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remodeling master bedroom, master bath, architect on demand, advice without strings

A DIY Ally client wrote: “We are currently in the process of completely remodeling our master bedroom and master bath.  Please see the attached drawings for the existing bath layout, a couple of proposed layouts that we have considered (we have the Chief Architect Software), and a blank template if you want to make sketches of what you think would work for us.”

The drawings showed the existing plumbing that they needed to keep in mind, so that they didn’t have to tear up a lot of the subfloor. Moving walls was not a problem and they expected to have to do that.

Their intent was to make the master bedroom smaller, gain more closet space, install a larger tile shower (approximately 4′ x 5′), and eliminate the tub in the master bath

The wife also wanted to have separate vanities and make-up table, if possible. The two designs that they have come up with were somewhat close to what they wanted, but they still needed some help.

He wrote: “We want to make sure that we don’t have lighting and space issues, or if there is a better design/layout that you think would work for us. Since we are both in our fifties we are also wanting to look ahead and reduce as many accessibility issues as possible.  Please let us know what additional information you need.”


remodeling, master bedroom, master bath 

Option #1      Here is what they liked about their master bedroom and master bath design with the his and her closets:
  • Smaller master bedroom
  • Individual closets
  • Enclosed toilet room
  • Large shower
  • Separate vanities
Option #2      Here is what they liked about their master bedroom and master bath design with the one very large closet:
  • Smaller master bedroom
  • Very large closet
  • Individual vanities
  • Enclosed toilet room

And here’s what they disliked:

  • Available natural light into vanity area
  • Smaller shower
  • Exterior window in closet

remodeling, master bedroom, master bath

They wanted me to scrutinize their designs and make changes. Thus, I discovered that his and hers closets in the master bath were a bit tight. (Hanging is 2’ and you need 3’ for circulation.) As such, I borrowed a foot from the master bedroom and economized on circulation.

The proposed layout gave them his and her closets, separate vanities, 4×5 shower, access to exterior window in the bathroom, make-up counter, and enclosed toilet.

It was everything they wanted. Yet, they were skeptical. He wrote: “Interesting design…gives us more insight to other options. In the 15 minutes you have left could you give both of our designs a last look and let us know what issues you have with them? Thanks!”

Remodeling DIY-style

Good for them. I admire self-reliance. That is precisely the reason I enjoy helping DIYers. They are the visionaries! Here’s my thoughts on the option #1, “the design with his and hers closets:”

  • These two closets are too small to be functional. Instead of walk-in, you can make them as built-in wardrobes, though.
  • The toilet enclosure is too small to have the door swinging in. Instead, it can swing out or you may choose to go with a sliding type.
  • It appears that the vanity is a bit too deep. Is the window lower than its height? You might consider running the counter all the way to the closet wall under the window.
Here are my thoughts on the option #2:
  • No natural light in the bathroom. Can you do a skylight?
  • I like this layout better because it’s cleaner. Walk-in closet can be planned for functionality. It can still be “his and hers” separately.

He wrote back: “Thanks for your input. The two closets are a bit narrow but using your idea of robbing a foot from the bedroom would make them a little roomier. Since the toilet enclosure door will almost always be closed, swinging it out won’t be a problem.  The vanities are a little deep for some reason… not sure why the software makes them a different size than most. The window is rather large and low to the floor so we can’t run the counter underneath, but I guess a smaller counter is not too much of a problem.”

This back-and-forth with me solidified and helped them finalize their ideas. They decided to borrow additional square footage from the master bedroom. For the master bath, they chose option #2, “the large closet design.” It did make the best of the available space and was a cleaner solution.

He wrote: “Since the window is so large, and I’m not planning a door on the closet, hopefully some light will filter into the master bath area (the window faces east) combined with what comes in from the master bedroom windows (which face west).  We are also thinking about a large door going from the bedroom into the bath with frosted glass, which should help a bit and are considering a clear glass transom window above. We appreciate your help. We’ll mull everything over and if we run into another design decision we’ll be in touch. Thanks.”

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