Bathroom Remodel: Fixtures & Design Concepts

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Remodeling a bathroom in a vintage or older home requires a bit of sensitivity towards the existing structural design.

In my old house, c. 1914, the original bathroom was long gone, but with some research HERE into early bathroom design, I was able to get an idea of what I felt would work best for us in keeping with the existing visual context.

The first consideration was to create a sense of space in a very small room. This meant using fixtures that would help to 'open up' the room, especially floor space. Light is also an issue in this room, with only a typical bathroom window above the bath and under the shaded eves, the place is usually very shaded and dark. And finally it needed to have a good presentation, since the door is directly opposite another door leading into the dining room. The original space and my overall plan for it is shown HERE.

To open this space, I selected a Kohler set, Memoirs, using both the sink and matching toilet with an angular design style that is compatible with our craftsman home. This sink has wider margins around all edges, providing a bit of 'counter space' required for daily use. The toilet met our requirements for low water consumption along with more height than our previous style.

When it came time to choose the metal that would be seen throughout the room, I went with tradition and used shiny nickel, rather than brushed chrome or the current trend towards dark 'oiled brass' fixtures. Since both of the other metals are trending right now, it was a challenge to find the more traditional nickel sink faucet I wanted. The high arc design with lever handles was available through a Martha Stewart collection: Seal Harbor. Since the design of this collection looked custom made to go with the sink's angular style, I used this collection for the towel racks as well.

I planned to restore the home's existing cedar medicine cabinet and needed a wall fixture to install above that. I found a unique two lamp wall fixture from Academy that had a shade style that is slightly Art Deco in appearance. It is a departure from the many 'craftsman' style fixtures available on the market. There is a light fixture existing in the ceiling, so for this I found an all white small ceiling fan. The look was very bland, so I spray painted the metal elements silver, which made it more interesting and helped to compliment the existing fixtures I had already purchased.

Tile work was completed using a standard subway tile, Rittenhouse by Daltile, in traditional white with white grout. The floor is set with small hexagon tiles in glazed white with gray grout. I wanted painted walls, so the subway tiles were to be seen only in the shower area.

Color selection for the walls was key in helping to make it feel 'light' and 'open'. The white tiles are seen on the floors and shower area, but the remaining walls were not tiled. I chose a very light warm yellow for those walls. "Morning Light" by Sherwin Williams is one of the lightest yellow tints that I could find. I knew from previous experience that there would be strong reflection in this small room that would intensify whatever color paint was used. The existing five panel wood door and door frame were painted the same "Swiss Coffee" semi-gloss that I use through out the rest of the home. This white provides a great accent to the soft yellow.

This bathroom would not break any ground, design wise, but I was certain that by controlling the size of each element, color selection and metals used I would have a bathroom remodel that would be open, light and compliment an older home.

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