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Barn wood shower doors?

  Shower doors protected from within by a clear plastic curtain

The old farm house has a long history . . . as all old farm houses do.  It is safe to say not one farm house from antiquity was originally equipped with a shower. When plumbing first came into vogue, most home-owners generally plumbed for one tub and that was about it. When the idea of showering reached rural America, the shower was plumbed onto the claw-foot tub and was usually surrounded by a cloth curtain to maintain the privacy of the person taking the shower as well as to keep the water contained.

When John and Ellie decided to renovate their relic, they needed to have a downstairs shower which would be for guests and eventually serve a mudroom entrance so the showering option would be available to those working feverishly in the large garden; a project they have planned for the spring of 2010.

John and Ellie are purists at heart, and one has to appreciate the painstaking and amazing reuse of materials found throughout their project - discarded wood, stone, metal ornamentation, slate, and tile, and you name it, they have found some way to creatively utilize it. In the case of the shower doors, John came across some hemlock planking that had been ripped from the side of a barn. He received a call one day from a friend telling of a barn that was being dismantled.  The friend said there was a pile of barn planking slated to be burned. Tom rushed to the site and asked the owner if he could pick through the pile before it was set a-blaze. From one man's trash emerges another man’s treasure. John found several wide planks that when hinged in a certain way became the perfect shower door. He designed the doors to bi-fold against an adjacent wall while the shower was in use and to close up tight when the shower was not in use.

When you go into the bathroom, and the doors to shower are closed, it is very difficult to spot the shower as it appears to be a beautifully trimmed wall done in rustic barn wood.  Pull the handle and discovery awaits because inside is a modern shower stall complemented by antique wall tile and a mosaic shower base.  A clear plastic curtain is drawn in front of the opening while the shower is in use.                                                                                                                

A beautiful use of red stained barn siding and a perfect example of the many ingenious uses of old materials John and Ellie are incorporating into their project.

Thank you for reading.

Jeffrey B. Allen





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