Transom and interior windows let the sun shine into an accessible bathroom trimmed with a combination of durable woods.
Synopsis: The first new owner of a Kentucky farmhouse built more than a century ago hired architect Garry Murphy to add a full bathroom with a wheelchair-accessible shower and a laundry room on the second floor. Dividing one of the existing bedrooms provided enough space for the project, but Murphy’s challenge was finding a way to bring natural light into both new rooms. Part of his solution was a combination of transom and interior windows along with a wall that stops short of the ceiling to allow light to filter in. Murphy also warmed up the bath with a variety of wood trim.
From the time it was built more than 100 years ago, this grand Kentucky farmhouse had belonged to only one family. Only a few changes had been made to the house, but none were pleasing to the home’s first new owner. In one of the bedrooms, the windows had been covered with brick and plaster to create wall space for furniture. More recently, the entire second floor had been closed off from the rest of the house with a wall atop the open foyer staircase.
When our firm was hired to remodel the place, most of the work included reversing these and other changes that blocked the flow of sunlight. To our delight, we discovered that the original window sashes, jambs, and beautifully detailed interior shutters as well as most of the original interior casing and trim had been removed and stored in the attic.
We also added a full bathroom with a wheelchair-accessible shower and a laundry room on the second floor. Dividing one of the existing bedrooms provided plenty of space for both rooms. The trick was finding a way to bring natural light into the new space.
How a lackluster bedroom became a…