Home Location : St. Paul, MN
Home Built : 1899
Photographer : Joy Watson, Modern Joy Photography

Summary :

Our new era-appropriate 3rd floor bathroom respects the historical architectural details of the 1899-built Victorian home while bringing modern amenities to the space. We salvaged and reused as many rough and finish carpentry items as possible (framing, interior door, trim, door hardware) and used customer-supplied refurbished antiques (medicine chests, light fixtures, leaded-glass transom window) as well. Our design and trade partnership seamlessly filled in the missing pieces between owner supplied salvaged, reused, and new – to make this spacious ¾ bath (located next to a large recreational room and office) another welcome room for a future master or private guest suite!

Awards & Achievements :

See other projects we did on this home :
Client Testimonial :
Summit Hill Neighborhood
We had been discussing this major house renovation for 6 years, but were unable to agree on a plan. Orfield was able to come in and suggest designs that enabled us to quickly settle on a design everyone was happy with. I was continually impressed with Orfield’s professionalism and responsiveness. In any project this large, there are the inevitable surprises. Orfield was very attentive and we always worked out any issues that left everyone pleased with the result. In addition, they were very willing to work with us on incorporating our owner-supplied elements (cabinets, fixtures, windows). They kept us informed of progress and schedules. All in all we were very pleased and would work with them again.

Scope & Objectives :

The purpose of this project was to finish the 3rd level of the home as a large multi-purpose recreational room, a separate bedroom with closet (or office), and install this pristine ¾ bathroom to serve these areas, thereby creating a private level of the home for use as a future alternate master or guest suite. Working with existing site conditions and creating efficiency in the proposed layout involved being dutiful in restoring the rooms while incorporating modern amenities. Our clients’ instructions were to reuse as many original materials as possible and, only where necessary, use new or re-purposed materials and fixtures that would complement the historical details and architectural features of the balloon-framed home.

A hex patterned tile floor and tall tile base is carried through into the large shower with marble curb caps and subway brick-patterned walls. This is viewed through a clear shower door with functional horizontal towel bar/handles. Befitting the homes period, we found and installed a custom metal grate for the baseboard vent cover and created a wood frame around it for the base tile to neatly meet.

On every floor the original interior doors, door handle and hinge hardware and millwork such as the tall three-piece base and mitered door and window casing was saved and reused where possible, and any new or missing materials were hand-milled to match. A leaded glass pane was brought to us and we made a frame/jamb/trim and installed it over the bathroom door as a transom. The window in the bath had to be changed per code to tempered glass because it sat so low to the floor and so an insulated Marvin Wood DH Tilt-Pac was installed. To make sure that this looked the same as all the others on the exterior, a separate exterior wood storm window was also supplied and installed.

Challenges & Solutions :

The owner purchased their light fixtures from antique stores and had them re-wired for use with our modern electrical. Knob-and-tube wiring, conduit, and surface pull chain wiring was overhauled in conjunction with a major panel upgrade from fuses to circuits. The owners refurbished antique recessed medicine chest and light fixtures sit above the new console sink and carefully placed accessories further capture the architectural minutiae of the era. This layout now works spatially and functionally, gives the clients what they each desire, and includes personal effects and modern amenities while being attentive to the character of the aged home.

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