When you live in a 115 year old home, you expect there to be some amount of, shall we say, surprises. It was no surprise that all three of our bathrooms, which had been renovated in the 1930’s, were in dire need of updating. We begun with our 3rd floor bath, one that we had demolished on our own when we bought the house nearly 18 years ago. So it remained, through a kitchen renovation, job lay-offs, babies being born, and finally it was time. To quote the oft-hated home improvement store (by me), “Let’s do this.”
As a designer first, and a homeowner second, I had the elements of the bathroom chosen, in my mind, for all of those 18 years. Bing, bang, boom, I thought. This oughta be easy. Carrera basketweave tile, check. Clean, simple subway, check. Classic pedestal sink, check. Simple glass shower door, check. All I needed was a paint color, a few lights and we’d be off to the races.
There were tiny bumps along the way (shower head too large, ceiling light too small, etc), but our old house “surprise” came in the form of a 115 year old pipe so filled with sediment and you know, stuff, that their was barely a dime sized area through which said stuff could pass. When the conctractor ran the water on the newly finished bathroom, our second floor bath flooded. Then came the call. “I’m gonna have to open up the walls.” Terrific. We knew that bathroom was next, so if we had to live with an opened up wall for a few months until we renovated that one, well, it might even be an improvement from the jade green and almond tile with black accents. However, as is always the way with opening up walls, what you tend to find is more. More old pipes, more problems, more work, more money.
We quickly had to up our schedule of “one bathroom per year” to “three bathrooms right now” (the powder room, directly below the 2nd floor bath, was all a part of the “stack” of corrupt plumbing). We are rounding the corner with bathrooms 2 and 3, but I’m here to show you number one in all it’s water-running, toilet-flushing glory. Stay tuned for more photos and how I designed these three rooms at once, in my time off. (Spoiler: QUICKLY!).
BEFORE pics here are a bit silly, as all there was to see was devastation. And lathe. But I did snap a few once we got started:
AFTER: The slanted ceiling posed a few challenges, including having to get an articulated arm for the shower head, and a few tries before we found a shower door that looked how I wanted, and fit (hint: custom $$$). I wanted to design a classic bath that worked for the style of our home with some modern touches like art and accessories that could be changed along the way.