My parents designed and built their own home when they got married many years ago, and I grew up in that house watching my dad work on various home improvement projects. Having built the original house, the addition of 2 extra bedrooms, a pool with pool house, garden shed, and even some furniture, its easy to say he is quite handy when it comes to design and construction. When one of the original bathtubs cracked from age, he decided to remodel the entire bathroom. After a little demolition and discovering a few termite damaged studs, he expanded the project to include eliminating the small guest/study and using the space as an expanded master closet.
During the initial design phase, we talked a lot about his vision and it came up that he planned to keep most of the floor plan intact. It was during this conversation that I was able to step in with my design sense and expertise and offer a more suitable solution.
Looking at the top floor plan (existing conditions), you can see the door into the small bathroom works well for the limited footprint of the space. Originally, my dad had intended to keep the door in the same location and simply remove the existing sink to allow passage into the guest bedroom space to the left. Luckily I was able to convince him that keeping the door in the original location would mean walking into the bathroom with a direct view of the toilet (and anyone who may be using it if they forgot to lock the door!). It was quickly apparent that a brand new bathroom needed a more suitable ‘focal point’ when a guest entered. By shifting the door to the end of the hallway, I was able to create a transitional vestibule that allowed a user to enter the bathroom and turn to face a beautiful vanity and mirror, rather than stumbling onto the toilet. The advantage of moving the door was clear, and in the process provided a nice ‘dead end’ wall behind the door for artwork in case the door was left ajar.
My role as designer in this project was limited mainly to the floor plan changes and suggestions for color palette (I would stop by and give my vote between different finishes they were considering). My parents ended up selecting all of the finishes themselves and my dad did the entire remodel himself (he’s almost done!). While my role may seem insignificant compared to the project as a whole, it is easy to see how something as small as shifting a door can have an enormous impact on the end design.
Needless to say, after remodeling the bathroom, my parents have contracted me to come up with additional improvements for their 30+ year old house. I would encourage anyone undertaking a remodel or addition to strike up a conversation with a designer or architect and see how they can improve your space.
Stay tuned for more project overviews and updates!