Tag Archives: remodel

Cherry and mirrors

mBath2                             A bathroom remodel, designed by engage:ARCHITECTURE, that features mirrored medicine cabinets backlit by LED's, and cherry vanity cabinet and tub panels.  The lighting design is outstanding; and in addition to the visual element, the toe kick lights enhance nighttime accessibility by lighting the floor with a low-intensity source. mBath

Bathroom Vanity

IMG_5656 (502x800) Who puts carpet in a water closet?  Not the current owner, but it was like that when they moved in and it must have been original to the house.  The master suite has a open floor plan and the photo(9) (428x640)bedroom and bath spaces share a room, but are separated by a bank of closets.  The floor plan gives a spacious feeling to the room, but the lack of more obvious boundaries (such as doors) to delineate the various spaces within the suite made it difficult to decide where to draw the lines.  The project budget ultimately decided how far to go with the tile; and I replaced the carpet with tile in the water closet and in front of the vanity for a nice update to the master bath, not to mention a more sanitary and practical floor covering for such a location.  The layout of the new maple cabinets was basically the same, but tweaked to accommodate a second sink with drawers worked in below the plumbing for added storage.  The client and I picked a manufactured stone remnant at a local yard and had the sinks under mounted.   IMG_5658 (505x800)

Before and After Bath

Panorama A before and after image of a small bathroom remodel (pictures taken from different perspectives).  The homeowner wanted to update the look of the small guest bathroom by adding tile to the floor, wainscot to the walls, and custom vanity cabinet and medicine cabinet trim.  To the left of the vanity, aHiddenPanel panel door on a push latch opens to reveal a bit of hidden storage. The homeowner liked the look and space saving of using a one-piece vanity sink/top, but we were both unimpressed with the quality of the off-the-shelf cabinets.  The cabinets we found were made overseas using materials that would not hold up well in the moist conditions of a bathroom.  The prefab cabinets look nice in the show room, but after a few years of being exposed to normal use in a humid environment, the mdf (or whatever the fiber press board material) begins to swell and flake the paint, and the hardware begins to loose its grip and pull out of the doors and face frame.  As they say, the cheap becomes expensive.  This vanity cabinet was made with poplar grown right here in Oregon, and finished with a high quality, low-VOC alkyd paint that will wear well in a bathroom.  All three drawers are usable to maximize storage capacity, and the top two are U-shaped to accommodate the the plumbing drain assembly. In a small space like this, sneaky storage goes a long way to making things feel bigger than they really are.  

Paperstone counters

On the final day of the install, I sent to the homeowner a text photo of water running in her new sink, and she replied that she regarded clean, hot running water as one of the great hallmarks of human civilization and that she was happy to, once again, be part of that tradition.

Installation of the mixed Paperstone and maple butcher-block counters only took a couple days, but during the preceding several months, the old faucet had progressively declined until it only provided a mere trickle.  The original counters were tile that still looked and functioned great, despite decades of wear; but the original cast iron undermount sink had been the victim of an unfortunate resurfacing job, and its time had finally come.  Because of the age of the tile, it would have been near impossible to replace the sink and patch the tile so that it would look like a plausible match.  (A few years previous I added a new section of matching cabinets to the kitchen, and because it was located on an opposite wall we were able to get away with using an imperfect match for the backsplash tile; but it would be nowhere near close enough for a side-by-side patch).  In addition to all of that, the space behind the sink was too narrow to allow a faucet to fully function; so the old tile counters had to go.

We chose Paperstone for the sink section because of its resistance to water, durability, and sustainability; and maple butcher block for the "wing" sections because it matched existing butcher block in another section of the kitchen, and it balanced the muted, black texture of the Paperstone.  The asymetric shape of the stainless steel undermount sink allowed for the faucet to be placed slightly further forward so that it fully functioned and had plenty of space to operate.  Aside from fabricating a couple small tile patches from pieces of the old counter, the tile backsplash was left alone and works quite well with the considerably more modern counters and plumbing fixtures.