After our recent posts on renovating small bathrooms, we received a question about critically limited bathrooms--the kind of bathroom that is so fundamentally challenging, you just have to make the best of the circumstances. Below is a description of how we tried to crack one of these tough puzzles by renovating the only full bath in the house. Let's start by taking a look at the "before" pictures below:
The first thing you'll notice is that this bathroom is tricky because the roof line cuts into the space dramatically, and the bath placement does not allow an adult of average height to stand upright without suffering a head injury. Second, notice how the old radiator crams the 36" vanity between it and the toilet. Finally, you can see how drab the bathroom appears since the last update 30 or 40 years ago. A linen closet behind the plumbing wall of the bathtub further shrinks the space. This was a bathroom in desperate need of new life, especially because it was the only full bath in this three bedroom home!
Re-working the roof line was out of the question. Stealing space from the adjacent bedroom was also out of the question because the bedroom was already compact. What to do?
The only way to gain a few extra valuable square feet was to demo the linen closet and reposition the tub to the window wall so that the new owners could wash their hair without getting a concussion. We installed a 60" double vanity where the tub once sat. The radiator disappeared when we upgraded the HVAC system on the second floor. We installed new ventilation, lighting, tile, toilet, and fixtures to complete renovation. Below is the "after" picture:
We like to "go big" in a small bathroom; we like the outcome best when we stretch for maximum utility and memorable form. This bathroom was true to our approach with a blend of classic materials such as hex marble floor tile and chrome Grohe fixtures to modernize the space.
Finally, some property therapy for everybody considering a bathroom renovation: remember you purchased this particular home for good reason, this bathroom has been on your to-do list for some time, and now this important part of your home is going to sparkle. It's a big deal, a frog-to-prince transformation, something to look forward to. Getting rid of all the frustration, disappointment, and other negative feelings is healthy. That's all the head-shrinking we can manage today ;) Back to demolition . . .