See before and after photos of this (now) airy washroom that mixes white, neutrals and antique wood to wonderful effect
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When bathroom water started leaking into their kitchen below, Eileen and Charlie Deschapelles decided to look on the bright side. They had a reason to redo their 15-year-old bathroom. Eileen, an interior designer, started planning the new space and had a design ready within a week. “My husband jokes that this was the most expensive leak in history,” Eileen says, “but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Bathroom at a Glance
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Size: 12.1 square metres
Designer: Eileen Deschapelles Interior Design
“After” photos by Phillip Ennis Productions, unless noted
BEFORE: Eileen and Charlie Deschapelles and their three children have lived in this house for 20 years, and Eileen did the last bathroom renovation 15 years ago. But then the shower in the corner started leaking, causing water to drip down in the kitchen below. Eileen also thought the room was too tight. It had everything you see here, plus a bath on the left behind the door.
Key Dimensions to Know for the Perfect Bathroom Layout
AFTER: A pocket door slides open to reveal a more spacious, fully remodelled bathroom. They opened up a 60cm-by-90cm section of the hallway to give the bathroom a little more space and to add the pocket door.
Overhead, they opened unused attic space to create a vaulted ceiling, a move that required planning permission. The ceiling was previously 2.4 metres high. Now it stretches up to 3.5 metres.
This antique door came from a nearby house that was being torn down. A contractor working on the project told Eileen about the doors and offered to bring her one for free. “I was sceptical about the quality,” Eileen says, “but it was amazing.”
She then had most – but not all – of the paint stripped away by a local craftsman. They installed the door using a pocket door kit. Eileen also had the door sealed to protect the family from any lead paint that could have been left behind. “He said it had to be at least 150 years old,” she says. “It had layers and layers of paint. I just love the way it slides.”
BEFORE: A door swung into the bathroom and revealed the shower in the corner.
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AFTER: The bathroom layout remains similar after the renovation. The shower still stands in the corner of the room. But instead of the glass shower walls stretching up to the ceiling, they end at about 8 feet, and open space continues up to the vaulted ceiling.
Raising the ceiling gave them the chance to add spray-in foam insulation, which has made the space warmer and almost soundproof. They also used the extra ceiling space to add a skylight.
The couple added another window inside the shower. “That was my husband’s idea,” Eileen says. She didn’t think she was going to like the window and hesitated to add it. Today, it’s one of her favorite parts of the room. “You have privacy, but you still feel like you are up in the treetops,” she says.
A herringbone tile pattern flows into the shower. Underneath the tile, they added radiant floor heating designed to be safe for use in showers. It quickly heats up the space. “We only need to use it about seven months of the year,” Eileen says.
Super White paint: Benjamin Moore; Ash Gray floor tile (4 by 12 inches) and China White shower tile: Greenwich Tile & Marble; floor heating: Schluter Systems
Inside the shower, the couple had enough room to add a bench and a niche the same width as the window above.
The succulent, called string of bananas, thrives on its perch. “It’s as happy as a clam,” Eileen says.
The couple had a rain shower head before, and Charlie wanted that feature to stay. Water now rains down from the vaulted ceiling above.
Rain shower head, handheld shower head and faucet: One collection, Kallista
BEFORE: A double vanity unit filled the space along the wall.
AFTER: The sinks and cabinets line the same wall. When the Deschapelles opened up the hallway and added the pocket door, they gained just over half a metre along the vanity wall. This allowed them to put in more storage.
Eileen chose to make the vanity unit float, and only the tall cabinet has legs. “I love the lightness it gives the room,” she says.
Overhead, a lantern commands the centre of the room. Eileen had used a larger version of this lantern in the entrance of a client’s home and fell in love with the look. She added the medium size to the bathroom. “It ends up being a piece of sculpture,” she says. The lantern materials – polished nickel and frosted glass – continue on the wall sconces.
The couple also added outlets inside the mirrored medicine cabinets. This allows them to plug in things like hair dryers and to keep the countertop clutter-free.
High-gloss Marina Gray vanity paint: Benjamin Moore; sinks: Ronbow; medicine cabinets: Robern; Bradley wall sconces: Robert Abbey via Houzz; Morris lantern: Circa Lighting
Eileen went with a grey-and-white palette and clean lines because she wanted her bathroom to be a calming retreat. “I deal with colour all day long,” she says, “and I wanted something more serene at home.”
Cabinet hardware: Klaffs
Installing the countertop basins with wall-mounted taps provided the biggest challenge. “There is a lot of maths there,” she says. “Thankfully my contractor had a lot of experience with them. If you are a few centimetres off, it could be disastrous.”
BEFORE: A bath filled the wall in front of the window. The couple chose to remove it because they never used it and had another bath elsewhere in the house.
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Photo by Jane Beiles Photography
AFTER: With the bath removed, the couple could make the shower larger and add a console table, lamp and towel hooks. “It was a big decision for us to remove the tub,” she says. “But we decided to make the room for us and the way we live.”
Artwork: Andrea Bonfils
Contractor: Nelson S. Construction
Electrician: Expert Electric Co. of Port Chester, New York
Tell us what you like best about this bathroom transformation? And if you have a great bathroom before and after – share it! Go to the Comments section .