Our Guest Bathroom Remodel

Our Guest Bathroom Renovation at T&P #11001

The centerpiece of our guest bath remodel is the vintage 1930’s medicine cabinet. As with so many remodeling projects it began with this special object which we discovered at an antique shop in a small Missouri town square. With no real intention at the time to do a major bath remodel we brought it home, mounted it above the sink and soon realized that the entire room needed to be updated to highlight this beautiful lighted mirror.

Our new guest bathroom combines the vintage charm of the refurbished medicine cabinet with classic finishes and modern fixtures. Together the renovations attempt to honor the historic charm of the building.

So far we have not yet updated the porcelain shower stall which was an original feature from the developer’s condo conversion in 2005. It looks okay, but chances are good that we will soon decide to replace it with a marble tile shower surround and replace the chrome edged shower enclosure with something more classic.

Inspiration

The best finds sometimes just jump out at you when you aren’t really looking to tackle a new project. On a weekend trip to Crystal Bridges Museum with our friends from The Amon Carter Museum we took a side trip for lunch in a small Missouri town. Donna and I stopped dead in our tracks when we passed this medicine cabinet in the window of an antique store. Moments later we were carefully loading it up taking extra care not to break the beautiful side lights which would be all but irreplaceable. At home, we polished it up, updated the wiring and converted the lights to LED.

Planning the bathroom

Some things are better left undone.

My first sketch of the space included marble backsplash and a new custom vanity. Yes, I contemplated including refrigerated wine storage in the bathroom! Not that we think it’s altogether a bad idea, given the creative use of space required when you live in a 1,260 square foot studio but we ultimately decided to locate the wine storage elsewhere, run the marble all the way up the wall and include a bunch of vintage zig-zag moderne pendant lights we found at a local antique show (more on that later).

The project begins

You can see that sprucing up the bathroom would require much more than just adding a neat vintage object. We decided to create a clean slate and design everything from scratch.

 

Our unusual bathroom floor..

Back in the day our building had five elevators serving 12 floors. In the 1980’s when the building housed the local offices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development they decided to fill in 3 of the elevator shafts to make more space for offices.

Elevator Doors on First Floor. Photo by Denise Cook Photography

Our guest bathroom straddles the transition between the dolomite marble flooring of the exterior hallway and the space they filled in with a somewhat less beautiful 1980’s attempt at terrazzo. The orange terrazzo tile pad is original to the building. There is one at the entrance to each elevator. We like the story behind this so we left the floors as they are.

 

Marble Tile Installation

We chose the Hampton Carrara honed marble tile from The Tile Shop for the backsplash, taking it all the way up to the ceiling to add volume to the small room.

The countertop is a fun non traditional pattern of gray and noir travertine, also from The Tile Shop. After installing the countertop tile I distressed it with a sander and polished it to give it the appearance of being an original feature of the building. My only regret, though minor, is that I could not find a suitable vintage cabinet to use for the vanity. The one we chose is a new one from Wayfair. The drawers and doors are not as sturdy as we wanted, but it looks great we think. 

 

Reconfigured Closet

The window on the left is not real. It used to be a door to the closet. We hated the way that it was configured with only shelves on the left side as you walk in, so we put a new door inside the bathroom that allowed us to build in shelves all the way up to the ceiling on both sides. We call it “our garage”.

We found this cool vintage doorknob at Old Home Supply

This side of the condo is where I work from home at my desk on the opposite wall so I hand lettered my company name on the bathroom door and it makes a nice backdrop for videos I make at my desk. I leaned out the west window with my friend, photographer Denise Cook to take photos of what a northern view would look like from our south facing condo, then had the photo enlarged on vinyl at FastSigns. The binoculars on the faux window sill are just for fun. The window can be raised to access my printer which is on a shelf in the closet.

The moderne-style doors were purchased at Lowes and painted with Alkyd paint from Frontier Paints on Camp Bowie Blvd.

 Mirrors

We really love to incorporate mirrors in the design to create a sense of volume in a small space and to accentuate architectural and design details. The strip of mirror imbedded in the tile at the ceiling came from Ajax Glass. It reflects both the ceiling and the 3 moderne lights salvaged from The Masonic Temple in Fort Smith Arkansas (1927).

Look What We Found!

At the annual Antique and Art Show at Will Rogers we found this collection of pendant lights that were salvaged from The Masonic Temple in Fort Smith Arkansas. We often joke that our condo looks like a lighting store, but we finally found a way to use all of these throughout our little home.  The thee middle sized ones are staggered in the guest bathroom.

Before

After