An El Dorado Hills couple take the plunge, building the bathroom of their dreams.
“See what’s happening right now? That’s what I wanted,” says El Dorado Hills resident Joey Yoshimura as she unlatches French doors that lead to a small balcony off her master bathroom. As breezes lift and billow a set of window sheers toward a big, white dreamboat of a bathtub smack in the center of the room, she explains: “That whole feeling of open doors and windows . . . that’s what this whole bathroom was designed around. Here is my dream.” Like a lot of dreams, this one was a long time coming for Joey and her husband, Brent. But a dream this big and this beautiful was well worth the wait.
“This bathroom was actually designed for another house,” Brent says. “But when we found out what the costs were going to be, we went looking for a house that would support those costs.” Joey clearly remembers the day they found the perfect two-story home on a tree-lined street in El Dorado Hills. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, it’s so cute. I love this house. I love this house. I can build my bathroom here.’”
That was 2005. It wasn’t until early 2009 that the couple launched a makeover of their 1980s-era bathroom, gut-ting the space, building out the floor and installing French doors and a balcony. “They had a tiny bathroom upstairs before,” says Mike Russell of DreamBuilders Kitchen & Bath in El Dorado Hills, the Yoshimuras’ contractor. “And this used to be all open loft space . . . all unused attic space.” Now, it’s 120 square feet of marble, porcelain and mirrored glamour, complete with his-and-hers sink vanities and a makeup table for Joey. The shower is outfitted with a rain head above, three body-wash sprays on each side, two stationary heads, a handheld shower wand and a thermostat to control the water temperature. They call the shower the “carwash.”
The Yoshimuras aren’t your average DIY designers. “I’ve always loved design. . . . Everyone in my family says it should have been my career or second career, or I should go to school for it,” says Joey, who works for a private investigator. Brent, a Harley-Davidson mechanic, has a degree in architecture. He drew the room to scale so Joey could figure out how all the pieces—tub, shower, water closet and dressers—would fit. “Joey had the vision for everything you see,” says contractor Mike Russell.
“Brent’s vision was making sure everything worked. He was right there asking questions and making sure all the bones were perfect.” This past October, the project won two awards for DreamBuilders from the Greater Sacramento Valley Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry: the Judges’ Choice award and the Contractor of the Year award in the residential baths over $60,000 category.
“It’s fun when you’ve got clients who have vision and you become partners,” says DreamBuilders’ Kathe Russell. “I had suggestions and was able to bring resources to the table, but Joey and Brent were the force behind it.”
So what was it like, plunging into the new bathtub for the first time? “I was actually putting things away in here,” Joey says. “It was very windy outside, and I stopped, dropped my clothes, opened the doors and jumped into the bath, and said, ‘Here is my dream!’”