Total Second Floor Transformation for a Second Century of Enjoyment

Hall bathroom with gray painted cabinet and penny tile on the wallsIt’s easy to fall in love with the charm of a vintage home. Remaining madly in love with a place from another time and all its quirks is harder. This young family in La Grange did not want to move, they just wanted their home to live better.

Normandy Designer Becca Ruggiero rose to the challenge of bringing this 1925 home into this century while maintaining the uniqueness. With a reconfigured second floor, this family is living large while maintaining the character of their historic home.

“There was no primary suite, just small bedrooms, small bathrooms, and an old-fashioned sleeping porch that was being used for storage,” Becca says.

The goals were to create a sanctuary for the parents and give the two girls a space of their own with some personality. “We were mindful of designing the girls’ room and bath to grow up with them,” Becca says. She assessed several options for opening things up, starting with the wasted space of the porch. “We combined the sleeping porch, one of the girl’s rooms, and a hall bathroom to create a true primary suite,” Becca explains.

Freestanding bathtub with underside painted black

Plumbing and electricity were added to the unconditioned area. “We closed up several windows to give the new bathroom privacy, which meant sourcing bricks to match the 100-year-old exterior,” Becca says.

The expansive new bathroom features a strikingly beautiful two-tone freestanding bathtub, which is complemented by a large shower with a gridded surround and door. Lovely diamond leaded glass windows complete the transformation. “This couple loves farmhouse style, and the primary bathroom captures that spirit while remaining true to the original house,” Becca tells us.

They also have a wonderful sense of color. The pops of color in the primary bedroom are a perfect expression of the couple’s playful side.

The girls now share their parents’ former room and an expanded bathroom. “The blue penny tile was a last-minute design touch that looks great,” Becca enthuses.

Shower with black grid and gold fixtures

In a bit of problem-solving genius, when an existing chimney was discovered at the top of the stairs, Becca worked around it, designing a new way to reach the girls’ room, and creating a nice flow for their spaces. “It actually gives the girls a little more privacy,” says Becca.

A remodeling job this extensive is a big undertaking, but with the right designer, enjoying another hundred years in a great family home is possible.

If you live in a home that needs some changes for your family to truly enjoy every inch, you can make an appointment to talk to Becca about your challenges and vision. Still in the exploratory phase? Join our newsletter list to stay up to date on remodeling trends. We share projects on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Follow along for inspiration.



applied moulding to create an accent wall in the bedroom  Black and White Bathroom

Bathroom mirrors  Bathtub faucet

bathroom faucet with penny tile   toilet room   Bathroom mirror


Case Studies

Schedule an Appointment