Designing a Master Bathroom – Inspiration and Floor Plans

Well I’m quite excited today because this is the first post on my blog completely dedicated to our house build!!  If you didn’t know, we are building our dream house.  To give you an idea – it’s out in the country on some acreage.  We have cows as neighbors! (yes, I’m excited about it and we can’t smell them – I find cows less annoying than leaf blowers, sirens, car alarms, and neighbor’s barking dogs).
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We met with our architect recently and saw our first draft of our floor plan. What I am going to talk about today is what we’re struggling with in the design: the master suite… and mainly, the master bathroom.


Here’s the deal with our master bathroom.  We aren’t going to have a bathtub because frankly, we *never* take a bath and it seems like a waste of space and money. AND if I were to pick out a bathtub, it would have to be a freestanding beautiful one that will cost $10k. Not something I want to spend money on when it will never be used. And for those of you who are shocked by the no-tub thing, there will be another tub in a guest suite that will be very nice to accommodate children and bath-takers.

sorry, no expensive beautiful tub for me. source

Other things about the design… we are going to have double vanities.  We are thinking a pair of either this one or this one from Restoration Hardware.  The question is, how do we arrange the bathroom??

Other things we are wanting for the bathroom – large walk in shower with double shower heads, bench.  Toilet in a separate toilet room. A place for a linen closet. And also a place for a towel warmer.


A few shower inspiration photos. I am thinking marble shower using 12×12 tiles on the wall.


I think this one below may be my favorite…


Or maybe this one, ha! They’re all so pretty.


Instead of a bathtub, I’m going to have a pretty vanity/makeup table.  I think that’s how we can add drama back into the bathroom as it seems that the bathtub is usually the focal point.  Hmm, guess I’ll have to go shopping for a fabulous antique French vanity table to put in front of the window….

When you look at these pictures, instead of a bathtub I want you to picture a fabulous make-up table vanity there instead.  That’s how I’m seeing it.  


These photos all have different styles. What I’m focusing on is the bathroom layout.   I really like the symmetry of the vanities across from each other.  Imagine the pretty dressing table where the tub is in the above picture.  In the picture below, again I notice I’m drawn to the symmetry. I think its pleasing to the eye and therefore relaxing.


A different type of layout from the two above. Hmmm…

source: my own picture

Again, love the two vanities, perhaps the makeup table could go in between the vanities under the window. Now though, how is the rest of this bathroom arranged? Where would the shower go? These are questions I’m thinking when looking at the pictures.


Now, this is pretty. Again, the symmetry is nice on the left.  A pretty vanity where the tub is.  Is the toilet room the door on the left? I think I’d make it that.  I think the photographer is standing in the shower. This is nice. Oh, and I totally love all the decor in the bathroom too.


Smaller vanities next to each other, we could do this. How cute are the Monsieur and Madame tiles??


These vanities below are laid out close to each other but I still like it. How is the shower placed though??


This is nice too. The style is contemporary but we aren’t looking at that.  Maybe instead of a fireplace, a French armoire to be used as a linen closet? Yes, I think so.


In this layout below, we could just remove the tub from the center. Perhaps the shower is on the left and the toilet on the right.


Here is a bathroom I really love!  I do like the built-in cabinets as they look like furniture.  I think this bathroom has a really nice lay out.  Now, how do I incorporate this into my house plan overall, hmm…

Traditional Bathroom by El Dorado Hills General Contractors Lee Construction

Traditional Bathroom by El Dorado Hills General Contractors Lee Construction

Now, here are some actual sketches of bathroom floor plans that caught my eye.  In the one below, I do like how the closets buffer noise from the bathroom.  I would remove the linen closet and put symmetrical double vanities there.  Also remove the door back from the bathroom to the WIC entrance. Tub turns into a table.


Now, this is nice. Again I like how the closets buffer the noise. Although, the shower is too small for us, we’d have to bump it out.


In the large floor plan below, I’m just focusing on the master suite and bathroom. Has a nice flow to it.  Although I don’t need double toilets.

Now on to the overall feel of the bathroom.  I am wanting it to feel not so much like a bathroom.  I want it to feel like a bit of a spa/retreat. I want some furniture in the bathroom.  Instead of a traditional linen closet that’s built in, why not use an antique French armoire??  It adds drama and style.  I would like a chair or a bench too, so you can put your robe down or sit!

The bathroom below I am in love with. It doesn’t feel like a bathroom, does it? It feels like a spa!  French armoire as a linen closet!   table in the middle! Oh, an Aubusson rug! J’adore! I think this picture is the overall “feel” I’m going for.

*love* this bathroom  source

Instead of an antique armoire, the person below used an antique secretary as a linen closet! I think it is *so* interesting. I love it.


This scene below has such a nice vignette, if you put your hand over the bottom half of the picture, you wouldn’t think you’re in a bathroom!


Don’t you think these bathrooms with real furniture in them are really cool? 


Want to know another bonus of using nontraditional furniture in the bathroom – pieces can be picked up cheaper than built-in cabinets!  Go to estate sales, antique stores, flea markets. We can find pieces for cheaper and that are made of solid wood!  Built-ins, especially custom built-ins, are a pretty penny!

Look at how someone made this French cabinet into a double vanity! So clever and so totally cute.


One last inspiration picture…


So, that’s what I’m thinking for the master bathroom.  Writing a post about it helped me organize my thoughts!  

What do you think about using non-traditional furniture (like an armoire, table, secretary) in the bathroom?? Leave me a comment!

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  1. February 28, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    I'm so excited for you (and a little jealous! I will have to live vicariously!) And the inspiration pics are perfect. I absolutely love the idea of an antique armoire in the bathroom! Also, just as an aside, we do not have a tub in our master. Not by choice, that's just how this house was built and I can't add one unless I wanted to give up closet space ( And honestly, I don't miss it. Like you, we don't really use it. The only thing I miss is how pretty they are!

    It all looks great and I know it will come out beautifully! Looking forward to following all of your stages!


    • February 29, 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Oh, good to hear you don't miss your master bathtub! The freestanding ones are so pretty, but I really don't think I'll miss it! I'd rather put the money to an armoire!

  2. February 29, 2016 / 2:06 am

    Angelina, how exciting! I'm crushing over most of these baths you've shown. We live in a 1930s home which translates small baths. When we purchased this home, we converted the large attic space into a master and master bath. We don't have a tub in the master, but the other original baths have tubs. If I were building and designing a new master, I'd definitely have one of the deep standing tubs. I love a good soaking bubble bath. I understand not wanting to add a tub if you never plan to use it. Our shower is walk-in with multiple shower heads. Highly recommend that configuration.
    As for furniture in a bath. You'll get a thumbs up from me. I wish our baths were large enough to accommodate a beautiful piece of antique bamboo for holding towels or a wardrobe for such. I think furniture definitely adds a unique look. Perhaps your vanity table could be a piece of furniture too. I know it will be beautiful in the end. You have great style. Have fun with the process.

    • February 29, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      Yes those deep soaking freestanding tubs are really beautiful … At a pretty penny! I just don't use it enough (aka at all!). Thanks for the input!

  3. February 29, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Oh wow, I love so many of the inspiration pics. I agree with you on the tub if you are not going to use it. They are $8-10,000 just for the tub, so put your money elsewhere. Leaving the space for the tub for a dressing table does actually allow you to change your mind in the future tho! I spent the money on a fancy tub and it was used twice in 10 years. Given all the issues with water conservation I am surprised that people use them.

    • February 29, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Oh yeah, didn't even think about the water conservation part! It's true if I have room for a dressing table I would have room for a tub, should I change my mind.

  4. March 2, 2016 / 5:31 am

    These are all beautiful designs – how do you choose between them?!

  5. March 3, 2016 / 2:08 am

    Later this year I hope to build a house as well. Love your examples, and I'm right there with you on the bathtub. A vanity is a wonderful substitute. I apply makeup at a table in front of a window… always. Love the idea of the old secretary. I have one that was my grandmother's that I'm thinking of doing a soft french blue refinish and using it in my bathroom as well. I look forward to following your plans! Brenda/

    • March 3, 2016 / 4:58 am

      Oh, thanks for following along! I'm working on a post about dining rooms next.Don't know when it'll be ready, maybe next week. I think the secretary you're talking about would be wonderful in a french blue in the bathroom! I'll follow you along too!

  6. March 3, 2016 / 4:29 am

    The inspiration photos you chose are fabulous. What an exciting plan! Can't wait to see the process and eventually your big reveal! πŸ™‚

    • March 3, 2016 / 4:59 am

      Oh thanks very much! My husband and I are so excited! And a little overwhelmed! We think, what are we getting ourselves into? ha!

  7. March 3, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    Love these ideas and these styles. I love the idea of using non-traditional furniture in the bathroom. I have an old, wooden table with copper sink as my vanity in guest bathroom.

  8. March 3, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    Your inspiration pictures are amazing. I think you should definitely use nontraditional furniture in your bathroom. Thanks so much for sharing this on Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

  9. March 3, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    Amazing inspiration pictures! I especially love the leaded glass window. You might never come out of there once yours is done. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for linking this beautiful post with Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

  10. March 3, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    What a fun adventure you are on.
    The bathroom is stunning.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

  11. March 4, 2016 / 12:45 am

    There's something beautiful in every single photo! All your ideas sound amazing and I know your choices will be stunning.

  12. March 5, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    All of the designs are gorgeous, but how could you live with out a long hot bath once in a while. I was in one at least 40 minutes yesterday.Will you have a hot tub outside? I grew up with cows as neighbors too, and you are right, they are much less annoying than leaf blowers.

    • March 5, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      I am just not a bath person. I find baths totally boring (not relaxing) and no hot tub for me either… Just not my thing. Steam shower is much more relaxing to me! Good to know cows are not so annoying!

  13. March 11, 2016 / 4:35 am

    Beautiful inspiration photos! Looking forward to seeing what you ultimately decide. If I were to design a new bath, I'd skip the tub, too. We have big claw foot that we use as a towel rack.

  14. January 20, 2017 / 9:17 am

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