Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bathroom Design

I'm currently eagerly awaiting the closing date of my new dollhouse, a small farmhouse 7 hours north of the city. One of my first goals is to gut the bathroom, added sometime in the 60s or 70s, and create something new that is more in the spirit of the house (which we think was built in 1913).

This picture gives you an idea of the layout - you can see the open door on the right, and behind it is a big window that lets in a lot of light. The sink is just inside to the left, with the toilet, then the tub and a series of little cupboards filling in the dead space between the tub and the outside wall (presumably partly there so they didn't have to run plumbing in the exterior wall, which is a good idea I'll try to keep).

What this picture doesn't show is the 4-foot knee-wall over the tub. The sloped ceiling means that there is enough room to sit in the tub - but not stand and take a shower! I might be able to get away with it, but not my six-foot husband. I've been puzzling over how to make the layout work, since besides the knee-wall, we lose wall and floor space where the window is, since the windowsill is too low to allow the sink or any other fixture to go in that space.

Somewhere in the range of 1am last night when I couldn't sleep, an interesting idea popped into my head. I can't really change the knee-wall - but I can add another one! This might be a perfect example of how reducing the square footage can actually create a much more usable bathroom.

I'm a novice at Google Sketchup, but this diagram shows what I'm thinking (click on it to see it bigger). At the back is the original knee-wall, and forward of it is a new wall that will be between 5' and 6' tall - tall enough to comfortably use the sink and toilet. The end of the tub with the shower fixture will be at opposite, so it can be full height.

The new wall gives another wall to put a medicine cabinet on, since the only wall available before is now taken up with the tub. I'm sure my husband will appreciate being able to put the plumbing and wiring (imagine a sconce on each side of the medicine cabinet) in the new wall as it's being constructed.

I think the biggest drawback is that I don't know if this will actually fit. I don't have the dimensions of the room yet, so I've made by best guess based on the photograph above. We have the clawfoot tub already, and we know what style of toilet we will buy (it's Toto Drake or nothing around here), and I've seen the vintage sink I want already online, but it's 26" wide. Those three things may or may not co-exist nicely with each other along the back wall, or they may just be too crowded.

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