Our contest challenged designers to remodel this small, outdated bathroom into a contemporary, family-friendly space. Entrants had the option of transforming the bath within the existing walls or borrowing space from an adjacent room or closet. Our panel of three kitchen and bath experts judged the entries based on innovative use of space, strength of design ideas, appropriateness of materials, and smart use of budget.

Grand Award/Category A: Remodel Within Existing Footprint Kelly Fey Dimon Construction, Fayetteville, N.Y.

Kelly Fey's winning design first created more usable space at the entry of the bathroom by replacing the standard door with a pocket door. Her plan then calls for the toilet to move over next to the tub; a vanity takes its place in the vacated niche and gains a twin on the opposite wall. Fey says the two smaller vanities balance the space and work well for more than one child.

The glass block window above the tub provides light while still preserving privacy. Fey also suggests installing a tube skylight to bring in additional light.

The mirrored wall cabinets and glass shelves serve two purposes. First, they reflect light and allow it to pass through the entire space. They also provide plenty of storage.

In her budget, Fey invests in high-quality fixtures, tile, and vanities for long-term use and future design flexibility. Without changing the fixtures and fittings, she creates two versions of her design: The whimsical design has murals on the wall and is suitable for young children, but Fey includes another option using pale green paint for a more sophisticated look. The judges liked her well-thought-out plan and the fact that she provided an alternate rendering for growing children, as well as her open storage and choice of classic fixtures.

Grand Award/Category B: Remodel Using Adjacent Space David Hilman and Allan Graetz Graetz Remodeling and Custom Homes, Gainesville, Fla.

The first step David Hilman and Allan Graetz took to redesign this bathroom was to set the adjacent bedroom doors on a 45-degree angle. This allowed them to add square footage to the bathroom, maintain the size of the bedrooms, and give the hallway an updated feel. They stole a few square feet of space from the closet of the adjacent bedroom for the plan. They then used a pocket door to divide the enlarged bathroom into two spaces — a sink area and bathing area.

The judges agreed that the new floor plan answers all the homeowners' criteria and that the design team did an excellent job of making use of essentially the same space. “They did not give up anything, but gained everything,” one judge said.

Hilman and Graetz's design includes installation of a new exhaust fan and three new lighting fixtures and relocation of the air conditioning vent to the wall above the toilet. They chose a larger window with opaque glass to maintain light and privacy and added more natural light by specifying a 2-by-4-foot skylight. The lighting inside the skylight shaft superbly addresses lighting by day and night, the judges said.

The judges also pointed out that the “landing” space on both sides of the sinks makes them easier to use. The team maximized storage with new linen closets beside and above the toilet.

Merit Award/Category B: Remodel Using Adjacent Space John Granato, CKD McClurg Associates, Marcellus, N.Y.

Designer John Granato stole space from all adjacent rooms around the bathroom to create a large, family-friendly space. He used a 45-degree angle wall in the hall to maintain good circulation in the bathroom and adjacent bedroom. He used the existing bedroom closet and stole about 12 square feet from the master bedroom. These three moves gave him space to accommodate a larger vanity with two sinks and allowed him to relocate the toilet and fit in a 42-inch-wide whirlpool tub.

The open floor plan of this design makes it comfortable for kids and parents to use the room together, the judges said. The angled entry offers a more interesting layout, and the sight line does not include the toilet. Granato used child-themed accents such as a fish wallpaper border, drawer knobs, and switch and light plates that can be easily replaced for a more sophisticated look.

Honorable Mention/Category B: Using Adjacent Space Doug Walter, AIA, Hamid Khellaf, Marn Heggen, Michael Clark Doug Walter Architects, Denver

The group of designers on this entry only took a very small amount of space from the adjacent bedroom closet, but they were able to meet much of the homeowners' wish list for space, comfort, and classic looks. The group maintained the size of the original closet by bumping it out into the bedroom, but stole enough space to add a 36-inch-square shower to the bathroom. Though the homeowners did not specify a shower, the judges agreed that it is something they will find useful as the children grow up. The skylight shaft and recessed cans offer plenty of light, while the narrow window maintains privacy. The double sinks are spaced for comfortable use, and the designers provided additional storage over the toilet.

Judges Peggy Fisher Fisher Group, Annandale, Va. www.design-build-renovate.com

James Krengel Krengel Presentations North St. Paul, Minn.

Paul Maxim Case Design/ Remodeling, Bethesda, Md. www.casedesign.com