage we don’t necessarily look at their idea folders. We’re exploring what you like for an overall feel and what will psychologically satisfy you on a deeper level.”
“People are at home more now due to COVID-19, and really trying to find that getaway without having to leave their houses. Bedrooms are smaller and master bathrooms are larger personal sanctuaries.”
–Kirsti Wolfe, Kirsti Wolfe Designs
DESIGNING FOR DURABILITY AND WELLNESS
Chromatherapy with different lighting, aromatherapy, different shower fixtures and heads, infrared saunas, and automated and touchless features allow for different experiences in the master bathroom. Kirsti’s team has been incorporating a lot of steam showers in Bend because the climate is so dry and steam showers can help dramatically with allergies. They also have been adding more automation, such as hands-free residential faucets and phone-activated smart tech controls for showers and tubs.
“People are at home more now due to COVID-19, and really trying to find that getaway without having to leave their houses,” reflects Kirsti. “Bedrooms are smaller and master bathrooms are larger personal sanctuaries. We’re using many exciting products that are wellness-related and focused on healing elements for the whole body.”
The list of enjoyable bath products goes on. Infrared saunas, offering many health benefits, can be freestanding or built-in, depending on space. The shell of a tub can be heated so the water doesn’t get cold. Air masseurs that blow tiny bubbles from the bottom of the tub and heal your nerve endings can be combined with air-circulated jets for the ultimate restorative soak.
Durability is another important characteristic of Kirsti’s bathrooms, which relates to the idea of being able to age in place. Kirsti points out, “In Bend, you could be skiing or hiking one day and hurt yourself. We block the walls during construction for future grab bars in the bathroom, so you can easily put them in if you need them. New grab bars are beautiful too, so you can have safety and good design.”
With COVID-19, the demand for bidets in homes has increased. Water cleans better than paper, and with the COVID-19 toilet paper shortage, the opportunity to have a bidet has become more appealing. To that end, her team installs outlets as part of their routine work, so if a client’s preference changes, the wiring is already in place and they don’t have to tear up walls for power.
USING SPACE MORE EFFICIENTLY: BETTER DESIGN THAT FITS YOU
Kirsti recently remodeled a new spec home for her clients, a family living year-round in Bend with school-aged children. They explained that the master bathroom, “just didn’t feel like it was theirs and there was too much wasted space.” Kirsti recalls that there was a lot of unused square footage that could have been better designed. She drew up some options and made sure that everything they wanted to incorporate fit, and then they got down to the design details.
To save on the budget, Kirsti reused some of the fixtures. By turning the tub in another direction, her team was able to create a shelf under a window and wall-wash the recycled glass tile with LED lighting. They separated the vanity into two different areas and added a steam shower with a seat and multiple shower heads. The original shower was huge, according to Kirsti, but it didn’t make sense using that much space in the room.
“We shrunk the shower and it was still luxurious,” she says. “We added an infrared sauna too. My clients were amazed that we were able to fit all the wellness pieces into their bathroom. We made the perfect sanctuary personalized for them. Being able to experience those features, plus comfortable additions like heated towel bars and heated floors, is how I transform space into experiences for my clients.”
Kirsti relied on her background in designing custom cabinetry, drawing up every detail to make each of the vanities an individual piece of furniture and not identical. She added recessed medicine cabinets with integrated lighting in the mirror, plus additional lighting inside and out of the cabinet, giving great illumination to help brighten the room. It also has space for an electric shaver or electric toothbrush, a sound system, and USB ports.
Kirsti’s lifelong career specializing in kitchen and bath design lends itself to being creative, efficient, and thoughtful. Common design challenges of negotiating clearances, ensuring spatial flow, and custom storage solutions come naturally to her.
“There are little elements you can put in design that you might not have thought of but that make the bathroom your own,” says Kirsti. “Part of my role as the designer is to make a space that functions well and flows. In a bath or any other room, that includes every little detail. You might not necessarily be able to put your finger on one thing, but in its entirety, the space feels good. After 30 years, my favorite part of my work is getting to know the client. Every client is different and that is what makes every day different and fun.”
For more information, call 541.389.1429 or visit kirstiwolfedesigns.com.
“There are little elements you can put in design that you might not have thought of but that make the bathroom your own.”
–Kirsti Wolfe, Kirsti Wolfe Designs