If I had to choose words to describe what we wanted our bathroom to feel and look like, I might say: light, farmhouse, relaxed, simple, airy, historic, comfortable, edited. We wanted a space with simple, clean lines, that had the flavor of old and that incorporated the character of wood (an old milking stool holds the roll of tissue, there), porcelain, fabric, and mixed metals.
This is our bath, for the five of us to share.
It’s not been that difficult a thing to do, really, the sharing. We’ve found that with our lifestyle and workstyle, we rarely all need to use the bathroom at once, and we’ve learned that if the person who’s headed for the shower shouts his intentions, anyone else who might need to use the restroom quickly first, can. It’s the small considerations that make it work. And really, not so long ago, it was the norm for families larger than ours to have only one bathroom. We knew it could work for us.
As with all the rooms in our house, the bathroom had to be large enough to accommodate our needs, yet at the same time be as small as possible. I also wanted to keep this smallest room in the house as visually expansive as I could. There were storage needs, for sure, and we knew we wanted a tub/shower and not just a shower. Also, a window was very important to keep the room from feeling like a dark closet.
All these things came together at the planning table.
I used common minimum bathroom dimensions of 5’ x 8’. This gives room for a basic layout of the tub/shower, toilet, sink, and door swing, without leaving the room feeling cramped. The tub/shower is placed on the back wall, below the small window that is tucked in near the ceiling (you can see a glimpse of the window in the bathroom’s before picture in the house tour here), and fills the full width of the room. To the right of the tub is the toilet. Above the toilet is a cabinet build to specification. This would be the only storage in the room, so I maximized as best I could, running it all the way to the ceiling (the ceiling height is just under 7’). Inside the cabinet are several shelves and two outlets, handy for charging shavers, etc.
I chose a porcelain pedestal sink for the bathroom because of the classic style as well as the visual “room” it affords. A vanity base cabinet with a sink could have been an option, but I felt it would be too visually large for the room, and after assessing what items we needed to keep in the bathroom, the storage space in a vanity wasn’t necessary.
The sink is an eBay find, and is perfect with its oval shape and wide rim, which provides enough surface area on which to place toiletry items during the morning and evening bathroom routine. The faucet is by Kohler. The cup is a thrifted silver julep cup.
The vintage light fixture is one I found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for under $5. This proved to be one of the most challenging fixtures to find, and I was thrilled when I finally came across it!
The oval mirror is one we already owned, and is hung by jute twine from an antique wooden finial. Our intention was that this mirror would be a temporary place holder until we found/had the time/had the money to install a recessed medicine cabinet (something like this). The place holder, it’s a wonderful thing. Grin.
A while ago, I wrote about how it’s becoming more and more important to us to, as much as we can, have things in our home and lives that are authentic. Natural fibers, real wood, glass instead of plastic, whole food, – things like that. In the process of making this house our home, I realized that this philosophy can apply to art as well.
This doesn’t mean that we want only original works purchased from galleries, but it does mean that we’ve become more careful in choosing pieces that we connect with, that are part of us or our story somehow.
And, as it turns out, some of these pieces are original, like these, taken from my own art journal: a pen & ink, a water color, and a chalk. Just three pieces hung randomly, with room to hang more as they come.
Opposite the sink and toilet is the towel wall. The antique hooks were found on eBay (there are five – the last one is just out of frame on the left). A clear spray finish I applied will prevent further rusting, while letting the age and patina show through. The antique lithograph of a summer storm was one I found at a yard sale during the season of storms in our lives. This one I deeply love (though not all who live in our house do! They graciously let me hang it here).
We’ve found chocolate brown to be a wonderful color choice in bath towels for a houseful of boys! We only have five bath towels, plus two hand towels. They get a once or twice a week wash and dry, then are hung right back up (save for the extra hand towel that is kept above the dryer in the laundry cabinet in our room). The shower curtain is made of water proof fabric, purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
And there you have our bath.
Update: Next on the home tour here
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