Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Half Bath Tour

Doorknob salvaged from former main floor bathroom
Just down the stairs and around the corner from that orderly tool wall we wrote about here, is our new two-piece half bath. Shall we go in?

Here we are on the outside.  The tongue and groove boards and exterior marine lights make it look a little cottagey out here, so we sometimes refer to this half-bath as the indoor-inside-out-house. Much remains unfinished out here: ceiling, trim, cabinets above the washer and dryer, stairs, etc, but for now, I will try to focus on our (very nearly) completed project.

First glimpse...

Further in...
Shut the door
This doorknob and lock set is also from the former main floor bathroom.  It is not original to the house, but probably predates the conversion to a duplex in the 1940s.  This one still has some of its original nickel or silver plating.  At first we thought we required a rim lock because our door wasn't thick enough to house the old lock mechanism, but N ingeniously encased the lock in a box, carved out a niche for the strike plate, and constructed his own rim lock. It works beautifully.

Through the looking glass, right and left
It's difficult to photograph a small space. The mirror reflects the nautical chart of our beloved St. Margaret's Bay in Nova Scotia, and the rustic "Z" pattern door constructed by N and my dad out of tongue and groove boards.

the faceframe cabinet with inset door reclaimed from our original pantry
original Eastlake latch hardware from our old pantry cupboard
We were fortunate to be able to reuse the door and latch hardware from an original pantry cupboard to construct this little cabinet over the toilet.  I gasped when I first saw it installed--it looked so perfect in its space.  Honestly, when I saw how quickly N and my dad built and installed this little faceframe cabinet with its inset door and exposed hinges, I wondered why we needed to hire a cabinetmaker for the kitchen at all.

To give you an idea, here are some before and after shots:

during, and after--stairs and plumbing now neatly hidden away
the original cupboard door already hung in its new frame

chiseling a niche for the new hinge and clamping the cabinet box
And now a perfect little cabinet nestled under the stairs
In the shot above, you can see the expanse of brick wall.  It's not real brick, but the same brick veneer I used in the kitchen and which I described in detail in the previous post.  We think it does give some much needed warmth to this chilly little basement bathroom.  The wall is bare now, but once we have fewer things to do to the structure of the house, we look forward to perusing antique stores for an old porthole to hang on this wall.
I noticed that Restoration Hardware had introduced a porthole medicine cabinet, but although I like their fixtures and their washstands--their functional items--I don't like the idea of decorating with their objects.  I like to be my own collector, so we'll save the porthole as the object of a future quest.

the space saving washstand...
with weathered oak base from Restoration Hardware

 RH Bistro toilet roll holder --simple, perfect
RH Bistro faucet
We offer one little caveat about the Bistro faucet, which looks beautiful, but comes with the wrong handle cartridge.  All of the Restoration Hardware faucets are shipped with cartridges for lever handles.  This works perfectly for faucet styles with lever handles.  Lever taps open by having their handles pulled in towards each other.  In other words, the hot side opens with a counter-clockwise motion, while the cold opens with a clockwise motion.  With cross handles, both taps should open with a counter-clockwise twist (right-y tight-y, left-y loose-y).  So, after several days of deciding whether we could live with it (we couldn't), we contacted Restoration Hardware, who were a little slow to comprehend the problem, but helpful once they understood.  They put us in touch with Newport Brass who manufactures their fixtures, and who sent us the correct part.  Now order is restored and we have no more fights with the tap.

I'm going to wrap up this post with a few progress shots, just for the record.  We've learned that a small room requires just as much planning and almost as many resources as a large one, but the rewards can be great too.

An early progress shot showing framing, plumbing, and my hardworking dad

during construction, bricks partly mortared
and after, from similar perspectives
the cabinet niche under the stairs and N hoisting the cabinet into place

For reference:
Faucet, toilet roll holder, tilt mirror, and towel ring, all Bistro in polished nickel 
Weathered Oak sink console
1920s factory sconces polished nickel --all from Restoration Hardware
Toilet Toto Eco Drake
Paint Farrow and Ball shaded white on walls, pointing on ceiling, slipper satin on trim
Porcelain floor tile, Casa Dolce Casa  Pietra/2 'Fiora' from Stone Tile International
Door and cabinet hardware and cabinet door reclaimed from this, our very own old house

Thanks for coming on the half bath tour.  I'm determined to write a post about our master bath renovation as soon as I take some good photos.  Until then, here's a glimpse...


Roncy Vic said...

I love the design, such a brilliant use of the space. And all the surfaces are gorgeous. There's no shortage of interest in that little space. I particularly love the door and door handle.

S and N said...

Hi again, Roncy Vic,
Thanks for your comments. We read your blog(s) and admire your renovations. Your neighbourhood is definitely one we'd have our eyes on if we ever moved back to Toronto...but what am I saying!?

laxsupermom said...

Beautiful renovation! I love how you gave such a little room interest by adding the architecture to it.

S and N said...

Thank you, Supermom.

Shannon said...

GORGEOUS!!! I love all the elements you've chosen. (I've found your blog via Rambling Renovators and have added you to our list of Canadian blogs).

S and N said...

Thank you so much, Shannon!
We hope to take a tour of your blog very soon.

for the love of a house said...

BEAUTIFUL!! I love every bit of it. The cabinet behind to toilet is perfection and love the light above it (which is so necessary.... I know this because I do not have one;)
The brick wall is such a wonderful accent. Congratulations on a fabulous bathroom!

p.s. yes, you definitely need to fire the carpenters since you have your own pair in-house!!

S and N said...

Thank you, again, Joan!
Yes, I think I do have the skilled tradesmen right here. Unfortunately, it's the time, not the skill that's the scarce commodity (since my retired father works wonderfully with my husband, but, alas, not with me). Our kitchen cabinetmaker does seem superb. We should be able to vouch for him more thoroughly by the end of the month.

Baker and Baker said...

Really very nice - you have lovely taste.

S and N said...

Thank you Baker and Baker!

colleen said...

okay so i am waiting for that master bathroom reno tour! love the half bath.. you are very talented!

S and N said...

Thanks Colleen,
We're waiting for the master bath tour too! Even now it remains, like so many of our projects, at about 90% complete. Thanks for being interested.