Photos by Ryan McDonald Photography
This project is part of a larger renovation that we have been working on for some time. The main house is a turn-of-the-century structure that was designed by the original owner (an architect) as a love letter to his wife. The story is so enchanting that we decided to keep romance as an undercurrent of our design decisions. We also wanted to maintain as much of the historic elements as possible while updating the home for modern life. The bath you see here is inside a guest house -- nicknamed the Coach House -- that isn't used frequently but still needed to be stylish and comfortable, so we took a chance on a beautiful scenic wallpaper that definitely speaks to that element of glamour.
Before: The original space had some inherent charm, but it was also showing its age, had a few architectural barriers, and the color palette was a bit jarring for our clients' taste. The tub was set on top of a platform, the mirror cabinet was leaning towards the sink making the space feel cramped, and the radiator was placed much too close to the toilet bowl. The goal was to refresh the space and bring it up-to-date to reflect current needs and make it a bit easier to move around in, while retaining the historic charm of the home.
What we did: The first order of business was to tidy up the space planning, so we removed the tub and replaced it with a curbless shower with a a sleek linear drain and a fixed glass panel that is much easier to access and less bulky in the room. The shower has a large inset niche along the wall for products and Brizo Invari plumbing fittings which complement the traditional and stylish vibe we were going for.
On the floor, we chose a patterned Spanish floor tile that makes a beautiful statement but has a small pattern that doesn't compete with the wallpaper. We sourced it and the classic white ceramic tile in the shower from The Fine Line in Chicago. The black trim recalls tile details that were common when the house was built, which gives the decidedly modern shower a note of tradition.
On the windows, we refinished the original bi-fold shutters to match the paint and added a semi-sheer fitted curtain for privacy. The creamy paint is Timeless by Clare paint, which felt more in keeping with the traditional architecture of the home than a brighter white, and contrasts nicely with some of the bolder paint choices we made in other spaces of the Coach House.
Since the room is primarily used by guests, a recessed medicine cabinet was sufficient for storage, and we flanked it with a pair of sconces that have a traditional, curvy shape but an exposed bulb for a modern touch.
The pedestal sink has a classic profile that recalls the history of the home, but the real star of the show is the stunning scenic wallpaper. It's whimsical and colorful, but still feels very sophisticated. We're definitely not shy about using wallpaper (here are our tips for doing it well), but a less frequently-used space is an ideal place to try a bold pattern.
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