Friday, March 16, 2012

First Floor Bathroom Plans

Our downstairs bathroom qualifies as one of the most unpleasant rooms in the house. I will go upstairs to use the bathroom, even if I am in the living room right next to the downstairs bathroom.

This room has resulted in a lot of discussion, confusion, ideas, and changes. If you asked me a year ago what we were doing with this bathroom, I would have said we're cutting it in half.. half will be part of the pantry and the other half will be a half bathroom. We'd get rid of the tub and shower (hey, they are ugly and don't work anyways!) because we had plans to expand the bathroom upstairs and add another upstairs bathroom. But all of that will be in the future. A year later, we're now at the point where we're thinking it might be a good idea to not only have a bathtub but also have the option of a second shower.

It is a known fact that I hate the layout of this bathroom. It is awkward. It's a large room, but everything is squished in one corner, leaving more than half of the room unused. It has a massive closet that is about 1/4 the size of the room. More wasted space.. there are a lot of pipes in here and it's too deep to be of any use.

Now we're at the point where we just need to do something in this room. R is really set on keeping the tub. He also mentioned maybe keeping everything where it is and just updating the plumbing and light fixtures and repairing the walls. I let that sit for a couple days. Finally, I realized that maybe he had a good point. Someday, I plan on relocating the downstairs bathroom to the other side of the house. Where the garage and mudroom will be. So why spend the time and money now relocating the plumbing in this room? And why spend the time and money putting in new walls? What use will a small room be once I relocate the bathroom?

The answer came to me while looking at some plans I did for a house we lost before we found this house. It was the same style with a similar layout. In that house, the room where our bathroom is was a bedroom, but when I saw it I immediately said it would be my library. So I got to thinking. By the time we put on the big addition and relocate the bathroom we will hopefully have one or two kids, and that means that at least Ryan's office will be gone. Wouldn't it be nice to have a room off the Living Room where we could have a computer and desk set up plus lots of bookcases? Yes. Yes it would. So if we do that, why make the room smaller now and then expand it in the future. That would require changing the layout of my pantry, which I will hopefully have by then. It just all of a sudden seemed pointless to me.
So I spent a couple hours and came up with this layout. I love it! Now whenever I walk by the bathroom I stop for a minute and imagine the new plan in my head. Love love love!
Tub: We'll remove the tile surround, but the actual tub is in good shape. It's just a nasty color. We plan on getting a Bathfitter cover for it. The new tile surround will be white subway tile with a square blue glass tile accent strip. We'll also get a new shower head and faucet. The existing shower head doesn't work (diverter is broken).

Toilet: New toilet, but in basically the exact same spot as the existing toilet. I think we will need to put in some extra support in the basement. The floor beneath the current toilet is sloping.. perhaps partly due to the weight of the toilet, some holes in the floor for previous plumbing and maybe some water damage.
Closet: The new closet is still deeper than your average 24" closet (it's about 36" deep), but it is positioned so that the window is centered on that wall and all of the plumbing going to the second floor bathroom will be concealed inside the closet. The inside will be all shelves, for towels and extra supplies.

Radiator and Window: Don't move at all. We'll just give them a new coat of paint.
Vanity and Tall Cabinet: I love the look of furniture in the bathroom. Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware make some vanities that are made to look like a piece of furniture, not just cabinetry. I've seen a lot of pictures of refurbished dressers being used as vanities. This is something I might consider. Otherwise, it will be something we'll build ourselves, with a granite or marble countertop and under-mount sink. The tall cabinet next to the toilet will have the toilet paper holder attached to it, plus lots of open shelving for baskets and other knick-knacks. It will be made by us.. either to match the vanity we built, or built to match a piece of furniture we buy and re-purpose.

Walls: The walls will be tall (5') beadboard with a shelf on the top. The shelf will only be about 3 or 4" wide, but deep enough to display small things. I love the look of this. It's the one thing that has never changed in my vision for this room. I'm thinking a blueish green for the walls.

Floor: The existing wood floor will stay. It is currently painted and I don't think we'd be able to remove the paint without destroying the floor, so most likely we will be repainting it, despite my dislike for painted wood floors. A large rug will go in the center of the room.

By relocating the sink, we are pulling that side of the room together with the tub/toilet area. Now it is just a big empty space, but by having the center of the room be large and empty, it'll help make the room seem smaller.. more to scale with a bathroom.

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