Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Guest Bath an Ingenious Mix of Old and New

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Guest Bath an Ingenious Mix of Old and New

Article excerpt

When John M. Tate built this house in 1877, he spared no expense on the upstairs bathroom. The plumbing contractor installed a fine clawfoot tub and a porcelain sink ringed with hand-painted flowers in what was likely one of Sewickley's first bathrooms.

A century later, the house is once again on the cutting edge of bath technology, with a handicapped-accessible curbless shower, travertine and limestone tile, and a clever design and reuse of materials. The new guest bathroom is the latest project in Peter and Linda Floyd's 30-year renovation and was chosen as a runner-up in the 2012-13 Renovation Inspiration Contest, small category (under $50,000).

The contest, which is sponsored by Dollar Bank and judged by staff from the Post-Gazette and Design Center Pittsburgh, draws many entries involving kitchen and bath renovations. This was Floyds' second bathroom project -- the first was a new master bath over a garage addition -- and just one of a long series of projects that began when they moved to Sewickley from the North Side in 1983.

"We started before we moved in, and we haven't really stopped," said Mrs. Floyd.

When they moved, the couple had just finished renovating and adding onto another 1870s house on Perrysville Avenue, but the Sewickley house was different -- it was worth saving. Luckily, Mr. Floyd had brought along much of the woodwork, doors and other items salvaged from the North Side house. Thirty years later, he's still using it.

"I don't throw anything away," he said, laughing.

The original master bathroom, whose clawfoot tub has been fitted with a Victorian-looking shower head, was just one element worth preserving. In the parlor are beautiful stained-glass windows with odd subject matter -- a spider and a beehive. Did growing up with those windows have a subconscious effect on their two children? Mr. Floyd thinks so: "Our one daughter is a Web designer in New York. The other one keeps bees in Boston."

When they decided to redo the kitchen in the rear of the house, the couple looked to a bay window on the front for inspiration. Stacked bay windows now illuminate the charming kitchen and a former maid's bedroom upstairs, which became the master bedroom. …

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