My friend, Joseph Polar, is a serial re-modeler.Â He and his partner JohnÂ have a wonderful old house in upstate New York built in 1840 with an 1892 addition. Clearly its orientation is “country house” but the decoration has evolved into an updated, fresh, and casual style great for 21st century living.Â He and John spent many weekends (or is it years?)Â turningÂ an ugly duckling into an incredibly smart weekend retreat for themselves and their rescue dog, Theo.
I thought you would enjoy seeingÂ the before and after renovation of the master bath.Â It’s aÂ niceÂ sizeÂ room (6’10” x 12″9″) with lots of practical and beautiful amenities created fromÂ the elimination of aÂ back staircase and a small maid’s room. Â Joseph says it was the typical “shoemaker’s kid” story because the bath was in a state of demolition for ages while he and John discussed and debated the “perfect” bath for the house.
“No tub,” said John.
“Only one sink,” said Joseph, who created a “grooming bar” station with a vintage chest and mirror instead of the second sink.
They laugh now, but when a chipmunk invaded the construction site mayhem erupted. Removing the creature was right out of an episode of “I Love Lucy”.
TheÂ space is entered from one end and you are immediately looking over the pedestal sinkÂ into theÂ shower. The material choice for the shower was 1cm mosaic in Carrara (budget constraints dictated the amount of stone used).Â TheÂ rationaleÂ was to useÂ a small amount of wallÂ textureÂ as a compliment to the smooth glossy painted bead-board applied to all of the exterior walls.
Joseph is obsessed with niches (me too) as an organizing tool and storage component of design.Â In this small bath, they also becameÂ “found” space.Â I love the toilet paper stashed in a niche by the WC.Â No debate here about whether the roll is over orÂ under.Â In the shower, a niche creates more than adequate storage forÂ all the shower gels, shampoos and conditioners.
The vintage junk shop finds became the added dimension for the space.Â The faux bamboo etagere was in dreadful condition but easily repaired with matte black paint for a total cost of $45.Â TheÂ small country chest, equally in need of tender loving care, made over with aÂ coat of paint and a few screws now serves as storage for towels andÂ a grooming bar.Â There are other found objects on shelves that add character and make the space so personal.
As a finished bath, it all seems so effortless and totally appropriate for the house.Â TheÂ layering of materials, the personal objects, the practical considerations, and the restraint make this a “perfect” bath!
As a final note,Â Joseph is no stranger to the intricacies of bath design.Â He is the formerÂ SVP Creative Director at Waterworks, thus the expertise.Â He is now an independent interior designer and can be reached at email@example.com orÂ you can visitÂ his web site here. (http://www.josephpolardesigns.com/)
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