A Squared-Off Bath for a Smarter Layout
An awkward bath open to a sitting area doubled its function with fewer windows, more walls, and perfect-fit finishes
In the eternal quest for an additional bath, owners of older homes have been known to do strange things. Consider the arrangement that greeted Canadians Anamaria and Stephen Manna when they bought their 1914 house, in Toronto, Ontario. Previous owners had crafted an odd, 350-square-foot L-shaped bath with a carpeted sitting area on the second floor. With an interior window onto the hall and a French door, "privacy was what the bath lacked most," says the couple's designer, Jane Lockhart.
Shown: To-the-ceiling cabinets on each side help keep the shared vanity clutter-free. Cabinets: Luxor
The whirlpool tub was also tough for bathing two young kids, the shower was tiny, and the double vanity held pipes, not storage. "Something had to give," recalls Stephen, and it did. First, Lockhart erected a wall, cutting the L into two rectangles, one for the reimagined bath and the other a nursery, both entered from the hall. She also walled off a window to hide pipes and hold a single vanity flanked with ceiling-height storage cabinets. The tub, toilet, and shower moved to better spots, and period-style finishes make the room "finally feel like it belongs to the house," says Stephen. Adds Anamaria, "I now adore bath time—both mine and my daughters'."
Shown: The sprawling, 350-square-foot L-shaped bath plus sitting area lacked function—and privacy.
A wide, frameless enclosure with an angled door offsets the narrowness of the room and keeps sight lines open.
Shown: A wall went up to set off a 90-square-foot bath with period-inspired finishes.
The bath was open to an ad hoc sitting area and was not family-friendly.
The space was gutted and squared off for a 90-square-foot family bath and a separate nursery.
What They Did
1. Flanked a single sink with ceiling-height cabinets connected by a false wall that hides pipes and an exterior window.
2. Replaced a spa tub with a conventional one to make it easier to bathe kids.
3. Added one wall and extended another to create a rectangle, eliminating an interior window and making space for a big shower.
4. Moved the toilet to a corner that is invisible from the hall.