Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Upstairs Bathroom Layout

Looking back, I don't think I ever fully walked through the design process involved with the upstairs bathroom. It is a large space, roughly 6' by 14', but was awkwardly laid out. In the update I've tried to use the space better, seeing as this is the only full bathroom in the house. I'll walk through this process a bit to help lay out the changes.


Creating Two Rooms. In today's mode of thinking people are opening spaces up to create the illusion of space. In this bathroom, I felt it was too big and awkwardly put together and making two smaller spaces would suit the room better. Also, since the home has only one full bathroom I thought it would be better to separate the shower/toilet area from the vanity area for privacy, and allow one person get ready in the room without steaming up the mirrors.

Another reason for creating the two rooms, and moving the door, was to create better flow through the area. Personally, I just think the space flows better now.

Creating two rooms does have me concerned about a couple of things; lighting, and making sure the spaces don't feel cramped. The shower area has a skylights as does the outside hall, but getting adequate light (especially natural) into the vanity area will be difficult. The bathroom is in the middle of the home, so choking off the natural light to the vanity area isn't ideal, but in the future I'd like to replace the door between the vanity/shower area with a frosted glass door to allow more light in the vanity area. Also, I am thinking of adding two small recessed lights in the vanity area to supplement the lights mounted over the vanity. To alleviate the issue of being cramped I am using floating furniture. The vanity and the make-up station will both be floating. Hopefully this will work to help the space feel more open and airy.

Adding a pocket door. While it wasn't my first choice to use a pocket door for the bathroom, there wasn't a good place for the door to swing. The pocket door addresses this issue, and there is still a full door into the bathroom to allow a more secure entrance to this area.

Adding a double vanity. With the Queen moving in we knew we wanted more space for us to both get ready, and there is plenty of space for the double vanity. It was pretty much a no-brainer decision to add it. Also, by sticking to the original plumbing locations (tub/toilet/vanity) the only new plumbing modifications needed in the room were for the new tub and for the second sink. No major changes in shifting drain lines around, which was a relief.

Adding a make-up station. Not sure if this is the correct name for it, but it's what I call the area. I thought it would be good to have an area for the Queen to get ready, and by using the second sink and this make-up area she has her own area of the bathroom, while also staying out of the traffic lane into the shower area. This make-up area will be a floating drawer with a thin glass top, and an outlet has been added at an appropriate height for a hair dryer or make up light.

Adding a linen closet. The odd shape in the corner where the linen closet is was previously unusable space, so we figured we may as well make use of it. An 18" helped us not to intrude on the other door's swing, and also kept the closet from being to obtrusive in the spaece. The closet will be a great place to store towels and bathroom clutter, while not taking up usable space.

Adding shower niches. The two shower niches will be a nice place to store all the products in the shower. The Queen has a plethora of stuff in the tub area, so the niches will be a great way to avoid clutter on the edge of the tub.

Overall I'm pleased with the design. I think splitting the space into two rooms will functionally maximize the space, making it the best use of space for our single full bath house. I'll be glad to have the bathroom done in a couple of weeks.

P.S. Based upon comments from the last post I decided to go with the dual flush Toto Aquia. Hopefully it lives up to expecations. :-)


Beancountingqueen said...

Admit it - you just want a place to put on your eyeshadow every morning...

Summer said...

That is a great layout!

I'm not sure if it would work with a pocket door, but the glass transom over my bathroom door brings in light from the hall skylight to make it feel a little more "naturally lit". I also use full spectrum bulbs in the bathroom. If you can't do the transom, look closely at your light bulb choices.

Sarah P said...

have you looked into the tubular skylights? Here is a link I found:

There are probably other options out there. I asked our contractor about them and apparently they aren't too difficult to install.

Just an idea, thought it might help with the light issue.

Ben said...

Hey Corey,

Love the bathroom! Now, about the niches. They look like seperate pieces. Is this true? Or, it is just green board? I planning to put two in our master bath as well and would love to know more about yours!

Corey said...

Hi Ben,

The niches are prefab from They are extrude polystyrene, and are great because there are no seams on them, so there is no place for water to intrude. Also, since they are prefab they are plumb and level. If you want a niche without having these you'll have to carefully frame in each niche, attach backerboard to the framing and then make sure all of the seams are sealed. Noble has a wide selection of niches. After working with them, my contractor was raving about them and recommended them to another client already.

Corey said...

Hey Sarah, I hadn't really given tubular skylights much of a thought, but they are a great idea. Will look into them, though I must admit I have never cut a hole in my roof so that process makes me a bit nervous.

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Ever thought about cutting a piece out of the top of the wall near the vanity to take advantage of the light from the skylight in the bathroom? When we lived in Westport the middle bedroom shared the light from the skylight in the bathroom. It gave great illumination during the day.

Jenny said...

We went with the same toilets and they've been fine (how can a toilet really be more than that?). Love the dual flush.

Great job on expanding the usefulness of the bathroom!

Jessie said...

Love it! We're thinking about a similar set-up, with the 2 rooms to prepare for our 2 daughters to share a bathroom. We have a little time since the eldest is 4, but I love the idea of the double vanity closed off from the toilet and shower. Another plus, that the queen will appreciate will be drying her hair without all the humidity from the shower.

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