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Morris County home makeover: Small bath gets spa shower with laundry area

EUGENIO PHOTOGRAPHYJoseph Augis has become accustomed to clients showing him photos of dreamy, but unusual, home features that he always finds a way to build in his Linden workshop. Such were the shelves in the laundry area of a master bathroom his company, Heavy J Construction, recently renovated in a house near Morristown.

The owners wanted to stay on budget with stock cabinetry. So instead of building the custom cabinets that are a specialty of his company, Augis was challenged to use his creativity and woodworking skills in another way.

Custom floating laundry shelves with pull-out drying racks by Heavy J Construction. He found the necessary hardware and designed pop-out racks inside the floating wall shelves, just as the wife had envisioned. The racks, which open with a touch and can hold up to 50 pounds each, were a small but necessary part of a project that involved moving walls and devising solutions to use their space wisely.

The couple bought their 1940 home five years ago in a lake area of Harding Township. They knew it would need renovation to improve flow and function. Their master bedroom, a laundry area and closets had been previously added to the house at a lower level, near what had been a garage.

The compact original master bathroom was a step up from the 1970s laundry area addition, being on the same level as other original areas of the house.

The enlarged bath and updated laundry utilize more efficiently what had been open space and a storage closet opposite the laundry area of the ranch-style home.  

“We gutted everything,” said Augis, whose team rebuilt the bath to an architect’s plans.

With demolition, they discovered a ceiling and walls that had a fire-safe cement coating because of their proximity to what had been a garage. Augis also found ceiling joists that were smaller than those now required.

“Every time you open something up, you have to bring it to today’s standards and codes,” he said.

Despite that — and having to chip off cement by hand — the project was finished in three months, and without exceeding his estimated price.

The showpiece of the renovated bathroom is a marble shower that takes up nearly all of the square footage of the original bath. Enclosed by a pocket door, this area also offers the privacy of facilities (and a wall storage cabinet) tucked out of plain sight.


The bathroom's spacious glass-enclosed spa shower and facilities (not in view) replace what had previously been the entire bathroom.

The marble tile in the new spa shower has details framed and highlighted by pencil trim in marble.

Inlaid glass and marble tiles in a "waterfall" design enhance the shower faucets, shown above.

In the photo at right, glass tile detailing is installed horizontally within a niche for personal care items. Above the shower's slender rail of pencil trim, the wall tile is laid in a diagonal herringbone pattern. Below, a more traditional pattern offsets the shower's marble bench. Hexagon marble tiles were used on the floor.



A new wall with chic, space-saving pocket doors encloses the renovated bath, which opens to an extended hallway.

In this "before" photo, the hall and bathroom (left of the laundry) can be seen on the home's original level. An addition including the laundry was done in the 1970s.

The new bathroom wall with pocket doors was built in line with the right-side laundry wall, enclosing the updated bathroom. The hallway also was lengthened.

The laundry was gutted, but rebuilt within the same space. A storage closet across from it was replaced by the vanity cabinet and sink in the renovated bathroom.

The original bathroom had a shower, sink and toilet squeezed in.

Reader Comments (2)

What a gorgeous renovation! Congratulations to the couple on their improved bathroom and laundry.

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

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