Master bathroom design plans

If you've been following along on Instagram, you may have seen that we demoed our master bath this week in preparation for renovations to start! To say I'm excited is an understatement.


Although this house was new when we moved in, there were many things that I disliked aesthetically, as well as quite a few things that could be adjusted to function much better. The bathrooms fell into both those categories.


Our master bath is not tiny but also not large, and an awkward layout along with strange design decisions (or lack of decisions...) made for a space that wasn't super comfortable to use. We had two sinks, a linen closet, a small tub (I am 5'4" and could not comfortably lay down in the tub. We basically only used it for dog baths when it was cold outside), a stall shower in the corner, and a toilet strangely positioned in front of the shower that made it impossible to put a glass door, so we had to use a curtain instead. All of the plumbing fixtures were basically the cheapest ones you could find - generic, small shower heads that don't have great pressure or adjustable angles, and no hand showers. We've had sort of annoying showers for the past two and a half years, and were definitely ready for a change!


On top of the less than ideal layout, we also had strange things like the shower head at waist height above the tub (but not a hand shower...) and an overall design style that felt really boring and builder grade. Not exactly a designer's dream. For context, here's the "before" to show you where we're starting!


While we have survived just fine with our boring, awkward bathroom, we really wanted a better experience, something prettier, and knew that investing in the bathroom would increase the value of our home. It would certainly be a dream to design a brand new bathroom from scratch with little budget constraint, but this is the real world where we have limited budgets and sometimes have to work with what've got! Looking at our two and a half year old bathroom, the flooring and vanity may not have been pieces that I would have chosen as my very favorites, but they're simple, fairly classic, and in good shape, so we chose to keep those and work them into the design, that way we could spend more on other aspects.

First goal: get rid of the small shower and small tub, utilizing the plumbing that's already present for a new, larger shower in place of the tub.

Shower layout inspiration - love that single pane of glass and ledge the length of the shower. Via Kyla & Kara

Second goal: change all the plumbing fixtures for prettier, more functional ones. A rain shower head plus a slide bar with a hand shower (how does one efficiently clean tile without a hand shower?!) were on top of our list. We also noticed some amazing functionality in European bathrooms on our past trips, and really wanted to incorporate that into our bathroom as well (hello thermostatic controls and towel warmer!). I originally wanted to incorporate a bench in the shower, but the layout isn't really conducive to that. However, we will have a ledge the length of the shower wall so there is plenty of storage space!

Third goal: expand the master closet by absorbing the former stall shower, as well as the entry closet (which was on the wall behind the shower). Our master closet was about 5.5' x 5', which was fine and fit all our clothes, but we knew that future buyers would appreciate a larger closet, and we would appreciate extra storage for things like luggage that are currently stored elsewhere. By adding the old shower and closet to our closet, we almost doubled our space.


Fourth goal: finishing touches, like new mirrors, lighting, hardware, baseboards, and fresh paint. These items aren't the biggest expenses, but they make a huge difference in the final look. Spending the extra money to make sure the finishes are consistent and cohesive, the mirrors are good scale for the space, and the hardware feels fresh and updated is really what helps a bathroom feel complete.


We'll of course get into more details when the space is complete, but to hold you over until we get some actual progress on construction, here's the mood board for the master bath!

mirror // light // faucet // shower system // towel bar // toilet paper holder // towel warmer



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