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Floorplan Changes Make Room for a Master Bath

Rejiggering the second floor made space for an airy, spacious retreat with period-style finishes and plenty of storage

Unloved No Longer

Photo by Laura Moss

One remodel often builds off another. Tom and Joan Hagan's 1940s Colonial Revival, in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, came with space added by the previous owner, including a room off the master bedroom with closets in the eaves, including one for a washer and dryer. After "hitting our elbows" in the tiny original master bath one too many times, says Joan, they asked designer Tom Santarsiero to convert the bath into a walk-in closet and the unloved room into a master bath with separate behind-closed-doors areas for the toilet and the laundry. As for the look, Joan says, "I wanted something classic and updated but not too ornate."

Shown: Built-in dressers make good use of low-clearance space in the eaves.

Before: Too Much Multipurpose Room

Photo by Laura Moss

Santarsiero removed a dormer to raise a section of the roof to accommodate the toilet room, a shower enclosure, and a claw-foot tub; built two sets of drawers into the remaining dormered space; and installed radiant floor heat throughout.

Shown: Capped by a sloping roof, the room was a catchall with a laundry closet.

After: Beautiful Bath Suite

Photo by Laura Moss

He even slipped a bonus desk alcove between bedroom and bath. "I do e-mail there—it's quieter than the kitchen," says Joan, mother of three, adding that the suite is now her favorite place to linger. "It's so peaceful and calming. I really love it."

Shown: Converting it to a bath required opening a stud bay for pipes and eliminating a dormer. Built-ins and classic finishes keep the look clean and polished. The cozy desk alcove, with oak flooring to match the bedroom, adds the expansive feeling of a whole other room to the master suite.

Sinks: Kohler

Desk and shelves: Draper-DBS

Homeowner Tip: "A frosted-glass door lets light into a desk alcove between the bedroom and bath while preserving privacy." —Joan Hagan, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.

An Alcove for The Tub, Too

Photo by Laura Moss

The tub alcove, flanked by the toilet room and the shower enclosure, is set off by a paneled ceiling with recessed lights. The marble floor is detailed with ceramic diamonds.

Tub: Kohler

Windows: Andersen

Pendant: Hudson Valley Lighting

Towel Niche

Photo by Laura Moss

Glass shelves keep fresh towels handy and reflect light from the new windows. Period-style fittings have a matte-nickel finish.

Subway tile: Gainey Ceramics

Channeling The Light

Photo by Laura Moss

The frameless shower enclosure channels—and reflects—light from the double window over the tub.

Mixed Tile

Photo by Laura Moss

The shower is lined with a mix of marble mosaic and herringbone tile framed by ceramic chair-rail and subway tiles.

A Little Privacy, Please

Photo by Laura Moss

The toilet has its own room, complete with a sink, a mirror, and wainscoting.

Toilet and sink: Kohler

Sconce: Murray Feiss

Wall paint: Benjamin Moore's Yarmouth Blue

Floor Plan: Before

Floor plan by Ian Warpole

The 330-square-foot catchall space had two dormers, with four closets—one for laundry—under the eaves.

Floor Plan: After

Floor plan by Ian Warpole

Eliminating a dormer and raising a section of roof freed up usable floor space. Walls went up for the relocated laundry and a new desk area.

What They Did:

1. Took down a dormer and raised the roof to fit in a toilet room, tub alcove, and shower enclosure.

2. Created a desk alcove that acts as a buffer between the bedroom and the bath.

3. Added a closet inside the bath to hold a stacked washer and dryer, as well as a laundry cabinet and an open shelf for easy-access supplies.

4. Put in a two-sink vanity, with recessed open shelves in the sidewalls in lieu of medicine cabinets.

5. Built in two sets of deep drawers, one in knee-wall space, eliminating the need for bedroom dressers.