An Added Bathroom

During my unintended blog break, we were hard at work adding a bathroom to a bleak unfinished basement.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any before photos, so I created a floor plan to give a better idea of what we started with.

Bathroom-Before-Floorplan.jpg

Above is the before layout, with exposed concrete walls.  There was an unframed opening from an office/bedroom, with a second unframed opening to a closet.  A furnace and water heater along one wall with a side by side top loading washer and dryer on the outside wall.  We measured the space to come up with a functional layout that included a shower, vanity, toilet, washer/dryer, and the furnace/water heater.

I put pen to paper to draw out options and came up with the following plan:

Bathroom-After-Floorplan

Keeping the furnace in the same spot, we scooted the water heater back to make room for a stacked washer and dryer.  Across the room, we have the bathroom components.  Now that you’ve seen the layouts, let’s look at the real, finished bathroom.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Shelves-from-Door

Taking advantage of previously recessed bump out to include adjustable shelves boosted the storage, acting as a linen closet.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Vanity-and-Shelves-Vertical

A 36 inch vanity tucks neatly into the space, with a mirror and low light due to the duct work hanging above.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Vanity-and-Shelves

Without room for a standard tub/shower combo, we went with a 48 inch wide shower.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Shower-and-Towels

Across from the shower, the stacked washer and dryer a recessed into a door-less framed opening.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Laundry-Side

If you can imagine being in the center of the room, I turned to show the door situation.  On the left, the door hides the furnace while the other goes to the bedroom/office.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Doors

Without before photos, it’s harder to appreciate how far this bathroom has come, but picture a stud wall with sheet rock on the opposite side.  By closing off the pass through to the closet, we had room to add the vanity.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Vanity-and-Shelves-from-Laundry

I quickly grabbed things from our home to add something (anything!) to the shelves, but the adjustable track is super handy to reconfigure the sizes to store towels, toilet paper, baskets, and anything else.

Basement-Bath-Addition-Shelves-Detail

Overall, this budget bathroom came together in four weeks and added a second bath to the house.

Back to Back Bathrooms

Last week, we tore into (literally) a new whole house remodel.  The 70’s built house has good bones and a lot of potential, but hasn’t been updated since it was built.  While the rest of the house is going to see major changes, these two main floor back to back bathrooms need serious reconfiguring.  Originally, the main bathroom measured 100 inches wide by 102 inches deep, with a toilet and vanity to the right and a tub/shower and linen closet on the left.

Main-Bathroom-Vanity-Before

Main-Bathroom-Tub-Before

On the other side of the wall, the master bathroom didn’t feel luxurious at a cramped 48 inches wide by 100 inches deep.

Master-Bathroom-Before

Our goal is to rob Peter to pay Paul.  We’re going to steal two feet of space from the main bathroom to add to the master.  Ahh, demo, such a glorious and beautiful time.

Bathrooms-Demo

Before we can get into the putting it all back together phase, we first need a plan.  Two, actually, to know where the new plumbing needs to go for each bathroom.  In the main bath, we’re keeping a tub/shower, moving the toilet to the back wall, keeping the vanity to the right and adding a linen cabinet to the end.  We’ll also pocket the door to eliminate that door swing, preventing the bathroom from feeling too cramped.

Main Bathroom Floorplan

Over on the other side of the wall, the master bath will measure 6 feet wide.  This will allow us to move the toilet to the back wall, with a 60 inch wide shower and vanity to the left.  We had this configuration in our previous master bath and really liked the function of it.

Master-Bathroom-Floorplan

As we make progress, I’ll check back in to share more of the design specifics.  I will say, I’m excited to see it all come together.

A Completed Cottage Kitchen

First off, sorry it’s been such a long time between updates!  We’ve been busy with client remodel work, which we’re grateful for.  Between work, kids, and all of the end of school year craziness, blog posts have been put on the back burner.  But, we have a few projects we’ve wrapped up and can now share, along with others we’re just starting.  Without further ado, here’s the finished cottage.

Remember the cramped kitchen before we got to work?  The cabinets were original to the house, with the soffit taking up valuable useful space.  Finishes were dated and slowly falling apart.

Cottage-Kitchen-Before

Now, with the wall removed and fresh white cabinets taken to the ceiling, the room feels twice as big.

Cottage-Kitchen-Complete

Before, the range was crammed into a corner with a tiny cabinet and little working counter space.

Cottage-Kitchen-Range-Side

By centering the range between two cabinets, there’s twice as much work space.  The additional cabinet space easily accommodates cooking essentials while balancing this side of the kitchen.

Cottage-Kitchen-Stove-Side-Complete

In a small home, maximizing space is crucial.  Previously, the wall dividing the kitchen and dining room cramped both rooms.

Cottage Kitchen from Hall Before

With the wall out, flow between is so easy, making both spaces are more functional.  Moving the dishwasher directly next to the sink allows space for two drawer stacks.

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Hall-Complete

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Back-Door-Complete

Taking a step back, it’s easier to see how dramatically the wall removal opened up the little space.

Cottage-Dining-to-Kitchen-Before

Continuing the hardwood floors into the kitchen also helps the rooms feel larger without the visual breakup.

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Living-Room-Complete

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Entry-Complete

New trim and paint were quick and affordable upgrades to the remaining rooms, blending well with the new kitchen.

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Dining-Complete

With all of the neutrals, the colorful tile stands out just as we wanted.  It’s fun, but not overwhelming.

Cottage-Kitchen-Stove-Side-Horizontal-Complete

Cottage-Kitchen-Backsplash-Detail-Complete

We love the finished rooms, but what really matters is what our clients think.  After all, they’re the ones living in the home.

Cottage-Kitchen-Toward-Dining-Complete

They’re over the moon, thrilled at how much bigger and more open the home looks, feels, and functions.

Cottage-Living-Room-from-Kitchen-Complete

No more shimmying to get out of the dining room.  More light, both natural streaming between the rooms and from added recessed cans.  Loads more cabinet space and personality to boot.

Cottage Kitchen Progress

Back at the beginning of the year, we started working on a kitchen remodel in a small 1940’s cottage.  The kitchen was small, but didn’t maximize the space.

A wall between the dining room and kitchen divided the already cramped rooms, making both feel even smaller.

Cottage-Dining-to-Kitchen-Before

A soffit held the cabinets down one foot, which is valuable real estate in a little kitchen.  The original cabinets had seen better days.  Dated finishes on every surface, with a hodge podge of decades of updates.

Cottage-Kitchen-Before

Removing the load bearing wall was the first order of business.  In order to support the load above, a beam with a header at door height divides the two spaces.

Cottage-Kitchen-From-Living-Room-Progress

Though the layout didn’t change drastically, boasts more storage and a balanced layout. The open door frame at the back leads to a back entrance as well as the stairs to the basement.

Cottage-Kitchen-Range-Side

Now, the range sits centered between cabinets, rather than awkwardly tucked against the wall.  A microwave doubles as a vent hood, saving valuable counter space.

Cottage-Kitchen-Range-Wall-Progress-Toward-Hall

Before, this was the view from the hall:

Cottage Kitchen from Hall Before

Now, it’s open, bright, and cheery.

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Hall-Progress

To bring a little cottage charm into the otherwise neutral kitchen, we went with a colorful back splash tile.

Cottage-Kitchen-Sink-Window-Progress-from-Hall

From that back landing, this was the dreary view:

Cottage-Kitchen-from-Stairs

Now, the white cabinets look fresh and clean, simple black hardware add a touch of contrast.

Cottage-Kitchen-Sink-Window-Progress

The tile is still missing grout, but it was such a fun addition I had to share.

Cottage-Kitchen-Range-Side-Progress

A few cabinet doors were damaged in shipping, so we’re waiting on the replacements, then a few little touch ups to wrap up this kitchen, so stay tuned for more.  Until then, what’s your favorite way to brighten up a kitchen?

Closet Configurations

With all of the major projects finished in our house, I’m hoping to turn our attention to the smaller tasks.  Assuming we have the time and desire between client remodels.  The biggest to do is updating our master closet.  When we moved in, I was thrilled to have a walk in closet, but it was a bit beat up and seemed to have a lot of storage.

Master-Closet-Before

I painted the shelving white and the walls a fun teal color before moving our stuff in.  It certainly has plenty of space for our needs, but not the greatest for our needs.

Master-Closet-from-Bedroom

While I love the shelving stacks, the shelves aren’t adjustable, leaving big gaps.

Master-Closet-Center-Divider

The flooring is also cheap commercial like carpet tiles, which I’d love to replace with hardwood floors to flow seamlessly.  Replacing the flooring would require tearing out the current shelving, so I’ve been planning what I would like to change, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Master-Closet-Layout-Plan

The double hanging rods are great, so we’re keeping that set up.  A tall center stack to divide our sides is also really nice.  I’d like to widen the center tower, adding a tilt out hamper to the bottom.  Shelving with an adjustable track above will allow us to store shoes within easy reach, not in bins along the top shelf.  I’d also like to add a shelf above each hanging bar.

Master-Closet-Right-Side

Each end of the closet is currently set up with a shelf stack.  Again, it’s good storage, but not great.

Master-Closet-Left-Side

Drawers on the lower 36 inches to store socks, underwear, folded shirts, and pajamas will be a game changer.  More adjustable shelves above will allow flexible storage, from bins to purses to seasonal items.

Master-Closet-End-Layout

At 4 feet deep by 11 feet long, there’s not much wiggle room for other configurations, so it’s more about smart solutions.

Apparently it’s closet planning season, because a few weeks after discussing my plan with Ben, I was asked to help plan another closet.  Currently, it’s an unfinished shell with loads of space and potential.

Alaska-Closet-Window-Wall

I recommended cabinet doors below the windows, allowing easy access to the deep storage while keeping everything hidden.

Alaska-Closet-Entry-End

It’s a unique shape for a walk in closet, with the option to create zones for different types of storage.  Daily access, seasonal items, and over-sized/infrequently used items.

Alaska-Closet-Floorplan

Daily access items on the far end and right side of the photo below.

Alaska-Closet-Toward-End

The far end would allow for a shelf stack and a spot for long dresses and such.

Alaska-Closet-Narrow-End

On the right side, a bigger version of our plan:

Alaska-Closet-Wide-Side-Plan

I love the combo of stationary and adjustable shelves to maximize storage options.  Shelves can easily be lowered to fit oodles of shoes.  Or raised to accommodate a taller bin for hats or other items.

What are your favorite closet organizing solutions?