Old bathrooms, especially master baths, present some of the most challenging space puzzles. Think of fixture placement, storage and counter expanse, and circulation in and out of the bathroom. Sometimes the solution for designing a functional bathroom is to take space from an adjoining closet or bedroom. Often it means taking away a doorway or moving fixtures to a better location to create a dream bath for a client.
Here is how we repurposed the space within the same footprint in a Newton bathroom, just by creating a new layout.
Newton Master Bath
In a mid-Century house built in 1949, the master bath had a stall shower, right at the entrance (where water from the shower dripped onto the floor), a large window that collected ice during the winter, a door into a second bedroom taking up valuable real estate, a very visible toilet, a small pedestal sink with no countertop space, and an unused bathtub against the far wall. The plus in the bathroom was that there were original, built-in cabinets and storage closets that were flush and flowed into the bedroom. It was important to the homeowner to preserve those.
Design Inspiration & Materials
Always a fan of Ann Sacks tile, one of their images captured Diane’s imagination. The linear veining appealed to her client as well. The other elements came together – the Caesarstone vanity countertop and niche shelf material – and the Ann Sacks tile for the shower, walls and floor. Natural red birch proved to be the best match to the original cabinetry so the new cabinets were custom made with sliding doors to match the existing wood.
- Moved the shower to where the tub was with a linear drain and curb-less entry common in universal design. Because it was at the end of room, no door or curtain was necessary, just a glass partition. All of the water flows into the drain. A built-in narrow niche of open shelves made from Caesarstone were added beside the Dornbracht valves and the hand shower fixture. The narrow shelves were placed between the vent stack behind the wall to the left, and the valves and water lines, but actually works very well for the design. There is also a rain shower head not seen in the image below. Another aspect of the renovation was removing the soffit above the old tub and raising the height of the shower ceiling.
- Repurposed the door to another bathroom and closed that opening. Used that space to relocate the toilet.
- The window was replaced with a smaller window opposite the new sink.
- There wasn’t enough space for a double vanity sink, so a trough sink was installed with two Dornbracht faucets. The sink is undermounted beneath a mitered Caesarstone countertop.
- The vanity cabinetry was wall-mounted with sliding doors to match the sliding doors throughout the house. The cabinet was recessed from the cabinet top so that it could accommodate a towel rack. There is a cutout in the vanity cabinet because it is very close to the tall storage cabinet and to make it easier to grab, a metal edge pull was added to the cutout. A small but critical detail.
- Another wood cabinet was added where the former shower stall was, again with a sliding door to continue the flow from the bedroom, and to make it look as though it had originally been there.
- Electric radiant heat was installed beneath the Ann Sacks Athens Silver Cream tile flooring.
- Larger format tiles with the Ann Sacks Athens Silver Cream were used in the shower and walls.
- Light fixures are not typically used in a bathroom but the shape lent itself to work well with the sink and other horizonal elements.
- The threshold into the bathroom was also flush to the floor, which ended up being important when the homeowner needed to use a wheelchair.
Warm Wood Master Bathroom
The reconfigured layout makes the master bath function as beautifully as it looks. New fixtures and sleek tile gives the space an updated vibe. Matching the new cabinetry to the existing warm wood throughout this Mid-Century home preserved the elements that the homeowners cherished.