Square Peg. Round Hole. Contest.

Category: Restore & Repair

**NOTE: This is a contest with prizes! If you are into that, read through to the end.**

We are trying to figure out the puzzle that is our bathroom and we need YOUR help. It will be like playing with doll house furniture...er...kinda.

My lovely draftsman Dad sketched out our current bathroom situation like this (remember to click it to make the picture larger):

This bedroom-turned-bathroom is second in awkwardness only to the kitchen.

Since it is 17 feet long (!) and 6.5' wide, you'd think we could do a LOT in there. But we knew from the beginning that, although we were taking out the floor and could mess a little with plumbing and electricity, keeping fixtures close to current water and drainage/vent systems would be ideal from a budget perspective because we wouldn't have to move them around on the floors below.

This is important to know for the new remodeler.

SO! That's where you come in. With a silly, crazy, creative, and/or sensible, "hey that just might work" idea for fitting our square peg of a bathroom into its round hole. You can submit said idea on a scanned napkin, computer drawing or even in a detailed paragraph. By September 1, 2003, when we will announce the winner and their choice of prize.

Why are we asking you, citizens of webland, for your ideas?

Because you are cool and creative and fun! For example, I would love to see a bath designed by ZeFrank but I know he is busy and may not have time for us.

Here are the 3-D views of the room.

Entering in a door to the very left.

You turn and see the current sink area...(those cabinets on either side are freestanding):

You peek behind the door of the room and notice a small "closet" has been built around a vent stack that is needed for this bathroom and the one below it is as well):

You stand by the sink and look to the back of the room and notice a) the built-in, which may have to be moved and b) all of that UNUSED space!

You walk to the back of the room to look at the bathroom at a new angle. You turn and look straight back at the shower and sink and see that the "toilette" is placed behind the little "closet" created by the vent stack:

And then you look at the windows across from the "stack" closet and "toilette":

You know, as you consider how to reconfigure everything, that:

1) Flipping and changing plumbed fixtures around so that they are making the use of current pipes and stacks will save money.

2) Maybe you'd like to try a separate shower. But you also know that possible future kids would require a tub too.

3) Two sinks side-by-side might work best in a master bath. But, drat, the windows are too low to put sinks there.

4)The floor is going to have to be totally replaced. It was destroyed in a leak long ago. So that is good. Vertical pipes could possibly be moved.

5) The internal doors could possibly be moved around, but moving the exterior windows would cost quite a bit!

6)The current bathtub is a "rightie". But it could be replaced by something freestanding or something creative could be done to move it.

Do you have your strategic puzzle hats on? You can move fixtures around, repaint the walls (or do something else with them entirely...they are currently "Wes Andersen" pink), go high-brow or low-brow.

And we are offering a choice of prize to the solution which "moves" us the most...either to laughter or "oohs and ahhs".

The winner can claim one of the following (or if there is something that isn't here that you crave, email us. We'll talk. If it hasn't already been claimed, we could set something up):

We AREN'T expecting a drawing from a professional architect or contractor. Actually, it would be more fun to see what ideas other folks would come up with. That's why we tried to make the prizes silly and/or fun. HOWEVER! If the drawing is cool AND feasible, I will pledge the following choice as a prize, although I love it very much...our vintage, mahogany-finished, wood-handled, smooth-as-butter Miller's Falls hand drill (from the late 40's to possibly mid 50's) with its die cast, red-enamel solid drive gear and three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch. It's a beauty. But, well, we also know that a fabulous bathroom idea deserves a fabulous choice of a prize.

Here's an empty room if you need one (you can double-click on it to make it larger, the right hand click on it to save it to your PC):

This is a HUGE experiment for us...especially since we've been batting around different ideas as a couple. But we want to see what you would come up with too! If your room design gets executed, we will even see to it that some kind of "homage" is paid to you within said design. Also very fun!

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This is a great idea from my view. I hope you are ready for whacky ideas!

I have one question:

Can you give me/us an idea about the direction that the floor joists run in? I ask because it would be much simpler to move a plumbing fixutre along the direction of the joists, rather than drilling holes through them (big no-no).


Great question!

The joists run side-to-side in the room. From the door to the bathtub, for example. Or the "toilette" to the windows.

wow, this is just like "designer's challenge" on hgtv! i've downloaded your bathroom to my desktop, and i've already got a few ideas simmering. i'll see if i can get something together on photoshop tonight.

And YES! Bring on the whacky ideas! We love the creativity!

What is the room next to the closet on your dad's drawing? I'm guessing it's a bedroom because I can see an 'R' there. Is it your room?

Are you hoping this will be a period remodel or are you willing to go a little more modern? Or perhaps a blend of both?


Just to overwhelm with questions:

I noticed there is a radiator in the corner. Is it working? If so, would you like to keep it?

What do you mean by "rightie" when referring to the tub?

I do see what you mean by "puzzle"...this room is a tough nut to crack.


No, these are good questions :)

That is a radiator. We don't have to keep it. We would need to think of a creative way to heat the room in its absence because we still have the boiler.

A "rightie" meaning that the tub, although an old cast-iron tub from the late 40's-early 50's, it is not freestanding (meaning the "back" of the tub, next to the wall, is open) and its drain and overflow sit on the right.

Period or blend would be our first choice. I don't think very modern would fit the house. Also a great question.

And, yup, that "R" stands at the end of the word "Master" as in "Master Bedroom" :) So the room at the end would be our room. The little closet in the Master Bedroom behind the current bathroom built in begins at a regular height and slopes to "knee wall status".

A said it best...this is now officially an "open source bathroom design" experiment :)


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