How one bathroom was transformed from a dark afterthought to a bright, smart space, without changing the footprint.
Synopsis: The bathroom adjacent to the kitchen in Rick’s home had several serious problems: The toilet and bathtub were right in front of the door, the linen closet could only be accessed by squeezing through the space between the vanity and the tub, the only window was hidden in the linen closet, and there was no entry from the kitchen. Big changes resulted after Rick hired builder Dave Mulder. Mulder moved the door from the living room side to the kitchen side, built a shower in place of the linen closet, replaced the old window with a smaller unit higher up the wall for privacy, added a skylight above the vanity, and built new bamboo-plywood cabinets.
A few years ago, I completed the remodel of a bathroom that was part of a larger renovation of a kitchen. Both rooms were products of their age and of benign neglect, but the dim clutter and the bad design in the bathroom were more concentrated and harder to live with than the problems in the kitchen. In addition to its other sins, the bath had an awkward fixture arrangement. Worst of all, the room’s only window was hidden in the linen closet, which took up nearly a quarter of the floor space.
After gutting the space, I moved one end wall about 18 in., then closed off the doorway that opened to the living room and created a new doorway to the kitchen. The closet became the new shower stall, and I replaced the old window with a smaller casement unit that I pushed up near the ceiling for privacy. I also added a skylight over the vanity, which really brightens the room.
As in the kitchen, I built all the cabinets from bamboo plywood that I finished with water-based Enduro satin…