Saturday, May 13, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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A tall order for 2 little bathrooms

Seattle Times staff reporter

WOODINVILLE — When architect Stephen Peterson and his wife Ane Brusendorff started designing a two-bathroom renovation in their three-bedroom home, size, looks and practicality mattered.

The master bath had to fit a soaking tub long enough for Peterson's 6-foot, 4-inch frame. They wanted the two small spaces to have a Scandinavian aesthetic showy enough to give ideas to Peterson's architecture clients. The guest bathroom's shower had to be easily accessible to wash their four golden retrievers.

And they were working with two 5-foot by 8-foot bathrooms. That's 40 square feet each.

"When you start designing like this, you have to do space planning," Brusendorff said. "It has to function."

Property lines and the house's layout limited a major expansion. So they made it work with a 2-foot-by-14-foot addition, adding natural light with skylights and textured glass windows that block out neighbors but let in light.

The baths share a wall, so they took some space from the guest bathroom to accommodate the soaking tub.

And they used high-end finishing touches like slate, granite and cherry wood to achieve a simple, elegant look.

Small-space renovations

"It's kind of exciting to see with small spaces how you can make it so livable," Peterson said.

Now, the master bath includes the tub surrounded by Brazil green slate and limestone tiling, an additional sink and an architectural decorative block-glass wall.

The guest bath has a rugged, commercial-grade rubber floor, an open-door shower so the dogs can trot in and a detachable showerhead. The four show dogs actually enjoy the shower and attention, say Peterson and Brusendorff.

The guest bath's practical design is offset by a rough granite countertop, sleek white lights by Danish designer Louis Poulsen and a block-glass wall separating the shower from the sink area.

"I take the dogs through to wash, and I say, 'I love this space,' " Brusendorff said.

Saving on costs

The renovation, which they finished in early 2005, included pouring foundation, framing and plumbing, but the couple kept costs to $25,000 by doing much of it themselves.

Peterson, who did carpentry when he was younger, did most of the work on the expansion, tiled the bathrooms and even put in the shower bed following instructions he found on the Internet.

They paid for a plumber and an electrician.

Peterson and Brusendorff, a kitchen designer, frequently work on homes with plenty of space for bathrooms. But they enjoyed trying to maximize their own limited space.

"Both of us appreciate, 'Less is more,' " Peterson said.

Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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