As a Greater Kansas City interior designer, it was such an honor to be featured in the August 2015 publication of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine. The team at Design Connection, Inc. would like to share with our feature story with you.


Article By Ann E. Buentas

Photography By Bill Matthews


When it comes to spectacular updates in this 2002 Leawood residence, the master bathroom truly stands alone, in more ways than one.

The interior of this home was recently given a complete makeover, with the master bathroom completed last. The homeowner wanted an elegant and spacious new look in this outdated space, and when she opted to replace the built in tub for an eye-catching stand-alone version, it quickly became the focal point around which the rest of the bathroom was transformed.

Master Bath Tub and Shower After 1 Design Connection Inc

Stand-alone tubs provide a highly visual effect in a bathroom with their exposed curves and unique styles. In fact, they can often seem more like furniture than an actual tub, but they function all the same. They present with a strong, almost sculpture-like statement and are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles to satisfy any design theme, and this master bathroom proves that point with sophistication and style.

This dramatic stand-alone tub sits perfectly atop the oversized (12” x 24”) non-slip Italian tile. As it confidently stands in the bathroom, the tub gently opens up the space. To accommodate the tub, the plumbing was brought out one foot from the wall, to allow for effortless cleaning behind it.

The seamless transition of grays and whites used throughout the bathroom work well situated against the dark coffee color cabinetry, known as Clear Alder, that affords the space its timeless appeal.

Master Bath Vanity After 1 Design Connection Inc

“The homeowner initially wanted white cabinets, but I suggested a dark alder wood stain to create a timeless statement in the room,” states Arlene Ladegaard, owner and principle designer of Design Connection, Inc. “The same wood was used around the nearly five foot tall mirrors.”

The seat in the shower is made of Caesarstone quartz, a marble look-alike that is a non-porous material made to repel stains. This essentially maintenance-free stone was also used on the step in the shower, above the tub and on the countertops. The porcelain tile in the shower and behind the tub has the same quality and sensibilities as real marble but is far easier to clean and maintain.

A polished nickel sconce situated between the mirrors complement the polished nickel on the fixtures in the shower and on the faucets, and creates a unique statement to the space.

“Polished nickel is actually like silver and must be polished,” notes Ladegaard. “It needs to be cleaned with a micro fiber cloth and requires constant care.”

The feature strip of imported Italian light grey glass tile adds another level of style to the space, and the gorgeous light fixture that centers in the middle of the room adds grace and elegance to complete the look.

As more and more homeowners are updating their homes, they are simultaneously incorporating an elegant new look to the master bathroom, taking out the built-in tubs and replacing them with the stand-alone features. While they are not necessarily the least expensive means by which to update a bathroom, they certainly do add an unparalleled level of class.

The end result, almost spa-like in presence, holds refreshing appeal for all of one’s senses.

For more information, visit Design Connection, Inc. at