Before and After: A $1,470 Bathroom Redo Cleverly Adds Space for Laundry

published Mar 4, 2022
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About this before & after
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Credit: Jenny Norderyd

Those who don’t have it might know best: In-unit laundry is a blessing, saving time, money, and trips to the laundromat. If you have a lot of clothes or a lot of kids (or a lot of both) and there’s a way to add a laundry station to your apartment or home without breaking the bank (think: portable options or carving out a spot to install a washer), it might be worth it — even if that means creating a hybrid or multifunctional space.

Apartment Therapy has seen some washer/dryer combos stylishly squeezed into some seriously small spaces, as well as laundry room layouts reworked to create functional laundry rooms. But a hybrid bathroom/laundry room redo is more rare — and definitely genius.

Credit: Jenny Norderyd

In Australia resident Jenny Norderyd’s bathroom, where there was a standing shower in addition to a tub, the tub felt like a waste of square footage.

“With teenagers in the home, none of us ever used the bathtub,” she says. What was lacking was laundry, so Jenny decided to build a “deck” on top of the tub casing. It seemed almost meant to be, as the cutout for the tub was the perfect size to house the appliances.

Credit: Jenny Norderyd

She hired a plumber to change the bathtub faucet to suit the washing machine fittings. The plumber also helped her to swap out the sink for a new vanity with storage in the bathroom, and she hired a handy man to install some extra shelving in the space.

But Jenny also worked on some upgrades of her own, particularly cosmetic ones, as she thought the “before” was “downright ugly” and a “vivid eyesore.”

Credit: Jenny Norderyd

For a big visual impact, she sanded, primed, and painted the tiles, changing them from the intense blue to white on the walls and timeless gray in the shower. She also painted the rest of the drywall a light mint green.

Jenny says she watched lots of YouTube videos to help her with the tile transformation process, and she says she also became “a regular at my local hardware store … where I asked endless questions to the staff.”

Credit: Jenny Norderyd

“I work full-time as a social worker — I’m a single mother with limited previous experience of home renovations,” Jenny says. “However, the fact that I still managed to complete my upgrades on a shoestring budget is something that I hope can inspire others!”

Jenny’s all-in budget for her bathroom revamp was around $2,000 AUD, or $1,466 USD. That includes everything, Jenny emphasizes: “paint, materials, fittings, curtains, labor, and even my secondhand Electrolux washing machine.”

Credit: Jenny Norderyd

She finished her project in less than six months, and she’s proud of the transformation. “The room I initially disliked the most is now my favorite room!” she says. “I love my new bathroom; not only is it much more pleasing to look at, I have added extra storage and doing laundry is a breeze.”