Transformations don't get much better than this. Witness a master bath's radical change.
From Dated to Dazzling

An outdated bath held Ludy Strother captive for too long. It took frequent escapes to open her eyes to beautiful possibilities. "I visited the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina; The Palace Hotel in San Francisco; and the Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, North Carolina," Ludy says. "I realized that my bath was dark and dated." Not to mention blue. With the help of designer Carolyn Jordan, Ludy now has the master bath of her dreams.

Before: A too-small mirror and misplaced light fixtures topped off a ho-hum vanity. The lights, hung vertically, resembled traffic signals. After: This room's layout remains unchanged to keep plumbing costs down. The new vanity proves the required plumbing parts don't have to ruin the desired look. Open cubbies below the two bowl sinks have removable panels in the back to allow access to pipes. The new mirror above the vanity is cut to accommodate two sconces and faucets. A large cabinet to the right of the vanity adds storage.

Before: It's easy to imagine this enclosed shower on a space shuttle. Unfortunately, who wants to bathe like an astronaut trapped in space? "The shower was so small I truly felt claustrophobic in it," Ludy says. After: The new design combines the linen closet and original shower to enlarge the tight space. Two walls of heavy-duty glass give the shower an open feel. Travertine tiles line the floor and walls for an elegant look inside.

Before: A sea of blue carpet covered the floor and the sides of the tub like overflowing water. The tub itself, a swirling design of aqua and white, resembled a bar of Zest soap. After: A freestanding tub is a shapely replacement for the old one. The floor is now neutral travertine. An added luxury: The contractor installed an electric heating mat under the tile. Before: This homeowner was trapped by criminally bad surroundings. After: A serene space sets her spirit free.

"From Dated to Dazzling" is from the January 2007 issue of Southern Living.