Bathroom Reno #2: After The Fire

Three days after these owners closed on their Park Slope co-op, an electrical fire ravaged their bathroom (and part of the apartment). The owners used the misfortune as an opportunity to put their own imprint on the space, expanding the bathroom’s footprint to where a dumbwaiter had been. For the finishes, they looked mostly to Restoration Hardware—that’s where the sink, faucets, towel racks, mirror, toilet paper holder are from; the light above the mirror is from electric schoolhouse. They’re not entirely sure how much the whole thing cost because it was covered largely by the insurance company. Looks nice, eh?
Let’s Try This Bathroom Thing Again [Brownstoner]

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  • I would love to take a dump in that bathroom.

  • Very clean and classic. Good call on adding the storage cabinet above the toilet.

  • Insurance covered all this? Excuse me while I light my place on fire.

  • time to park the dump truck!!!

  • Things always happen for a reason.

  • I don’t know if taking a model bathroom straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalog qualifies as putting one’s own ‘imprint’ on the thing. The people at Restoration have good taste.

  • Very nice. very tasteful. I love to see these pictured renovations.

  • they don’t have model bathrooms at restoration hardware, 11:37.

    don’t be an asshole.

  • Oh, SURE it was an “electrical fire.” Excuse me while I go torch my kitchen.

  • In Crown Heights you’d call it Jewish Lightning.

    In the Slope, guess it would be:

    Stroller-Mom Lightning?
    Lesbian Lightning?
    La Leche Lightning?
    Yuppie Lightning?
    Hedge-Fund Lightning?

  • I’m the owner of this apartment. Thanks for the kind comments. I thought it was a pretty dramatic before/after shot, and we like the way it’s turned out.

    As for those considering torching their apartments, I don’t recommend going that route. The insurance companies are very thorough in determining cause and besides, our apartment was completely unliveable for seven months while repairs happened and it made for a pretty stressful and expensive time in our lives in many ways.

  • We have twice turned to Restoration Hardware in renovating bathrooms. It really is well designed and matches up with pre-war buildings. The only complaint I have is that they have discontinued a few of their bath lines in recent years, including the one we used.

    I don’t think a bathroom is really a place to express your individuality unless you don’t care about resale. There was an apartment for sale in a building we used to live in which the owner had turned the bathroom into a pebbly grotto, while the rest was traditional prewar. The place sat for months while other similarly priced apartments in that line sold quickly. Everyone who saw it had the same reaction: “Gut reno.” Yet it probably cost $20,000 or more, with pebbled tile floor to ceiling…

  • Sorry that you had to go through the fire, but what a nice renovation! Very clean and elegant.

  • I’m with Guest 12:22– how many places have we seen here in which the owner went with tacky, crazy, expensive contemporary baths (bowl sinks and glass vanities–not so much) in brownstones? This is classic style. More Ralph Lauren, less Z Gallerie, thanks.

  • I love this bathroom! I especially like that you put a robe hook right next to the shower. I’m always reaching too far for my robe. It’s little touches like that that are so often overlooked. Great job, but sorry you had to go through all that to get there!


  • 12:22, really there is no good place in one’s brownstone to express individuality with out potentially negatively impacting resale value. But I am sure am glad that there are people out there who don’t listen to reasoning like that.

  • these two pictures do not seem like they are of the same room. The sink and toilet are so much further apart in the “after”. Did you take down walls and expand the size of the bathroom?

  • Dumb waiter is always in my way.

  • So you crap where the dumb waiter once stood?

  • apartment owner here: we moved the shower into the space the dumbwaiter once stood. so, yes, we did expand the space by about 3 feet. it made a huge difference.

    i agree w/the poster re: classic bathrooms. it’s our taste in general, and we fell in love with the sink first. the rest of the RH pieces naturally worked with the sink, and in such a small space, mixing and matching sometimes works/sometimes doesn’t. We loved the schoolhouse electric light fixture and even though you can’t see it b/c of the glare of the lights, it looks like this: (but a double).

  • Sure,what’s not to like about this bathroom? It’s nice. It’s tasteful. Very safe. But, 12:22, if it’s my bathroom and I’m not about to flip the house, I’m not concerned about what other people think. I always want to express my individuality. No exceptions.

  • I love the look as I always do when I see it in catalogs, but what do you do with your stuff? Everyone ragged on yesterday’s bathroom because of all the stuff on the shelf. I admit it: I use product and make-up and so on. I know you can keep it in that cabinet over the toilet or in a vanity behind the mirror, but what about when you’re using it. I love the look of a pedestal sink, but I need more space to put my stuff or it’ll end up on the toilet seat. Anyone put in one of these bathrooms and then find it doesn’t ‘work’ for them?

  • owner here again. yes, storage space is an issue, but we are fortunate to have a ridiculous amount of kitchen cabinet space, and one of our lower cabinets is devoted to medicine, toilet paper, extra shampoos, nail stuff, etc. Only daily use stuff is kept in the cabinet above the toilet. And we have a linen closet right outside the bathroom. so for us, it works. but i get how a pedestal isn’t for everyone…we just wanted to keep the space as open as possible since it’s still a pretty small bathroom.

  • Nice job owner!

    Care to share total costs? I would imagine more than the $3000 bathroom featured here yesterday.

  • 11:44. Your right, no one is every an asshole on this site. So outta line!

  • i like it. i do have an issue with sinks with no cabinets underneath them, but given the size of the room, think this was a good decision here.

    also, note to anyone who will listen – always leave room to get the tub faucets and always do one bathroom with a shower curtain like this for people with small children.

    saw too many places with glass shower doors combined with toilets right next to the tub. creates a really difficult problem for those with little ones. if you’re kid is under 2, can’t bathe them!

  • So you actually moved the toilet? Who was your plumber? I’m considering doing the same at my house…

  • owner here…no the toilet wasn’t moved. the sink was moved over maybe a foot and the shower was moved about 3 feet. Our contractor was one that specialized in fire restoration, and that’s the sort of work they do. The entire building was damaged, so it was a large job with a lot of components.

    as for costs, i would hazard a guess of around 10-12K, including the extension. But, it’s hard to say because insurance covered construction, plumbing, electricity and basic replacement value of things like tubs, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc. but we paid the difference when we wanted high end stuff or things they didn’t cover.

  • Still a better number than what people were spewing yesterday. $30K for a nice bathroom? You’ve proved them wrong!

  • Hey Owner…nice job on the bathroom. It looks clean, functional and it won’t look dated 6 months from now. Is there a small medicine cabinet behind the mirror?

  • Am I missing more photos or are all of you going ga ga over the one measly photo. I mean, it looks fine, but I don’t get all the appreciation over that one little picture.

  • Very nice. I love a traditional bathroom. “Traditional” bathroom design is a tradition for a reason. People truly prefer it. Bathrooms need to appear clean and sanitary. Experimental river-pebble bathrooms will never appear all that clean except the day they are finished.

    $10-12K is a great price. I was quoted that for labor ALONE to do our bathroom and it didn’t even involve expanding it into another space or moving plumbing or anything. So we’re waiting for contractors’ heads to come out of the bubble-era clouds before we do the bathroom.

    My humble opinion on pedestal sinks – they’re lovely, but they’re really meant for bathrooms with separate built-in vanities. Not having storage for items that absolutely need to be in the bathroom makes life difficult – like what about extra toilet paper, or a cleanser to clean the toilet after you go #2? Or sanitary products. It is indiscreet and embarrassing to have to leave the bathroom to go out into the hallway to get those things. Your guests may need to access those things too. NYC bathrooms are small, and linen closets are very rare. The ideal NYC bathroom should maximize storage. I’m always surprised I don’t see more interior designers endeavoring to do that.

  • I’m with rh. I’ll do my bathroom how I like rather than worry about the resale. I like it though — very nice job. I am sorry about the fire – that is what grabs me — my God, how did that electrical fire start? What caused it? I am sure that was terrifying – very traumatic. A neighbor’s place was almost totalled by an electrical fire. I am more interested in avoiding that disaster than the rehab part of the story. Anyway,nice job.

  • Where is the tile from? I’m looking for a nice, not-too-cheap-looking subway tile for a pre-war bath renovation.

  • I was just wondering which contractor you used. I need a contractor who specializes in fire restoration and I have one I’m thinking of using.