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The Old Bath Had to Go

BEFORE: When Hunt and Wendy Foster bought their 1905 bungalow in Austin, Texas, they knew they wanted a spacious, open master bath inspired by the wet-room-style hotel baths that Wendy had encountered while traveling through Europe. The only bath in the house was shoehorned into a corner of a former bedroom, off what is now the family’s living room. It hadn’t been updated in 45 years.

Bathing in Luxury

Photo by Casey Dunn

AFTER: Enter architect Richard Hughes, who bumped out the back of the house 8 feet to create a proper master suite. Now a dramatic cast-iron soaking tub and rainhead shower serve as focal points for the wet-room-style bathing area at the far end of the space, where the floor slopes toward the center drain and a platform provides a level spot for the tub. Says Hunt, “We love how open it is, and there’s a hidden benefit—with no shower doors or curtains, it’s really easy to clean!”

Tub: Kateryn from Signature Hardware. Showerhead: Kohler.

Handy Storage Space

Photo by Casey Dunn

Slate-gray paint ties the storage above the toilet to the custom cabinet under one of the windows, and provides a subtle contrast to the sage-green walls.

Paint: Benjamin Moore's AF-560 Flint (cabinet) and AF-470 Flora (walls). Toilet: Kohler.

His-and-Hers Pedestal Sinks

Photo by Casey Dunn

Mirror-image pedestal sinks sit just inside the entry door. The twin sinks, medicine cabinets, and two-light sconces establish a pleasing symmetry. The sliding five-panel pocket door and decorative casing echo original features of the house.

Sinks: Kohler. Medicine cabinets, sconce lights, faucets, and towel racks: Restoration Hardware.

Wet-room Accessories

Photo by Casey Dunn

A pinstripe of charcoal-gray glass tile rings the wet room and echoes the gray cabinets in the bath. A built-in tiled bench offers a place to sit, and train-style towel racks provide storage on either side of the tub. The adjustable wall-mount hand shower is a practical, everyday alternative to the ceiling-mount rainhead.

Wall tile: Daltile. Towel racks: Restoration Hardware. Shower and tub fittings: Kohler.

Penny-round Underfoot

Photo by Casey Dunn

Instead of the ubiquitous hex tile, the designer chose penny rounds as a period-appropriate choice for the 1905 bungalow bath; gray grout helps unify it with the sage-green walls and gray cabinets.

Tile: Daltile

The Floor Plan: Before

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

The existing bare-bones bath had a sink, toilet, and bathtub, but little room to move.

The Floor Plan: After

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

Rebuilt in an addition, the new bath has an open wet-room area and unobstructed flow throughout.

  1. Raised the floor to contain the wet-room area.
  2. Built a tiled shower bench and sloped the wet-room floor for drainage.
  3. Custom-built storage cabinets to hide toiletries.
  4. Installed a platform as a level surface for the tub and to conceal plumbing.
  5. Put a rainhead in the wet-room ceiling and a hand shower on the wall.
  6. Placed his-and-hers pedestal sinks on opposing walls just inside a space-saving pocket door.