Two Baths for a Vintage Home
With a nod to classic style, a pair of bathrooms is transformed for a modern family
Remodeling projects in old houses can be tricky. Most homeowners want the benefit of modern materials and amenities, yet they don’t want to deviate too much from their house’s original style. In this article, designer Ann McCulloch explains how she took on this challenge when a couple in Portland, Ore., hired her to remodel the bathrooms in their Tudor-revival home. Improving the master bath turned out not to be difficult; a previous remodel had left brown fixtures, mauve wall-to-wall carpeting, and structural problems when load-bearing walls had been removed. McCulloch chose materials and fixtures that would have been common when the house was built–such as a cast-iron claw-foot tub, subway tile on the walls, and porcelain mosaic tile on the floor–but that have never gone out of style. For the kids’ bath, McCulloch designed a vanity that looked old, then dropped into it a farmhouse sink with two faucets. Farmhouse sinks are usually found in kitchens, but McCulloch thought its functionality and appropriateness to the period justified its unconventional placement in this bath. Both showers repeat the classic look of subway tile on the walls and the mosaic tile on the floor, but the addition of glass–a door in the master bath and the entire surround in the kids’ bath–brings a modern touch.