Old doesn't always mean quaint. That was the lesson Filip and Ruxandra Balasov learned after moving into their 1920s co-op apartment in Queens, New York. Previous tenants hadn't been kind to the master bath: Chipped subway tiles lined the walls, rust spots marred the cast-iron sink, and concrete peeked out beneath the broken ceramic floor squares.
Restoration wasn't an option, and the 5-by-11-foot space didn't allow for changing the fixture placement. So the couple enlisted contractor Patrick McCormack to update every element—but with a vintage look. A new claw-foot tub and pedestal sink and a black-and-white tile scheme added plenty of period charm.
Today the cast-iron soaker's definitely the star of the remodel, having turned the master bath into a favorite relaxation zone for son Sebastian, 13, and daughter Catinca, 2. Says Filip, "For us, it's a 10-minute shower, but the kids spend hours in there!"
Pictured: A cast-iron tub, a clean-lined pedestal sink, white subway tiles, and a black-and-white marble floor are classic early-20th-century touches. Light-reflecting beveled subway tile has a period look and helps a small space feel bigger.
Contractor: Patrick McCormack, East Coast Interior Construction, Maspeth, NY; 347-581-9009