Like many suburban homes built before the 1980s or so, the hall bath in the Shutter Cat House has a big job. It serves as the bathroom for two of the three bedrooms, and also as the guest loo. Also like many older homes, this bathroom is pretty small. Every square inch has a job to do. We think we’ve found all the right elements to make this workhorse of a hall bath practical, and elegant as well.

Floor Plan

In the original floor plan, when you walked in the front of the door of the house, you were greeted with … yes, you guessed it, a view directly into the hall bathroom. Home design in the 1950s was clearly all about efficiency. You’ve been stuck in traffic, surely your bladder is full, why create unnecessary obstacles?

To add injury to insult, a relatively giant linen closet impinges upon the already-meager floor space just inside the bathroom door. There was space to maneuver around the fixtures, but only just barely.

To address these grievances, we spun the contents of the bathroom 180°, putting the entrance in the private back hall of the house. Now visitors are not greeted with a direct view into the bathroom, and loo-ers feel some semblance of privacy when visiting the WC. Also, we replaced the linen closet with a vanity full of storage, making room to towel off with abandon.

For maximum laundry-day convenience, the stacked washer and dryer stand just outside the bathroom door, ready to receive damp bath linens–and also handy for laundry from the two back bedrooms.

In the hall bath, we’re starting with a generous dose of moody, dusky turquoise tiles—big ones—surrounding the tub and stretching across one full wall. They’re beautiful, and they’re easy to clean. Can we get a huzzah for minimal grout? We hate applying it; we hate removing it; and we hate cleaning it.

We’ll add in a wood-finished vanity for warmth, topped with a porthole-like round mirror (just like you’ll find in the master bath). We like vanities with functional drawers for the storage they provide, keeping the clutter of your daily ablutions out of sight so you can start and finish the day in serenity. We chose the widest vanity we could delicately shoehorn into this space. This is another example of our effort to squeeze in as much practicality as we possibly can into this house.

A compact water-saving dual-flush toilet tucks between the vanity and the shower.

With warm gray paint on the walls and the same luxury vinyl wood flooring that flows throughout the house, this bathroom will provide practicality and plenty of storage, while looking coolly sophisticated for residents and guests alike.

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