Double Take: Bathroom on a Budget

A renovation designed to withstand three teenage boys

Floral wallpaper and a flimsy shower curtain don’t translate to
masculine and durable—two priorities Faith Levy had for her boys’
bathroom, which the previous owner had added upstairs. The Levys’ third
priority was staying within budget, as the family was renovating three
bathrooms at once in their 1920s Druid Hills home.

Faith hired Roger DeWeese, owner
of the architecture firm The Haralson Group, after seeing one of his
projects in a magazine. For the upstairs space, she requested a current,
more mature look. And because her three teenage boys are tough on
surfaces, the materials needed to sustain wear and tear. “The bathroom
looked beat-up and dated, and the sloping ceiling over the shower made
it difficult to hang a workable shower curtain,” she says.

To keep costs down, DeWeese kept the existing countertop, tub, toilet,
and tile. This allowed them to spend more of the $8,000 to $10,000
budget on heavy-duty hardware and decorative accents such as glass
mosaic tiles.


For durability’s sake, “we installed additional standard white tile on
walls that were regularly exposed to moisture and scuffs,” he says. And
the vinyl shower curtain was replaced with a glass enclosure. New chrome
faucets and towel bars take a beating better than the old polished
brass ones, which really dated the room.

The wallpaper also screamed eighties, and the busy floral pattern closed
in the tight space. “We kept to a palette of light colors to visually
expand the small room, which has a skylight but not windows,” DeWeese
says. “Rather than go with a typical blue for the boys, we proposed a
gray-green and white palette. When [Faith] saw the finishes, I remember
the thoughtful look on her face as she said, ‘It’s so grown up.’ It was
one of those moments that all parents experience when they realize they
are losing their children to adulthood.”

Photographs by Lynn McGill