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Home design advice: Fitting a second bathroom into a Winthrop home

A former office is converted to a bathroom for a young family living in a home built in 1749.

An 8-by-8-foot first-floor office in this Winthrop home was converted into a primary bath that also functions well for everyday living.Samara Vise

Although this 1749 Federal Colonial in Winthrop was renovated before the owners purchased it, there was just one bathroom (and it was chock-full of baby gear). So, with the help of DelMuto and Sons Construction Co., designer Mattye Dewhirst converted the 8-by-8-foot first-floor office into a primary bath that also functions well for everyday living. “The second-floor bath is difficult to access and there was really no other space to fit a bathroom, so this made the most sense,” Dewhirst says. “Since the basement was unfinished, running plumbing and electrical were easy.”

1 “We wanted the overall aesthetic to work with the age of the house, and hex tile was popular in homes that didn’t previously have indoor plumbing,” Dewhirst says of the white porcelain floor tiles with Ming green marble rosettes.


2 A leggy washstand by Kingston Brass keeps the room airy, whereas a vanity would have made the space feel tight. “We built an 18-inch-wide floor-to-ceiling cabinet to the right of the entry for towels and toiletries,” she says.

3 A peony print by Maine artist Amy Brnger satisfies the owners’ desire for affordable artwork that resembles an oil painting.

4 The walls are painted Sherwin-Williams Billiard Green. “It was a nice opportunity to go dark and dramatic while staying classic and historic,” she says.

5 Ceramic subway tiles by Daltile are mottled in color and texture. “They’re machine made and cost effective, but feel legit, like some guy in the 1800s made them by hand,” Dewhirst says. “The color variation offers flexibility in matching the paint and adds depth.”

6 Full glass panels let light into the room and make the space seem larger. “The door slides so it can be left open without blocking the sink or toilet,” Dewhirst says.

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to