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Bright Bath with Shiplap Details: After

Photo by Brianne Williams

A master bath should be a place to escape and unwind—especially when you've got two kids under age 4. Designer Alys Protzman and her husband had that in mind while redoing the upstairs of their 1880s North Carolina farmhouse. Tucked into their bedroom, which was across the hall from the kids' rooms, the old master bath had an awkward layout, no tub, and no actual door. So, working with architect Erik Van Mehlman, they decided to start fresh, bumping out the back of the house 15 feet to allow for a new master suite. Both children's rooms would be in the front of the house, and dressing closets would add a buffer zone between adult and kid spaces.

Shown: Light-filled and inviting, the newly built master bath features farmhouse-appropriate shiplap walls, a focal-point soaking tub, and separate vanities.

Inconvenient Bath Layout: Before

For an updated look that respects their house's vintage, they lined the bath with white shiplap. Flanking a freestanding tub with twin vanities and placing the steam shower and toilet enclosure on the opposite wall gives the room good flow and an open feel. Says Alys, "It's such a luxury to have this much space—not to mention peace and quiet!"

Shown: The old bath had an odd layout, dated finishes—and no tub.

Coveted Soaking Tub

Photo by Brianne Williams

A soaking tub was high on the list of must-haves, as were vanities with plenty of storage below.

Paint: Benjamin Moore's White Dove (walls) and Super White (trim)

Tub: Duravit

Custom vanities: Executive Cabinetry

Faucets: Kohler

Leaning Sink Mirrors

Photo by Brianne Williams

Wood details warm up the space. The sink ledges were cut from an old beam salvaged during the renovation.

Homeowner tip: "Leaning the sink mirrors on the wall creates welcome cover for electrical outlets." —Alys Protzman, Pittsboro, N.C.

Sinks: Decolav

Sconces: Artemide

Vintage Charm and Handy Hardware

Photo by Brianne Williams

Vintage hooks hold towels outside the steam shower. Hex floor tile lends vintage charm—and modern comfort, thanks to radiant heat.

Floor tile: Daltile

Floor heat: SunTouch

White Marble Shower Details

Photo by Brianne Williams

A door frame of thick Alabama white marble provides a luxe entry to the shower. The material is repeated in a shelf for the niche.

Tile: Fireclay Tile

Toilet Hidden Behind a Pocket Door

Photo by Brianne Williams

The toilet is tucked discreetly behind a pocket door fitted with privacy glass.

Door: TruStile

Door hardware: Baldwin

Small, Door-less: Floor Plan Before

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

The master bath, located inside the bedroom, had a cramped layout and no tub—or door.

Better Access: Floor Plan After

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

The relocated bath can be accessed from both the bedroom sitting area and the dressing closets.

1. Built a 3-by-6-foot shower with a bench on the interior wall at the far end of the room.

2. Added a mirrored pocket door to dressing closets opposite the tub.

3. Boxed out an enclosure for the toilet, accessed via a pocket door.

4. Added a window opposite one of the entries for a space-expanding sight line outside.

5. Centered a freestanding tub under double-hung windows with views of the backyard.

6. Flanked the tub with matching vanities to ease traffic flow and create pleasing symmetry. Pocket entry doors maximize space.