How to Master Your Bathroom

When we help to design and construct a custom home for a client, we spend a lot of time talking about the number of bedrooms, the layout of the kitchen, the HVAC system, and more. We factor in the client’s tastes and lifestyle, where the sun rises in the morning, how often they entertain, and other such nuances. We’re finding ourselves spending more and more time getting creative with that one room that every homeowner sees every day:

The Master Bath.

The master bathroom used to be just another bathroom. “You’ll need a sink, a bathtub, and we’ll put the toilet over there in the corner.” But the master bath has become a sort of statement piece. Homeowners are realizing that it’s where they start their day, so it sets the mood. It’s where they end the day, washing the day’s stresses and troubles off of their face. It’s a spot where one can spend a bit of time pampering themselves.

So why not design it that way?

Here’s a short list of some do’s and don’t’s when mastering your bathroom design:

  • Pay Attention to Surfaces.
    That cork that you saw while you were on vacation may seem pretty cool, but how well will it hold up in your bathroom? You may or may not use a cleaning service, but will your chrome fixtures still be shiny after a dozen years? It’s perfectly fine to want to save a bit of money by choosing a lesser quality vanity top or shower tile, but you get what you pay for. A bathroom is going to be exposed to all of your soaps and shampoos, not to mention the water, heat and humidity you generate.
  • Where Are Your Towels?
    We often forget about storage in the bathroom. Our clothes are in the closet, and a bar of soap is tiny. Connecting a walk-in closet or dressing area to a bathroom solves many of these problems, but the last thing that you want to do after showering is wander around while dripping wet and looking for a towel. The items that you use daily – from towels and robes to shampoos and body scrubs – should be located someplace convenient. This includes while you’re using them.
  • What’s Your Splurge Item?
    Folks like to treat themselves to things. They buy a sports car. They book a fancy vacation. They splurge on an expensive watch. It’s perfectly fine to think that way when designing a bathroom as well. If given a choice, why not choose a jacuzzi tub instead of a soaking tub? A shower with a variety of shower heads and nozzles is becoming more and more popular. If your fancy hotel had a television hidden behind the mirror, why can’t you watch your favorite program while you shave?
  • Think About Your Water Use.
    If you’re someone who likes to linger in the steam, you may find that you need an upgraded water heater. Many standard units hold around 50 gallons of water, and an upgrade to a larger tank may mean an extra $2,000 or so. Thirsty or inefficient fixtures may impact your wallet when it comes time to pay your utility bills as well.
  • Don’t Skimp on Lighting.
    We put a lot of thought into lighting the workspaces in our kitchens. People work very hard to create the right ambiance in a living room or den. Why cut corners in the bathroom? It makes perfect sense to choose the right lighting for your vanity, but what about the shower? Do you really want the same lighting you use for putting on makeup when you’re trying to relax in the tub?


Many people refer to the kitchen as the “Heart of the Home.” Given the time spent and the amount of peace and comfort it can provide, couldn’t you refer to the master bath as the “Soul?”

It would make sense to pour your soul into making it right.