Lucien and AnnaRose Gosselin’s home in Lewiston was built in 1881. “This house is where I was brought up,” said AnnaRose.

When her father bought the house, it had no electricity and no running water.

“I had been working my whole life redoing this house,” she said, and when her mother passed away in the late 1970s, the Gosselins purchased it from the estate.

“When we bought the house, Lucien and I completely gutted and remodeled most of it,” she said, and with the exception of the new bathroom, they have done all of the work themselves. “It’s been a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it. And one year, Lucien bought me a sawzall for Christmas.”

When the Gosselins decided to redo their first floor bathroom — originally installed in 1978 — they hired someone else to do most of the work. “I’m tired,” admitted AnnaRose.

Moreover, added Lucien, “It was a big job.”

“It’s an old farmhouse,” she said, “but we wanted an upbeat, modern look while preserving the old farmhouse flavor.”

This is the home’s primary bathroom, closest to the master bedroom, and it had “grown old.”

“We did all of the demolition — my sister, brother-in-law, Lucien and me -– including the ceilings.” They began gutting the bathroom in January 2014; the builders started working in February, and it was finished in April.

AnnaRose, who did all of the design work herself, knew exactly what she wanted. Her wish list included a one-piece walk-in shower as well as a pair of 24-inch-wide rectangular pedestal sinks.

The new design created both problems and opportunity.

“By removing the old 5-foot-long cast-iron bathtub and switching to a shower with a built-in seat, we gained an extra 12 inches of space.”

Making use of that 12 inches, she designed a shallow closet with wire shelving for towels, bath tissue and other bathroom essentials that once were kept underneath the sinks. The installation of a pocket door between den and bathroom, as well as “Mr. and Mrs. doors on the new closet,” made that space even more functional.

The shower was three inches wider than the old bathtub, “So I had to move my toilet,” she said, “and moving the toilet meant I lost a storage closet and had to move all the plumbing for the upstairs bathroom.”

She also wanted a single, tiled wall at the far end of the bathroom, near the shower and toilet, behind which the relocated pipes for the upstairs bathroom are now located.

“Our contractor, Michael Mailhot of MJ Mailhot Builders, and plumber Norm Michaud worked well with me,” she said.

In order to get the shower into the bathroom, they had to take out the single window in the bathroom, sash and all. Capitalizing on the destruction of the wall, she saw it as an opportunity to relocate the window to a more favorable spot, behind the toilet.

In the process of removing the bathtub and installing the shower, they also had to take out the wall between the bathroom and the den and so, of course, AnnaRose had to redo that room as well “ceiling and all.”

She chose a paintable, textured wall paper for the den. “It feels like corduroy,” she said, “and it gives the wall dimension.”

According to Anna Rose, “The plumber wouldn’t put the twin pedestal sinks on the outside, north-facing wall, so we had the contractor build a box,  just deep enough to provide both space for the plumbing and enough insulation to keep the pipes from freezing in the dead of winter.” This arrangement created a useful and attractive shelf behind the sinks and toilet.

AnnaRose chose a subdued and earthy shade of red for the walls above the wainscoting, and gave a half dozen or so old tins to a friend, Stephanie Anthony of Sea Designs, along with a swatch of cloth from a stool that she used as the pallet for her color scheme. Anthony covered each of the tins with polymer clay, creating decorative and useful storage containers that now line the shelf in back of the sinks.

Though she wanted tile, she did not want grout on the floor so she chose a tile with the look of wood.

“It’s low maintenance, and it’s durable,” said Lucien. Beneath the flooring, radiant heat keeps the bathroom warm.

Trimming out the shower, AnnaRose chose a bead of narrow, variegated-brown glass tiles around the edge.

Clever and functional “cubbies,” most with cabinet doors but some left as open shelves, were fitted between the studs on an interior wall for toiletries.

Rounding out their team to complete the bathroom’s new “look,” Bettyann Sheats of Finishing Touches Shower Doors installed the beautiful glass door and panel. The tile came from Sherm Arnold and the bathroom fixtures all came from Redlon & Johnson, with the exception of the mirrors that they found at Home Depot.

AnnaRose did all of the painting and staining, as well as other work, including cleaning the film left by the new grout around the tiles on the wall.

“That,” she said, “was a tough job. It’s been a long process, and I’m so glad it’s done. I love my bathroom.”

According to Lucien, with AnnaRose’s enthusiasm he won’t be surprised if one day he walks in “and the room is a different color.”


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