The Room We Never Intended to Build

Not that anything has particularly gone according to plan thus far, but our second floor bathroom was an especially “left-field” addition to the renovation. The playing field already included a second floor bathroom so why make another one?

To understand our rationale, you have to look at a few other rooms and the web of cause and effect we had to consider.

1. Second floor commercial Kitchen: For our commercial kitchen, we need 7 sinks. (a triple ware-washing sink, a floor sink, a mop sink, a grinder sink, and a hand sink… obviously).

2. First floor Gallery: For the Gallery we chose to do exposed ceilings that stretch in beautiful verticality toward our second floor joists – holding up the Kitchen above. As such, there is no secret ceiling compartment to tuck away mechanicals. It’s just Gallery —> some big beams —> Kitchen. We really value the expanse of the exposed ceilings and didn’t want to detract from that aesthetic by adding in visible mechanicals (electrical, plumbing, etc) for the Kitchen.

—> So a bunch of sinks required on floor 2 + nowhere to hide their plumbing on floor 1… what’s the solution?

3. First floor Bathrooms: Our bathrooms off the Gallery DO have a dropped ceiling and this, my friends, is where the magic happens… ALL the magic… above these ceilings will lie duct work (supply and air return), plumbing and vent stacks, and a ton of electrical. To use a phrase our plumber has made famous at Amber Lane, you’ll be “fitting bound” every turn you take up there! There isn’t even room left over to hide the treasure!

4. (Old) Second floor Bathroom: Our old bathroom on the second floor was off the kitchen, above the first floor bathrooms. The inevitable solution to our problems! Room to house our sinks AND the functional ability to keep the required plumbing hidden in the first floor bathroom ceilings!

Pretty awesome right?! (Don’t sweat it if you’re confused. Lord knows it doesn’t matter in the end. You can go ahead and scroll to the pictures actually. That’s the fun part.) πŸ˜‰

So, right. Awesome. Yes — a solution! But what does that mean? Well… it means we wiggled ourselves out of a second floor bathroom to make room for a “Dish Pen” to house our sinks and hide our plumbing. And that can only mean one thing — the hunt for a new second floor bathroom…

Well, we looked around a bit… Like to our left and to our right. But then we realized the place isn’t that big. And there aren’t any other rooms really… so, oh right, there it is! The only other place — our office. Clearly. The perfect place for a bathroom. <ahem>

Now, if you’re still with me, let’s take a look at “The Room We Never Intended To Build” and – I should mention – as a subtitle – “The Room We Didn’t Really Have Space to Build”:

Step 1: Partition off space for strangely shaped bathroom by cutting carpet and laying cement board:

Step 2: Stud it up!

Step 3: Make unnecessary windows! Yes. In a bathroom.

Step 4: Ceiling on!

Step 5: Wrangle the fixtures.

And there you have it: a bonafide bathroom. Once we get our rough inspection signed off on, we’ll be able to add in the crazy set of finishes we have up our sleeve (involving more windows, a pack of zebras, a lot of honey onyx, and a blast from our “Langton” past!).


Done, for now!



  1. Great job! Beautiful photos and work!


  2. Thanks! It will be even better with the finishes on and the windows in place. Stay tuned. One of these days we’ll get there. πŸ™‚

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