little girl in front of console sink in remodeled bathroom
Photo: Keller & Keller
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A Better Master Bathroom

Generally, it's good to avoid stairs in the black of night. But for Jill Becker and Drew Phelps, descending the steps in darkness was tough to avoid. The master bedroom in their 1853 rowhouse was the only room on the three-story home's second floor, thanks to a rental apartment that had been carved out in the 1950s. That two-bedroom unit made reaching their only bath, on the first floor, a literal nightmare. "To get to it," says Drew, "we had to navigate 13 steps, walk through the dining room, the kitchen, and a downstairs hallway."

The couple, who had bought the Cambridge, Massachusetts, house with the intention of restoring its single-­family configuration, longed for a master bath within shuffling distance of their bedroom. And while they wanted it to feel right for their 19th-century home, they also wanted 21st-century amenities like a steam shower and radiant heat. Local designer Charlie Allen reintegrated the rental unit to add a vintage-look master bath and dressing area. As a bonus, the couple's daughter got spacious digs as well. The redesign entailed a few compromises—having to cross the hall to get from bedroom to bath, for one—but the couple has no complaints. Says Allen, "Now they can roll out of bed and step right into the shower."

See the rest of this remodel in An Unused Bedroom Becomes a Functional Bath.
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