This classic Victorian home had been thoroughly remodeled inside and out before the homeowners decided that the sole bathroom on the second floor--cobbled together from ill fitted units, obsolete surfaces, and a claw-foot tub with massive rust stains and erosions--finally needed to go. After debating subdividing the bathroom into two, the clients decided one larger bath (which would also help organize the layout of some adjacent closet and study space) would suit their needs.
The project needed to incorporate existing windows and a rejuvenated tub (sent out to be refinished) while providing ample vanity space and a spa-like shower. In addition, the homeowners wanted to evoke details of the Victorian home (panel wall treatments, unique flooring, fluted trim, and bold use of wallpaper) while embodying a clean, modern, and youthful energy.
The existing plumbing stacks and chases drove some of the early design decisions as we tried to keep the project on as tight a budget as possible (they really needed to spend some resources on closets as well). This constraint created challenges, both in the design phase, as well as during construction. Fortunately, a masonry chimney, long abandoned, could be removed, opening up a few extra feet of space and allowing room for an expanded vanity and an open shelf étagère (a request of the homeowner).
We selected a simple board and batten wall treatment, subway tiles, and trim to match the existing millwork as a base palette. The floor is a wood-look ceramic, set in a herringbone pattern. The vanity was built from salvaged wood and provides a modern and earthy counterpoint to the traditional details.
The wallpaper was the boldest choice. Previous demolition throughout the house revealed decades of wallpaper from subtle to exuberant. We decided on a modern punch in a dark slate gray that gives the bath a contemporary designer flair, without compromising the classic look of the room.
The shower is open, separated by a simple pane of glass as a splashguard. The shower window–an existing feature of the house and essential to the exterior composition–was replaced with frosted window and a marine grade protective finish.
The project is the perfect complement to the other renovations in this home, blending tradition and modern energy in a timeless Victorian.