Handsome Face-Lift for a Dated Bath
A Craftsman-inspired redo gave this room's old layout a whole new look
The personality—even ghost—of a home's former occupants often lingers most in the master bath. A floral-Colonial specter haunted the one in Phil and Peggy Reitz's 1920s house in Wilmette, Illinois. Avid collectors of Arts and Crafts furniture, the couple saw the frilly bath as "a total mismatch" with their home, Peggy says. Just as bad, the heat was inadequate, and the standard-height vanities were unsuitable: He's six two; she's five eight.
Shown: Earthy green granite, wood cabinets, bronze fittings, and tiles with a handcrafted look give a bath Craftsman style.
For help they called on local architect David Roberts, who had to work with the existing fixture placement. "Any plumbing changes would have meant tearing into the dining room below, which has a beamed ceiling and Arts and Crafts wallpaper," he says. After gutting the bath, he put in a new radiator; installed electric radiant heat under the tile floor; designed new vanities; and injected a Craftsman aesthetic in the color palette, tilework, and horizontal bands of trim. Now the ghost is gone, but the Reitzes do have to step around their dogs, who love the heated floor.
Shown: Floral wallpaper and shiny brass faucets were out of sync with the house.
Two bands of custom-stained wood molding create horizontal bands that are a hallmark of Craftsman interiors. Tile wainscot with a decorative border reinforces the effect.
"Bathrooms can look choppy because so many elements protrude into the space. One way to smooth that out is to add strong horizontal lines with wood trim around the room."
—David Roberts, architect, Evanston, Ill.
A slim new radiator (awaiting paint) is tucked under the window—and the makeup counter—to warm the north-facing room.
The location of the sinks, tub, and toilet didn't change, but the 8-by-10-foot room was gutted for new heating, fixtures, cabinets, and tile.
1. Put in a tile 'rug' to give the jagged perimeter of the room a neat, unifying focal point.
2. Optimized counter space on the wife's vanity by stretching the granite from wall to wall for a 5-foot-long sink deck.
3. Added storage by tucking a 7-foot-tall linen cupboard in a corner. A 4-foot-long makeup counter also makes use of space under the window and over the radiator.