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Style Watch

Home design ideas: A closet becomes a walk-in shower

A Charlestown brownstone gets a chic bath for guests, and the owner’s beloved dogs.

A chic new bathroom in a Charlestown brownstone serves as a place to shower the homeowner's beloved dogs.
A chic new bathroom in a Charlestown brownstone serves as a place to shower the homeowner's beloved dogs.michael j lee

Renovating the garden level of a duplex in a Charlestown brownstone included turning an unloved office into a stylish bath for very special clients: the owner’s two Irish setter champion show dogs. “It was a closet she made into a home office that resembled a supply closet,” says designer Lisa Buyuk. To best accommodate the canines — as well the owner’s aging parents who use the bath when they visit — Buyuk designed a curbless shower tucked under the building’s front stairs. “There’s no curb or door to contend with and the whole room can get wet,” she says.

1. Wall-mounted plumbing fixtures and custom knobs elevate a ready-made vanity from Designer Bath in Watertown. “The unlacquered brass finish will tarnish; a beautiful, timeless look if you can embrace patina,” Buyuk says.


2. A 1950s-era mahogany mirror with rope hanger sourced online from Okay Art, a vintage design shop in Basel, Switzerland, adds warmth and interest to a space lined in hard, mostly white materials.

3. Dark bronze sconces punctuate the mirror and ground the room. “I prefer a mismatched, curated aesthetic,” the designer says. “Besides, trying to match finishes across manufacturers isn’t usually successful.”

4. The ledge, knee wall trim, and counter are engineered stone with gray veining. Since the shower is mostly used by the dogs, the designer skipped a separate shower head in favor of a hand-held sprayer that can be mounted on a bar.

5. Machine-made subway tiles with irregularity offer a handmade sensibility. “It’s a value-conscious way of incorporating the feel of an old brownstone,” Buyuk says. Using a single color makes the shower seem more spacious.

6. Buyuk laid-out the Popham Design floor tiles to get the star placement just right. “I chose concrete for earthiness,” she says. “They’re sealed, but like unlacquered brass, concrete is a living finish.”


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.