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STREAMLINE YOUR STUFF: A bathroom, laundry redo driven by dirty grout


It’s been ages since I’ve shared a client renovation project with you and this latest one seemed like it might be helpful if you happen to be planning a bathroom and/or laundry redo at home or at the cottage.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two spaces in your house that get used every single day, multiple times, and they do take a beating over the years. Because you use those spaces so much, any layout, storage or design flaws can slowly drive you crazy. Never mind that your needs in those spaces change over time.

This bathroom project was driven by dirty grout in the shower. No matter what they tried, my clients just couldn’t get it clean any more. The other main concern was the lack of functional storage.

If you look at the old version of the room, you can certainly tell that the vanity wasn’t providing the storage they needed so my clients added some extra storage pieces to try to make up for that. You all know I’m a nut when it comes to having adequate storage, so that’s where I started to re-imagine the space. When you’re planning your space, don’t be limited by the size of a window or placement of a radiator. Most of the time, anything can be changed. You just have to build your budget accordingly.

With a smaller window and the radiator gone, we had room for a large vanity and a tall storage cabinet that could run the entire length of that wall. At least triple the amount of storage. The heat source for the room is now in-floor electric heat which is, in my opinion, the best thing you can do if you are installing a tile floor. It feels so amazing — no more cold feet!

The second request from my client was to choose shower tile that would be easier to clean over time. Large format tile is one way to address that issue, as well as dark grout. We decided to splurge and use an in-line drain in the shower which allowed us to install 12-inch by 24-inch tile on the floor and carry it up the walls in the shower. And don’t forget to design a niche in the back wall to hold all your products.

As we were designing the shower, we turned our attention to the laundry room. By removing the wall between the two rooms, we allowed the light from the laundry room window into the entire bathroom. We could have made the entire end of the shower glass for more light, but we needed a wall for a towel rack, plug and light switches, so the knee wall did the trick.

The old cabinetry in the laundry wasn’t functional and we had to move the drying bar out of the window area. Many laundry rooms don’t have an area to hang clothes to dry so be sure to think about that. As well, I designed a custom laundry cabinet with a surface for folding, a place for laundry hampers and a closed cabinet for laundry soap. It even has an opening in the top so laundry can be tossed in without having to pull out a hamper. That was not my idea, but I do so love it.

The aim was to create a quiet, calming space with the colours and finishes. My client then added an awesome pop of colour to the room with acrylic art. Such a fun project and I think a beautiful result that my clients can enjoy for many years.

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