Kitchens and bathrooms demand more detailed planning than any other space in your home as they typically require work behind the walls, under the floor, and through the ceiling. Not only do you have the aesthetics to think of, but you also have to plan for water proofing, plumbing, additional building materials, and extra lighting.
We are coming to a close in the visionary stages of our master bath remodel. Envisioning how you want a space to look is a process. I started out envisioning a darker master bathroom. We only have one small window feeding light into the space, so I chose to embrace the darkness. This goes against my nature as I typically like light and airy spaces, but when I think about how our bathroom functions, we usually always turn the lights on in the space when we use it. Bathrooms, or rooms we don’t spend the majority of our day in, can afford to be dramatic and dark.
I also envisioned calm, cozy, luxe, and natural. I’m not typically a cheerful morning person, but I do like gently waking up in a calm, soothing, and relaxing environment. OK, so don’t we all? I suppose what I mean is that I like to mosey around a while in the morning while drinking coffee. I do not typically like to get up and start accomplishing tasks right away. A calm, cozy, luxe, and natural bathroom actually fosters the environment I need in the mornings.
Now that I’ve nailed down my vision, I can start planning out specifics of the design. This is the most challenging part of the design for me; coordinating materials when there are SO MANY options to choose from. It’s often confusing, and I often lose sight of my original plan. That is why writing down your vision is imperative when you need to revisit and ground yourself with your original intent.
When planning out your design, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
What doesn’t work for me in my current bathroom?
Our bathroom is very compartmentalized. The house was built in the early 90’s, so we’ve got the shower/toilet space closed off while the vanity is open to the bedroom. My plan is tear down the wall separating the two spaces so that the natural light from the one window shines throughout, and so that the space feels much larger. To accomplish this, we must assess whether or not the the wall is a support wall for the joists in the attic above. We also must relocate the floor vent that is currently hidden behind the dividing wall to a space closer to the exterior wall.
In addition to opening up the bathroom floor plan, we are closing up the opening from the bedroom to the bathroom with barn doors and a hidden track system.
Another issue I have with the space is that the vanity is very short. Typically, a master bath vanity should be the same as a kitchen counter height, 36″ (37″ when you factor in the countertop), and secondary bathroom vanities usually come in 30″ high. Ours is 30″ and will be rebuilt to reach 36″ high.
Side note: so I’m just noticing that my face is grimacing in this picture. EW. Also, I wanted to let you know that following the bathroom remodel we will begin on the master bedroom. We are hoping to build a headboard and footboard for our bed, scrape the popcorn ceilings and add a few beams.
Our last real issue is that we have carpet in front of the vanity. Our plan will accommodate the same tile flooring to flow throughout the shower/toilet/vanity/closet space to keep the bathroom visually clean and to give the illusion of a larger space.
What would I like to change in my bathroom ascetically and functionally?
Our shower/tub combo works just fine, but we never use the tub. The preferences among homeowners on whether or not to have a tub in the master bath is really divisive, but there is no one correct answer. I don’t particularly like taking baths in shower/tub combos since I have clean the tub before I can get in. I’d much rather have a separate tub that stays clean so that when I want to use it to relax, I don’t have to clean first. We also have another shower/tub combo on the same floor for the kids, so we aren’t losing a place to bathe them.
All that to say, we are going to replace the shower/tub with a walk-in shower and glass enclosure. The glass enclosure is another way of keeping the visual floor plan open and spacious.
As you can seen in the picture below, our closet is connected to the bathroom. You can also see that our closet is tiny. We are going to take out the wall closing off this space and replace it with a dark wood built in closet. We are going to rework the entire space so that it packs in more function and greater storage options.
How would I like the remodel to look when completed? Or what is the feeling I want the space to give me?
Calm, cozy, luxe, and natural. I’ll accomplish this by using natural vein-cut stone (which gives a “watery” look), natural wood built-ins and vanity, darker finishes, and plenty of light options all on dimmers.
Here are a few of my inspirational pictures. Click on pictures for source.
I’ll be sure to show you the new layout and behind the scenes work in another post. Yes, I know you are itching to get to the Excell spreadsheets, Vectorworks, and Sketchup images, but they are important parts of planning. Especially when you submit plans for building permits and keeping yourself on budget!
Until next time,