Happy Holidays!

Have you decorated for the holidays? Tom and I are busy wrapping up a few projects before joining in the season’s festivities.

Speaking of busy, I haven’t had a lot of blog time lately – apologies! There are half a dozen posts that I started which still require photographing, more tweaking, etc. Hope to share them soon. Here is a recently completed post on a small bathroom located in an upstairs guestroom.

Our soon-to-be 100-year-old home has a total of three full baths plus a powder room. All of those were gutted during a major house renovation. While old houses captivate me, I’m not terribly excited about their vintage baths – usually with rusty pipes, dated fixtures, and cracked tiles.

At approximately 5′ x 6′ this bathroom is compact but not tiny (compared to others in homes from the same period). Because it’s for the occasional guest (we have a private, more spacious guest suite downstairs), I renovated it sensibly yet beautifully. Storage is not an issue, by the way. So sticking with the existing footprint not only made sense, but also kept costs down and allowed splurges elsewhere. Let’s take a look.

Above photo shows the bathroom after renovation, and below is before.

Here’s a breakdown of the renovation process:
-Gutted entire space.

-Converted to en-suite by connecting new entry to guestroom.
-Replaced swinging door with pocket door to better suit tight space.
-Installed all new plumbing, fixtures, fittings, lighting, and tiles.
-Relocated sink and toilet to improve flow.
-Replaced old drafty window with energy-efficient double-pane window.
Much brighter! The window size stayed the same, so what changed? Meet my friend Calacatta! Let’s chat marble.
First of all, upgrading from ceramic tile to marble did raise costs but, in a room of this scale, that increase wasn’t prohibitive.Marble is all Calacatta, which is not as gray or muddy as Carrara. Carrara is hugely popular; I do love and use it when appropriate. But the morning light of this room wanted warmer, clearer tones.

For the 40″ x 54″ shower stall, I originally selected three marble wall slabs. Then I opted for 12″ x 12″ wall tiles to make the budget friendlier, which allowed for more marble splurges: herringbone floor with 3″ x 6″ tiles, custom one-piece thresholds, carved baseboard tiles, and mosaic shower floor.Mosaic tiles work great in shower floors. Arranged on flexible sheets, those mini pieces conform well to the pitch of a shower floor. Plus the texture helps reduce slipping.

Notice the grout lines are barely visible. It’s about the marble, not the grout.

Calacatta mix. ABOVE: Floor tiles in a herringbone pattern, custom one-piece threshold, and mosaic shower floor. BELOW: Carved baseboard tiles.
Pipes and ducts were relocated to allow room for a custom soap niche as well as a recessed medicine cabinet.

Medicine cabinet is from Waterworks. I had the wooden frame painted the same color as the trim. Note its mirrored back.
Light fixture is from Pottery Barn.
Both toilet and sink are from Porcher. Since there is ample storage elsewhere in the bedroom, a console sink with open base looks lovely here – simple, clean and airy.
I’m thrilled with the transformation – our guests, too!
As 2015 comes to an end, I’d like to express my appreciation for your support, enthusiasm and visits throughout the year. And some of you made it to the shop for the first time – fun meeting in person 🙂
With many thanks and much gratitude,