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An adept remodel has added space and light to this bathroom

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Before the finishes, the trim, even before the plumbing goes in, space planning for a remodel has to be considered from every angle. The removal of a single element and a reshuffle can radically transform the utility of the space.

Prior to this project, the owner had to put up with a cramped, ill-configured bathroom in the center of her traditional two-bedroom cottage. Architect Cindy Black and builder David Wilkes were asked to strip out the room completely and create a light-filled, contemporary space with a dedicated shower area – previously, the shower had been situated directly over the tub.

While the original vanity, sink, toilet and tub were replaced with sleek, clean-lined elements, a large old linen cabinet opposite the sink was removed and not replaced, says Wilkes.

"The toilet was moved from beside the tub to this freed-up space. This relocation in turn made way for a spacious new rainhead shower opposite the tub."

With waterproof lining in place, the whole tub-shower area effectively became a wet space. The owner wanted the barrier step to be wide enough to stand on rather than small enough to trip over – and this defines the area.

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To replace the storage provided by the linen cabinet, Wilkes constructed a narrow cabinet that reaches to the ceiling but takes up minimal floor space. This piece includes a central display niche. In addition, built-in formwork was added in similar proportions on the other side of the vanity. This contains alcoves on both sides – one set serving the vanity and the other providing space for shampoos and soaps by the shower.

"To bring additional natural light into the central space, the only window was enlarged," says the builder. "A feature wall in reflective glass tiles was introduced at this end of the room which bounces light across the modest space."

The restrained material palette comprises the light blue glass tiles, natural wood tones and Applestone limestone, which is used on the tub surround, floors and walls.

"Using mostly the same material helps make the bathroom seem larger. This creamy stone also contributes to the light ambience," says Wilkes. "Now, the space is roomier and lighter, and has the added appeal of an open shower."

First published date: 30 March 2012

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Credit List

Architect Cindy Black, Hello Kitchen (Austin, TX)
Builder David Wilkes Builders
Cabinetry Rift-sawn white oak, natural stain, by Bruce Mende
Tub Sunrise Specialty
Vanity Engineered stone with concrete finish
Basin Whitehouse
Faucets and shower fittings Stillness by Kohler
Flooring Applestone tiles
Shower stall Icelandic Blue Clear and Frosted Field tiles by AKDO
Toilet Toto
Window Marvin Integrity All Ultrex
Lighting Spritz single sconces from Restoration Hardware
Accessories Asbury from Restoration Hardware