After we first bought our 100 year old house and started to renovate it a little over a year ago, it had a very spacious powder room on the main floor, but everything about that powder room was a problem! I designed a new floor plan to actually make the powder room smaller in order to make it much more efficient and function so much better!
Take a look at the original floor plan:
Besides the huge waste of space and hideous 1970 junky fixtures and cracked up tile floor, notice the ridiculous floor plan? With all this space for a powder room, for some reason when it was put in, obviously in the 70’s, they placed the vanity sink directly in front of the toilet, making it impossible to actually sit straight on the toilet, instead you would need to swing your legs off to the side. Also, when the door swung in, (just barely missing the corner of the vanity) it blocked the window and the flow of natural light from it.
Since I’m showing you how it was before, even though I don’t have a good before picture of the whole bathroom,
this is the doorway from the kitchen into the powder room during renovations. The toilet and sink are just to the right of that DeWalt radio. (I can’t wait to show you the before and after of the kitchen, here you can get a glimpse of it before)
Although the doorway to the bathroom was trimmed in 1970’s ranch style, (the hollow core door to match it has already been taken off by the time this pic was taken) we were fortunate that some of the original base trim was left intact in the powder room area. During the renovation we had enough to re-use in the pantry area but had to make new trim, in a much simpler style, for the powder room.
So here’s the new floor plan for the powder room:
Now the door to the powder room, a lovely solid 2-panel door, original to the house and leftover from the upstairs bathroom renovation… (I’m excited to show you all these rooms, but first things first…) is placed in the new wall dividing the powder room from the pantry area.
By splitting up the long single room, we gained a pantry space. (which I’ll show you later too!)
This 100 year old house had really old plumbing that was in terrible condition. During our renovation, we ripped it all completely out, including this room, so even though the toilet looks to be in the same spot, it is completely new plumbing and after joist and floor repair from the old toilet leaking so many years, the new toilet placement isn’t exactly in the same spot. The new toilet is a bit more in the corner than the old one.
As for the new sink placement, it obviously made so much more sense to have it now next to the toilet, instead of in front of it. We just had to find a very small sink so that it would meet code with its mandatory distance from the center of the toilet bowl.
Another big bonus with this new floor plan is that the bathroom door isn’t directly off the kitchen. Now, the pantry space is a bit of a buffer between the actual kitchen and the powder room. Plus, the window is no longer blocked by the door, now it can flood the pantry area with natural light and even bring light into the kitchen.
For the new powder room, I order the Kohler toilet from Home Depot. My selection was narrowed by 2 main things: the style needed to be classic and it had to have a good ‘flush rating’. (Yep, they actually rate flush-ability!) I’m a designer with a die-hard belief in the motto ‘Form Follows Function’. The bathroom is one room that you want to be sure it functions well, right?!
The floor in the powder room area was originally wood, under layers of tile, but because the toilet leaked for so many years, enough of it was ruined that it just wasn’t worth it to repair. I was thrilled with this marble mosaic tile floor we got at Home Depot for a very suitable replacement. It totally matches the classic style of our 100 year old house. I chose a light colored grout to softly blend with the Carrara marble and not have too much contrast, just letting the black accent pieces be the contrast. (everywhere throughout the house we needed tile, I selected different styles of Carrara marble… here’s the selection I chose for the front entry)
I found this cute vintage metal basket at a fun shop in our area. It’s perfect for toilet paper storage. That’s one thing with a pedestal sink, you don’t have that extra storage space like with a standard vanity, so you need to be a bit creative.
And here is that pedestal sink. In order to pull of my new floor plan for this powder room and still meet code, I had to have a small sink. (it had to be so many inches away from the center of the toilet bowl) This 1920 styled pedestal sink, I ordered from Home Depot, totally fits the bill and the room, at only about 19″ wide! Plus, it has the classic styling I was determined to incorporate into our antique house.
Over the sink we put in a reproduction light fixture, again playing off the classic style of our house. This ceramic light with its milk glass shade is from Rejuvenations, and it looks exactly like it is a vintage light.
The wallpaper is vintage wallpaper I found on Ebay. It’s so cute, but what a bear to install! I purposely only put the wallpaper on the top third of the walls. Hopefully, by being so high it will be protected from little fingers, water splashes and last much longer, as it has no vinyl coating to protect it, like modern wallpaper.
The simple little vanity mirror or medicine cabinet, I found on Craigslist. I painted it black, covering the baby pink it had been painted before I bought it. I have some Dutch heritage, so it’s fun to have some vintage windmills decorating this room, like the milk glass salt and pepper shakers… who says that has to only be in the kitchen for decoration!
For the fixtures, including the faucet, hand towel holder and t.p. holder I selected chrome finish. Again, I just think it’s classic and in our former house master bathroom, I had dark oil rubbed bronze so I wanted a change.
I am thrilled to have a bathroom on the main level of our 100 year old house. It is so convenient to not have to traipse upstairs or send your guests upstairs every time someone has to ‘go’.
Shop this room! I put together the links for most of the items in this powder room. If a certain style is no longer available, I put in a close 2nd option for you.
Kohler Memoirs Toilet, 1920 Pedestal Sink, Delta ‘Dryden’ Sink Faucet, Rejuvenation Ceramic Reproduction Light Fixture ‘Rufus’, Pottery Barn ‘Mercer’ Hand Towel Holder, Pottery Barn ‘Mercer’ Toilet Paper Holder, Home Depot Marble Mosaic Tile Floor, Ebay Vintage Wallpaper Options
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