7 Design Details to Consider When Planning Your Master Bathroom (2024)

Are you planning to build a master bathroom or upgrade the one you have? The last thing you’ll want is to blow the budget or end up with a design that’s a far cry from the one you envisioned. Once you and your designer have worked out the best way to use your available space, it’s time to work on the details that make it functional and beautiful — while keeping an eye on costs.

New York Stone

1. Consider Using the Same Color Tiles for the Floor and Walls

Choosing the same color for the floor and wall tiles — even if they’re different shapes — will make a small master bath feel much larger. If you can tile walls only to a certain height, consider painting the plaster above the tiled section the same color as the tiles.

Tip: If you love the look of stone but it’s out of your budget, consider an affordable ceramic tile that mimics the look and feel of stone.

Find bathroom tile on Houzz

NORTHBOURNE Architecture + Design

2. Make Windows as Big as You Can

Master bathrooms are often located on the side of the house, so you can generally incorporate a window into the design. The sides of many homes are often the most private spaces because they usually face a wall or fence. If this is the case for you, rather than put a small window in your en suite, you might consider a glass wall. Not only can this bring a touch of greenery into your bathroom, but it also will make a small space feel larger.

For a special touch, consider including a sliding door, so you can step outside too.

United Signature Tacoma

3. Don’t Forget the Power of Good Lighting

Placing lights strategically is another way to make a compact master bathroom feel bigger. Use LED strip lighting to bathe entire walls and floors with a soft, diffused light that resembles daylight. Add lighting to the top of a concealed bulkhead or beneath a vanity, so the vanity appears to float. These are very effective methods of lighting a small en suite.

Tip: Concealing the light source is a smart trick you might consider incorporating into your bathroom design — you’ll find that it visually extends the space.

Brickworks Building Products

4. If Space Is Tight, Choose a Sliding Door

The door you select for your master bathroom can have a big effect not just on how big the space feels, but also on how comfortably you can move around in it. A hinged door that swings inward will take away valuable floor space — fine if you have a large en suite, but not ideal in a compact one. In this case, a door that slides into a hidden pocket in the wall is the best option.

Just bear in mind that you won’t be able to fix towel racks or other accessories to the back of a pocket door, as you would with a hinged door or one that simply slides across a blank wall.

Tip: If your en suite is dark, you might consider a glass sliding door, so you can “borrow” light from the adjoining bedroom. Frosted glass also would allow for a sense of privacy.

Pocket Door Ideas You’re Going to Love

Meadowlark Design+Build

5. Think Carefully About Where to Put Accessories

As with any bathroom design, there will be a number of accessories you’ll need to add to your en suite to make it functional. Towel racks, for instance, need to be located near the shower and vanity.

If your bathroom has limited wall space, consider putting accessories in other spots, such as the back of the door, above or around the toilet, or on the side of the vanity (perfect for installing a toilet paper holder or hand towel ring).

If you plan to install accessories on the bathroom door, be sure to choose a solid-core style, so you can screw the accessories on securely.

Tip: Make sure your plumbing fixtures and accessories are finished in the same color for a more streamlined look.

6. Know the Factors That Affect Cost

The cost of your master bathroom will vary according to such factors as whether it is part of a new build or is being retrofitted into an existing home. Simply replacing fixtures in an existing room while retaining the layout and plumbing will be considerably cheaper than rearranging the layout of the entire room or installing a new en suite.

Other factors can have a big effect on cost too, including whether there is plumbing close to where you’re installing the new en suite that you can simply tap into or whether new plumbing needs to be put in. If you’re extending your home outside its current boundaries to accommodate the new bathroom, this will be another added expense.

Tip: When you start thinking about your new master bathroom, make a list of the fixtures it will require. Add three columns to the right of the list and get three quotes for each item. You have just created a blueprint budget for three results, usually a low-end, moderate and luxury finish.

Dutchman Furniture LLC

7. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

When planning a master bathroom, the most important thing to consider is what functions need to take place in the space. Once you’ve worked that out, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I need a large wall mirror or would it be more cost-effective and just as practical to hang one above the sink?
  • Would it be a good idea to mount the vanity on the wall to maximize floor space?

  • Do I need extra storage in the form of shelves, medicine cabinets or wall recesses?
  • Should the sink be recessed into a cabinet, hung on the wall or sitting on the counter as a feature?

Stephen Moser Architect

  • Would limiting the tile and color selections streamline the bathroom and make it feel not only larger, but also cleaner and more luxurious?
  • What can I edit to make the bathroom seem bigger and less cluttered?

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

Share: Do you have a new master bathroom? Tell us about it and share your tips in the Comments.

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7 Design Details to Consider When Planning Your Master Bathroom (2024)
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