Photos by Hillary Ehlen
In North Fargo, there stands a 1935 Tudor owned by Kaitlyn and Jace Foss, who live together with their old English sheepdog, Murf. The second story of their home recently underwent a complete transformation that was revealed in the September issue of Design & Living Magazine. This month, we’ll take you on a tour of their gleaming master bath. You might be thinking that this room looks familiar, and that is because with its honed marble elegance and vintage-inspired clawfoot tub, we couldn’t not put this master bath on our October cover.
Taking Their Vision to the Next Level
When remodeling, the Fosses relied on the amazing Mike Dawson of Chris Hawley Architects, who helped them mentally strip their second story down to the studs and build it back up again through meetings, renderings and final plans. RV Construction Co. then executed those plans as the general contractor. However, when it was time to select finishes, the Fosses trusted local interior decorator Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes to help them take their vision to the next level.
Timeless Vs. Trendy
From the very beginning, Kaitlyn Foss knew what she didn’t want: “I told Christen from the start, I don’t want trendy and I don’t want gray,” she said. Instead, it would be more fitting to call the master bath timeless or elegant. From the lighting down to the hardware, no selection was considered insignificant in the eyes of these homeowners and their interior decorator. “There wasn’t one detail that was overlooked. Every decision we went through, we reviewed three or four times,” Anderson explained.
From Atrocious Avocado to Timeless Elegance
Though Kaitlyn has a great eye for design, she was overwhelmed, understandably so, by the master bath before the remodel. “I can envision a lot of things, but I remember sitting in this bathroom and thinking, ‘I don’t even know how to make this better because it’s so atrocious,'” she said. Previously, the bathroom featured an eight-person jet tub surrounded by avocado-green painted walls. “Getting it out was very comical. I don’t know if they threw it out the window or actually got it down the stairs,” Kaitlyn Foss said.
Today, it’s hard to imagine that this master bath has ever looked any other way. “Each area has it’s own wow-factor and it’s own moment,” said Anderson. Tile floors, cabinets, honed marble countertops, a vintage-inspired clawfoot tub and a steam shower seem at home in this 1935 Tudor (the steam shower was pretty high up on Jace Foss’s wishlist). Above the clawfoot tub is an Amber Fletschock painting, curated by Mark Weiler, director of ecce gallery. “Anyone who has worked with Mark knows that he’s amazing at what he does,” Anderson esteemed.
Adding Some Much-Needed Storage
The master bath now offers storage, not only underneath the vanity, but also in a custom-built-in designed by Dawson. At first, this built-in was supposed to be hidden behind a set of cabinet doors. Then Kaitlyn Foss asked him to open it up. “We tried to think of different ways to execute it,” she said. Eventually, it evolved to have glass shelving and a mirrored back.
In addition, the homeowners transformed what the previous homeowners had been using as a TV room into a master closet, designed by Smart Spaces. “If we were going to do a complete renovation, we were going to need a new closet. There was only one small one that was in the master and that was it,” said Kaitlyn Foss. Now, that is no longer an issue for the couple.
Windows Into the Past
While remodeling, the Fosses found history hiding just beneath their window trim. “We found original wallpaper, which I kept. We found a whiskey bottle from the 1930s, and all of the window trim, when we took it off, had our last name printed on it,” Kaitlyn Foss said. “Everyone asks us if there was any whiskey left in the bottle,” the homeowner laughed.
A Joyful Partnership
Anderson enjoyed every minute of this collaboration. “Kaitlyn has a knack for this, so for me, it was just taking her ideas to the next level. It was a very easy partnership,” Anderson said. For the Fosses, the feeling was mutual. “I now know what people mean by not calling work ‘work,’ because it wasn’t,” Kaitlyn Foss elaborated. This master bath reveal shows how much joy everyone truly took in the process of this remodel.
Christen Joy Homes