My Old Kentucky Home Renovations: Master Bathroom and Closet

The most dramatic change to happen to our house over the past year was the addition of a master bathroom and closet. We eliminated an existing bathroom in a different part of the house to build an office nook, so we were down to one bathroom with an antique clawfoot tub and no counter space or storage under the sink. It was pretty tight, and I can’t tell you how many times someone almost electrocuted himself because a hairdryer or curling iron in the sink since there wasn’t room for it on the counter. Additionally, we didn’t have a real closet in the house, so we desperately needed one of those as well. We eliminated a bedroom that was adjacent to our master bedroom and serving as an office to put in the master bath and closet. The space was rectangular, which helped make the design easier. Most of our rooms have catty corners, so we were fortunate that this one did not. However, it had a fireplace and two large windows that we had to work around since we didn’t want to eliminate them.


Ezra, our architect who also happens to be a friend, did a great job with the design, and he was really patient as we worked to find the best design. He put together several options for us, and I can’t tell you how long it took us to pick one and then how many times we kept coming back to him with changes and minor tweaks. I originally wanted a separate bathroom and closet, but he convinced us to go with a combined bathroom and closet. It was definitely the best use of space, and when I’m getting ready, I don’t feel like I’m putting makeup in my closet. If you are looking for an architect for a large or small project, I highly recommend Ezra Sword Designs.

Our tile came from The Tile Shop, and I really love how the shower came out. I think the marble fits well with the age of the house, but it still looks fresh and clean.

We went with a Carrara marble for our vanity counter, and again, I love it! I was really picky about the vanity color and countertop, so I drove to Stone Gallery in Nicholasville to pick out the exact slab that they used to make the counter. We had a minor (what seemed like major at the time) renovation nightmare with the stain of the vanity, and the Amish carpenters who built the vanity and other storage pieces had to keep coming back to install, uninstall, reinstall, etc., which was a hassle considering they lived over an hour away and had to hire a driver each time they made a trip to the house.

Since the space doubles as a bathroom and closet, we wanted the toilet to be in a separate room. We struggled with space and structural issues, but we finally settled on a barn door for the water closet. I didn’t want the barn door to look too rustic, so we finally settled on this hardware and had the door custom built.

Before the room became a master bath/closet, the room had a built-in bookcase with an antique ladder from a pharmacy in downtown Lexington. We kept the ladder to access the tall shelves in our closet, and we use it almost everyday.

The biggest lesson I learned from this project is to avoid cutting corners in a renovation project, which we were considering when we were in the thick of the renovation and progress was happening at snail's pace. We use this space all the time, so I’m really happy we focused on each tiny detail.