From the August/September 2013 Issue:

It Takes Two

    Writer: Meg Fox | Photographer: Wing Wong | Interior Designer: Tracey Stephens, Allied Member ASID, Member NKBA, Regreen Trained™ Professional |

Young parents borrow square footage from adjacent rooms to build a private suite

Article Photo
enlarge | The new bathroom pays homage to the 1920s home with classic-inspired features: white subway tile, Carrera marble surfaces and basket-weave flooring that offset the Shaker-style cabinets. An oversized steam shower was high on the homeowner’s wish list.
There are many features to love about a 1920s colonial-style home in Montclair. But for one couple, sharing a second-floor hallway bathroom with two children was not one of them. Nor was using roller racks in a spare room because their bedroom had no closets, says Tracey Stephens, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers, member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, state-certified interior designer, Regreen Trained™ Professional and owner of Tracey Stephens Interior Design in Montclair.

For Stephens the answer was to annex two unused side rooms—possible former sleeping porches—to create a master suite with a private bathroom and walk-in closet. The top requests for the bathroom: a generous-size steam shower, luxurious soaking tub and double-sink vanity with a make-up counter, Stephens says. Storage for linens and a semi-enclosed toilet area were other top considerations, all in an open, airy classic style.

Deciding Factors
One room (now the bathroom) is over a first-floor sunroom and the second (now the walk-in closet) is over a patio, so that dictated the location of the bathroom, Stephens says. And while the sizes of the two rooms were not of particular concern, Stephens ended up moving a wall 12 inches into the closet to accommodate a large steam shower.

A bigger challenge, Stephens says, was working around a chimney and a series of triple double-hung windows along the side of the house. Considering how the house would look from the exterior, “the client preferred to keep as many of the windows as possible in both rooms,” she says. While this restricted the location of quite a few things, Stephens did manage to keep one side window in each room.

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enlarge | The doorway from the bedroom into the bathroom was moved away from the left corner to accommodate the width of the 36-by-72-inch soaking tub. The wainscot panel provides hidden access to plumbing. Before: This unused side room—possibly a former sleeping porch—was transformed into the new master bathroom. (A second adjacent side room became the walk-in closet, not shown.)
Keep it Classic
The new bathroom still honors the home’s traditional roots. White 3-by-6-inch wall tile, anchored by a black base tile and chair rail, are a timeless combination paired with flooring in a traditional basket-weave pattern of Carrera marble with a black dot, Stephens says. The marble continues on the countertops and tub deck and in the shower, equipped with dual showerheads and bench seating.

Shaker-style maple cabinets in a dark coffee stain “work well with the white tile and pale blue walls,” Stephens says. And a recessed linen cabinet is stylishly efficient. “I created drawers plus open and closed storage with stock items from the cabinetry supplier,” she says. Polished chrome oval tilting mirrors, sconces and cabinet hardware round out the vintage flavor.


interior design, layout and cabinetry, Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc. in Montclair; architect, Mark Bess, AIA, MBA Architects in Montclair; contractor and custom wainscot panel at tub, Sean O’Boyle of SJO Corp. in Secaucus; marble basket-weave floor and 3-by-6-inch shower wall tile, Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc.; wall tile, Wayne Tile Design Center in Wayne; Carrera marble countertops and tub deck, Everest Marble LLC in Clifton with fabrication by C&C Granite & Marble in Saddle Brook; sinks, “Loretta” from Bates and Bates; fittings, Grohe Somerset Series in polished chrome; toilet, Toto; tub, Archer by Kohler; Marina oval tilting mirror, Signature Hardware; sconces, Kohler Bancroft.

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