Tag Archives: bathroom design

Renovating a Bathroom with Aging in Place in Mind

It’s not much fun to think about getting older, but for homeowners, making aging-in-place preparations early can save you a lot of worry down the road. If you plan to someday retire to your Cape Cod home, or you’ve already settled down on the Cape for the long haul, you can make thoughtful home renovations that will simplify your golden years without sacrificing your design aesthetic.

Aging-in-place considerations are particularly important when it comes to bathroom design, and the expert team at C.J. Riley Builder can renovate your home so it’s ready for the years ahead.


First-floor accessibility: First things first: If your master bath isn’t currently on the first floor of your home, you may want to consider a change. Climbing the stairs could become overwhelming as you get older. If your children recently moved out on their own, now is a great time to reconfigure where your master bedroom and ensuite bathroom are located in your home. Making the transition to the first floor now could spare you a lot of work later on.


Zero-threshold options: While it may seem like no problem currently, there’s a possibility that stepping over the lip of your shower or edge of your tub could become trying in the years to come. With a zero-threshold walk-in shower, the problem is solved. If you’re more a bath person (and who could blame you?), there are also bathtubs that allow for walking in, providing a watertight seal when the opening is shut behind you. With these options, you can make spa-like bathing a lifelong experience.


Slide and grab bars: Bars that will help with mobility in the future are one of the easiest elements to install in your bathroom right now. Slide and grab bars in the shower, and near the tub and toilet, can be stylishly incorporated into your bathroom design. (We promise, your space will not look like a public restroom with these safety elements.) An adjustable shower head that can accommodate a seated bather is a helpful addition as well.


Updated tech: There are many design upgrades that incorporate helpful technology to facilitate aging in place. You may want to install a toilet that includes bidet-like features, making it easier to stay clean in case of limited mobility. Kohler and other luxury bath design brands offer toilets that make sitting and standing easier as you age, faucets that don’t require too strong a grip, and more.


Height considerations: Many bathrooms cannot accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, and in the event you may someday use one, you’ll want to be sure there’s enough clearance built into your bathroom design. Consider installing a lowered or cantilevered vanity, with appropriate space beneath so a wheelchair can be rolled right up to the appropriate spot. While we’re renovating, we can also determine if your bathroom door could be widened to better allow for wheelchair or walker access.


Safe flooring: You may love your marble bathroom tiles, but your older self may find that the risk of slipping isn’t worth the visual appeal. We can retile your bathroom with a material that’s less likely to become slick, such as vinyl, greatly decreasing the risk of a fall.


Helpful lighting: While your bathroom may already be effectively lit, overhead lighting can become more difficult to manage as you age. Consider adding sensor lights that turn on when you enter the bathroom. And lights that are positioned lower, like those on either side of a vanity, are much easier to reach for cleaning or replacing bulbs.


When you work with C.J. Riley, you can renovate with the future in mind without sacrificing your home’s distinctive style. Contact us today to get started on your own bathroom renovation.

Making the Case for Marble

While some countertop and flooring materials burn red hot for a few years—or even decades—before fading into home-decor oblivion, none have shown the staying power of marble. Its first known use in architecture was in the Parthenon in 438 BC. Marble has been around that long.

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We remodeled the kitchen above, at a historic home in Osterville, several years ago. The marble countertops were a period-appropriate choice, but the overall look felt fresh and new, just as the owners wanted. It still looks fresh, doesn’t it?

Pros & Cons

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The pros of marble are many. The material has a classic beauty that contributes to its timeless appeal, plus it’s available in a bright white that can’t quite be achieved with soapstone or granite. The price is right, as well: common Carrara marble makes for one of the least expensive natural countertops. Marble is also widely available, from nearly any stone yard or fabricator.

On the other hand, marble can scratch easily, particularly when something acidic comes in contact with it for a long period of time. A slice of lemon laid down on a polished countertop overnight, for example, can leave a mark in the shape of the lemon slice, duller than the surface around it. Similarly, marble can also stain, with red wine and some fruits being common culprits.

See below for some inspiration featuring this traditional material.

A Classic Approach

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A marble countertop with an ogee edge paired with a backsplash in marble subway tile is such an ageless look.

New Takes on an Old Favorite

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Yes, marble has been used for nearly 2,500 years in building, but that doesn’t mean designers can’t come up with new ways to use the ancient material. In the photo above, from DecorPad, added depth and a clean edge give the island’s countertop a contemporary twist. The backsplash is slabs of marble, rather than tile, which adds to room’s clean look.

In both of the kitchens below, the designers have used a marble slab for a backsplash that runs all the way up the ceiling. Such a bold look!

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Wondering how marble can add to your home? Please contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation. The team at C.J. Riley Builder is here to turn your custom home vision into a reality.

Considering a Bathroom Remodel? Look No Further

Building Cape Cod custom homes means working with homeowners of all ages and style preferences. A few key upgrades to a run-of-the-mill bathroom can do wonders for modernizing your home. And when it comes to bathroom remodeling, whether you’re improving on your first home or renovating before retirement, we can make your unique vision a reality.

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If you plan to make the Cape your forever home, you may want to incorporate aging-in-place considerations into your remodel plans. Even if that time is a long way off, installing a zero-threshold shower like this one from Home Stratosphere can provide peace of mind without compromising style.

bathroom design

If accessibility is required in your remodel, we can help. This handicap accessible bathroom, from one of our recent projects, features a spacious, zero-threshold shower that can be used seated or standing.


Once your golden years are taken care of, you can focus on creating spa-like serenity in your bathroom. We suggest a glass-encased shower for opening up the space and giving the everyday a truly luxurious feel. This corner glass shower from Houzz makes the most of the room’s square footage and still catches plenty of natural light.

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To add another elegant touch, consider a sleek floating vanity, like this one from HomeCrux. It, too, takes up less room than its traditional counterpart, if storage is a priority. Because it’s cantilevered into the wall, providing the floating illusion, the vanity has a smaller visual footprint. This vanity’s rich wood cabinetry and granite countertops give this bathroom a five-star look.

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Vessel sinks provide another unique spin on standard bathroom design. This eye-catching, curved rectangular piece from Kohler adds a contemporary look and distinctive shape to a traditional vanity.

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And no opulent bathroom is complete without a deep, jetted bathtub. This modern slipper tub seen on Houzz helps transform this bathroom into a personal spa.

If you’re ready to get started with a bathroom remodel, we’re here to help.