Renovation: An Exciting New Addition

The order of this announcement may seem backwards to you, laundry > master bath. Let me explain… we are getting a laundry machine…inside. our. house…which means no more parading my dirty laundry out the front door, down the hill to the backyard and into an electrical closet to wash it!! Hallelujah. The bar is low and this update blew right past it.

The excitement of adding a master bath, laundry and closet area in our house is not lost on me.  It’s something I really never thought would happen. So much so that I’ve been too nervous to even talk about it here, on the off chance I jinx it. But with our plans drafted and submitted for the permit with the city…I guess here goes nothing…

When we moved into our 3-1 house, we signed up to share a tiny retro bathroom and to have a laundry room outside. Having moved from New York a year earlier, this felt like an upgrade. I even, no joke, took the positive spin that I got to be outside when doing laundry. Yep, I was in the full blown new homeowner, honeymoon stage. And after nearly two years in our house with said bathroom and laundry room, the feeling has worn off.

The excitement of our future master suite is real.

I’ve talked a lot about our floorplan downstairs and our kitchen specifically, but I haven’t shared a lot about our second floor besides our current bathroom situation. When we moved into the house we thought we were going to renovate immediately, so I didn’t spend any energy decorating the upstairs. Everything that moved in upstairs was a mixture of hand-me-downs, furniture that made its way through college and well-timed DIY projects like our nightstand refurbishment.

The upstairs of our house is basically a whole lotta bedroom, and a wee tiny bathroom. Ok, it’s not that small but as the only bathroom in the house it’s crowded and that’s without people in bedrooms 2 & 3.

Here’s the existing upstairs:

Ah…the only bathroom in the house. You can see from the floorplan that this space is tight. Not as tight as my New York bathroom where you had to sit kind of sideways on the toilet so your knees didn’t hit the sink..but tight. And I wish I had a photo of this room when the radiator was still in there!  The window to the left of the door had a radiator underneath it when we moved in and the space had a ceiling fan with blades that I can’t believe didn’t take out the lights above the sink or the shower curtain when it was turned on. One of our first weekend’s in the house, the radiator was removed and the fan taken out to open up the space. It made a big difference and we managed for two years with our pedestal sink and about enough counterspace for a toothbrush. We had a small closet for our toiletries and cleaning supplies in the bathroom and used the closet in the hall as our linen closet and the closets in bedrooms 2 & 3 for the rest of our stuff.

When we started planning for our renovation we looked for ways to add another bathroom upstairs and a laundry unit in the existing footprint. The second bedroom seemed like a good option since there was already a door from the master into that bedroom. But, we really didn’t like how that update turned our house into a 2-2.

We started playing with the idea of turning the bathroom closet and the second bedroom closet into a stacked laundry unit opening into the hall. We went back to our renovation wish list and decided the master bath would have to be our last priority after the kitchen update, powder room and laundry addition.

The next plan covered off on our top 3 priorities, but at the last minute we went back to the drawing board deciding we didn’t like how the plan was impacting the feel and flow of our house. Are you getting the idea this has been a bit exhausting?  Although I can’t complain because, master suite + laundry. The flow of the house was something that became important to me during the house hunt.  I’d find myself touring renovated houses and wanting rooms or doorways to be in a different place here or there. It’s amazing how important and noticeable flow is and that’s what was off with our original plan too. On our third go-around our architect came up with a way to add the kitchen behind the porch on the first floor that gave us more room upstairs for a master suite.

This was a game changer!

I won’t lie to you guys moving the renovation outside of the footprint is going to be more expensive. But so worth it. To check the our plans wouldn’t outdo the neighborhood or our house, we had an appraiser do a valuation of the house post-renovation as a guide for the renovation budget. This is just a guide but made us feel more comfortable in the renovation outside of just our guts telling us this was the right move for our house.

The space above the kitchen and porch ends up being about 11 x 21 for the new bathroom, closet and laundry. One of the existing windows will become the door into our new bathroom/closet/laundry area.

Now that we are going outside of the footprint, we had to think about what the addition would do to the outside of the house. To keep the integrity of the outside design, especially the front, there will be a gabled dormer window on the front and a shed dormer on the back. The design looks really nice and fits with the house’s existing roof line.

This hasn’t been totally ideal for the inside set up, but I think we are making it work. The plan is to have the door open into some kind of “dressing” area so the bathroom can be kept more private. In this area, there will be two different built-in places to hang clothes, a chest of drawers, a vanity by the window and a closet for side by side laundry units.

The roof line at the front of the house will be slanted, so we chose to put the laundry and closet in this space where the ceiling height doesn’t matter as much. The plan takes advantage of the ceiling slopes and turns what would be wasted space into much needed storage and underneath the dormer we will have a built in bench for even more storage.

On the other side of the addition will be the bathroom. I have been debating whether a tub is necessary in the layout because without it we could really open up the space and have a larger walk-in shower. But I haven’t been able to part with the tub yet and inspiration like this really isn’t helping.

So while I continue to sit here and debate layout, tub no tub…fingers crossed the permit comes through this week and we can get this bad boy started!!!

Any questions or ideas? Let ’em rip.


image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4