A Bath With a Smarter Layout, but Vintage Details
An outdated master bath gains function and flair, thanks to a makeover that maximizes space—and style
Dealing with the unfortunate renovation choices of previous owners is a fact of life for many home buyers. When Marc and Sarah Chodera purchased their 1887 Stick-style house, in Chicago, the master bath was a major disappointment. "It was pure 1980s," Sarah says of the hard-edged, white-tiled space with its claustrophobic shower and jetted tub—and no privacy, a problem because the couple would be sharing the bath with their son, now 9, and daughter, 4.
Shown: Rich wood cabinets, vintage details, and a reconfigured layout make the room as stylish as it is efficient.
To the rescue: designer Aimee Wertepny, who tweaked the layout to reclaim wasted space without moving plumbing lines. The result is a distinctive room with warm cherry cabinets, vintage-style sconces, and earth-tone finishes that echo details found elsewhere in the period house. Just as important are the larger shower, accented with a panel of bronze penny tiles, the claw-foot tub illuminated by a small chandelier, and the separate toilet room. Says Sarah, "Now it's a quiet, serene place to start and end the day."
Shown: The 1980s bath, with its expanses of white square tile and its clunky spa tub, was out of place in the 1887 house.
The generously sized shower features a frameless glass door and a panel of metallic penny-round tiles accented with cove lighting.
Pro tip: "Bath lighting is important not just so that you can see what you're doing but also to create focal points. Be sure to install dimmers to set the mood."
—Aimee Wertepny, designer, Chicago
Tile: Ann Sacks
The fixture locations stayed the same in the 120-square-foot bath, but better use of space allowed for a bigger shower and a toilet room.
1. Kept the sink windows open by placing medicine cabinets with mirrored doors on the side walls.
2. Removed a jetted tub, gaining a couple of feet for a good-size shower and a smaller, claw-foot soaker.
3. Added a stool-height counter between the sinks for a makeup table.
4. Enclosed the toilet behind a space-saving pocket door, adding privacy in a bath used by the whole family.