Bathroom Remodeling in Washington, DC
From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 7 “A Client’s Vision for Three Elegant Small Baths”
In the DC area, with its museums and active art scene, I sometimes work with clients who have a special background in art or design. One great example was the owner of a modern-style brick townhouse, built in about 1967 during urban renewal in the Southwest Waterfront area. A senior federal official, she was also an avid textile enthusiast, with a sophisticated eye for color. When we met at the house, she showed me her sewing room, draped with amazing fabrics that glistened in the sun. This client’s aesthetic sense made it a joy to work with her on the project at hand: transforming three outdated, small bathrooms into upscale, elegant, and modern spaces.
Small, badly worn bathrooms, although a common problem for homeowners, might not seem like a great creative opportunity. My client disagreed. In her previous homes, she had often handled renovations by hiring contractors directly. For these bathrooms, however, she had decided that an architect’s eye was essential, for the very reason that the rooms were so small.
Small Bathroom Remodeling in DC
The bathrooms were certainly modest in size. As a rule, a small American bathroom is 5 feet by 8 feet. The first floor bathroom in this house was a claustrophobic 4 feet by 7 feet. The other two bathrooms, both on the third floor, were not much larger. There was also no realistic way to expand them, given the size and layout of the house.
My client asked initially about the option of combining the third floor bathrooms, which shared a common wall, into one larger bath that could, on occasion, be shared with a house guest. Our design team looked seriously at this idea and developed a compartmentalized plan, but in the end, it proved unrealistic. Ensuring the privacy of hostess and guest would have chopped up the space too much, losing the advantage of a larger bathroom. Combining the bathrooms would also have incurred the expense of moving the plumbing lines, for very little gain. Instead, we went back to the idea of keeping each bathroom in place, while transforming each into a space that felt bigger and less confined.
To learn more about this bathroom remodeling project and how we transformed the spaces, download our eBook!