before and after

Before & After: A Modern Bathroom for a 1905 Farmhouse

by Grace Bonney

I could fill an entire book with the funny stories, quirks and psychology that come with sharing your home online. Putting photos of some of the most private spaces in your life on the Internet can be daunting, of course, but how people choose to curate and handle that is different from family to family. But I’ve found that people universally tend to leave out their bathrooms more than any other room. Perhaps it’s because no one really loves looking at toilets or maybe it’s because it’s one of the last areas to get an upgrade, since it’s one of the least public areas of a home. So when I got a chance to revisit a home tour from three years ago and check out a previously unseen bathroom, I was sold.

Steve and Kalah Kren shared their 1905 farmhouse with us back in 2012. They renovated a few spaces right away, but several rooms, like this downstairs bathroom, had to wait to get their moment in the spotlight. Steve and Kalah wanted to tackle this project with a pro, so they hired designer Kirsten Grove to makeover their space. Their tiny downstairs bathroom was gutted, with the walls knocked down and a totally new tub, tile and sink added. I love how clean and simple the new space feels. It’s the sort of fresh start I love in a home and Kirsten chose great finishes and fixtures to give the room a modern feel. Click through to read more about the makeover and Kirstin’s design details! xo, grace

The bathroom remodel was a true gut renovation, with the space being totally torn down and rebuilt from the ground up.
The first step was to redo the walls, tub and windows.
This wall on the right will now house the new downstairs vanity.
Floors being prepped for new tiles.
The after! Kirsten used a floating vanity sink from Kohler, black heaxgon tiles she found at Overstock and white subway tiles to give the space a modern feel.
I love the floating vanity - it makes things so much easier to clean when it's time to scrub the floors.
The black and white theme in the bathroom is echoed in the tile floors and walls. For the floors, black tiles and white grout were used and for the walls, white tile and black grout were used.
Subway tiles meet hexagon tiles at the intersection of the bath and shower.
A simple wooden board acts as a bathtub caddy for long soaks.
The family cat approves - always a tough sell.
These simple, low-energy Plumen bulbs in copper fixtures are an easy solution to overhead lighting.

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