Clever Remodeling Ideas

Tiny Bathroom Solutions

A friend of mine recently bought a very sweet, but tiny house in the historic New England town where we live.  As she was beginning to move in she invited me over for a brainstorming session on efficient and inexpensive improvements.  One major priority was the bathroom, the only bathroom in the house, which is located on the second floor.

To keep the second floor layout functional and the budget to a minimum we quickly ruled out expanding into adjacent rooms. Then, the idea of an integrated shower came to mind, rather than taking up precious floor area with a shower stall.  Quite simple really, it’s where the bath floor merges evenly with the shower floor, which then slopes gently to a floor drain.  A ceiling mounted shower curtain can be used to separate the spaces when in use, and left open other times to help the small space feel much less crowded.  Expressive choices of tile and finishes will make it sing!

Here is an excerpt from a recent article on Houzz with the same idea: 9 Big Space-Saving Ideas for Tiny Bathrooms

“European-style wet bath. A wet bath is exactly what it sounds like: a bathroom where everything can (and does) get wet. This style of bath is quite common in Europe, where you will often see a tiny bathroom with the showerhead directly over the toilet, a small sink on the side and a drain in the middle of the floor. By forgoing a shower surround, you can really maximize square footage in a small space.”

modern bathroom by Winder Gibson Architects
contemporary bathroom by roomTEN design
modern bathroom by The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

To read the whole article, go to

The Alternative Architect

I never thought of myself as an ‘alternative architect’ until a dear friend recently referred to me as such.  It made me stop and think hard about what he really meant.  The term ‘alternative’ to me resembles people and ideas quite different than the main-stream… such as skateboarders and alternative music; or birkenstock clad feet and dreadlocked hair; or someone who walks the path less, or even least, travelled.  The latter describes me best.

The more I thought about it, the more I became willing to embrace the idea that I am, in fact, an alternative architect.  The plain fact is that I do not stick to the norm because that’s just not who I am.  It’s something I’ve always known and even celebrated internally but for some reason I never merged that self-acceptance into my career.  And all it took was one small, off-the-cuff comment.  Isn’t it amazing how things work out like that?

That one simple comment has inspired me, can you tell?  I am inspired to be me!

I am the kind of designer who…

  • LOVES historical architecture.  It pains me to mess with a building’s original character by adding on if it can be avoided.
  • sometimes pretends to be Indiana Jane.  I am a total nerd about architectural salvage and constantly think about ways to use various items from the past in new designs.
  • appreciates clever use of materials in creative ways that do not hint of being pretentious.
  • believes excess is way over-rated.  Live efficiently, productively and with only what you really need.  If you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it, and therefore you don’t need space to store it!
  • refuses to increase my overhead so that I am free to provide for my clients’ project needs without worrying about going over a company budget for time spent.

Wow!  That feels good!

Thank you, Michael, for being such a good and wise friend!

Now, on to new and exciting, beautiful things in 2014, including a new consultation service in locating architectural salvage materials for your next project!

Create a free website or blog at