Sometimes the biggest transformations take the longest amount of time to achieve, especially if you have something specific in mind. This is exactly what happened when Michelle Engel Bencsko, Creative Director at Cloud 9 Fabrics, decided to tackle her 1955 cape house’s downstairs bathroom. “Everything except the sink and toilet were original to the house,” she notes, “and it has been 15 long years I’ve had to endure it. We treated it accordingly and as you can see it was a downright eyesore. Over the years I started buying pieces for this room, hoping if I had enough that we could will the project to happen. Finally, this year, we took the plunge and we have our dream bathroom.”
It was not an easy process. As soon as the contractors set to work, they discovered what Michelle termed as “all sorts of wonders and horrors.” The original pipes in the wall, for instance, were so thick that the contractors needed to build a frame out with 1/2″ slats. The home’s original builders also used two sheets of sheetrock and an inch for tile and grout—things that needed to be removed. Ultimately, though, the headache of removing these things allowed Michelle to gain an extra seven inches of width in the space, something that, she says “really made a huge difference to this standard-size bathroom.” The room seems to have been worth the wait (and the frustration of working with contractors), though, because the final product is spectacular. All of the fixtures and furniture collected over the years are beautifully considered and compliment the newly simplified space wonderfully. The white paint (Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White) allows for the room’s moldings and permanent fixtures (like that awesome radiator vent) to shine. Check out the rest of the photos plus more of Michelle’s decorating notes after the jump! —Max
“Since it’s a main floor bath and not used as the main washing area,” Michelle notes, “we really went for aesthetics over practicality. However, it is the only tub in the home and so we opted for a luxurious – and rather diminutive – soaking tub. It measures only 53″ but it holds 18″ of water. We wanted things clean and bright and at the same time warm and inviting. ” Porcher Toilet from Faucet Direct.
Ceiling light from Schoolhouse Electric.
Minka Lavery Vanity Lighting from Lamps Plus.
Marionette Tub from The Tub Connection.