For Sachi Lord, no DIY design project is too daunting. The mom and full-time nurse anesthetist began her side hustle three years ago with a termite-infested fixer upper and never looked back. “I absolutely love interior design, and if I can tie in a DIY project, even better,” she says. “I’m obsessed with giving homes and spaces a new life.”
Despite the termite project, the recent bathroom remodel before and after in her current home is “definitely my biggest transformation yet,” she told Clare. “It took close to 10 weeks of non-stop madness. Our full-time jobs limited our working hours to early mornings, late nights, and weekends. Given that we did most of the work ourselves, a lot of our time was spent troubleshooting unexpected surprises. Oh, and coffee. We drank lots of coffee.”
In just over two months, the couple restructured the entire floor plan, removed a bathtub and added a shower, moved the vanity, constructed a new closet from scratch, installed a washer dryer and added a lick of light greige paint to add visual interest. See the complete bathroom remodel before and after below.
Assessing the original bathroom
Together with her husband Mike, the Lords completely demoed their 90s-era bathroom and basically started from scratch. “The 90s bathtub with non-working jets and the small gray tiles made the bathroom feel claustrophobic and uninviting,” she explains.
The original bathroom was split up into three separate rooms: one for the sink and vanity, one for the bathtub and toilet, and one for the walk-in closet, which was only accessible through the vanity area. “It was incredibly dated — the floor plan was awkward with so much unused space,” she adds. Step one was to restructure the layout to improve functionality.
Restructuring the layout in a bathroom remodel before and after
Mike came up with seven different layout options to improve flow. The two ultimately decided to remove the tub altogether, move the sink to the front room and add a tiled shower. “We had a few layouts that worked, but I ultimately wanted a clean line of sight into the bathroom from our bedroom,” she explains. “I didn’t want to have to look at a toilet or messy vanity — it can’t stay Instagram-pretty all the time.”
Despite the extra work, restructuring the layout was well worth it. “We’d definitely do it again,” she notes. “There was a lot of underutilized space, and by moving things around, we gained a lot of functionality.”
Designing your dream bathroom
Lord wanted the bathroom to feel like a design focal point of the home. “I focused on accentuating the high ceilings with tall built-ins, dramatic vanity mirrors, and floor-to-ceiling shower tiling,” she shares. “The double vanity was another non-negotiable, as was the dramatic shower. My husband insisted on a rainfall shower, while I wanted a handheld, so we included both and added some jets as a bonus.”
Despite the large structural changes, small design accents and DIY projects truly set the space apart. “Everywhere you look, there’s a design element that will catch your eye,” she adds. “Whether it’s the herringbone tile on the shower, the pretty greige board and batten, the custom cane closet doors, or the wall-mount faucets on the vanity, there’s something to admire from every angle.”
Adding dimension & depth with color
Lord stuck to a relatively neutral color palette, but felt that something was missing as the project came to a close. “The bathroom features high ceilings, and the big, blank walls were lacking dimension,” she explains. “The tall board and batten was a step in the right direction, but the space was still feeling a little sterile — I wanted a subtle paint color that would allow the natural elements of the space to shine.”
After spending “an embarrassing amount of time sitting on the floor, staring at the wall, and agonizing over paint colors,” Lord went with Clare’s Penthouse — a subtle light greige that added just the right amount of depth to the space. “It’s the perfect slight grey. It pairs flawlessly with the darker shower tile while complimenting the white oak vanity nicely,” she explains. “That simple coat of paint added just the right amount of color and gave the space that touch of sophistication it was lacking.”
Reflecting on her dream master bathroom, Lord has no regrets. “Everytime I walk in, I feel like I’m on vacation and entering a luxury hotel bathroom,” she gushes. “Renovating our entire bathroom ourselves was a challenge, but it was totally worth it. Now, we can sit back and enjoy our hard work until we start the next project.”
Related: Want more bathroom remodel before and after inspiration? Read 6 Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas to Master a Nautical Look.