My clients live in a beautiful house that was built in 1925 and is full of character. They hadn’t remodeled the bathrooms in any way since moving in, but once their kids grew up and left home they decided that it was time to give this space a facelift. “Listening to the house” is the first thing I do when entering an existing property. During this “listening” process I discern how my designs may enhance the look and feel of a house, rather than imposing a design remodel that may look up-to-date on the surface yet doesn’t really highlight the essence of the space. Upon seeing this lovely house it was clear that we had to respect the integrity of its age, and create a remodel design that would ideally combine traditional and modern elements.
I usually begin the bathroom design process by selecting plumbing fixtures first, because bathroom layouts are mostly determined by what is technically possible within the walls of the space. Next comes the interior design concept, and finally the finishes.
You can read more about the Master Bath remodel here.
For their Guest bathroom, which used to be their Kids' bathroom, my client fell in love with a semi vessel matte finish sink, so we let this feature inform the vanity design. We wanted something unique and beautiful, so I suggested buying a console table to convert into a vanity.
After selecting the plumbing fixture, I already have a sense on how I am going to design this room, and here is the inspiration board I shared with my clients:
Since the console table wasn’t initially intended for bathroom use, by adding a stone countertop we were able to protect the surface from water splashes. The shape and style of this wood vanity is angular and modern. To soften the straight lines, and lend it a more traditional character that would tie in with the rest of the house, I designed an elegant curved cutout on each of the top corners of the backsplash. Colors and patterns -- I love them. I love it more when my clients love them. And I love it even more when they’re not afraid to explore bold designs. I suggested a cement tile floor, which is a daring choice. Cement tiles are visually deep in color and there’s a wide range of delightfully unique patterns available today. Embracing this suggestion, my clients selected tiles that feature varying shades of green and blue -- a choice that feels like a most natural fit for this gracefully old and beautiful house. The cement has a nice patina that ages beautifully and blends perfectly with the charm of the house. We hung a couple of light pendants at varying heights on each side of the vanity, and a large round minimalist mirror above the sink. The original tub was very low-set and positioned within a niche that had walls built up to the ceiling. Since we had to maintain the existing plumbing arrangement, opening this enclosed niche wasn’t an option. Instead, we replaced the low bathtub with a higher edged one that has straighter lines, installed new plumbing, and replaced the tiles. We kept the curved top of the walled niche frame, to maintain the traditional theme. The tile work on the curved-top wall frame is fantastic and certainly adds charm and character to this bathroom.
The thing I love most when seeing a new space, is to compare it to what he was. So here is how this bathroom used to look like:
As you can see, I left the footprint of the bath exactly how it was. no structural changes.
I love the outcome that at the end of the day shows you don't need to break walls to create a new and beautiful space that is true to your house.
Photos by: Vivian Johanson