Modern Luxury Meets Historic Charm

We are fortunate to live in a part of the country that boasts many lovely historic homes—rich in details that speak to the domestic and cultural concerns of the past, charming in their aged beauty. But as any homeowner who lives in an older house can tell you, modern life and historic buildings do not always marry happily.

At Schrader and Company, we are proud of our decades of experience in renovating and remodeling historic homes. We share our clients’ genuine love and appreciation for the quality of old construction, and strive always to treat these special projects with accuracy, an eye to preservation, and a bit of reverence.

In this particular project spotlight, a new bathroom was created for clients who love their colonial home for all of its historic charm, and wanted an aesthetic upgrade that would give them modern luxury without jarring the style of the rest of their gorgeous house.

As is often the case with historic post and beam constructed homes, the planning and logistics for mechanicals posed a bit of a challenge, but one that the Schrader and Company team was well ready to handle.

Expertly crafted by Project Manager Jeremiah Mills, the new bathroom was built within the existing bathroom space, but the fixture locations were changed. A small, non-functioning, neo-angle shower was replaced with a new custom tiled shower. The built-in corner soaking tub was replaced with a new free-standing bathtub. The toilet was relocated to a more private location, and the vanity was moved from an alcove to a more open area.

The vanity cabinet is in a furniture style that sets the tone for the entire room. It includes inset doors, open toe space with furniture style legs, a slate top, and matching recessed medicine cabinets. One of the most unique features are the vessel sinks, handmade by the client who is a talented potter. Other style elements include brick tile flooring in a herringbone pattern, painted flat panel wainscoting, custom tiled shower with a glass enclosure, and a luxurious bathtub.

Project Planner John Hudson looks back on the project as a wonderful example of a modern upgrade that perfectly compliments a historic home. 

“All of the pieces fit together to create a historic feel for a totally updated master bathroom. The clients made perfect selections to fit the aesthetic of their home. And the vessel sinks are true works of art.”

The clients love their updated bathroom, and we take great satisfaction in helping to make a historic home work well for a modern family.

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Two Modern Luxury Bathrooms for a Historic Home

Bathroom before and after

A wise person once said,

“The key to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms.”

Add every conceivable luxury and convenience to the equation, and you’ve got the makings of a very joyful union.

Historic homes are undoubtedly appealing. They offer abundant charm, and tell their own special stories with every squeaky floorboard and slanted door. But even the most devoted lover of historic preservation can agree that there are certain rooms in our homes where we most appreciate all the advances that modern technology has brought to our lives. Namely, the bathroom.

For this project, the homeowners wanted to update two bathrooms in their early 1800s colonial home with the very latest in modern conveniences and technologies. The stunning result did not come about without careful consideration to the unique challenges of renovating an older home.

Project Planner Brian Taber knew that to attain the modern look desired by his clients for each of their respective “His” and Hers” bathrooms, much work would need to be done “behind the scenes”. The beautiful large format tiles in the “His” bathroom required perfectly straight walls, which few older homes have. The skilled crew of Schrader craftsmen carefully shimmed the walls to achieve the required correct angles. The same needed to be done in the “Her” bathroom to allow for the new tub and tile. Underneath the layers of horsehair plaster, wood lath, and brick behind the walls, everything needed to be replumbed and reframed.

Bathroom before
Bathroom before
Bathroom After

From that new squared straight foundation, the coolest of modern conveniences could be added. Hot water radiant heat was installed under the tile flooring of both bathrooms, and a round dome Sun Tunnel skylight was added, which allows for natural light while taking up less space than a typical skylight. The “His” bathroom features a hinged tempered glass panel that can alter the size of the shower or toilet space as needed. The curbless shower floor has a linear drain. And both bathrooms feature safety and convenience features like benches and grab bars, which will help the homeowners age in place.

Looking back on the project, Brian says he’s most pleased with the way Schrader and Company was able to meet the client’s’ vision for their space. “We worked closely with the owners to tailor both bathrooms to their specific needs and wants. The collaborative result is clean, modern, sophisticated, and luxurious.”

The bathroom is a room for comfort, even in the quaintest of older homes. This renovation shows what’s possible when history and technology come together in one cohesive design.

Bathroom After - shower