Bath Addition and Remodel: Before and After (Normal, IL Architectural Photographer)

We recently completed a major bath addition and renovation at our own residence, which I photographed for the general contractor (Landmark Construction and Renovations) to use in their portfolio.

This was a transformative project for our 104-year-old foursquare. When we bought the house in 2014, it had only one full bath, did not have an owner’s suite, and still had original cast iron plumbing and ungrounded/two-prong outlets throughout.

We planned for a full year, and then the crew had to work on every level of the house over three months, from the basement floor to the roof above the attic. (We moved out during the project.)

If you’d like to see more images of the project during the construction process, find me on Instagram and scroll back to the beginning of April 2021. This project also appears on my Houzz page if you want to save ideas. Let me know if you have questions, especially if you are planning a similar effort and there’s anything we can do to offer resources or tips!

Planning the Details

Prairie Woodworks built both vanities in their shop in Downs to fit our unique sinks. In the Owners’ Bath, the top drawers have a box insert, shown below, to help compensate for the general lack of counter space. When we need more counter space, we pull out the drawer and use the stained box insert. When we need things from the drawer underneath, we can lift out the insert. It’s like a combination of a cutting board slide-out and a drawer.

Demo and Construction Begins

We repurposed as many things as possible, including the old vent covers like the one shown above (also doors, door knobs, trim, etc.). I’ve learned that 100-years worth of paint layers can easily be removed from vent covers, if you place them on a rimmed cookie sheet and “bake” them at 200 degrees for a few hours. After a while, the paint starts to bubble up and separate from the metal, and then you can easily scrape it off with a flat paint scraper, as shown.

The New Owners’ Suite: Before, During and After

The New Hall Bath-Laundry Combo: Before, During, and After

The Hallway and Stairwell: Before, During and After

The painters uncovered this crazy wallpaper on the stair landing in between 1st and 2nd floor when they were stripping paint another layer of wallpaper on top of it to prep the plaster walls.

Materials and Details

The new hall bath is an homage to my home state: Arizona, with the inclusion of the Motawi “Saguaro” art tile, which is echoed by the Saguaro towel hooks. My family will feel right at home when they visit. 🙂


Plumbing Fixtures, Robe Hooks, and Toilet Paper Holders: Brizo Invari in Luxe Gold

Cabinet Hardware and Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric

Saguaro Wall Hooks: At West End (discontinued)

Art Tiles: Motawi Tileworks

Wall and Floor Tile and Grout: Carpet Weavers Flooring

Quartz Countertop, Shower Burb and Bench, and Shelf Ledges: LX Hausys Viatera (in Melody, discontinued)

Sinks: Kohler Hollister (New Bath) and Iron Plains Capsule (Owners’ Bath)

Shower Glass, Door, Hinges, and Handle: Contractor Services of Illinois

Toilets: Kohler Santa Rose One Piece

Tub: Swiss Madison 4′ Drop In Soaking Tub

Medicine Cabinets: Orren Ellis, Donnie Line

Wallplates and Outlet Covers: Amerelle Century Line in Brushed Bronze

Stacked Washer/Dryer: Speed Queen

Cabinetry, Trim, and Pocket Door Conversion

The bespoke cabinets were built to fully maximize the small spaces by the craftsmen at Prairie Woodworks. Prairie also did all of the trim salvage and removal, prep, and install, as well as the pocket door conversion. (See more of their work at Nussbaum Trucking.)


General Contractor: Landmark Construction and Renovation

Plumbing: Bill Akers

Tile: Addicks Tile and Hardwood

Electrical: Aaron Thomas

Drywall: Alex Guhlstorf

Painting: Jaime Stoller

Cabinetry, Trim, Pocket Door Conversion, and Floating Shelves: Prairie Woodworks

We couldn’t be happier with the results! Enormous gratitude and thanks to the entire crew and team. This was not a simple project; it required patience and attention to detail (especially for the poor tile guys), and they completely nailed it. Thank you!

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