18th Century Bathroom
Before. What would a bathroom in an early 19th century house look like? That was a question posed by a client for their house. They did not want gleaming porcelain toilets and tubs glaring at them or the typical wooden cabinets with marble counter tops for their sink. Even though baths consisted of an outhouse and wash basins at that point in history, they wanted an interpretation of what it may have looked like if it were in the house.
The house itself was built in two phases. The first in 1773 and the second larger addition somewhere between 1800 and 1810. The 19th century portion retains its original faux marbling and grain painted surfaces as it did when it was first built. The room where the bath was to be located was originally a sleeping chamber, but small by today's standards for a bedroom. The home had undergone a museum restoration in the 1970s adding "modern" necessary rooms, but lacked the authenticity the new owner wanted. Modern toilets, shower units, wood cabinets with Formica tops and linoleum floors is how the baths were created at that time.
After. Removing all the "modern" updates our firm took inspiration from Williamsburg and Old Salem in creating the bath. More elaborate outhouses had wooden seats and some were quite fanciful. Drawing upon the grain painted woodwork, the toilet was concealed by a wooden seat that resembled an outhouse seat. It was then faux grained to look like the faux mahogany wainscot found in the room. The sink was built using 200 year old heart pine, painted green and distressed to like as if it were as old as the wood. A potter made the red ware vessel sink for the top to add "oldness" to the room. Salvaged heart pine flooring replaced the 1970s linoleum. A hanging cabinet was built over the toilet and then faux grained match the seat. This adds to both the overall character and to the storage capacity.