Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Small Bathroom Update

One of the first projects I designed out of school was an addition for a dear friend of mine. She had inherited a two-bedroom, one bath home that her grandparents had built in the 1970's. What had been a perfectly efficient home for retirees was way too small for a young family. We designed a new master suite and family room to expand the house, and those rooms served them well for eight or nine years, but it was time for an upgrade.

The original addition had been completed on a tight budget. Vinyl flooring, out-of-the box prefab shower, and inexpensive cabinetry kept the original bath costs low. But it was time for a major upgrade. The original shower was a neo-angle fiberglass affair that provided no elbow room. It was so tight, even the water was looking for an escape--a slow leak around the shower had caused some serious rot in the floor system.

The original bathroom was in need of an all-out update.

Expanding the footprint of the bathroom was out of the question for a number of reasons, so we had to work within the existing 7 foot by 8 foot footprint. The top of the homeowner's wish list was "the biggest shower you can give us."

The new floor plan called for a much larger custom built shower with half walls and glass. The existing fixture layout still seemed to make the most sense, and it helped the budget to leave everything in it's original location.

But the locations were all we kept. Here, you can see the exterior wall of the original house after the bathroom was demolished.

Drawing from other renovations they had completed, my friends wanted to see a lot of sparkle in the new bathroom. They had installed glass tiles in their other bathroom the year previous, and loved them. So generous use of glass tile was definitely part of the palette for the new master bath.

After. Gone is the claustrophobic angled shower. Replaced by a sumptous custom glass and tile one. High end finishes and fixtures are a 180 from the previous. The floors in both the shower and the main bathroom are an absolutely gorgeous natural green slate that perfectly compliments the glass tile accents.

The custom espresso stained vanity gives them more storage than the old unit. We struggled with what to do the countertops in. Every natural stone we tried seemed either too white or too yellow to work with the Kohler Memoirs sink. In the end, the glass countertop was the perfect solution. This picture shows a  hint of the slate floor.

A closer look at the glass countertop.

One more look. The nickel framed mirror and contemporary lighting are the perfect final touches.

As always, I am linking to the Metamorphosis Monday party at "Between Naps on the Porch"--they bring together the most amazing transformations on the web every week. Click over there to check out more. And be sure to join us on Facebook! 


  1. So great all the tile and the espresso vanity, such a rich color. Well done!! So happy to be back in blogland! Hope alls well with you....

  2. Thanks Tina! Glad you're back...doing well here just swamped this week. Hope you're doing well too.