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Your Home: Kitchens & Baths

A smart place for the bathtub

A South End master bath gets an ingenious makeover

The raised shower area cleverly contains the bathtub. Eric Roth

Part of the gut renovation of this South End loft involved an overhaul of the master bathroom. “It was very cramped. There was a small vanity and a tub with treacherous steps leading up to it, and the shower was on the opposite side of the room,” says architect Stephanie Horowitz of Boston’s ZeroEnergy Design.

Expanding wasn’t an option, so Horowitz reconfigured the bathroom to create better flow. Putting the tub inside a larger shower space opened things up, she says. “It works well visually and functionally. When you step out of the tub soaking wet, what better place to do that than the shower?”


Raised on a simple platform, the open shower room has a linear drain along the window wall — the floor slopes toward it. Horowitz tiled the windowsill with the same charcoal porcelain that lines the walls, providing a perch for bath items.

She based the design of the trough sink on one the homeowner used growing up, conceiving a long floating vessel made of Corian with two faucets. Underneath, two deep drawers provide ample storage. They are more accessible than those in a traditional under-the-sink cabinet, says Horowitz. “You’re not on your hands and knees crawling to the back looking for stuff.”

While there is room by the faucets for a few essentials, it is deliberately minimal. “There is enough space to be functional,” she says, “but not enough to attract clutter.”

The tile floor mimics the walnut planks installed throughout the rest of the home during the renovation. “There are walnut treads on the stairs and walnut ceiling elements in the kitchen,” says Horowitz. “We thought it would be interesting to carry the element into the bathroom.”

Square shower heads and tiny square LED recessed lights exude a contemporary vibe. While the room has modern aspects, she says, “it also has warm and welcoming elements that make it feel usable and friendly.”


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