Category Archives: Bathrooms

Zoning Prohibits Adding Space? Go Up!

Creative Home Renovations

When zoning prohibits your expansion plans, there’s no place to go but up.

A Princeton family needed to increase the size of their home as it was no longer big enough for their growing family. Yet adding on to the existing first or second floor was prohibited by Princeton’s zoning regulations.

 After working with an architect to solve the design problem, they approached Dickson Development to do the construction. “We added a new 1,000-square-foot master suite over part of the existing house,” explains Richard Dickson.

Freestanding Bathtub in large bedroom suite additionThe renovation and expansion of this 1960s home has brought the family’s lifestyle to a new level of comfort. The master bedroom suite includes a large, well-lit dressing room and a contemporary bathroom featuring a separate freestanding bathtub, an elegant tile shower with a sleek, frameless shower door and a custom, double-sink vanity with furniture-like cabinets. The third floor also includes a lovely study.

Dickson and his team extended the original stairway using the same oak lumber on the stairs and railing, creating a cohesive transition to the third floor.

We always work with our clients to find creative solutions to make the best use of available space, integrating design, function and lifestyle,” says Richard.

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Watch This Master Bedroom Suite
Go Up in Princeton

Custom Renovation Showcases Homeowner’s Creative Side

Spacious Open Kitchen Design and Remodel

Creative Home Renovations

Erica spent a full year thinking through every possible design element before renovating her home in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Erica’s attention to detail, discerning eye and personal style are apparent in every aspect of this stunning renovation project.

The project included the remodeling of several rooms in the house, including the kitchen, family room, mudroom, front foyer, second-floor hallway and master bedroom suite. Dickson Development was able to complete the project in less than four months, minimizing the disruption to the family of five.

“Erica knew what she wanted,” says project manager Bonnie Foster of Dickson Development. “We guided her through the process, and together we turned her vision into reality.”

Brand New, Updated Foyer

Foyer Remodel Princeton Home Builder

The Foyer Before Remodel

The four-bedroom home, built in the 1980s, now features a unique blend of contemporary and traditional details, including two custom-built, sliding doors with a rustic barn-door look. “I brought my idea to the team at Dickson Development, and they made it happen,” she says.

“Their crew got right to work, and they were all really nice and very professional. Even though we were basically living in the (finished) basement for a short while, they finished the project on time and made us comfortable throughout.”

The careful planning and attention to detail paid off in countless ways. “It was great to have the client so involved,” says Bonnie. “Erica had a strong vision.”

The success of this renovation was largely due to the partnership established between the client and builder. “Together we were able to create a highly personal, functional and truly one-of-a-kind living experience for the family,” adds Richard Dickson.

Spacious Open Kitchen Design and Remodel

Updated, Spacious Kitchen

Before Photo of Kitchen Remodel in Princeton

Outdated Kitchen Before

A spacious, open-concept kitchen adjoins a comfortable family room with a custom bar. “We didn’t add the bar, but we installed all new cabinetry, as well as a beer tap and new granite countertop,” says Bonnie.

The focal point of the first-floor living space is a 10-foot quartzite kitchen island. “It’s as long as it can be without having a break,” says Bonnie. The family typically gathers around the island to eat and work and socialize. “We used to have a cooktop stove in the island, but it took up too much space. This is the center of our family life. We wanted to open it up.”


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The island also includes a built-in microwave oven and oversized drawers to fit dishes and to hide garbage. “There is a smart use of space throughout the house,” adds Bonnie.

Erica describes herself as the “minimalist in the family,” and the sleek kitchen design reflects her aesthetic. “My goal with this renovation was aesthetic,” she says. Yet, there is no denying the functional elements in the kitchen design.

The large, professional stove includes a pot-filler faucet and is flanked by two slender drawers that serve as spice racks. The backsplash is made of stunning yet understated glass mosaic tile. Built-in ceiling speakers complete the custom touches.

“The kitchen is loaded with conveniences, and there is so much room. We spend a lot of time here,” says Erica. “But the biggest ‘wow’ for me is the master bathroom.”

Remodeled Spacious Bathroom

Before photo of bathroom renovation

Bathroom Before Renovations Began

The master bathroom is part of a comfortable second-floor suite that includes a sitting/gym area, spacious bedroom and dressing room with built-in shelving and vanity, and a modern, sky-lit bathroom. The suite features another barn-door sliding door to unite the first and second floor aesthetic. It also features a shower without a door. “We weren’t so sure about that at first,” says Erica. “But we love this shower. Dickson Development came up with the idea of having the shower controls on the opposite wall from the actual shower heads. It was brilliant.”


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The bathroom also has a heated floor, heated towel rack, stand-alone bathtub and double sinks on an expansive and beautifully appointed vanity. Prior to the renovations, the suite had his and her walk-in closets. The wall in between the two closets was removed, creating one large dressing room. “The bathroom and dressing room come together beautifully,” says Erica.

Looking for ideas for your next improvement project? View our portfolio for more photos or call us at 609.799.2020. We would love to hear from you.


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Renovating Your Bathroom? 3 Ways to Make a Splash

Dickson Development Bathroom

The trend to watch: a clean break from built-in tubs with showers.

Bathroom and Shower Renovation Contractor in Princeton, NJ

Fewer improvements add more value to your home than a complete bathroom renovation.

Many of today’s most popular bathroom designs feature practical yet minimalist details, from contemporary vanities with open shelving, to modern, recessed lighting to cool, neutral color palettes. And it seems everyone wants a great shower.

Large oversized whirlpool tubs are being replaced with elegant walk-in showers. Freestanding, soaking bathtubs are gaining popularity as objects of art—the focal point of the room. In some homes, bathtubs are being added to the shower, instead of the other way around.

A Better Bathing Experience Is in the Details

It is a luxury to have a master bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub or a large wet room that includes a bathtub. It adds value to your home, improves your own experience and demonstrates an attention to detail. Here are three ways to make the most of your bathroom renovation:

  1. Walk-In Shower. If you have the space, a large walk-in shower is one of the most efficient ways to create a total spa experience right in your home. Think of your shower as a place to relax and unwind. Many walk-in showers feature body sprays, rain shower heads and seating. Frameless shower doors visually open the shower to the bathroom, and they also look fantastic.
  2. Freestanding Soaking Tub. When your bathtub is not attached to a wall, it opens up more than the space in the room. With so many shapes and sizes from which to choose, a freestanding tub creates nearly endless design possibilities. The tub provides a great accent to the tile, adds drama and interest to the room, and offers the therapeutic benefits of a long, deep relaxing soak.
  3. Bathroom Finishes. Interestingly, both contemporary and traditional cabinetry, lighting and ceramic tile are finding their place in today’s bathrooms. The choices are limitless and enable you to create your own special place.

A bathroom remodel creates a space of enjoyment for you and makes a significant difference in the overall value of your home.

To schedule a consultation, email or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220.

They Rebuilt Their Home after a Fire

Vaulted Ceiling Addition in Princeton Colonial

This completely renovated Princeton Colonial features a unique vaulted ceiling.

The loss of a house to a fire is devastating on so many levels. Your home is the host to your most cherished memories. It’s the place you go to seek comfort and spend time with family.

When Marc and Susanna Monseau lost their home to a fire, they wanted to work with a builder who would support them every step of the way. It was a difficult time, but the personal service and attention to detail they received from Richard Dickson and his team made a tremendous difference in the process.

“It was a big job,” Susanna recalls. “We needed new floors, walls and windows throughout the house. We needed three new bathrooms and a new kitchen. We also added a brand new bedroom over the garage.”

That bedroom features a unique ceiling with exposed Glulam construction and an elegant copper roof. Glulam refers to a glued laminated timber that is as strong as it is beautiful.

Rustic Kitchen Renovation - Princeton NJThe project, from start to finish, took eight months to complete. “We worked closely with our client to complete the project in a timely manner,” says Richard Dickson. “This included the selection of the new kitchen cabinetry.”

Dickson’s designer helped the client choose all the finishes and also provided them with contacts at kitchen, bathroom and tile vendors. This made the process run smoothly and efficiently. The lovely Colonial home, located in Princeton, NJ, also features stunning plumbing fixtures from Ferguson throughout the new bathrooms and kitchen.

“The fire was a terrible experience for our client,” says Richard. “It was personally satisfying to know that the assistance we gave to them and the work we performed made the return to their home easier.”

To schedule a consultation with Richard Dickson, call 609.799.0220.

  • “Dickson Development did a great job and they actually finished ahead of schedule. They were very responsive and made sure we always knew what was going on.”
    - Susanna Monseau
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5 Steps to a Safe, Stylish and Accessible Bathroom


Dickson-662-EditUniversal Design with Universal Appeal.

Today’s accessible bathroom designs can be both beautiful and provide for universal accessibility. Sleek grab bars and other modern bathroom fixtures transform routine functional products into elegant design elements. They make it possible for more people to live at home safely and independently, regardless of age and physical limitations.

The bathroom has traditionally been a potential danger zone for older adults, seniors and those with other special needs. Bathroom falls remain one of the number one reasons for visits to the ER.

Here are 5 things to consider when remodeling your bathroom to meet your changing lifestyle:

1. Choose unique fixtures. Look for grab bars and rails in beautiful shapes and finishes, faucets with lever handles, and a sprayer attachment for your showerhead.

2. Light it right. Make sure the light switches are easy to access. Consider the use of motion detectors as well. Good lighting is essential to bathroom safety.

3. Size up your space. Transform your accessible bathroom design by adding wider doorways for easier access, proper support bars and accessible height toilets. 

4. Keep it clean with a curbless shower. Curbless showers complement universal design principles and are easy to install when remodeling a bathroom.

5. Don’t fall for the wrong floor. There are many attractive nonslip and textured floors available. A nonslip shower floor is one of the best ways to prevent falls.