Before and After: A Moldy ’90s Bathroom Gets a Luxe Redo with a Bonus Laundry Space

published Apr 13, 2022
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Credit: Amie Foster

Having a laundry hamper in the bathroom is a great idea if you’ve got room for it. After all, the bathroom is the place where you shed sweaty or worn clothes right before a shower, and if your laundry basket is only steps away, it’s less likely that those clothes will end up in a pile on the floor.

Something even better than a hamper in the bathroom? A full-fledged washer and dryer so you can take care of everything right there. To have a bathroom-slash-laundry room hybrid, you’ve got to have the right plumbing and ample space to add appliances, but when it works, it really works. One example: this $1,470 bathroom redo that cleverly adds space for laundry. Another: homeowner Amie’s ’90s bathroom expansion.

Credit: Amie Foster

Before, her 1993 bathroom was “moldy and out of date,” Amie says, and it had a tiny cubicle shower at the back of the bathroom that she wished were larger.

So, in a $15,000 reno, Amie hired professionals to make the shower span all the way across the back wall, carve a cutout for a washer and dryer, and make the space less beige overall.

Credit: Amie Foster

“It took approximately three months,” she says. “We paid our friends and family to do most of the work including the demo, carpentry, drywall, paint, custom cabinets, and electrical. We hired out the plumbing and tile setting.”

Credit: Amie Foster

The end result is a bathroom that feels much larger, despite only adding a bit of square footage for the appliance cutout. Plus, it’s now much more functional. The fresh coat of white paint and higher contrast in the tile choices (white subway for the shower and dark slate hex tiles for the heated floors) makes the whole space feel way brighter than all that beige that was in there before.

Credit: Amie Foster

Another brighting factor: Above, there’s a skylight that opens with a push of a button. The new bathroom also features a custom vanity that includes a drawer specifically for jewelry and a hidden laundry basket.

Amie says she and her husband we were surprised at how simple it was to relocate the washer and dryer to the ensuite — but it’s totally practical in the long run. “There’s no more hauling heavy baskets up and down the stairs,” she says.

Credit: Amie Foster

Amie says the only only setback in their reno was a poorly installed toilet that caused water damage downstairs and required fixing.

Her advice for those not taking the DIY route but still making major transformations in their homes? “Find inspiration, and use it as a guide as you select from an overwhelming set of choices,” she says. She recommends ordering fixtures early to ensure that supply chain delays don’t hold up the project.

Amie also says you’ll save money by asking lots of questions and getting lots of quotes before hiring someone for a job. “We had seven tile setters provide quotes, and the variance was thousands of dollars,” she says.

Amie and her husband actually had work done an all three bathrooms in their house in the same three-month period. If you expect to have multiple construction projects going on, she says, make sure you always have one working bathroom.

Credit: Amie Foster

And lastly, Amie adds, it’s important to be a good host for your crew: “A cup of coffee, a cold beer and/or a hot meal goes a long way,” she says.

She’s proud of the work done in her house and loves that her bathroom feels fully custom now. “All in all, we love it,” she says.