Architectural details and ample storage merge in this historic Charleston bath

Singular serenity.
Architectural details and ample storage merge in this historic charleston bath.

Singular serenity.In the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, the sweet fragrance of magnolias scents the air, and a lazy breeze whispers to blue herons as they skim the treetops. Standing in perfect harmony with its surroundings is this 1887 Colonial Revival home, whose enchanting garden is framed by piazzas that extend from every room, including the master bath retreat.

Fully renovated, yet boasting the home’s original mill-work and hardwood floors, the bath is a perfect complement to this historic home in the one-room-wide “single house” style for which Charleston is known. Additional salvaged and equally appealing amenities include 9-foot-tall French doors that lead from the bath to the piazza and a beautiful plastered ceiling with a height just shy of 11 feet.

Homeowners Anke and Andrew Berlin were determined to preserve the home’s charm in the renovation, but they did request a few modern amenities—separate vanities, a private toilet, a spacious shower, and some sorely needed storage.
“To some degree, existing windows and doors dictated where we could place fixtures,” designer Pamela Cook Plowden says. “To make it work, we centered one vanity7 along an exterior wall, which gives Anke and Andrew a beautiful view of the bath from the hallway and master bedroom. We placed the other vanity near the door to the piazza.”
A slim vertical cabinet turns a sliver of floor beside the doors into attractive storage, while a master closet (not shown) further expands storage. White-painted cabinetry mimics fine Colonial furniture with raised-panel doors, recessed-panel drawers, and decorative feet.

Circle-pattern tile frames the tub. “I had the tiles custom made to connect the pearl gray shades of the shower tiles with the black granite countertops and the soft taupe wallpaper,” Plowden says.
The work resulted in a luxurious, tranquil space—modern yet authentic. “The bath looks as though it has always been a part of our home and provides all the amenities we wanted,” Anke says. “It’s the perfect place to begin and end each day.”

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