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Help to make functional
February 10, 2013
We bought a cottage house from 1902. We have remodeled the entire house except upstairs which did not need it. However, this is a shared bathroom by my two teen girls. Help!!! They went from having their own private master suite to this. They wanted it, though. We have a halo shower curtain rid but it looks horrible.
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First of all, this type of space begs a shower rather than a bath. Can they fore-go a bath?
You don't have a lot of space. Of course, the most obvious question is can you steal some space from somewhere else to make this a larger room?

If not, I suggest you maximize the space by building a cupboard under the stair space up to the toilet for storage. By adding mirrors to it you increase visual space. You could then replace your existing sink unit by hanging one or two smaller sinks on a tablet with a shelf beneath for storing towels (ideas below). This will at least give the impression of more space. Your bath is very on trend right now, but not that practical. However, you could attach a long L-shaped rail that draws the shower drape to the wall (perpendicular to the window) when not in use. This will still allow the daylight to come in without making the room darker. Use a very long tall shower drape for added drama.
Best of luck
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I grew up with a claw-foot tub and they are awesome for taking baths, but for showering? Not so much. If you put a curtain around it, you have no where to put your soap, shampoo or razor, plus the curtains keep moving and closing in on you. It's kind of horrible. The only way to use it as a "shower" is to squat and use the hand shower. Clawfoot tubs are great, if you have a stand alone shower, as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Solraven, I cannot agree more! I find the trend for freestanding tubs, while visually stylish are totally impractical - you always have to include a small table or space to place bath/shower paraphernalia.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:11AM
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Exactly! Many modern tubs aren't comfortable at all, but thankfully, that's changing. Our house came with a Kohler Memoirs soaker tub. At first, I thought it was another uncomfortable tub, but thankfully, when I sat in it, I discovered wonderful lower back support, plus it has flat areas to put candles, bathing supplies, or anything else I might like, plus... with the arched shower curtain, it feels as roomy as our stand up shower in the master.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:20AM
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What a funky cool space. Two teenage girls? Counter space is needed. What are you planning on keeping? Too bad about that hopper window. It is cute but brutal on space. What can be changed and what is staying? Can the vanity trade places with the tub? That would give you more counter space. A bowl sink would also increase counter space. Can they do without the tub? A tile shower where the vanity currently is would be super and would allow for a regular curtain with 2 small walls added. Build in a linen cabinet on right of shower (toilet side). Extend the vanity counter top all the way back to the wall next to shower for more space, shelf under for baskets or cubbies for accoutrements. Tile floor. Mirror wall around window add lights over window and mirror. Also mirror wall next to window where light is.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:26AM
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
I've worked with several baths under eaves like this. They are very tricky.

FIRST: no one wants to shower in a space where your head it at an angle. It just won't work as even the fittings aren't designed for anything but vertical walls. It is also nearly impossible to properly water proof with the typical oval bar set over a freestanding tub. They are also very challenging to hang from an angled ceiling as custom couplings would be necessary.

SECOND: I would leave the tub in place. Most people enjoy a soak from time to time. A bath shop should have an expandable chrome rack that will span the tub & allow for some bath products to be safely kept out of the water. It is comfortable & charming. Just needs a towel bar to hang nearby (foot of tub)

THIRD: if a shower is desired, the best place is in the present vanity alcove. I would do a 3 x 3 shower with tile on back wall & two walls of glass on sides for a light feel. The water is already there & it shouldn't be too difficult to tie into drains.

FOURTH: Build in a L-shaped vanity from shower to the toilet leaving 30-33" space for toilet. This will have to be a custom piece vanity. There should be enough room to fit in a mirror between the toilet & the sloping ceiling for at least one sink. Then, some open shelves between the shower & the sloping ceiling for towels etc. at least one drawer bank (two drawers each).

FIFTH: most home of this era were not designed for makeup application & general grooming in the bath. Think about a charming makeup station in each girls room. A mirror, small drawers, etc..Good lighting can all be accommodated & then there is less pressure on the bath for those activities and will be easier to share.

Hope that helps
Senior Designer~Urbana
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:52AM
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Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions. The girls have very large rooms with vanities and their own office/study area. I have no idea what the rooms were used for 100 years ago because their closets are as big as my master closet. that we added on! I am posting our before and after. Can't wait to show you all!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:44PM
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They were used for dressing in, and big ol hats!! Congrats on your new/old adventure! Well done to Ellen Crystal, as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:36PM
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Tmorrow, Have you posted in before and after yet? I'd love to see what you did as we have a VERY similar bathroom on our 1925 third floor. After we tackle some outside projects, the 3rd floor bath will be updated. Looking forward to your post!
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:32AM
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We have completely remodeled and added onto the house and this bathroom, along with another 1/2 bath , have puzzled me on what to do. With that being said, I think I have decided and if the contractors can start this week.... We will have pics soon!!!
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:49AM
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