Cramped Bathroom Becomes Historic Masterpiece

This is one of my (Melissa’s) personal favorites, likely because this is the first completed project I saw after starting work at Rose Construction.

A 1937 architectural award-winner, this historic home has wonderful structure and charming details. However, the upstairs bathroom was lacking in both space and appeal:

Before: Lack of Space

Before: Lack of Space

Before: Lack of Character and Appeal

Before: Lack of Character and Appeal

The homeowner was adamant that any renovations must seamlessly fit with the rest of the home’s character.

During the initial walkthrough Pat noted that the bathroom was cramped and seemed very small. Not only was a ten square foot bedroom closet crowding the entry but a plumbing wall had been placed in the center of the room, cutting the space in half and blocking natural light from an exterior window:

Before: Plumbing Wall Crowds the Space

Before: Plumbing Wall Crowds the Space

Though no easy feat, rerouting the plumbing and demolition of both the adjacent closet and full-height plumbing wall were necessary to create the client’s dream bathroom. Drainage pipes were rerouted to travel underneath the entire length of the bathtub to the opposite wall without requiring a soffet on the floor below. To add character, the original plumbing wall was not fully demolished but was instead cut to create a 42 inch high privacy screen between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom:

After: Shortening the Plumbing Wall Opens the Room

After: Shortening the Plumbing Wall Opens the Room

The chosen finishes and materials manage to inject both 1937s character and modern design into this updated bathroom:

After: Finishes Combine Historic Charm and Modern Touch

After: Historic Charm with a Modern Touch

A subway tile wainscot composed of Calcutta Evolution Polished tile and topped with one inch Calcutta marble mosaic tile now envelops the room:

After: Subway Tile Wainscot

After: Subway Tile Wainscot with Calcutta Marble Mosaic

The subway tile pattern is continued behind the new Kohler “Seaforth” bathtub and the floor is Calcutta marble inlayed in porcelain tile:


After: Kohler “Seaforth” bathtub and Calcutta marble floor with porcelain tile inlay

A custom made vanity cabinet stands four inches off the floor and is topped with a 3cm marble top made of marble in Calcutta Gold:


After: Custom Vanity with 3cm Calcutta Gold marble countertop

For the cleanest possible design line, the shower curtain is hung from a ceiling-mounted cubicle curtain track. This allows for a seamless floor-to-ceiling flow of fabric:


After: The Shower in the Background Flows Seamlessly

No detail was overlooked: even the threshold and radiator cover were deemed important and were therefore created from white marble:


After: Details

Though the aesthetic was to be circa-1937, the client understandably wished to incorporate modern conveniences. A Kohler Memoirs comfort height toilet, two Decolav under counter mount oval china sinks and Kohler Memoirs Classic widespread chrome faucets update the room without distracting from the bathroom’s design:


After: Kohler Memoirs Comfort Height Toilet


After: Undermount Decolav Oval China Sinks and Kohler Memoirs Classic Widespread Chrome Faucets

For the ultimate in comfort, a NuHeat Floor Warming System and electricity within the vanity cabinets provide the final touch.

This incredible transformation truly did wonders to open up this bathroom:

Before: Cramped, After: Spacious

Before: Cramped, After: Spacious

© Rose Construction 2009


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