Before/After: A 1920s-Inspired Bathroom, Wall Niche Included

Roberto Sosa Tiled Storage Niche in Bathtub

Earlier this week, we featured the renovation of Brooklyn architect Roberto Sosa’s weekend farmhouse retreat in Duchess County, New York. (See Architect Visit: An Antiquarian Farmhouse in Upstate New York, Transformed.) We especially like Sosa’s simple bathroom, the larger of two on the house’s second floor. It’s bright and uncomplicated, “in keeping with the humble old farmhouse,” said Sosa, who let the tile work be the star against a backdrop of warm grays and whites.

Photography by Mylene Pionilla, courtesy of Roberto Sosa.

Roberto Sosa Farmhouse Bathroom, Photo by Mylene Pionilla
Above: The bathroom is anchored by a vintage porcelain pedestal sink. Walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak with millwork in complementary Revere Pewter.
Above: The wood-framed mirror was one of several found in the existing farmhouse; its mate is used in one of the bedrooms. It’s flanked by two vintage porcelain sconces with glass shades, sourced and rewired from Seattle Building Salvage.
Above: The vintage pedestal sink came with empty metal brackets for two towel rods, which Sosa sourced from Zaborski Emporium in Kingston, New York.

Above the sink is a backsplash and narrow ledge made of Greek Volakas marble sourced from MSI Stone. “It has beautiful soft gray veining and a warm background white,” said Sosa. “It’s special without being flashy.”

He used high-gloss white subway tile to maximize reflected light and brighten the room, and extended the tub frame and surround against the wall to turn an otherwise wasted space into a storage platform.

Roberto Sosa Farmhouse Bathroom, Photo by Mylene Pionilla
Above: Sosa tiled the entire bathtub surround, including the ceiling.

“We used the condition of being right below the rake of the roof to our advantage,” he says, “making the bathroom feel larger by tiling the entire surround.”

Above: A recessed tile niche holds toiletries and a fiber basket keeps scrub brushes and spare washcloths handy.

For the tile grout, Sosa used Polyblend in color quartz—”the best match for a monochromatic look,” he says. (For more on choosing grout, see Remodeling 101: How to Choose the Right Tile Grout.)

Above: A Wesco trash can and vintage farm stool rest on a hex tile floor.

The architect chose desert gray hex tiles from Daltile in a two-inch diameter; their size “felt a bit more old fashioned than smaller hex, and more authentic,” he says. The doors are painted in Benjamin Moore Onyx in a high-gloss latex. The wood window is original.


Above: Before they framed the bathroom, the space was part of an unfinished hallway packed with boxes. Sosa managed to reuse the original floorboards in another hallway.
Above: The architect expanded the room by several feet, taking space from an adjacent bedroom.
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