A Bath That's Classic Yet Kid-Friendly
Timeless finishes plus a punchy paint color give a children's bath room to grow
Sometimes the size of a room isn't the issue, it's how it's arranged. At Jess and Fran Ryan's early-1900s house, in Summit, New Jersey, the bath shared by their two young children was big enough. But with a single pedestal sink, a toilet wedged between a wall and the tub, and no storage space, the room wasn't working to its full potential. So the couple enlisted designer Tracey Stephens to rethink the space.
Taking advantage of the existing nearly square footprint, Stephens swapped the tub and sink locations, freeing up room for a double vanity and for added clearance around the toilet. Shifting the doorway 22 inches created space for floor-to-ceiling open shelves and put the tub in its own alcove. Starting from scratch gave Stephens the freedom to concoct a look that's both classic and contemporary. As she puts it, "The Carrara marble, polished chrome, and subway tile make it traditional, while the mosaic-tile border, frameless medicine cabinets, and bold orange paint make it modern." We call it a forward-looking environment for young ones in an older home.
Shown: Moving fixtures allowed for a double vanity. Sophisticated finishes—dark wood cabinetry, a marble floor, white subway tiles, and a strip of glass-accented mosaic tile—get a youthful kick from orange walls.
Designer: Tracey Stephens Interior Design, Montclair, NJ
General contractor: Sean O'Boyle, SJO Corp, Secaucus, NJ; 201-210-2159
Paint: 2168-20 Pumpkin Cream (walls) and PM-19 White Dove (ceiling and trim); Benjamin Moore
Blue tile and fixtures dated the storage-starved shared bath.
Open shelves neatly stow towels and toiletries within easy reach without adding another door swing to the room. An adjustable showerhead helps kids take bathtime into their own hands.
The bath gave too much space to the sink and not enough to the toilet—plus, it lacked storage.
Swapping the sink and tub made room for a double vanity. Moving the doorway opened up space for floor-to-ceiling storage shelves.
1. Kept the toilet where it was, but gave it an extra 5 inches of clearance on the vanity side to meet code.
2. Shifted the door 22 inches to free up space for built-in shelves. Forgoing a closet door helped preserve an airy, open feel.
3. Put a storage-rich double vanity—made by joining two single ones and adding a custom top—into the old tub's spot.
4. Installed a 5-foot tub in the former sink alcove, below an existing skylight, and centered the small window over the end of the tub.