Fitting a Period Bath Under the Attic Rafters
Period fixtures and finishes give this DIY bath redo its been-there-forever appearance
Choose a focal point, some designers say, and the rest will fall into place. Tom and Arleen Mulligan of Rumson, New Jersey, selected a claw-foot tub that they found not in a salvage yard but in a storage room on the third floor of their 1895 Queen Anne. Though the 87-square-foot space tucked under the roof "was a crooked mess," Tom says, the couple realized they could turn it into a master bath, with the tub as its centerpiece. Tom, a seasoned renovator, fixed the slanted floor, reframed the crooked doorway, created drop ceilings to accommodate can lights, skim-coated the old plaster, and made crown to match the house's original. The couple found period-style pedestal sinks to complement the tub, and an irresistible deal on marble floor tile. A plumber helped install the sinks, a glassed-in shower, and that tub. Freshly painted and with chrome-plated feet, it grabs the spotlight. "After four months of lugging stuff up and down stairs," says Tom, "we finally have a master bath that fits perfectly with the rest of the house."
Shown: The cozy master bath draws Arleen Mulligan, as well as daughters Ryanne, 10, and Morgan, 12.
MS International marble, 12 by 12 inches in Laurent Brown (floor): Avalon Carpet, Tile & Flooring
The third-floor storage space had a dusty shelf and not much else.
At 87 square feet, the top-floor storage area was big enough to convert to a master bath. The two windows were replaced with energy-efficient sashes,
and an existing closet was preserved for linens.
1. Chose pedestal sinks with curved fronts to ease traffic flow and preserve an open look.
2. Brightened the space by choosing a divided-light door (with privacy glass) and a shower enclosure with glass on two sides.
3. Tucked the tub under the eaves, directly across from the entry to the room.
4. Hid the toilet in an alcove created by the shower stall and the short wall next to the tub.
Vintage-style elements include curved-front pedestal sinks, oval-mirror medicine cabinets, and white subway tile with an inset of brown-glass border tiles.