• Stephen & David

One Room Challenge Week 2: Master Bath Design

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

If you’ve been watching our stories on instagram, you’ll know that a LOT of work for this project so far has gone into building the shower. Since it is the space you’ve seen the most of, we figured we’d dive into the bathroom design first and give you some context! We will break down the nitty-gritty of the shower in a future post - for now let’s take a look at the Bathroom design, eh?

Last week, we dove into the Suite Master Plan - Check it out for even more context!

Hello! If you’ve stumbled across our page from the ORC Site, Welcome! We’re Stephen & David, a Husband-and-husband DIY team based in Boston, MA. Over that past three years we have been renovating our ( previously abandoned ) Victorian home and sharing the process along the way! You can check out a little tour of our home here and we hope you join us as we tackle this Master Suite project!



When we purchased this house three years ago we needed to make a lot of decisions for the "future". While we didn’t have the capacity to complete the master bath we did take the opportunity to do all the rough-plumbing. Having no walls certainly had its advantages. So while the "Before" photos look like a blank slate we have all of our rough plumbing completed making this 8 week transformation feel totally (well mostly) possible.

The layout of the bathroom spoke for itself when considering the shape and existing obstructions. The room will be wrapped in chair rail-height paneling with a built in radiator box and cabinet helping offset the clip in the ceiling. The window will be built into the paneling and dressed with a full height shutter. As you enter you will be welcomed by a dual-vanity that sits snug to the chair rail. The toilet will be to your left, and the shower to your right. The shower has become the focal point of this bathroom and we are so happy with how it's turning out.




Who remembers the chimney?! When we shared the initial schematic design of the bathroom on Instagram in October we had considered keeping the brick exposed and integrating it with the shower. While that sounded like a fun idea, practically, it would have been a nightmare. First, this brick was never intended to be exposed , rather covered with plaster, and therefore does not have “pretty” bricks. Secondly, can you imagine the maintenance of keeping brick exposed in the shower? Don’t get us wrong, this has been done and can be quite beautiful but we ultimately decided it just wasn’t correct. Instead, we clad the chimney with marble and we are SO happy we did! The shower now feels architectural and this revision provided a perfect nook for a shower bench.


Beyond a stack of bricks we had to solve for the bathroom door. Every scenario let to the door slamming into something. Ultimately we decided a pocket doors was in order. Never having done a pocket door before we were quite excited (anxious) to see how it would go. We ordered a new door and installed the pocket hardware.



The materiality of the master bath hearkens back to the history of the home but with a more contemporary feel. This has been our philosophy throughout our home, especially when selecting bathroom finishes. We want the vanity to feel like furniture and will be topped with honed Carrara marble, reminiscent of marble-topped furniture commonly used in the Victorian era. We carried the marble throughout the shower adding skirting and chair rail details to tie in with the paneled walls.

The shower itself is substantial in size. The pan is 5’x4’ and the aforementioned bench-alcove makes it feel even larger. The shower portion of this project was extremely challenging. We will be diving into all of the details in a future post.

If there are specific things you want us to cover let us know in the comments below!

Both the marble shower and vanity will have brass fixtures, a pairing that stands the test of time. While the shower is tiled from floor to ceiling, we chose not to tile the floor, rather maintain the original warm hardwoods that we refinished three years ago.

The paneling will be a detail similar to that of our Front Entry but here we intend to paint it a warm grey (Color TBD!). This color will be consistent with the trim throughout the entire Suite. Above the paneling we will be applying a light Roman clay finish. We’ve never used Roman clay before but we have fallen in love with the images we have seen. We want to maintain nearly white walls with depth and interest beyond simple paint.

Another texture we’ve fallen in love with is reeded glass. Full Stan. It has made its way into two Master Bath features. The first being these GORGEOUS handcrafted vanity lights by Original BTC. We love that they have all the features of a well-crafted traditional light fixture and are fitted with a dimmable LED core. We were so excited to open these when they arrived and they did not disappoint. We can’t wait to finish installing these Pillar Offset Wall Lights so we can bask that warm glowing reeded glass fabulousness.*

We love these lights so much that they inspired us to include reeded glass in the pocket door. We designed this bad boy at Home Depot and were able to customize it with ¾ Lite reeded glass. Getting a solid wood door was important to us for heft and paintability (nothing is worse than a flimsy pocket door). We framed and installed this pocket door kit ourselves and it was way easier than we thought it would be. It’s working great so far, with all of its soft open / soft close goodness. You can find us doing this for the next few weeks...


Now, in order to make all those pretty things come to life we need to get back to work! Did we mention we are doing the ENTIRE thing ourselves? If you’re not already following along on Instagram - come check it out! We post stories everyday with what we are working on and we love your feedback! See you there!


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Check out our next post: Master Bedroom and Closet Design!

Miss last weeks post? Check it out here!



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* Product provided by company in exchange for blog mention. All selections and views are out own.