Before and after: A bath with an odd layout becomes a fun family bath with laundry

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Newer construction still has its quirks. Just ask Samantha Cuello, who bought a 2000s home for her family in upstate New York. The house had a lot to love, but the bathroom her children would share—which consisted of a bathtub, vanity with a sink, and a small linen closet—left a lot to be desired in both function and form.

First, the space was quite narrow and the kids would only keep growing. “There was barely enough room to sit and bathe a child on the floor without hitting the vanity,” says Cuello. Magnifies the size problem? The hallway leading up to the bathroom had an angle, stealing space from the bath’s footprint and also compromising its flow. “If someone was in the linen closet, you couldn’t get into the bathroom,” says Cuello. “Also, the bathroom door had to be closed to open the linen closet doors or they would bump into each other.” Finally, while the room had a little splash of color in its water walls and patterned shower curtain, the decor was anything but fun and inspiring for kids Ava, now 5, and Jordan, now 2.

When Cuello was ready to overhaul the space, she called on decorating reinforcements from designer Jacklyn Faust Maietta of Faust Design Building. Not only would the group work on a new plan for the bath, but they would also move the family laundry from the basement to this location. This meant that some walls had to come down and be put back up. “We knew we had to take space from other rooms to accommodate a side-by-side full-size washer and dryer, double sinks, and a tub,” says Cuello. “The other thing I really wanted was more room to move around the bathroom and an area to hang laundry to dry—and wet towels and bathing suits—that wouldn’t block us from using the bathroom.”

To push the bath out several feet for the new layout, contractors demoed the angled wall in the hall and stole that space, plus added a little more from a nearby bedroom. This created enough space for the laundry and a bit of a buffer zone between the individual fixtures and functions in the room. The new bathroom would center around the bathtub and its eye-catching marine surround, which is covered in The tile shop’s track stack Navy blue Porcelain tile Blue. From the bathtub that looks out onto the hall, there will be a sink wall on one side that is now large enough to allow for a double vanity. Still, Cuello decided to go with two single sinks to give her kids some ownership over their own respective spaces. “This way there are no fights!” she says.

When it came time to choose cabinets for the room, Cuello knew she wanted to pair IKEA cabinets with her company’s cabinet doors (she’s the brand marketing director for Semihandmade). Besides GODMORGON bathroom cabinetswhich she equipped with Semihandmade’s Quarterline fronts in Stone colourway, she went with IKEA’s SEKTION upper cabinets for the sink. To unify the two cabinet styles, the team used all old Rejuvenation brass hardware, included Larkin finger pull and Blair Bin pulls.

The color palette for the entire project came from Cuello’s early selection of Spoonflower’s Jumbo Terrazzo peel-and-stick wallpaper, which detaches the sink wall. “I loved the terrazzo look, and that was my inspiration, so I pulled tons of pictures on Pinterest of terrazzo tile bathrooms that I loved,” says Cuello. In the end, though, the removable wallpaper was not only more budget-friendly than stone, it could also be easily changed if the kids got tired of it.

A hybrid family bathroom/laundry room needs storage, and in addition to the cabinetry, Maietta has packed plenty of other places for toiletries, laundry and bedding. The wall near the bathtub is full of art prints, but it also features a wealth of hooks and shelves from Semihandmade’s collaboration with Shelfology (the Bart White Oak Floating Shelf, Peggy round wall hooksand Shard Maple wall hook, to be exact). The laundry area boasts beautiful baskets, bins and jars from Neat Method to make washing and drying super-easy.

Now that the bathroom is complete, Cuello couldn’t be happier with the end result. She’s also excited about how adaptable the design will be down the road, thanks to choosing fairly neutral furniture and going trendier with art and accents. “Tile, vanities, and fixtures are all classics that will stand the test of time and go with whatever color and accents we choose to update with down the road,” says Cuello. “The pictures in the gallery wall can also be easily updated when the children get older.” Right now, however, the new bath has made washing day so much more convenient – and bath time is much more pleasant for the whole family.

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