The #historicbathupdate


Back in November, we started a new project restoring a historic bathroom – naturally, we decided to call it the #HistoricBathUpdate. The house is in a historic part of Lincoln and there’s a lot of unique and custom pieces planned for this bathroom.

We wanted to essentially start from scratch in this bathroom, while keeping some of the same character. In a lot of homes, it often means taking note of the details that give a room its look and recreating them after you demo. If you’re lucky, you can preserve bits and pieces to really round out the look.

The first step was to get rid of the old wainscoting paneling for a more updated and clean look. Prep work for a new vanity and medicine cabinet was step one.

Next, it was imperative that we updated the old windows. Removing and rebuilding windows (the right way) seems to be something people don’t do as much anymore with the advent of the window insert. For this project and all others, Carlson Projects opts for rebuilding full-frame windows the same way they were when the house was build, only fresh and new.

This inevitably means removing most of the surrounding drywall, pushing the window completely out of the wall and starting from scratch. This is just one of the minor details that ends up making a huge difference in the look and efficiency of an update.

The medicine cabinet brought about its own challenges, as it was a bit of a tricky install. The cabinet is a 48” recessed medicine cabinet, which is a lot bigger than the standard 24” medicine cabinets. Since it’s relatively deep, we had to be sure not to crack the existing plaster in the opposing bedroom.  

While reframing the wall for the new cabinet, we brought the wall into the bathroom 1″ to allow the existing studs to still be able to hold the plaster without cracking it. Again, these are the details that give a house longevity – in this case in the bedroom and the new bathroom.

Once the drywall was all installed around the medicine cabinet and around the bathroom where the wainscoting used to be, most of what was left included painting, crown molding and installing the vanity, medicine cabinet and the porcelain throne.

The vanity is a work of art in itself. We needed a piece that had more counter space but still looked like it belonged in a 1900’s home. For this reason we had Randal Weber of Benton, NE create this beautiful piece of furniture for us. By using special stain and hand detailing he created a piece that not only fits the feel of the home but will also stand the test of time. It is by far the centerpiece of the bathroom.

Finally, the #HistoricBathUpdate is complete. The medicine cabinet turned out amazing and the homeowners love it. The window masterpiece is the perfect addition to the room, framing in some much-needed natural light. The crown molding rounded out the look of the bathroom.

Without compromising the integrity of the historic look, we’ve updated this bathroom complete with TONS more storage than we previously had. The white oak vanity was hand-detailed and stained to look like it was built in the 1900s. The countertop was built from remnants, so it not only saved some money but also gave it an awesome, old school look.

We loved working on this project and the home owners are ecstatic about their new bathroom. What was your favorite detail? Share your comments below! We’d also love to hear about your bathroom updates, so feel free to join in on the conversation.




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