Sometimes you’ve gotta’ shake it up a bit. In a house that Pheasant Hill Homes recently worked on, the clients came to us with a real need to add space and functionality to their upstairs without the cost of adding to their square footage. Having previously built a stone chimney as well as a custom cast concrete hearth to surround a new wood stove insert, they knew we were able to pull together a modern look that complimented their tastes. This time, they needed some creative concepts to turn one oversized, underutilized ensuite into two full baths to accommodate their growing family.
The original bath (pictured left and below) had a huge tub that never got used. The shower, which did get used, was too small, and the grout was impossible to keep clean. Pretty common complaints. With a second child on the way, it was important to keep the ensuite, but also create a second full bath to serve both kids. All without using up any more space. The homeowners also loved the light provided by a long window over the bath, as well as a skylight in the ceiling, and were reluctant to lose the bright, rejuvenating feeling they provided.
Fortunately, Pheasant Hill Homes has a very experienced designer on staff who is terrific at coming up with multiple creative solutions to just such problems. After presenting and revising concepts with the clients, an excellent solution was finally arrived upon that met all their needs and would retain a bright, open feeling in each bathroom.
To keep costs down and avoid generating any mess in the rest of the house, the subfloor was removed in small sections to provide convenient access to the plumbing. Once the wiring and plumbing were revised behind the scenes, it was a
simple matter of building some partition framing to define the two spaces, and preparing surfaces for the installation and construction of the bath and shower in each room.
Custom cherry cabinets with horizontal grain (constructed by Adonai Millwork) were chosen to provide some warmth and organic emotion to offset the smooth white porcelain tile used throughout. The floors, which are also porcelain tile (an excellent choice for bathrooms because of its imperviousness to moisture) mimics the look of poured concrete. All of these materials are modern, but not without character, and give the baths a modern, natural ambience.
Because the division of the two rooms did reduce the space available for the vanities, two good solutions were devised to make the most of available real estate. Firstly, the dividing wall was made extra deep, so that built-in niches could fit in above the sinks, and back-to-back medicine cabinets could be inserted into the wall on both sides, behind their respective mirrors. Secondly, because sinks installed into countertops can tend to make small tops feel crowded, fixtures were chosen that incorporated the sink right into the countertop surface. While not increasing counterspace, this provides a clean, smooth surface that provides a more expansive appearance. Importantly, however, when using a sing/countertop combo, it is important to provide the unit to the cabinetmaker before they start construction, so that they can ensure that the two components mate together without any issues. (Trying to shoe-horn a sink/counter combo unit into a cabinet not designed for it can be done but causes real headaches after the fact. Trust me.)
While renovations in a small space like this can seem to drag on, their longer-than-usual time frames are an unavoidable side effect of the need for many different sub-trades to be involved sequentially. The more cooks one has to schedule in the kitchen, the more timelines need to be catered to and waited upon. In the end, however, the clients ended up with two bright, beautiful spaces that will both be well used and should serve their needs well. With even more storage space than before, but also able to serve more people in the same footprint, the two baths will vastly outperform the previous space. Plus, by creating a whole new bathroom, the renovation has added valuable resale value to their home. And with the new urethane grouts used in the shower and bath surrounds, challenging cleaning has become a thing of the past!
If you could use some creative re-imagining of spaces in your house, contact the team at Pheasant Hill Homes here. We thrive on the challenge of providing results that will exceed your expectations, within your budget.