Bathroom Design: Think “Better,” not “Bigger”

While we may all dream of having a master bathroom that is as large as the average living room, it is rarely a reality for most homeowners, especially when remodeling an existing bath. If you’re stuck in a “there’s just no hope” frame of mind about your petite bath, and it’s keeping you from considering a renovation, fear not. Because maximizing space is a major part of our design process, creating your own private haven is more doable than you might think.

Vanities: Making a Case for Custom

While the look of custom or semi-custom cabinetry adds a high-design element to any space, opting for custom is about more than just looks. It is also about storage, a key factor in maintaining a clutter-free, spa-like bathroom. Because custom cabinetry is created to exact dimensions, not an inch of space is wasted.

bathroom design ideas

In this master bath, which won an award from the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Northern New England chapter in 2017, one entire wall is devoted to cabinetry. Judy Whalen, our design director, opted for a dual-sink vanity with a set of drawers set between the sinks. Above the sinks is a mirror-fronted medicine cabinet. On the right, a floor-to-ceiling arrangement of cabinets and drawers is perfect for linens and extra supplies. Additional mirrors on the cabinet doors add to the room’s open, airy appeal.

Even mini bathrooms will yield major results from custom cabinetry.

small master bathroom

In the photo on the left, Senior Designer Julie Lyons went with a floating vanity when she remodeled her own home. The drawers provide a bit of storage and, because the vanity is cantilevered into the wall, it doesn’t consume floor space, making the room feel larger. On the right, a custom-made vanity has turned the smallest of alcoves into serene a spot for putting on makeup.

Showers: Go with Glass

Glass shower enclosures continue to gain in popularity, not only for their sleek appearance but because, unlike shower curtains, they have no “visual footprint,” which can make a bathroom feel choppy and divided.

walk-in showers

While many homeowners opt to forgo a bathtub in the master bath, some enjoy a long, relaxing soak on occasion. Whether you decide on a walk-in shower or deep soaking tub, a glass enclosure is the perfect finishing touch. The shower on the left is just a touch larger than a typical bathtub, so it would be an even “swap” of floor space in a renovation. In the photo on the right, the bathtub is the same width and length of traditional tubs, but it’s quite a bit deeper, perfect for a nice, long soak.

Is a Freestanding Tub a Must?

There is something so luxurious about a freestanding tub, isn’t there? If having one is at the top of your wish list, there are options for smaller bathrooms.

free standing tubs

On the left, our designer set a petite tub between two vanities. Short on length, but extra deep, it’s a perfect choice for smaller bathrooms. On the right, a freestanding tub has been “built in” to cabinetry with a deep drawer for added storage on either end. Brilliant!

As with most home renovations, the gap between “I want” and “I need” in a master bath remodel can be bridged with smart design choices.