A Family Bathroom in Somerville

I'm excited to share another project I worked on last Fall with a growing family in Somerville.  This time - a family bathroom.  This family approached me about helping them select materials for a bathroom that they were adding to their home. When they said "materials" I thought they meant tile and paint. But no, it was literally everything - tub, toilet, vanity, etc.  I was excited to take it on!

They had recently purchased the two-family home and were living on the top two floors and renting the first.  While their bedrooms are on the 3rd floor, there was no bathroom whatsoever on that floor, so they decided to take an empty room and create a bathroom. This meant updating the electric and plumbing in the ENTIRE HOUSE in order to get it up to code. No small project, but adding this bathroom certainly has made things easier on their family, and likely increased the value of their home in the already hot market that is Somerville.

Before we get to the reveal, here is a photo of the before. Again an empty room.

And here it is during renovation when it was stripped down to the studs.  

And here is the after. I mean can you believe this is the same room?!

The family loved the look of clean white walls and a darker floor. Originally we were looking at some ceramic, patterned tile but authentic encaustic tile was out of their budget and none of the knock-offs wowed them. Instead I selected this charcoal hexagon tile and used a light gray grout to create a geometric pattern on the floor. To keep costs down we went with a basic white subway tile - there's a LOT of it as we wrapped it around the room so this was the right thing to do economically but is also a classic look that will always be in style.  The walls are painted Wickham Gray from Benjamin Moore.

In order to bring a little warmth into the room we went with a light wood vanity with one drawer for storage and an open shelf for towels.  The vanity is on the smaller side, but they really wanted to add laundry in the room so we needed to account for the washer and dryer in the niche adjacent.  Anyone with kids (and an infant!) knows there can be a LOT of laundry so not having to trek down to the basement has been a huge lifesaver for them. Late in the game after the room was gutted, we decided to add some shelving in a few niches throughout the room and my client's selected some unfinished wood planks to use vs. going with a basic white shelf.  They plan on finishing them soon but for now still look great! 


I selected chrome hardware from Rejuvenation for the vanity to match the chrome faucets from Moen. Chrome is typically in stock and lower in cost so this helped us stay within budget and get things quickly.  We had a little bit of an issue with finding a matching collection in stock, but we mixed and matched pieces and it ended up working out great.

Before I began working on the project. the family had laid out the space with their contractor and the natural place for the tub was in the space under the windows.   It was much wider than a standard sized tub so we went back and forth on whether to do a drop in tub and have a stone surround or alcove tub.  We ended up going with an alcove and added a deck on the back where they can store bath toys and toiletries.  They also decided to raise the ceiling all the way up to the dormer and we brought the subway tile to the top which looks super cool and really opens up the room.

I'm so happy with how this turned out, but am even more psyched about how happy my client is.  It's truly changed the way they live in their home - for the better!

Photographs by Sabrina Cole Quinn Photography