Sussex Bath

Residential Bath: $30,000 – $60,000.00

Raising a family with three children had always taken a first position in their lives. Helping with education expenses, weddings, and seeing that they all had enough to make a down payment on their own homes was just the way things were for them. With the prospect of any of the kids returning to the nest, it was time that they could now focus attention on what they wanted in life and that was purchasing their big dream home.

Built as a Federal Salt Box in early 1980, the new house has more than ample room host full and extended family gatherings and has good bones architecturally but it was showing its age, particularly in the bathrooms. It’s not that they weren’t functional spaces, everything worked, but they just did not evoke the stylistic preferences and matured tastes that the owners had developed over time.

After redecorating the master bedroom, the deficiencies of the adjoining master bath really stood out. It felt to them like they were walking from a quiet and relaxing retreat in the bedroom into a locker room for a bathroom. So the journey began to create a bath space that enhanced the functionality and made a natural transition to warmth and comfort they desired from the space.

The existing bathroom could not be adequately photographed. As you walked into the space, the shower walls ran from floor to ceiling; sporting aqua blue colored tile both inside and outside the small 3’ x 3’-6” enclosure with its 22” wide, metal framed, highly textured, obscure glass door. The vanity also had a tiled top in the same color, as did the floors, and the 42” high wainscot surrounding the room. Although there was a window in the space it still felt dark, like a dimly lit locker room.

As active retired adults considerations for more accessible and adaptable space was needed and planned for. The room was gutted. By and large, the fixtures remained essentially in the same general locations. Existing vent lines and supply lines were adjusted and or redone to accommodate the new plan. Further, the space was enlarged into the bedroom by another foot and a half to make room for a larger shower area and more navigational space between the shower and the toilet. An enlargement of the doorway to 2’-8” was also accommodated and was required by the building code. All of the wall and ceiling surfaces were insulated for warmth and sound and a new double hung window with integral slim shades was installed to replace the obscured glass, single glazed, existing window and combination storm windows.

As it would be the most visible element from the bedroom space, the vanity cabinet was designed with a furniture like appearance, with a natural granite top without backsplashes, a white scalloped texture, under mounted porcelain sink, and brushed bronze faucetry, The cabinetry is built in the same Cherry wood species as the bedroom furniture. Swarovski Crystal knobs adorn the drawers and door of the vanity that makes the aesthetic connection with the central crystal and bronze chandelier hanging within the space.

There is a lot of electrical within the bathroom not counting the outlets; thermostatically controlled in- floor heat in the bathroom and shower floor and in the shower’s bench seat, wall sconces on dimmers, the chandelier, an exhaust fan with light, a light in the shower, a low voltage dimmable light in the niche on the exterior wall, and a recessed light in front of the vanity in the ceiling, (to provide additional lighting for seeing the back of the head with a mirror when doing hair). Providing functional and intuitive locations for all of these switches was challenging. To put the light switches for the chandelier, sconces, shower light, and fan/light in an accessible spot; part of the new shower wall was built out before the transition to the glass and half wall. The overhead recessed light, niche light, and programmable floor heat thermostat were placed on the opposite wall closer to the vanity in front of the towel bar.

Adjacent to the vanity, a half wall with a Cherry wood cap was built to create a transition between the vanity and the comfort height toilet assisting in obscuring the toilet, providing an additional display surface, and to accommodate the toilet paper holder in a recessed niche. Solid blocking was added to the half wall and the exterior wall to each side of the toilet to facilitate the installation of grab bars if and or when they may be necessary.

To allow light to flow through the space and to create greater volume, the shower was framed out with half walls and glass up to the ceiling. The ceiling area around the perimeter of the space was soffitted to allow for the installation of Cherry crown moulding around the room. The half walls also accommodate a liberal corner bench seat and as with the toilet area, the capability for the installation of grab bars if ever necessary. Inside the shower are two wall niches for storage and display, a fixed and a hand held shower in brushed bronze finishes. The shower floor and bench are heated. River stones were chosen for the floor of the low curb shower because they provide sure footing and the client liked the way that they felt on their feet; it gives them a massaging sensation. Translucent glass mosaic tiles make up a banded decorative border at eye level in the shower area and along the bench and diamond shaped patterns of four of each tile comprise accents in the field of the bathroom floor area. Towel bars and accessories were chosen in the same finish as all of the bathroom faucetry.

The finishing touches include the Cherry, glass shelved, illuminated display niche, staining and lacquering all of the Cherry trim, mouldings, and wood work in the same color, and a multi-colored Venetian Plaster wall and ceiling treatment that creates an opalescent three dimensional depth to the surfaces within the space. The liquid soap dispenser and tissue holder are fabricated of smaller versions of the mosaic tiles used in the floor and shower border making them special elements too.