Guest Post by Deb Durham
Deb Durham here again. Yep, the tall broad with a penchant for small spaces and little automobiles.
When you can’t afford or don’t want to expand a home’s footprint, here are 2 remodel ideas for transforming existing space to best advantage. This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,200 sq. ft. home I renovated outside of Santa Fe, NM. I call it Asian Adobe.
I understand Southwest style may not be everyone’s cup of tea and it may be larger than your idea of a small home, but work with me here. There are many useful takeaways you can apply whether you’re focused on a 175 sq. ft. home on wheels or a 6oo sq. ft. cottage.
#1 Portal (that’s a “porch” for you East Coasters) Turned into ¾ Bath and Laundry Room Combo
Floor Plan of guest bathroom/laundry
When I bought this house, the previous owner had enclosed a 6 ft. x 9 ft. portal at the back of the house which he used as an office. See the small roof above red door in top left pic? I wanted to add a guest bathroom next to the guest bedroom that would also serve as a powder room and include a washer/dryer. I was able to do it using a stackable washer/dryer and an open shower with 1 glass wall so it feels very spacious. Plus all materials were tone on tone neutrals of quartzite stone tile, American Clay plaster and natural pebbles. The one unorthodox thing about the bathroom is it doubles as the back door entrance to the house, but no one seems to mind!
#2 Turn a Hallway + Laundry Room into a Deep Soaking Tub (for 2!) with a View
So, “Where was the laundry room before the remodel?” you ask. It was in a short hallway between the living area and the master bedroom behind cheap bi-fold doors. The good news is the plumbing from the washer was already in place (read: money savings!) and there was an existing sky light above the hallway portion. Fewer and/or smallish hallways in homes make for better use of tight space. I installed a 6 ft. Kohler Tea for Two soaking tub with gorgeous views out to the mountains via a narrow horizontal window. You do not need a huge window when you are in the tub. To determine the exact dimensions for the tub window, I sat on the floor in the living room facing the same direction and taped off existing windows to see the minimum window height and length I needed. This one is 18 in. x 48 inches.
- If I had it to do over, I’d position the tub filler on the surface edge of the tub vs. on the short wall so that the window would start at tub surface lever rather than the 5 inches above. I also gave the tub area some visual separation by installing a beam parallel and above the edge of the tub which repeats the same look elsewhere in the house. The shelf above the tub could hold a steady supply of towels but I chose 5 whimsical torsos I found at IKEA.
By placing the soaking tub here, I was able to enlarge the Master Bedroom shower and closet….but that’s a whole other story.
Please let me know if these ideas were helpful. If so, I have some more space expanding ideas from this home for my next guest blog. Cheers!