UPDATING A MASTER BATHROOM IN A CLASSIC 1920’S CRAFTSMAN BUNGALOW
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a wonderful client over the years on her classic craftsman bungalow in Bellingham, WA. Our first project was a major restoration to the front elevation of her house. The exterior porch which ran the length of the front of the house had been badly infilled which thoroughly destroyed the appeal of the home.
When it came time to updating the master bath the client was set upon using white marble which evoked for her the historic period of the house. And even though the house is a fine example of the bungalow style and classic, it was not a grand house and would not have originally had polished marble used as a finish material.
I was interested in working with my client’s desire and committed myself to getting it just right. Together we looked at many different marbles and she chose classic white statuary marble. The key for me in making the bath design successful was to be creative with different marble tile sizes and trim pieces to create a rich pattern and textural interest in what is a fairly tight space.
This being a makeover of the bath and not a full remodel meant that the plumbing fixtures were recycled as was the vanity cabinet which did get new wood door replacements. The bath also contained a glass block infilled window next to the tub/shower which was a strong design element which needed to factor into the new design. This suggested to me the choice of the 6”x 6” marble tiles on the floor set in a grid pattern at a 45 degree to the double row of border tiles.
The laminate on the vanity was replaced with a slab remnant of statuary marble and a new back splash was designed with a marble trim profile and tiles in sizes that had been used on the floor. The shower wall was designed using standard tile sizes plus a 2” cut of a 12”x12” tile used as a band which was effective in creating a wall pattern which could hold its own while being adjacent to the strong grid of the glass block window wall.
In addition, wall and vanity paint colors in updated shades [though Craftsman-appropriate] were chosen to warm up the cool tones of the marble. New cabinet hardware, shower/tub controls, vanity faucet and wall sconces were selected in polished nickel to replace the cheap brass fixtures. These added sparkle and a little period glamour to the space. A new custom built-in wood framed mirror in a Craftsman style was designed and fabricated by the contractor. This added a ‘big scale’ to the small room and a little more glamour to this small, understated but jewel of a bathroom.