Anatomy of a Master Bath....Bringing Inspiration to Life with Smart Choices

February 04, 2015 | Reprinted from the Herald Times | Written by Yamini Hingorani

We’ve all seen examples of inspiring home design—only to discover the looks we love are beyond our budget. But with creative design choices and the right professionals, you can get highend design without breaking the bank. In a recently completed master bath renovation (See photos above and below), I teamed with local contractor David Johnloz to turn an outdated and ill-configured master bath into a beautiful, functional retreat that’s fresh and innovative, yet timeless and elegant. Here’s how we did it:


The first step was redesigning the entire space. After fully gutting this master bathroom and removing a wall, we reconfigured the space with a soaking tub at one end and a fully tiled shower fronted by a glass wall on the other. Next, we tackled the room’s elongated footprint. By designing ceiling height linen towers and extra tall vanity mirrors we brought verticality to a horizontal space.


Instead of using only high end materials like marble throughout, we used a mixture of materials with varying prices. A beautiful herringbone marble mosaic was sparingly used on the focal wall over the vanity where it made the biggest impact. We continued the high-end look by cladding the shower with a more affordable, easy to clean “Carrara” porcelain tile that mimics marble.

We also economized on the vanity countertop and floor tiles. We found a bright white affordably priced counter-top solid surface that is both attractive and durable as well as a contrasting dark porcelain floor tile that is well-priced, stylish, and easy to clean.


Painted cabinetry is a fresh alternative to wood tones. Our choice of a tonal pale blue-gray paint color opened up the space and provided a serene, spa-like vibe. The cabinets were custom designed to provide a long and narrow space with abundant storage and functionality. The idea of using custom cabinetry often scares people, but it can be an affordable choice, adding value to your space. There are many local cabinet builders that produce highquality work at reasonable prices.


The glamorous, standalone tub has become more affordable with models like this one (See photo below) from American Standard which includes the tub filler (faucet) in its price. The sleek toilet we selected was also manufactured by American Standard for their retail market and purchased locally at Lowe’s.


The sparkly chandelier over the soaking tub is a feature that makes this bath truly special. The homeowner found this fixture online at a fraction of the price of costlier versions. A durable vinyl wallpaper in a timeless trellis pattern is used sparingly just behind the soaking tub, while paint in a complementary gray covers the other walls. Crystal knobs, towel rings, sconces and crisp white hand towels complete the look. Smart choices plus creative placement add up to a high-end look—without high price tags—that makes the homeowner happy and will no doubt inspire others!

Yamini Hingorani is a registered interior designer and a member of the American Society of Interior
Designers (ASID). She specializes in residential and small-scale commercial projects. Visit or call at 812.335.1915. Visit Yamini Designs at Home Show Booth 246.


Personalzing Your Bath Renovation….How To Get Started

February 05, 2014 | Reprinted from the Herald Times | Written by Yamini Hingorani

2013 was a strong year for remodeling and renovation projects, and 2014 is proving to be just as busy, especially in kitchens and baths. Bathrooms, in particular have gained popularity. They are a smaller space and often quicker and less costly to renovate than kitchens. In addition to increasing the value of your home, updating and personalizing a bath enhances your everyday life by providing a more functional and enjoyable space. Here are a few steps toward a personalized bath:


Identifying the problems with your existing bathroom is the first step in the process. The problem may be dated pink tile that has been there since the 80’s (aesthetic problem) or continually bumping into your spouse in the morning while dressing for the day (space problem). But often the issue is behind a wall like a leak in the shower or tub (plumbing problem). It is crucial to make a laundry list of issues early in the process to help your design professional come up with the best solutions.


Carving out space from an adjacent room can increase the square footage of your bath. A recent client took the space from a room next to the master bath that housed an old, broken outdoor hot tub (see photo – master bath). For an average sized bath with no room to grow, materials and selections make all the difference (see photo – guest bath). “Yamini had a custom vanity built to look like an antique dresser, topped it with marble, and added rustic elements to achieve the farmhouse look we were after,” says client Mary Henderson. Even a tiny powder room can be transformed with a vibrant paint color and reflective finishes (see photo – powder room).


Having an idea of how much you would like to spend on your project and prioritizing your needs will help your bath professional present the best design solutions. For example, for a current client who loves the look of Carrera marble, we are using an amazing porcelain tile resembling Carrera to clad his shower walls. This enables him to keep the higher end polished nickel faucets and fixtures he loves. Whether you are considering a full blown renovation or simply making cosmetic changes, these initial steps can save time, money and make the process much more enjoyable!

Yamini Hingorani, ASID is a licensed interior designer and member of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Yamini Designs, LLC specializes in residential, small scale commercial, and hospitality projects. Visit or call Yamini at 812.335.1915. Visit Yamini Designs at Home Show 2014, Booth 247.


What Homeowners Want to Know About Interior Design

January 06, 2013 | Reprinted from the Herald Times | Written by Yamini Hingorani

Home renovators and designers were busy in 2012—and Yamini Designs was no exception. Every day I fielded questions like these from local homeowners considering renovation and design projects…

1) I’m intimidated by the potential costs of an interior designer or being pushed into buying all new furniture for my home. How can I stay in budget?
A: A good designer listens to her clients! As an independent designer, I’m not tied to any one source for furnishings but instead look for the best value, whether that means shopping online, at local retailers, or through professional design showrooms and wholesale resources. I’m proud to say clients appreciate Yamini Designs’ ability to “valueengineer” high-end looks on a not so high-end budget.

2) I want to update my bath, not completely gut it. Is that possible?
A: Absolutely. I recently helped a client give a 20-year old master bath a facelift without starting from scratch. We minimized costs by keeping the existing tub and shower and instead replaced the vanity, recladded the tub deck, and added new floor tile. The results (see photo) were featured in the HT home section.

3) Can I buy design services a la carte?
A: I tailor my services to what clients need — whether that’s a few hours of time rearranging furniture and choosing paint colors or something more extensive, like drawing up plans and overseeing a kitchen or bath renovation. Sometimes clients just want me to go shopping with them, which I’m happy to do!

4) Our kitchen is badly in need of renovation. Where do we start?
A: Some clients begin with an inspiration photo or a finish they love. For example, in the kitchen in the photo attached, the clients knew they wanted a soapstone counter top, so that was our jumping off point. When clients begin with a blank slate, I ask lots of questions and together we review photos to come up with a design direction. It’s a fun process and it works!

5) We are building new home and we want to make sure we’re maximizing the space in our home. Can you look at our plans to make sure they’ll suit our needs?
A: Many clients ask me to review their home plans to make sure they are getting the most functional use out of their space. I recently helped a client reconfigure plans she purchased on-line by improving the kitchen’s traffic flow, creating a larger work area, and changing awkward cabinet angles to maximize usable space.

Yamini Hingorani, ASID is a licensed interior designer and a professional member of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Yamini Designs, LLC is a full service interior design firm specializing in residential, small scale commercial, and hospitality projects.


Call Yamini at 812.335.1915 to learn more and visit Yamini Designs at Home Show 2013, BOOTH 251.


Interior Design Services For Your Home … Luxury or Necessity?

January 12, 2012 | Reprinted from the Herald Times | Written by Yamini Hingorani

Whether you are in the process of building a new home, renovating your existing residence, or preparing to sell, the services of an interior design professional can be invaluable. The right interior designer can help with the daunting tasks of making design selections while helping you avoid costly mistakes. What was once considered a luxury service reserved for the well-to-do with high-end homes may now be considered a necessity, even to the everyday homeowner.

If you are building a new home, a design professional can be useful in guiding you through the endless decisions of space planning and finish selections. In the process of building a house, a designer assists with difficult decisions such as lighting plans, kitchen layout, and paint choices. An experienced designer can be especially useful in transforming a generic floor plan into one that fits you and your family’s needs and lifestyle. For example, when it comes to kitchens and baths, a designer, working closely with you and your builder, can reconfigure areas to provide more counter space, storage, and better traffic flow. With today’s tight construction budgets and schedules, an experienced designer can also expedite the selection process in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Making smart design choices is just as useful in renovating an older home as it is in building a new one. Bringing an older home up to date requires integrating new design ideas and products into the home’s existing structure. This can vary from completely renovating a home’s interior to making subtle yet effective decorating changes. In a larger renovation, rooms can be expanded or reconfigured to meet changing needs and lifestyles. Cabinet styles, mill work, and trim might need replacing to match the existing architecture. Alternatively, a decision as simple as choosing the right paint colors can dramatically change a home’s appearance. A dated oak staircase, for instance, can be repainted – rather than replaced – to work with a home’s new design. Whether your renovation is large or small having an experienced guide to help figure out a timeline of proper steps can alleviate frustration along the way.

A design professional, furthermore, can be extremely useful when preparing a home for resale. Since these projects usually have smaller budgets, a simple facelift can inject new life into a home. Changing flooring, updating countertops, replacing outdated light fixtures, and selecting the right paints are all relatively straightforward design decisions that can substantially increase the value of a home. A design professional with current knowledge about available and cost-effective products and services can assist with each of these tasks in a timely way.

Ultimately, there is no need to sacrifice good design, no matter what type or size of project you undertake. From the initial design of a home under construction, to updating your current living space, to preparing a house for sale, consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced design expert can enhance your home while saving precious time and money. The key for any kind of design project is to put your money into areas that will provide the most impact, aesthetically and functionally. And the right professional interior designer can help make that happen.


Yamini Hingorani, ASID is a licensed interior designer in the state of Indiana and a professional member of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Yamini Designs, LLC is a full service interior design firm specializing in residential, small scale commercial, and hospitality projects.

Yamini’s master design included small decorative touches that have a big impact. Photo by Carrol KrauseRemodel Puts a Shine on Bathroom

January 07, 2012 | Reprinted from the Herald Times | Written by Carrol Krause

Mary H. found her ideal contractor as a result of two calamitous basement floods in recent years. Glenn Harris of Harris Services was able to match carpet, stucco, trim and paint so carefully during renovation that no trace of damage could be detected afterwards. In addition to his team’s careful finishing work, he brought in outside professionals to assess the foundation and examine the guttering.

“Our company started by doing catastrophe cleaning, restoration and insurance work,” Glenn explained. “Following a water or fire loss, insurance companies only pay to put a home back to pre-loss condition. Our niche is that we’ll go to great lengths to repair a home and make it look as if nothing ever happened, even if we have to custom-mill new trim to match existing trim.”

The experience forged a relationship of great trust between homeowner and contractor. So when Mary recently contemplated updating her master bathroom, which was original to her 20-year-old home, she asked Glenn if he would like to branch out from flood repair to bid on the project. He was indeed interested.

Note how the back of the new vanity for the master bath rises over seven feet high to be in proper proportion to the high slanting ceiling. Photo by Carrol KrauseMary observed sagely, “Renovation is very daunting: the idea that you might make a mistake, hire the wrong guy. That fear keeps many people from renovating.” But she felt no such fear with Glenn and his team.

Both Glenn and Mary knew that such an important remodeling job could not be spontaneously improvised. The project needed an interior designer, and Mary knew exactly who she wanted for the job. Her good friend and neighbor, Yamini Hingorani, happens to be a professional interior designer, certified with the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

“Yamini has done lots of work for the hospitality industry (hotels and restaurants), so she has that aesthetic,” Mary observed. “I thought at first, do I want my bath to look like a hotel? But when you go away and sleep in a hotel, you feel great. And what’s wrong with that?” Yamini is skilled at taking a client’s ideas and knitting them together into a cohesive whole, based on the available budget.

“Mary knew the look that she wanted, but she simply needed advice on how tall, how wide, what color,” Yamini noted. “With a computer you can find the world’s resources for rugs, tiles, whatever. But they might not look good together in your space. That’s how I can help.”

The bathtub stayed in place, but the old tiling was replaced by sleek cabinets that coordinate with the new vanity. Access panels to the plumbing are disguised beneath the cabinetry. Photo by Carrol KrauseAlthough many contractors would automatically say “Bathroom update? We’ll tear everything out and gut to the studs,” Glenn and Yamini felt that there was no reason to begin this way. Only the vanity, the floor, the wall colors and the exterior cladding of the tub needed to be addressed; the bathtub, shower and toilet were still completely serviceable and quite attractive.

“Mary probably saved $20,000 by not gutting,” Glenn observed with approval. “Why should I put this tub in a landfill?” Mary agreed.

Yamini’s new design was necessarily influenced by the asymmetrical shape of the sharply sloping bathroom ceiling. The original vanity and fixtures had been dwarfed by the 11-foot high wall that rose above them. She designed a new vanity that would extend sufficiently high (7’8”) to properly fill the space. The old cabinets had been pale wood with a pinkish countertops, but the new look would be quite different: ¾” solid wood with inset mirrors, a dark finish and a high gloss; crystal sconces; crisp porcelain tile; coordinating granite countertops and muted wall colors.

To ensure a sense of balance in the room, the tub was clad in coordinating dark wood paneling, with hidden doors concealed in the panels that provide access to the plumbing. Glenn asked one of the experts he relies upon to construct the elegant new cabinetry on both sides of the room: Mark Hewins of the Hewins Cabinet Company. The drawers with their sleek brushed metal pulls incorporate full-extension self-closing hardware.

Mary loves the sea so the new bathroom includes sea motifs. The carpet patterns resemble anemones, and the focal point on the far wall is a photograph taken from the center of a huge curling wave. The result: a glossy, sleek, contemporary bathroom with a hotel feel, which was done in a way that saved the homeowner an enormous amount of money. Glenn and Yamini developed such a good professional relationship during Mary’s project that they are planning future collaborations. “Kudos to Glenn and his operation!” Yamini said approvingly. “They executed my design and vision for Mary’s master bath seamlessly.”

“Why shouldn’t people have something fresh and new, even in this economy?” Mary said. “I’m so glad I had good people to help me stretch my dollars. I’m so pleased.”


Stellar Design

September 15, 2001 | Reprinted from the Lodging Hospitality magazine

As a member of the design team at Gettys, Yamini's work on the Knickerbocker Hotel was featured in Lodging Hospitality magazine as "Winner of the Upscale Guestroom" category in their annual design competition. her designs highlighting a variety of solutions in softgoods and window treatment designs were also recognized in Chicago Home and Garden Magazine. The outstanding projects featured cover the spectrum of hospitality segments and represent an impressive range of design influences and perspectives.

WINNER: Upscale Guestroom
Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago

Constraints of size, budget, and schedule prompted Chicago's Getty Group to replace bulky, traditional furnishings with custom-designed, multi-functional pieces to create a contemporary look at this renovated landmark.