I’ve had a bathroom renovation on the brain for months now and I think we’re finally getting close to having a plan (and a few free weekends) to make it happen! When we found our house two years ago, the size of the master bathroom and closet area were definitely a compromise we had to make in exchange for lots of other items on our checklist (nice yard, mountain views, good location, etc).
While I am grateful to have an attached master bathroom at all, ours is the size of a postage stamp and terribly designed. Here’s a look at what we’re working with and what we plan to change.
Welcome to our teensy master bathroom. The vanity area is open to the rest of the room, with the shower and toilet in the room to the left and the closet to the right. The two things that finally annoyed me enough to make this renovation a priority were that vanity (the countertop! the oak! the lack of useful storage space!)…
… and the fluorescent light box above. As you know, we are not fans of fluorescent lighting in this house (see how we took out the light box in our kitchen HERE), so this one will have to go.
Another thing that makes this bathroom less than functional is the lack of elbow room. The vanity is barely 36″ wide, which basically means only one adult can use the sink area at a time. When we do try to get ready in the mornings or evenings at the same time, one of us always ends up halfway into the shower room while the other uses the sink and mirror.
Continuing to look to the left into the shower room, you can see our little shower with chrome and frosted glass doors. Those things are a bear to keep clean.
Because we had so little storage space in this bathroom, we added these stained wood shelves above the toilet about a year ago. These work really well for us and may stay in the room, depending on the rest of the design plan.
The doorway to the toilet room is super narrow and made narrower by the towel hook on the back of the door. The room used to be white with a wide yellow stripe, but I painted it the same gray as our bedroom last year (Silver Drop by Behr) just to banish the yellow. When I painted, I removed a towel bar from behind the door. I always thought the towel bar would make more sense there if the door didn’t open into the room.
The tile in the shower is a pinkish cream color. It’s not in terrible shape, but it could use an update. We did replace the shower head, but as you can see, the knobs are original. 😛
Check out that flooring! The tile and carpet combo is gross and has to go. When I was getting this photo ready to post, I thought to myself, “Sure, go ahead and watermark that one. Somebody is definitely going to want to steal that picture!” NOT.
Backing up into our master bedroom, you can see the bathroom has a skylight. One of the possibilities we’ve discussed for this space is removing the wall between the vanity and shower rooms. If we move forward with that plan, the new door would go across this entrance, closing the vanity off from the bedroom.
One item we’ll have to consider is that the skylight actually goes past that entrance wall into our bedroom ceiling by about 6-8″. This means that we won’t be able to do a traditional wall here with a pocket or regular door. We’re already brainstorming creative solutions for this doorway.
When I think about our house as a whole, this single room suffers most from poor design and lack of storage. What kills me is that about 1 in 5 homes in our neighborhood have this exact floor plan! Can you believe that?
Now that you’ve gotten the tour and heard our issues with the space, here are our options.
Option 1: (lowest cost) Paint the vanity, add new hardware and mirror, update the countertop, add new light fixture, possibly add backsplash and new floors
Pros: Easy cosmetic changes – quick and low cost
Cons: Does not address the lack of elbow room or poor vanity storage
Option 2: (lots more work, slightly higher cost) Remove the wall between the shower room and vanity nook, replace vanity with a wider one with drawers, add new mirror and light fixture, repair drywall and/or add backsplash, remove old tile and carpet for new tile floor, add door to new bathroom for privacy
We would consider a DIY modern vanity like the one above or repurposing a dresser like the one below. I’m still trying to determine if our shower doors could be removed and replaced with a shower curtain. I love this green one!
Pros: Fixes elbow room and storage issues, updates most of the worn/dated finishes
Cons: Does not address shower tile or fixtures, decreases privacy for multiple bathroom users
Option 3: (most work, much higher cost) Same as option 2, plus we’d replace the shower pan, tile, doors, and faucet
Pros: Same benefits as option 2, plus we’d be able to select shower finishes to complement the rest of the room
Cons: Most likely requires subcontractors for shower work, dramatic increase in cost
I actually wrote most of this post before this past weekend, and if you caught my instagram stories on Saturday, you know that we started work on the bathroom already! It took some convincing, but we are going with either Option 2 or Option 3. We’re taking out the wall! Stay tuned for more progress – here and on facebook and instagram.
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