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Design Challenge

How to redo an outdated, irregularly shaped bath in a 1914 bungalow? We asked three pros to weigh in

(page 1 of 3)

Before pictures of the bathroom
THAT SINKING FEELING  The biggest issue was the sink, which had to be tiny to clear the door. A pocket door was not possible. Not visible, above, is a floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinet on the wall opposite the toilet.

floorplan of bathroom

As design dilemmas go, this one seemed especially puzzling. The space in question was a bathroom with a tub at the far end (and a hard-to-use ledge beyond it), a tiny pedestal sink wedged into a corner by the door, and awkward angles just about everywhere. Its style was outdated and frenzied, and the sink, toilet, and tub were “oddly scaled,” to quote Gregory Jagmin, one of the designers we consulted. We hoped to make it pretty, and more functional for a family that uses it both as a powder room (it’s on the first floor) and as a full bath (it’s the only one in the house with a tub).

We called in three design pros to hear what they’d propose, bearing in mind that the room could not be expanded, that the tub had to remain, and that the house is occupied by tall people. We asked architect Julie Fisher and designer Arden Nelson for complete renovations at any cost; we challenged Jagmin to come in under $2,000, excluding labor. Their ideas were inspiring and could be implemented in any bathroom. Maybe yours?



Soft Modern concept of bathroom by Julie Fisher
Kohler small Greek bath is extra deep.


Julie Fisher

Fisher’s plan involved a mix of high-end finishes and lower-priced accessories, all with an Asian accent that felt right for the Prairie-style bungalow. She designed a shallow granite console over a low-back San Raphael toilet from Kohler, to spread out toiletries. Floating red shelves from Ikea match the red in the wallpaper on the opposite wall. A spa stool, also from Ikea, tucks under the console and provides storage. A tall mirror draws eyes up to the room’s high ceiling.

Ann Sacks Penny Round ceramic tile
FLOOR Ann Sacks Penny Round ceramic tile, Savoy.


ROMO Rubani wallpaper from Workroom
(not shown on plan) ROMO Rubani wallpaper from Workroom, 773-472-2140. “Brings some femininity to the room but is not girly. The colors are still masculine.”


Two colors of 24-inch square Lino linentextured porcelain
Two colors of 24-inch square Lino linentextured porcelain, Ann Sacks


Eden Bath rectangular wood vessel sink
Eden Bath rectangular wood vessel sink, efaucets.com


Illustration: John Kenzie
Photography: (Tile And Wallpaper) Leonard Gertz


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