Past meets future: Unique bronze shower doors for an historic home

Past meets future: Unique bronze shower doors for an historic home

Taking on an historic property always comes with its challenges, not the least of which is adapting an old home for the demands of 21st century family life – but when your home is part of one of the most beloved and photographed districts in your city, the pressure to get it right is even greater.

This was the dilemma faced by one San Antonio couple who came to Renaissance Genuine Solid Bronze seeking solutions for an ambitious home renovation in the history-steeped King William district.


Honoring history

The couple’s home was built in 1890 and typifies the architecture of the locale, which features an eclectic mixture of Victorian, Revival and Italianate styles. In the garden is a charming carriage house, converted into a guest house for family and friends to come and stay.

Remodeling work carried out by previous owners over the decades had left the properties feeling a little disjointed and unsuited to family life with two young children, so the client embarked on an ambitious renovation project with support from designers at Design Coop.

The first phase of the development was the renovation of the carriage house, modernizing throughout to create a bijou but comfortable space for guests to enjoy, including some truly indulgent bathrooms featuring our solid bronze shower doors.

In the main house, the couple wanted to open up the living spaces, creating a better sense of flow throughout the house, while also preserving its unique character and charm.

With 18-inch thick walls and a cavernous basement that once housed a furnace for heating the property, this was no small feat – and with the scale of the work becoming apparent, they relocated to the guest house for almost a year while the building work was completed.

Restoring character

Once all the dusty work was complete, it was time to think about internal finishes and in partnership with Natalie at Design Coop, the client agreed on a plan to use a wide range of different finishes including plaster, wood, marble, ceramic tile and wallpaper to honor their home’s eclectic past, while maintaining a unified color palette throughout to create a calming, restful space. They then approached us for help with sourcing the perfect shower enclosures to complement their characterful bathroom interiors.

We worked with them to design custom shower enclosures for each of the unique showering spaces – some classical, with delicate muntin bars, and others more simple and contemporary to suit smaller spaces. The doors were supplied in both charcoal patina and natural brushed bronze finishes to further lend variety and character.

Making a statement

Elsewhere, the huge basement was simply crying out for a statement feature – and we provided it in the form of a beautiful walk-in wine cellar from our Nexus collection, with unified size doors, sidelights and transoms all finished in a charcoal patina to complement the bronze fixtures elsewhere in the property.

The client was blown away by the thin profiles of our bronze products, but also their longevity, with no risk of the rust problems they had previously encountered when using steel. Should they so wish, the shower enclosures and wine cellar installed in their 130-year-old home will last for at least another century!


The mark of a truly successful project is being asked to work with the same client again, and in this case we were engaged to work on another project with the same couple – this time for their dermatology clinic right across the street – before we had even completed work on their private home. We look forward to sharing details of this project in due course.

Got an upcoming project?

For further information about any of the products installed on this beautiful home renovation project, to discuss options for an upcoming build, or to find your nearest RGS Bronze dealer, get in touch.


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