I’ve alluded to the fact that we want to renovate our house in past posts. The timeline is still very unconfirmed BUT we’ve recently taken one giant step forward – we’ve hired an architect and are 3 rounds into renovation and addition planning! The idea of designing a new space just for our family is super exciting of course but most exciting is the fact that we now know for certain this old house we love so much has the potential we’d hoped it had – another bedroom, a larger hall bath, a proper master ensuite and an open first floor. The soonest we’d move into actual construction would be next spring but I am quite sure (because I am a perfectionist and control freak) that we will be in this planning stage for several months and there won’t be any construction in the spring. But maybe I’ll surprise myself. So given that, I’ll be sharing lots of thoughts, inspirations and “OMG, help me decide what to do” moments here on the blog.
I promise you I will get into much greater (probably painfully so) detail about the whole kitchen and family room layout in future posts. It’s a bit of a moving target as we work things out but we’re getting close! Today though, I really want to talk about the master bath because seriously guys, I have measured, drawn, taped out and pinned every possible permutation of this room’s layout I think. And I just.don’t.know! HELP!
LAYOUT 1: TUB CENTERED, HIS AND HER VANITIES
(ignore all my notes and shading…they are the ramblings of a completely crazy person at this point)
Here’s the crux of the problem – our house is long and thin. Due to the lot size and set back by-laws, we can’t expand out (to the right in the photo above). We can only go back. In order to get another bedroom and a master ensuite out of this addition, we’re working with the layout above – 10′ x 20′. The top of this drawing is the back of our house, the left is the left side facing a neighbor and the right is the right side facing a side street. Essentially you come down the hall, past the new bedroom (the 11 x 11.5 in the plan above) and through the door that delineates our master suite. Immediately to the left is the door to the master bath, down a bit further is our bedroom space and at the back of the house on the left is the master closet.
I am dead set on a free standing tub and creating a real “wow” moment in this bathroom around the tub, primarily because our only tub at the moment is suitable only for bathing small children. It is narrow, shallow…all the exact opposite adjectives you’d use to describe a relaxing spa like tub experience for a tired mama. What better way to create drama around a free standing tub than with a tub niche right? Like so…
I love the idea of tiling all the way up and around the niche.
Or papering it…
Because the tub would be on an outside wall facing a neighbor, I wouldn’t do a window as big as above. I’m thinking maybe an oval window (with frosted glass?) instead flanked by a pair of sconces.
I’d probably hang my current bedroom chandelier over the tub like this..
And then the vanities would be tucked on either side of the entry door.
So here are my concerns with this layout:
Depth: This bathroom is only 10′ deep (can’t be deeper for reasons mentioned above). The tub niche as illustrated in the plan is 5′ deep. I’m worried that walking in to the bathroom with only a 5′ lead up to the niche will feel too tight. Like what’s the point of this dramatic niche if you walk in ON TOP of it. I’m exaggerating of course…I mean I realize 5′ isn’t on top of it. And actually it’s more like 6′ to the actual tub (the little walls that create the niche itself are only 18″) but I don’t know…I’m having a mental block about this. Doing a pocket door instead of a traditional door will help this I think. But I need the 5′ depth to give me a 5′ wall in the shower (which is currently 4’x5′).
Egregious use of space for the vanities: Did I really say egregious use of space? I mean I’m ALL ABOUT egregious uses of space, lol. But in a room this which isn’t huge by master standards, I never in a million years thought I could get his and her’s vanities. It just sort of works in this layout though and it gives me one 72″ and one 60″ single vanity (ridiculous, I realize). In order to keep the door centered on the tub niche and to make room for the shower, the room is actually deeper on the left than right, hence there’s a 60″ vanity plus some built in storage pictured. I don’t love that…we’re working on fixing it. I could do one 72″ shared vanity I suppose and then a larger shower?
WC door: Need it. Must have it. The longer vanity will obviously be mine (duh) and I don’t want to be standing there with a direct view in the mirror to the toilet. No thank you.
LAYOUT 2: TUB ON THE END, SHARED VANITY CENTERED AHEAD OF YOU WHEN YOU WALK IN
I worked out this layout because it addresses my need for a longer walk up to the tub niche. I love that you’d walk in, turn and there would be this wow moment at the end. It would also make the whole room feel larger I think because a vanity is only 24″ deep vs. the 60″ for the niche. HOWEVER, I think the niche isn’t as effective in this layout because the vanity would jut out into the niche’s visual space. I mean talk about being annoyingly nit picky…I know!!! But it would sort of do one of these.
There wouldn’t be a window over the tub in this scenario…which I’m actually totally fine with because I think I could create something just as beautiful and dramatic with a grand leaning mirror.
I could fit an 84″ double vanity on the wall you’d be facing when you walk in. And I’d want to get windows into that set up somehow. Maybe some transom like ones like this?
Or a window between the 2 mirrors?
So here are my concerns with this layout:
Vanity encroaching on tub space: As mentioned and illustrated above. There would be about 18″ of space between an 84″ vanity and the start of the tub niche. But visually when you looked down the room, it would jut out.
Toilet across from shower: I’m fairly certain that there just isn’t room for a door on the WC in this layout. The shower door would need to swing out and the WC door would need to swing out. Not enough dept for all that swinging.
Ok, I’ve now just written the longest, whiniest post about bathroom layouts in the history of the internet and I have absolutely no right to be complaining about any of this given the fact that my only full bathroom right now is a total horror. But there you have it.
What would you do?
Or Layout 2:
p.s. I’m exploring the idea of switching the placement of the master closet and bathroom to put the bathroom at the back of the house. This would give me the opportunity to introduce windows on 2 sides rather than just the 1. However, the master closet would then only be accessible through the master bath and I’m not sure what that would do to one of the short walls in the bath because I’d need to stick an opening to the closet on it…
To be continued! We meet with our architect again tonight and there’s sure to be an update next week.