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9 Inspiring Old-House Bathrooms

    Ask people what’s on their wish list for the perfect bathroom, and you’ll probably get pretty similar answers from nearly everyone you query: plenty of room to move around, a luxurious tub or shower (or both!) that provides a pampering place to soak, and most important, an overall sense of retreat—a room that’s safe haven from the hectic world outside.

    But how do you balance those relatively modern ideas of the perfect bathroom with the realities of an old house, where baths are often small and basic? It’s not easy, but it can be done—whether by carving out space from adjoining rooms, reconfiguring fixture placement, or getting creative with the details. These baths caught our editors’ eyes precisely because they’ve been able to strike that ideal balance between period authenticity and modern luxury. Let them inspire you in your own bathroom restoration.

    How to Design a Small Bathroom

    Published in: Old-House Journal October/November 2010


    Patrice Kindl August 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    We own a large 1830 formal Greek Revival, built by the first District Attorney for our county. It would not have had indoor plumbing when built, so it’s hard to decide what is appropriate when creating or redoing bathrooms. Many of the houses you feature are newer than this (I can understand — there are just more old houses across the U.S. that date from the late 19th & 20th C.). It would be great though if you could tackle the problem of how to add modern amenities to a house that would never have had them originally. We DO have one BR with the first plumbed tub in our county, as well as a handsome, recently installed “period” bath, but need a practical place to shower & blow-dry that doesn’t look like it arrived on the latest space ship. Thanks for any article that may result!
    Long-time subscriber (P.S.: Kitchens, too!)

    Clare August 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    See the comments on this article for some suggestions from the editor of Old-House Interiors (who lives in an 1840s house herself) and other readers on what to do about designing bathrooms for houses that didn’t originally have them.

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