5 Considerations - Master Bath Remodel

1   -   Rethink your space. Your living space may need reconfiguration.

With a little vision and creativity, sometimes it’s possible to get your ideal master bathroom by reworking the living space surrounding it. Often we find a way to add a bathroom or enlarge it by moving a wall or simply rethinking the bathroom footprint and how you want the space to function.

For example, in one of our recent projects we took a large hallway closet and turned it into a ‘micro-master bathroom’ off the master bedroom. This choice improved the function of the home and will improve value. It’s almost like this new master bathroom was meant to be there all along!  

Newly added ‘micro-master bath,’ previously the hall closet
Newly added ‘micro-master bath’, previously the hall closet

2   -  Improve function. Think through how you want to use the space.

Replace the jacuzzi. Bathtubs are used less often than showers. Should you replace the seldom used jacuzzi with a new, sleek modern tile shower? Consider having a tub in the guest or children’s bathroom instead and have fun creating a new, walk-in shower that’s beautiful, comfortable and modern. Alternatively, a  free-standing tub is a popular option for master bath remodels, adding a level of elegance and sophistication.

Practice using the space.  During the planning phase, think through how to make the space more functional. For example, the location of shower controls. The most convenient spot may not be directly under the shower head, as traditionally seen. In a West Des Moines master bathroom remodel we placed them just inside the shower near the entrance, outside the spray zone in a more comfortable location.

Shower Controls shown outside of spray zone, near entrance.
Shower Controls shown outside of spray zone, near entrance

3  -  Save some room. Consider space saving solutions.

Pocket doors. For small bathrooms, pocket doors can aid in helping the bathroom feel larger, by opening up the entrance and helping with traffic flow while still offering the privacy needed for bath or toilet rooms.

Tankless Toilet. We needed to maximize every inch of the new ‘micro-master bath’ we added to a master bedroom in our award-winning project from the 2019 Tour of Remodeled Homes. The tankless toilet by Kohler gave us an extra 10 inches of space. And it stirs up conversation because of its unique design!

Pocket Door, Tankless Toilet, Full Length Mirror Medicine Cabinet - Space Saving Options
Pocket Door, Tankless Toilet, Full Length Mirror Medicine Cabinet - Space Saving Options

4 - Outside of the box. Creative options for the bathroom vanity.

A bathroom vanity doesn’t have to be a traditional cabinet. A number of different items can be turned into vanities. If you have heirlooms such as an old buffet, stereo console or dresser, consider turning this into a modern bathroom vanity. For example, we used a mid-century modern TV stand as a vanity in a South of Grand remodel. It added a higher level of interest to the bathroom, in addition to storage space. This option was a cost-effective vanity option as well, as we used a glass top for the counter surface.

A TV stand turned vanity.
A TV stand turned vanity

5  -  Own it. Ultimately, design is only a matter of opinion.

In the spirit of good design, here are a couple of our ‘rules’ for choosing finishes. In a bathroom remodel there are several items that must coordinate with one another - from lighting to hardware to faucets. Black and brushed nickel are by far the most common finish selections we use in our projects currently, but occasionally we have homeowners that love the look of chrome or gold for example. We think it’s important to consider the style of the home or bath to pick the appropriate finishes. Our rule of thumb is to limit the number to two per room. We occasionally will mix finishes in the same bath - a black faucet with a brushed nickel vanity light and black bath accessories. Any more than two finishes and the space doesn’t feel cohesive.

Our designers are a tremendous help to our clients in picking out selections for their remodeled space. On one recent project South of Grand, the client shared inspiration photos with designer, Jen Haywood with Texturious Designs, which helped the designer choose finish options to present to the client. Her idea boards were so spot on, it took the client only 30 minutes to pick out finishes for the kitchen! The designer made the selection process easy, said the client.

We love it when clients like our ideas, but we’re not offended when they don’t! If your gut tells you you’re not in love with it, trust it. Yes, interior design does have general rules to follow, but at the end of the day it’s your home, your style. Embrace your style and the natural features your home provides….  whatever it may be!  

Contact us for a consult: 515-585-1052. See more project photos on Facebook.

— Nicholas Donlin, Owner, Zenith Design Build
— Jen Haywood, Interior Designer,
Texturious Designs


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