When I first stepped inside this narrow bathroom, it was a bit like being trapped inside a lemon drop! It was so confining and the space had been taken over by my client's product loving, messy, teenage son.
What the clients asked for: A lighter, brighter space that their daughter could enjoy on visits home from college, but also a space that would accommodate visiting guests. And, do it without using high end materials since most of the budget would be allocated to the master bath renovation. The storage concerns would be partially addressed by relocating their son to his own little "man cave" in the the basement that already had a full bath.
What I proposed: Put a skylight in (agreed) to bring in some desperately needed natural light. It's an interior space, so a small window was not an option. Eliminate the door going into the son's former bedroom. This was the worst layout for an ensuite bathroom I have ever seen. There were literally 3 doors converging onto one another, all within mere inches of the next! The one that led into the bedroom, directly behind the main door entering into the bathroom (although surprised by this suggestion, agreed) needed to be eliminated. And by making this change, the cabinet doors and drawers would no longer collide with the entry doors. It would provide some sound proofing for the bedroom and also create some much needed wall space in the bedroom to place furniture. A white (nixed) wood sink cabinet with deeper drawers for storage. A slab mirror with a beveled edge (agreed) so nothing would protrude into this narrow space. Wall mounted lights centered over each sink (agreed) versus their current location, which was in the middle of the wall. Plus, add a light over the shower (agreed) and new exhaust vent.
There was another thing that really struck me, but in a comical way, when I first entered this space. Did you spot the bizzare feature? The mirror extended beyond the sink console and over the toilet. Charming. We all had a good laugh about this "design" feature that builders employ to make small bathrooms appear larger. However, this certainly isn't the way to do it!
I suggested using a medium format subway tile in the shower with a green glass listello banding (nixed-the wife dislikes all brick patterns and the husband is not crazy for the color green) and a glass shower enclosure with gliding doors (agreed) to add more visual length. Install a large porcelain tile on the floor and lay it on the 45 (agreed) to make the space feel wider. Select fixtures and hardware in a brushed nickel (agreed) finish in a modern style.
The end result: A much lighter, brighter space with an airy feel to it. We found a large white tile that was installed vertically in the shower and added a glass and marble mosiac band, a little splurge, flanked by the green glass listellos. The daughter loved all the green! The mosaic originally had some blacks and grays mixed in, which I liked, but the clients did not care for the variations. So I had the tiler remove them and replace them with the preferred tones. I picked up the toffee color from the marble band for the sink console.
I really struggled with the paint on this project. If you look at the shot of the back of the shower (above) you can see the clouds parted and there was a ray of light streaming through the skylight that illuminated the little fern on the back of the toilet. Choosing the paint was challenging because of the lighting conditions, the size of the space, and the various materials to consider. We did several large test samples and in the end settled on one the husband preferred that had a more gray undertone. In the daylight it is really lovely and calm. This was quite a transformation and the clients were pleased with the outcome and again vowing never to let their teenage son set foot in the space!
What could be better at the end of a bath reno than a stack of fluffy white towels!
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