This combined powder room, guest bath and laundry was a compromise for our client — as are so many remodeling choices. The combined space, though, actually succeeds graciously to fulfill all its functions. The primary purpose of this extensive remodel (read a discussion of the larger project) was to open this 1940’s Colonial to the outside and to provide more gracious public spaces. But it was also important to our client to add a:
- First floor powder room,
- First or second floor laundry
- First Floor full-bath and guest room
My client, who has knee problems and was anticipating a potential knee replacement, was thinking that the full bath and guest room might be used by her sooner and more frequently than guests. This couple, in their early 60’s, are quite healthy but also recognize that they are getting older. They have no plans to move but would like their home to be a bit more suitable for aging-in-place. Unfortunately, this home was not amenable to adding an elevator shaft, a first floor master-suite, or single-level living.
The powder room component is a small 10 ft by 6 ft addition to the back of the house. A 3 ft wide passageway was cut into the original back of the house and leads to a shower alcove on one side and laundry alcove on the other carved out of former garage conversion. (See “before” and “after” floor plans, below.) This configuration separates the more public powder room function from the more private shower and laundry components.
In the powder room, a wide vanity with 6 drawers and tall wall storage plus a recessed medicine cabinet provides ample hidden storage for a guest and for the homeowner — leaving a clean look for the powder room portion of the space. The entrance is off a type of entry hallway off the back door and adjacent to the remodeled and relocated kitchen.
The laundry alcove is on an exterior wall which allows the dryer to be easily vented directly outside with only a short rigid duct. When not in use, the laundry is out of the way. You can see the edge of the shower door opposite the washer/dryer. The 3ft by 3ft shower provides adequate — although not overly spacious — room for showering.
A door leads from the guest room through the laundry / shower alcoves into the powder room area. When open it presents a nicely framed view of the attractive vanity wall. The door opens into the guest room and not the bath so as not to block either the shower or the laundry when open. The only towel rod in the shower alcove is on the door itself. And the shower mat — by necessity — sits in the passageway. These are just two of the small compromises we needed to make. Additional compromises include lack of space for staging and folding laundry. If the homeowner needs to do multiple loads of laundry, the loads waiting to go in the washer sit on the floor of the guest room or powder room or in the passageway itself. Sorting and folding is often done on the nearby, expansive kitchen island — obviously needing to be cleaned beforehand.
The palette coordinates with the rest of the first floor using soft, grayed blue-greens with touches of mauve. The cabinets and counters match the ones in the adjacent kitchen. The backsplash, though, is glass instead of stone.
Walls: Benjamin Moore – 1592 – Blue Spring
Flooring: Marmoleum by Forbo – #3420 – Surprising Storm
Cabinetry: Smithport K-Series, Cherry, Canadian glaze
Counters: Cambria – Praa Sands
Backsplash: ModWalls Lush glass tile; 1×2 “Fog Bank”
Washer & Dryer: by LG