Los Angeles Home Staging Info


Hollywood Hills Master Bathroom Design Project- The Design

Los Angeles Interior Designer on Hollywood Hills master bathroom design project - the design. Part one of a multi-part series.

I was recently called to redesign the bathroom of a gorgeous two story Spanish home in the Hollywood Hills. When I was first contacted, I asked the homeowners to peruse some shelter magazines and compile photos of bathrooms that they liked, and photos in general of any subject that appealed to them either by color, composition or just gut reaction. I find this approach helps to save a lot of time in determining the direction the design should go to best suit the tastes and expectations of the homeowner.

During our first meeting the homeowners showed me several photos, but kept going back to one in particular. By the end of the meeting we had decided that this photo best represented what look appealed to them for their new bathroom. Through my questions and their answers I learned how they would be using the bathroom, how that use would differ from their current bathroom, what were the absolute "must haves" and what were the "we'd really like XYZ if it will fit and we can afford it". We also discussed color with the help of my trusty Benjamin Moore paint fan. I took copious measurements and photos (I will post before photos after we empty the rooms in a few weeks to protect my clients' privacy). Once we settled on a color scheme, I used a photo similar to this one (this is a stock photo I purchased; the actual photo was taken from a magazine and I don't own the rights to publish it:o)) as color inspiration.

color inspiration for interior design project











Here are the Must Haves that were on the homeowners' list:

  • 2 separate sinks, his and hers
  • Make-up/vanity area included with her sink
  • Lots of closed storage space for beauty products and cosmetics
  • Soaking tub large enough for two
  • Insulate wall of bathroom to help with afternoon heat gain
  • Replace 3 windows with low-E dual pane casement windows to help with heat gain
  • 2 ventilation fans (currently none)
  • Faucets with lever handles instead of X shaped handles
  • Undermount tub and sinks
  • Add HVAC ducts to bathroom (currently none) for heat and A/C

Would Really Like to Have (if space and budget permit):

  • Separate tub and shower
  • Steam shower
  • Separate enclosed WC room (toilet)
  • Nickel finish (brushed) on faucets and fillers
  • European style frameless shower glass
  • Small refrigerator for cosmetics built in to her vanity area

This is an older Spanish home with lathe and plaster walls, some of which are curved (on purpose!). In order to accomodate their "Must Haves" and as many of their "Would Really Like to Haves" as possible, I was going to have to "steal" a closet from an adjoning bedroom for more space. I'll tell you, measuring the space and figuring out the relationship of the various spaces (some curved) we were going to use to create this bathroom was very complicated and required taking measurements from several different directions to make sure everything lined up.

Here is the as-built (before) floor plan:

master bath design before












And here is the floor plan of the final design:

Master bath design approved


As you can see, by "stealing" a closet from an adjoining bedroom (lower right, where the tub is) I was able to give my client all of their Must Haves and all of their Would Really Like to Haves:

*Separate tub and shower

*Separate private WC

*Her sink and vanity/makeup area with plenty of room for storage

*Separate sink and counter for him



To Be Continued: Hollywood Hills Master Bathroom Design Project- Material Selection  

*Hollywood Hills Master Bathroom Design Project - The Design* Copyright 2008 Michelle Minch and Moving Mountains Design. All rights reserved.


Michelle Minch, Principal Designer and Owner of Moving Mountains Design is an award winning Interior Designer and Home Stager. Her Interior Design, home staging and film design projects have been featured numerous times in national and international publications. Michelle can be reached at (626)441-8975 or visit her Los Angeles home staging and design web site.


Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

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Comment balloon 26 commentsMichelle Minch • September 27 2008 11:31PM


Michelle - how creative you are.  I don't design homes, but your lists are a very good idea - I am going to try using them for buyers.  Instead of just holding all of that info in my mind and notes, what a good tool to let them know I am listening to their needs.   Hmm... maybe a detailed checklist that I could mail to them before the showing appointment.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 10 years ago

What a fun project!  The "must haves" are essentials in most luxury homes-2 sinks, seperate WC's, showers....smart planning to steal the closet Michelle!!!  You are brilliant along with exceptional!

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 10 years ago

Will look forward to your pics, Michelle. Hope the plaster walls don't give you trouble.  It is definately a time saver to have the client clip pictures they like - there is always a strong thread that can be found.  Fridge for cosmetics must be for a hot climate!  Not in rainy Vancouver!!  Will watch for your update.  - Leah

Posted by Leah J. Armstrong, Home Staging Port Moody B.C. (House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C.) over 10 years ago

Michelle, what great talent you have.  Much too complicated of a project for me.  I am excited to see how it develops.  Looking forward to the photos.  I am sure the client is thrilled to receive all the requests from both lists.  Great planning!  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Michele Hess, Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc (Simply Staged Inc.) over 10 years ago

Michelle ~ It sounds wonderful!  I look forward to seeing the pictures.  Before meeting with decorating clients I too ask them to get some pictures together (magazines, catalogs, etc.) even if it's just one thing in the picture that they like. 

In doing my own master bath remodel a few years ago, we also took closet space to expand the bathroom.  Even though it looked like a small area, it made a big difference in the bathroom space.

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) over 10 years ago

Michelle- It looks like you achieved what they wanted. I can't wait to see the pictures :)

Posted by Wendy Timmons, Temecula Realtor (Move Home Realty ) over 10 years ago

You did a great job giving the clients exactly what they want....their dream bathroom!  I love doing this kind of work.  We just received a call from an agent whom wants us to help his client design a home that has been purchased from the bank - the home has been sitting and only complete through the sheet rock phase.  We can help choose trim details, flooring, lights, plumbing, paint and so forth.

I hope you post after pictures of this beautiful bathroom and thank you for sharing.

Posted by Tracy Moses~Redefining LUXE~Staging ~ Decorati (Redefining LUXE) over 10 years ago

Michelle, it sounds great. Really can't wait to see the pictures. I know you will make it fabulous! I have done a few renovations before and I just love the entire process. Once your vision becomes real life it is such an amazing feeling.

Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant over 10 years ago

Virginia: Since I get paid by the hour as an interior designer, I try to streamline the process as much as possible for the sake of the budget. Asking the client to do a little home work helps them to focus and figure out what is important to them before I am on the clock. It also fires up my creative juices since I know the direction we are headed right out of the gate. Of course, I guide them if I feel their goals are unrealistic or if I think they won't be happy with the end product. When I look at the pictures they have chosen without my input, it gives me a very clear idea of who they are and what they are about, important to know if you want to have happy clients in the end.

Often, the pictures are a mish mash of several different styles, so it is my job as the designer to distill the essence they find attractive. You can use the same technique in real estate - get to the essence of what the buyers are really looking for by having them do a little homework beforehand.

Cathy: Thank you! The current bathroom definitely reflects the period the house was built.  When we are finished, they will have a luxuious master bath that is up to date, very functional, looks gorgeous and will add tremendous value.

Michele: It was like putting pieces of a puzzle together, trying to figure out how to get everything in. And fortunately the adjoining bedroom is large enough to add a closet later on down the line if they need to. I really enjoy figuring that stuff out.

Leah: Most of the walls will wind up being stripped because of plumbing and electrical changes, tiling  and adding insulation to outside walls. Walls that are stripped will go to drywall, but still keeping the rounded corners in keeping with the rest of the house. The walls outside the bathroom in the hall are curved around a rotunda (not reflected in the drawing). I am hoping there is some hidden space there to be able to create a linen closet or additional storage.

Kathy P: In a lot of older homes the bathrooms are really tiny. If there is an unneeded closet adjoining the bath, it makes a lot of sense to grab that space and incorporate it into the bathroom.

Wendy: We are still in the planning/budgeting phase. We will probably start tear-out in a few weeks. I don't like to tear anything out until I have all the element collected and sitting in my warehouse or at the job site. No point in inconveniencing my clients until it is absolutely necessary and I don't like the surprise of something not showing up. The plan is to have the bathroom finished before Christmas. A lot of that timing depends upon what happens with plan check at the building department.



Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

Michelle - I can't wait to see your pictures of this luxurious master bath.  I am in the process of taking my first interior design class and learning how to measure and draft.  I can now more then before appreciate all the work and time trying to get all the wants and would likes into the space.

Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) over 10 years ago

Sandra: I make rough drawings (and they are very rough) with dimensions, and then pass them off to my interior design assistant who works everything out in a CAD program on the computer. Once the drawings are done in CAD, it is easy to make any changes or adjustments. When we have an approved plan, my assistant goes with me to the project and remeasures everything to make sure the CAD drawings are accurate.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

Tracy: That sounds like a dream project. Good luck with it, and make sure you show us some photos.

Tanya: I really enjoy starting from scratch and creating something entirely new. I guess that's why I enjoy staging vacants so much.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

THANKS, we get to see the thinking and the implementation of a design specialist.  What fun for you and fun for us to live vicariously through your experience.  You are a detailed and talented designer Michelle and we're lucky to have you here to draw experience from.  THANKS for the lesson.

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com) over 10 years ago

Terrylynn: I have never tried to market my interior design services. I am really picky about which clients I will work with for interior design. It has to be a good fit in order for it to be a winning experience for both client and designer. Most of my work comes from referrals and repeat clients, although I have been getting more inquiries due to my staging work. Marketing my staging business by blogging on AR has been such a positive and profitable experience for me, I thought 'why not try it for the interior design part of the business as well?'.

I also hope to educate the public about everything that goes into a major design project and remodel. Bathrooms, more than any other room in the house, are very detail intensive and a great deal of precision is required.

Thank you, Terrylynn!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

I can't wait to see some of the construction and finishing pics from this project, Michelle. Just curious but I'm assuming this is the $70G job?  I noticed there is a lot of plumbing, a wall moved, vanity electrical (& a fridge for her make-up! sheesh, must be nice!)

Posted by Connie Tebyani, Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County (Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro) over 10 years ago

Connie: The budget has not been set yet, but I'll never discuss the budget publicly any way:o))Regarding the fridge, she travels a lot and wants to make sure her products last as long as possible. Also, the bathroom currently has no ducts for A/C or heat so the room gets quite hot in the afternoons in the summer. Hopefully the other steps we take will remedy that and the refrig may not be necessary.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

Now a fridge for wine while soaking in the tub....

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 10 years ago

Simply brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Will Nesbitt, Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage. (Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria) over 10 years ago

Karen: That would be a mojito dispenser for me!

Thanks for your nice comment, Will. Stay tuned for future installments.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago


I can't wait to see the photos! Looks like it's going to be a great project. I used to do residential architecture work, and some of the things people ask for in their home, are things I could never dream of! A fridge in the bathroom? :)

Good Luck with the project!


Posted by Shannon Elizabeth McInerney (DesigningReality) over 10 years ago

This is an awesome post, Michelle.  It's interesting to hear from such a professional like you on the steps involved.  Knowing your work, it's bound to turn out absolutely gorgeous.  I can't wait to see the "after" pictures.


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager (http://atlantahomestaging.net) over 10 years ago

Good job on the layout Michelle! The window placements certainly made things a bit challenging as well.  I see where you moved the 'his' sink to the right in order for the door swing to clear a person standing at the sink.  Well-thought out on the LH shower door as well! (You know how much I love renovation design so I notice all the tiny quality details!)

The peace and tranquility of the cool colors from the photo of calm waters will really make this bathroom decor fabulous!  Those older homes in the HHs sometimes do not have many closets so I hope they have a spare armoire or two!  : )  Thanks for sharing--sounds like fun!  Regards-Kathleen G

Posted by Kathleen Garvey, Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales (HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver) over 10 years ago

Shannon: I am always so interested to hear what other walks of life people came to staging from. It is fascinating. The fridge for make-up was a first for me. I have put small refrigerators in for champagne and water before.

Kathy: I am itching to get started. A few more decisions to make and approvals to get, and then I am on the way to pull permits and wade through the plan check. Thank you for your kind comment.

Kathleen: So nice to meet a fellow traveler in renovation design. Most people don't notice the details until they are wrong and negatively impact the usefulness of the space. I love figuring out the puzzle pieces, and I've done this enough that I don't expect to make any of those mistakes. The rooms in this home are actually quite generous (except the master bath) so there is plenty of room to add another closet if it is needed down the road. Thank you!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

HI Michelle!  So nice to be at your RT.  I wished I had time to say this in person.  I am working on a remodel project and the master bath was too small and I wanted to move the toilet.  I remembered your post and borrowed from the guest room closet.  Thank you!!!!  I love AR and the talented designers I learn from who share so graciously.

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 10 years ago

Is there anything you can't do Michelle?  :)   You are soooooo talented.

Posted by Robyn Guinn, Home staging, Arizona (StageAZ) over 10 years ago

Cathy: I'm glad I was able to share information that was valuable to you. I look forward to seeing your photos.

Robyn: I wish I could turn the housing market around, but I'm not that talented:o(( Thank you for your kind comment.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago