September 15, 2014
Built in 1930, this Ardmore, Penn., home has seen its share of renovations. The previous owners had added a master bathroom to the home a number of years ago in a haphazard way.
“When we opened up the wall, we were surprised to find an old window that had been basically closed in,” said designer Nissa Gowat of Sterling Kitchen & Bath. “Then the chimney was left exposed instead of covering it.”
The stone wall of the previously outdoor chimney face helped establish the redesign’s traditional yet updated aesthetic. “The owners are very into antiques, and so they didn’t want it to be super modern or out of place,” said Gowat.
The former space sported an awkwardly huge corner tub, a knee-angle shower and dated fixtures and finishes, particularly in brass. “It just was not really the clients’ style at all, and it wasn’t really working for them,” she explained. “They really wanted it to be more classic looking and to have a better flow of space.”
The shower used to be close to the chimney side of the wall and the vanity on the opposite end with the tub, while the toilet was stuck in a corner and hidden behind a half wall. The team flip-flopped the pieces, putting in a double vanity and moving the shower to the center of the space.
Taking advantage of the high ceilings, the shower is open at the top and enclosed in glass and marble. A hexagon tile floor echoes the floor pattern in the rest of the bathroom. “I like to keep all of the floor plan a similar material but just a little smaller on the shower floor,” she added. Built-in niches on either side, and a marble bench seat and wall cap complete the modernized shower.
The double vanity harkens more to the traditional. A tall cabinet divides the middle, allowing for extra storage. Since the cabinet does not reach the top of the ceiling, it avoids creating a wall-like structure between the sinks. The cabinets’ crystal knobs recall the crystal doorknobs throughout the home, while the beaded doors pair with a beaded inset.
“It’s like a double bead, which brings it back to a little bit more of a traditional feel,” said Gowat.
Valances at the toe kick on the sink bases add a touch of sophisticated detail to the white vanity. “They have more modern finishes, but it has a traditional vibe,” she added. Polished nickel fixtures and an ogee edge on the countertops subtly hint to a traditional aesthetic and palette.
“They couldn’t decided between gray and white cabinetry,” explained Gowat, “but gray is trendy right now, and we’re not sure how long that’s going to be in. With the white cabinets, they can change the wall colors to anything.”
The stone wall helped inspire the gray walls, which picks up on the gray and brown tones in the stones.
“They wanted to keep that wall in there but not use any materials that would contrast against it,” she explained. “So everything else is white except for that wall, which makes it pop.”
The decorative “S” fixture, an exterior accessory on several homes in the neighborhood, was kept to retain originality. An overhead chandelier completes the picture. “I feel like chandeliers are classic,” said Gowat. “It’s a little finishing touch that dresses it up a bit.”
Designer: Sterling Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry: Omega Cabinetry
Countertops: Michael Addesso Marble & Granite
Fixtures: Kohler & Perrin & Rowe
Lighting & Mirrors: Pottery Barn
Shower Glass: C&R Glass
Shutters: Merritt Salvatore, Hunter Douglas
Tile: The Builder Depot