2018 Decorators’ Show House Project: Gentleman’s Dressing Suite

Gentleman's Dressing Suite

One of the more challenging aspects of working in an older or historic home is figuring out how to modernize an original space that was created for obsolete uses. Such was the case for the second project we designed for the 2018 St. Margaret Guilds’ Decorators’ Show House. We were assigned a half-bath within an underutilized large room set between the top of a stairway and a secondary family space. The homeowner wanted a place to dress in the morning without waking his wife. He remembered his grandfather having his own masculine area and was looking to recreate that concept in this home. To achieve this goal and make better use of the odd space, we ended up splitting it into two to create a hallway to the living space and a gentleman’s dressing suite adjacent to the half bath.

bath vanity

The new dressing room was not very large and was set adjacent to the half bath, so to allow for the best use of space we installed a pocket door. The sink vanity was made from a chest the homeowner already owned, which set the look for both of the rooms. Our design called for the faucet to come directly out of the wall, so we needed a wainscot-height backsplash. We found a blue grey tweedy-looking tile that looked just like a wall covering, which was very well-received by the Show House visitors. A charcoal grey grout allowed the eyes to notice the tile rather than the substance holding it on the wall. The black electrical outlets were chosen for the same reason. The very masculine tile drove the walls colors for both spaces. Soft gold metals provided by Delta Faucet softened the look and complemented the vanity well.

Tile flooring

Black and white marble flooring set in a basket weave pattern is an appropriate look for the age of the home.

closet shoe storage

The new dressing area was designed to continue the masculine look of the half bath while keeping with the original style of the home. It also had to offer the functionality our client was looking for. He needed both hanging and folded clothing storage, a place to sit down and put on his shoes, as well as a special space for his hat collection.

hat storage

We designed the custom cabinetry fabricated by Wood Shapes Unlimited in a brown cherry with brushed brass hardware from Delta for all of these needs. To add texture to the space, we covered the window seat in a herringbone tweed fabric, added woven shades to the windows and laid a highly patterned, strong colored rug on the floor.


The Moravian star light fixture was selected to look original to the house.


Designing for current functionality while maintain the integrity of the look of an older home was a fun endeavor. The Hoskins Interior Design Team was honored to have this project so well received by the Show House participants and attendees. It was awarded a second place standing in design from both the ASID and the St Margaret’s Guild. Did you attend? If so, leave us a comment about your favorite designs.


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