Styles of four unfitted bathrooms benefit from not having conventional vanity cabinets.
One aspect of doing more with less involves editing down to necessities. This is especially true for unfitted bathrooms – those which have no built-in or “fitted” cabinetry. What’s interesting is how cabinet-free baths cut across the style spectrum – from minimalist to country. Instead of sinks and tubs installed in cabinets or surrounds we see pedestals, consoles, furniture storage, open shelving, hidden storage, salvage solutions and even modular parts. Unfitted bathrooms are a preference for some, while for others (especially in old houses or on shoestring budgets) they are simply an accommodation to what’s possible. These four baths run the gamut of ideas.
East-West Minimalism – Vessel sinks, installed on a sleek shelf, are pleasing to those who want to clear away the cluttered twittering of text-driven days and find peace in a less-is-more atmosphere. This master bath, in a New Mexico getaway built of concrete and recycled polystyrene, has an adobe-like wall texture married to an Asian aesthetic. Storage shelves are actually low, portable benches. A pair of magnifying mirrors on sliding bars resemble rimless spectacles, adding to the barely-there feeling.
Romantic Vintage – A Victorian-era pedestal sink, complete with antique pillar faucets and sprayer, is outfitted with an early 20th century gathered floral chintz skirt to help hide whatever is stored below. Free-standing, junk-shop chests and cabinets provide the storage in this late 18th century Rhode Island bathroom (note the telltale floor boards).
The antique cast iron tub continues the romantic vintage theme, set up by the restoration of old walls. Those were given an aged patina composed of touched-up new colors mixed with textures from previous surfaces exposed by peeling and scraping away years of paint and paper. Then, to prevent peeling, walls were sealed with shellac. A treasure trove of accessories and deft styling adds authenticity to this artsy, feminine retreat.
Retro-Industrial Fixtures – Keeping fixtures simple is key to creating the illusion of space in a room where the ceiling has a low slope. Designer Aaron Foster went for the retro medical-equipment look beginning with the 40’s-green powder-coated metal dresser that provides ample storage. A reclaimed medicine cabinet on casters, the steel-framed mirror and a console sink with mid-century styling round out the necessities. Given the location of the bath, a skylight (not visible) was installed over the sink to bring in natural light. The 2 x 2” white tile flooring hails from Home Depot.
Aged Pre-Fab Farmhouse – Faced with a prefabricated farmhouse, the owner decided to age this bathroom gracefully by using unpainted wood pieces and old details. The rustic pine work table has a pair of drawers set wide apart, permitting a round, white ceramic drop-in sink to be added in the center. A vintage claw-foot tub is set on a raised plinth for extra floor support.
The old-house theme beats on with the unpainted shelf hung over the tub as a towel rack. Older farmhouses often have wood-plank walls and ceilings. These are new but the whitewashed, horizontal boards on the walls and ceiling will only look better as they mature.
(Sources: Elle Decor, Country Home, Country Living)
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