Natalie and Graham add retro Daltile — and a dog shower — to their laundry room. Woof!

Graham and Natalie

Well golly, this reader project gets the award for ingenious — and adorable. When they remodeled their laundry room, Natalie and Graham noodled how to best use some additional space. They didn’t need a laundry sink — so instead, they added shower for their dogs Reelee and Maeybe. Not only is their dog shower adorable — and useful — but I also love the retro style tile they put into the laundry room — they designed it using Daltile’s mosaic design tool. (Mavericks’ colors?) As usual as with all our projects here on Retro Renovation, some of their contractor dudes thought they were crazy. But oh my gosh, it turned out great! Read on, Natalie sent me a bunch of great photos and details on the project –>

Natalie writes:

Hi Pam! So, I am not 100% sure where to start and what information to give  you, so I’ll just talk. Ha. So here is what we started with:

The laundry room remodel “before”

The washer and dryer stayed on the right side of the room, as did the water heater. What you can’t see on the left side of the room are the same crap cabinets that leave only room for a deep freezer. It was very cramped and wasted a lot of space. When we started to remodel the kitchen, we decided to remodel the laundry room as well. We wanted a half bath in there — toilet, sink, and stand up corner shower with tile about 4.5 feet up around the perimeter of the room to match the era and style of our house. We ran some numbers on it and installing toilet plumbing is EXPENSIVE. So that was out of the budget and nixed pretty much immediately.

…And “after”

Then I started googling and brainstorming. What could I do with all this space?! We have two corgi mixes and I (although Graham would say differently) plan on having dogs our whole lives. Anyhow, I thought maybe a big utility room sink would work, but I didn’t really have any use for one. I don’t soak anything and if I do, I do that in the washing machine. Then I remembered that my Aunt and Uncle have a cute little half shower in their laundry room. They’ve never owned a dog in that house, so they use it for umbrellas, cleaning shoes, cleaning large kitchen items, and dirty grand-kiddos. That was it. A dog shower!

I hated bathing the dogs in the bathtub, and they hated it too. Also, when we have kids down the road, I don’t really want to bathe them in the same place I bathe the dogs – especially if they shed as much as now – the dogs, not the kids. So I told my tile guy, Scott, what I wanted, and he looked at me like I was crazy. He understood and we drew it out on the floor and went from there. (P.S. I think Scott is fabulous.) After we had the drawing set out, I called my plumber, Buddy. He came out and ran the pipes for the drain and hot and cold water. Once that was done, I called Scott back and he got to work. I had already order my floor tile from Dal-tile (online custom design application) and he worked with Interceramic. He had some left over gray tiles from a previous project in his car that looked great with the floor AND they were the 4.25 x 4.25 tiles I wanted. We discussed tiling around the whole room, but it was expensive – not to mention Buddy about flipped when I told I was considering tiling the wall where the pipes were for the washer.

Scott is the one who came up with the 45 degree angle for the front of the shower and I use the 10 inch ledge to sit on when the dogs are showering. Graham has also used it to wash off after working in the yard.

The tile: We used Matte Smoke Tile from Interceramic – I can’t find the name of the line but the label says IC Mattes. The floor is Daltile’s Block Random Pattern with Golden Granite in the big squares, Navy Speckle in the little squares, and Desert Gray Speckle in the rectangles. They do require you to buy a certain amount of the custom to avoid a surcharge. If I remember correctly, the surcharge was $150 for not ordering 100 sq. ft. or more. We ordered tile for this room and both bathrooms when we bought it and were charged the surcharge 3 times. Guess that’s what happens when you are trying to stay true to the era. =)

“I’ve also learned if you just ask for a discount
at Sherwin Williams,they will usually give you one.
Most of the time it is 30%,
but I can sometimes swing 40%
if I bat my eyelashes.”

Oh and the walls are Site White from Sherwin Williams. I’ve also learned if you just ask for a discount at Sherwin Williams, they will usually give you one. Most of the time it is 30%, but I can sometimes swing 40% if I bat my eyelashes.

Some side notes: we bought the fridge for $100 in working condition. We rewired the plug and then plugged it in. There was a big spark and it no longer works. Oops. Maybe someday we will get it repaired, but for now it is a linen closet, holding dog blankets and cleaning rags.

The light fixture is from my friend’s house that was built in 1961. She hated it, I loved it. Free!

Washer and dryer – Dryer was $50 from a friend and I think the washer was $50 from an old coworker. We started out with the washer and dryer from the house, circa 1985 – but they finally gave out. I’d love to have something sparkly and new, but if mine still work so why get rid of them? I just can’t justify spending that much money to replace something that works. I almost bought a vintage set the other day, but they were sold by the time I got to the estate sale. Maybe you could start a #lovethewasheryouhave campaign?

Pictures –

Standing in the kitchen looking into the laundry room. Chalkboard door to the garage is on the left.
Standing on the dryer looking down.
The fridge linen closet. I keep small hand towels in the drawer and floor cleaning attachments in the freezer.
For size reference – Reelee stands about 3 feet off the ground and is around 35 pounds. Yes, Reelee.
  • My restaurant quality sprayer. I did lots of research on what I wanted. Hold the handle to spray and the metal piece will lock it in place. That is a very nice feature.
What happens when you do a photo shoot with your dogs and treats by yourself. The brown one is Maeby (Arrested Development reference)
and Reelee is the black one.

Let me know if you need additional information! Enjoy!

Natalie, this is over the top fabulous. I love the retro look of the laundry room — that tile turned out great. And the dog shower, well, golly, I didn’t even know I needed one, but I do! Thank you so much for sharing. You and Graham continue to just crack me up. xoxo

Check out Graham and Natalie’s blog, The Chadwell Chronicles.

  1. raz says:

    old fridges. old fridges can not be opened from the inside. if a child gets in and shuts the door, well you hate the fridge. you can vent hols in the back or pull the door gasket off.

    or you can do nothing.

    ice cream. raz

  2. Cindy Friday Beeman says:

    Did you use a regular computer to design this? Can’t get the online version from Daltile to work on my Surface Pro. Realize this post is oder, but thougt I’d try asking.

  3. Brett Daniel says:

    Natalie & Graham – Could you tell me the brand of your sprayer? Or where you got it? It looks like exactly something I am looking for.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Natalie and Graham:
    What did you use for the floor of this wonderful dog shower? How did you build up the walls pre-tile? Did you use a shower pan with a drain installed? I wonder if I could build this in my laundry room but don’t know which materials (other than tile and faucet info you’ve provided). Can you help me get started? Thank you for this inspiring story!

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