Before & After: Laura and Peter’s Uptown Bathroom Renovation – Sweetened!

Laura and Peter bought their one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 2013. During the apartment hunt, this arts professional and consultant pair decided they really wanted a home with an in-unit washer and dryer. Some buildings allowed washers and dryers and some did not. Still others had flip-flopped on the­­­ matter altogether: buildings that once allowed in-unit washers and dryers later changed their minds—grandfathering in appliances installed before the change while banning newcomers from adding them. When Laura and Peter sealed the deal on their new place in a building that allowed laundry appliances, the hustle was on to install a set pronto, before any potential shift down the road.

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“Our expert team was so helpful — Ed and Valeria did a lot of really beautiful work and were easy to get in touch with while we weren’t living there. Ed was excellent about working with our building and super and they both helped with photos and phone calls whenever we had delivery issues, which was often.”

— Laura, Upper East Side homeowner

Laura and Peter eyed a hallway closet as the future home of their laundry nook, but the plan took on a choose your own adventure angle as the couple needed help to determine whether the work might necessitate opening the walls in the kitchen or bath, both adjacent to the laundry spot. Laura was also plagued by the daily reminder that the bathroom had no nearby heat source. With floor to ceiling travertine tiles, it felt like a Tuscan-inspired igloo on chilly mornings. Plus, the extra-wide pedestal sink put the shower tap just out of her reach – an unfortunate design flaw in an otherwise compact room. Laura posted the project on Sweeten and we introduced Sweeten Experts Valeria and Eduard, owners of a Brooklyn design-build firm, to make this all work. Valeria and Eduard cut through the walls to make the call that the new laundry closet would share water access with the bathroom, meaning game on for a full bathroom renovation!

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Laura drew inspiration from the iconic black and white tile in so many bathrooms she toured while apartment-hunting. In went white marble floor tiles accented with miniature black diamond tiles, all from Home Depot. This ageless flooring masks a big-time modern improvement: radiant floor heating lies just underneath and is connected to a timer that gets the heat going every morning. Laura and Peter continued a luxe look up the walls with 12” marble square tiles, a subtle rounded tile border, and custom marble shower shelves, all with materials found at Home Depot.

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The bathroom gained a sleek pocket door (with beautifully crafted custom molding created by Eduard) and Laura found a console sink that combined the look of an old-fashioned marble sink with more modern chrome lines. The couple found multiple ways to echo these clean-lines with a simple squared  Kohler tub and sliding glass doors, European-inspired American Standard shower fixtures, a dual-flush toilet from Kohler, and a deco lighting fixture sourced from Lighting District. Valeria and Eduard also made room for a Panasonic ceiling fan and side-by-side Robern medicine cabinets, both mirrored inside and out.

All together, the new space is brighter and warmer than ever before. And the washer and dryer that started it all? Valeria and Eduard transformed the interior of the hallway closet with blue-gray paint and stacked a white Bosch washer and dryer next to revamped hallway linen storage.

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Thank you, Laura and Peter (and stately dog, Wellington!), for this tour of your beautiful new closet and bathroom!

Bathroom Selects >> floor tile: white marble, black diamond accent Home Depot / wall tile: 12” white marble square Home Depot / toilet and tub: Kohler / shower fixtures: American Standard / medicine cabinet: Robern / ceiling fan: Panasonic

Closet Selects >> washer and dryer: Bosch

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.