14 September 2010

Dragging an old bathroom into the 21st Century

I've been working with a client on a very small bathroom. The bath in question is in a 1500 square foot ranch house in a valuable neighborhood and it suffered an unfortunate brush with a flipper around eight years ago. Any original character that was in bath when he started ended up in a dumpster. What's left is an out of character attempt at some kind of Shabby Chic as seen through the lens of somebody with $1000 and a long weekend.

Awful stuff.

Enter me. The client wants something modern and he wants me to maximize the storage while eliminating clutter. As you can see below, this bathroom measures a hair over nine feet by seven feet and maximizing storage is going to be a challenge.

Because this room's so small, I want to make it appear to be as large as possible. So instead of a shower stall, I'm calling for a single sheet of clear glass to define the shower area. All of the cabinetry will be raised a foot off the floor and every square inch of this room is going to be tiled in white marble.

If I remove the wall behind the shower you can see the sink elevation.

Here's the vanity and mirror from a little closer in.

All of this cabinetry's being made by a local cabinet maker and all of it will be natural walnut. That vanity cabinet is based on the idea of a Luce vanity sink from LaCava acting as both a sink and a counter.

In the interest of maximizing space, There's a pull out rack behind the right door of the vanity and the mirror slides to the left on hidden guides. Once the mirror's slid out of the way it reveals a counter sunk medicine cabinet in the wall.

On the other side of the bath, there's a tall cabinet. It too is sitting a foot off the ground.

The center compartment has a fold out dressing table, for lack of a better term, that slides in and out of the center compartment.

There's general storage in the compartments above and below the fold out table.

I'm still hunting for the right wall-mounted toilet and I welcome any and all suggestions.

The wall-mounted faucet will be the Virage from Brizo of course, as will the shower.

Although I have to admit I was lured by the siren's song of Hansgrohe, mostly for this photo.

Wow. Now I need to take a cold shower.

So by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, this bathroom will have been dragged into this century and by using decent finishes and fixtures, this client won't ever have to renovate this bath again.


  1. the toilet in your plans looks exactly like Roger Seller's MATRIX suite. personally my current fav design from Roger Seller is the Catalano C-series.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, that Catalano stuff is amazing. Let me see if I can get my hands on them in the US>

  3. hey Paul! Great job! I like Geberit for wall mtd toilets. Pretty sure they are rated the best also. Although Toto is supposedly coming out with one..not sure if out yet or not. last year they showed it at kbis. I have done a similiar tall cabinet carved out of the closet behind it and utilized pocket doors for an "electrics" spot for razor, toothbrush etc. I like the idea of the pull out counter though!

  4. Paul, Looks great - cleaning and clearing this up for many years of enjoyment most definitely. Floating your cabs off the floors and going with the white marble will make this place an awesome place to perform one's daily ablutions. You specifically mentioned the cabinetmaker was working in walnut from La Cava inspiration; being who I am (the concrete guy), I noticed you did not mention where the sink itself was being sourced. This integral block design is excellent when interpreted in concrete. What's your intent there?

  5. Wow very nice, though I wasn't sold on the whole thing until you explained how awesome the storage/cabinetry is! That's really nice design :)

  6. Cheryl: Coming from the master bath designer herself that is some high praise.

    Rich, it'll probably be either the La Cava original sink or one made from marble depending on how the budget pans out. What'll you charge to make and ship a 32" x 21" x 3" concrete sink?

    Nim: Thanks Lisa!

  7. The storage/cabinetry/layout is superb Paul. Question though, am I correct in presuming that the 3" you mention is the depth of the basin for the sink? -Brenda-

  8. That is correct. It's not a sink that hold much water and since the primary user of this bath shaves in the shower, there's no need for a deep sink.

  9. THAT makes sense! (Thanks Paul) -Brenda-

  10. Great ideas! Question...will the Walnut cabintetry have a special finish? I am curious about the tall one opposite the shower and whether there will be any finish issues with the fog created or any droplets that make it that far.

    P.S. Before picts?

  11. PERFECT design, Paul.This is what I've been wanting to do to our master bath for years here. Curbless, doorless. Perfect.

    You didn't mention a drain, unless I overlooked it, but I highly recommend going with a linear drain, like one from ProLine. They're high volume, you only have to slope the floor one direction, & easily cleaned.


    Tell them I sent you. Can't wait to see this one finished!

  12. Thanks Amy, every square inch of the of this bathroom's going to be sealed with a nano sealer and because of the proximity of the shower to the tall cabinet, I can only use one shower head. No rain showers here.

    Becky: I love linear drains and that's probably where it will all end up. I'm going to put a second drain, outside of the shower to handle any other standing water issues that come up.

  13. Wonderful design Paul. I used that La cave sink in a project I did last year. It was stunning. Love the one sheet of glass idea.

  14. Paul, I am back as was going to ask you another question about the drainage for the Shower but I see Becky answered it for me (as did the ProLine website). -Brenda-

  15. Oh, this is going to be GLORIOUS.

  16. Thanks Raina, I'm following your bathroom's progress as well. You have the benefit of some space and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.


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