For lots of homeowners with fixer-uppers, outdated bathrooms are at the top of the renovation list. Old-fashioned fixtures and crusty shower tile might be the obvious eyesores, but often what’s worse (and harder to fix) is a lousy layout.
For husband and wife duo Lori and Derrick Holdenried (Little 2 The Right Design), aesthetic was important when fixing up their main bathroom, but function was the top priority. “Our goal was to not only update its dated finishes but to fix its badly planned layout,” Lori says. The shower was very small, tight, and always dark, since it was nowhere near the window. There was also a stacked washer and dryer set up in an awkward alcove directly across from the toilet that took up way too much space. “You could literally sit on the loo and do a load of laundry at the same time,” Lori says.
When trying to figure out the new layout, Lori knew that the washer and dryer had to be removed to allow for more space and a better, more functional bathroom. So after removing the laundry corner — placing it elsewhere in the home — she decided to move the toilet, too, and create a bigger space for the shower right next to the window.
After the layout was taken care of, Lori says the goal was to make the bathroom look dramatic, bright, and airy. Of course, that was lots easier now with all the extra elbow room!
For the new, larger shower, Lori and Derrick installed hexagon wall tile to make a bold statement; the creamy white color keeps it classic. For the floors, the couple chose matte dark gray floor tile for a sophisticated and dramatic touch.
In place of the clunky old vanity that was in the bathroom before, the couple added a new floating one. It still provides lots of storage, but makes the bathroom look a little more spacious. Plus, Lori adds, “its rich, walnut veneered drawer fronts add warmth to the bathroom that could seem cold with so many hard finishes.”
The couple saved a lot of money by doing much of the work themselves, starting with the demo. Once that was done, they hired a plumber to move the drain for the toilet and create the new rough-ins for the shower and vanity. They also hired an electrician to move the wiring, since it was flipped to be on the opposite wall, and brought in a professional glass company to install the glass shower door. From there, Lori and Derrick took on all the tiling and installation. In the end, they completed their project in about four months, with a cost of about $10,000.
Now, instead of being embarrassed by their bathroom, Lori is proud to show it off. Her favorite moment is when people come over and can appreciate all of her and Derrick’s hard work in person. “When someone walks into our bathroom for the first time and I can actually hear their gasp,” Lori says. Hard to beat that feedback!
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