Sometimes, the process of change is not pretty. Clearing out the ugly can create more ugly. There were many things that needed changing inside the mid-century ranch. Some were, like the house as a whole, just weary from long service. Others, however, were downright ugly. One such hideous facet was what eventually became the guestroom en suite bath. When the house was constructed in 1954, the master bedroom was located at the front and had what I’m sure was quite a luxury in its day – an en suite master bath. At some point, I suspect in the late ’60s, someone decided to tile the floor and the shower with what we considered astoundingly unattractive marble. Here’s a taste: It was a little creepy. Reminiscent of cheap bordello decor (not that I’m familiar with cheap bordello decor, understand). Almost immediately after we closed on the purchase of the house, certainly before we began moving in, we demo’ed the tile. It went from this: To this: And that’s when the toilet ended up in the bedroom. The main problem with this bathroom was that it was small and cramped – as many bathrooms from the fifties were. In addition to the cabinetry that you can see in the next picture, there was an over-the-toilet, overhead cabinet that really made you claustrophobic. As you can see by the picture, we briefly toyed with the idea of retaining and painting the under-sink cabinet. Very briefly. This bath was to be an en suite for what was to be the primary guest room. It didn’t need a lot of (or, really, any) storage, and Debra’s vision keyed off of a frame-less shower and, once again, raising the eye to make the space seem larger.
White reflects and makes small spaces seem larger, so we went with white subway tiles in a brick pattern, all the way to the ceiling in the shower and as a wainscoting around the remainder of the room. A pedestal sink accentuates the lift, as does the white trim and ceiling. The marble penny-tile flooring with a grey grout to reflect the upper wall color added warmth, as did the tending-toward rustic/industrial sconces and mirror. A 1940s folding typing table and a wire basket provided what little storage was needed and gave guests somewhere to put their personal items while using the room. We’ve stayed in upscale hotels with baths that weren’t as nice as this one. So – even though clearing out the ugly can sometimes land a toilet in the bedroom, perseverance pays off. Don’t you think?