Two Architects Gutted a Bathroom to Create a Tranquil Dressing Oasis

Cue the bubbles: A Boston couple creates a sprawling bath for post-work R & R.

Architect/Interior Designer: Studio Watt O’Keefe. Contractor: Jackson’s General Carpentry / Photo by Michael J. Lee Photography

The Problem

Eager to live closer to Boston-area hospitals, a doctor and a biotech entrepreneur swapped their home in Milton for a Jacobean-style rowhouse near Longwood Mall. While the couple loved the historical charm of their new digs, they were less fond of the cramped and outdated primary bathroom, separated from their bedroom by a study.

The Solution

Envisioning a larger and more tranquil oasis, architects Belinda Watt and Michael O’Keefe worked with Jackson’s General Carpentry to gut the existing bathroom, knocking down one of its interior walls so they could expand the space into the adjacent study. Then, rather than reconstruct a new partition, the team kept the 123-square-foot bathroom open and transformed the adjoining study into a dressing area, anchored by a plush sofa.

With the structural changes complete, the architects selected finishes that create cohesion in the reconfigured space. Calacatta porcelain envelops the bath area, complementing the silvery hue of the dressing area’s walls, while original hardwood floors warm the scheme and point to the home’s roots. Lastly, a 19th-century wood-burning fireplace—visible from the luxe soaking tub—lends a cozy vibe. “There’s a level of romanticism about the space,” O’Keefe says. “It’s quiet and reflective.”