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Sixth House Renovation Plan - The Upstairs Hall Bathroom

Hello. In the last post I gave an introduction to the upstairs so you would have an idea of the placement for all of the spaces on the second floor. Today we are going to talk about the space that troubled me the most when my older daughter and I first looked at our sixth house - the hall bathroom. It is nestled in a triangular shape at the top of the stairs. Triangles and angles are a common theme in this house, the most significant being the bump out in the kitchen. There is one door to the bathroom from the hallway very close to two of the bedroom's doors and another door to the bathroom directly from the third bedroom - making the bathroom a sort of jack and two jills, perhaps.

I would have to say the fact that the bathroom does not and cannot have a window (because it is in the center of the house) is what bothered/bothers me the most. It is so dark in there. I also really do not like the lack of any type of symmetry in the space.

After we weighed all of our (very minimal) options of what was on the market and decided to purchase this house I started to brainstorm on what I could do to make this bathroom situation better. My first goal was to try and wrangle two bathrooms out of the space. Our last two homes each had one "kids" bedroom with its own bath and a hall bathroom for the other bedrooms and I wanted to have that in this house too.

To get us started, here is the blueprint for the space as built originally:

In what is labeled on the blueprint as "bedroom #4" (I have referred to it as Bedroom One in my previous posts), there are two closets on the right side of the room, one is clearly shown and only half of the second closet is visible. To the right of the hallway leading into "bedroom #4" is the angled bump-out of the master bedroom sitting area. Here is the blueprint again showing the area I could work with to get two bathrooms:

Here are the changes I wanted to make to the overall space:

  1. Square off the master sitting area and convert the angled bump-out to a hallway for bedroom #4

  2. Reduce the closet space to one larger closet in bedroom #4

  3. Convert the current hallway to bedroom #4 into bathroom space

  4. Remove the niche in the upstairs hall and the linen closet in the bathroom to gain space for the bathrooms

  5. Add skylights

I knew from our Grosse Pointe house (fourth house) that a very small bathroom could be functional and attractive and I knew from our Holland house (fifth house) that if you design a custom vanity you can get a double sink or at least a sink large enough for two faucets to work in a smaller space. Here is what I came up with initially. The second photo is indicating the wall changes to the hallway and closet in red pencil.

Here are the highlights of the design:

  • The current bathroom no longer has a door to the hallway, becoming an en-suite bath for "bedroom #4"

  • The current bathroom becomes a rectangle with a shower placed at the end (where the door from the hallway used to be)

  • The door from "bedroom #4" to the en-suite bath becomes a pocket door

  • The hallway into "bedroom #4" is now in the space that had been the angled bump-out in the master sitting area

  • The size of "bedroom #4" does not change, the entrance now takes some of the previous closet space

  • The entrance to the hall bath is now where the niche was

  • A hall bath custom vanity goes all the way to the angled wall to allow for plenty of counter space and enough room for two faucets

  • The tub in the hall bath now occupies the former hallway into "bedroom #4"

  • Skylights in both bathrooms

I discussed this design in great detail with all of the builders that came to bid on our job. This was before I went to an architect with my plans and started reaching out to contractors (non-design firms). Here is what one builder came back with:

First he said, all of your measurements worked out! It could totally work! I took that to be encouraging and not condescending. Then the builder gave two options in addition to changing my toilet/sink placement in the en-suite bath. In the first he used the pocket door I had put in my design and in the second he used a traditional door, changing the placement of the tub, so there would be room for a linen closet. After he presented his plans he remarked that I sure was going to a lot of trouble and expense to put in an extra bathroom, something he did not think he would ever do for his children, and he's a builder!

As the bids for the renovation started to come in and the scope of work and expense seemed to expand with each one, I found myself aligning my thoughts with the builder who "would never have added in another bathroom upstairs" and started focusing on what I could do with the existing bath to make it better in every way.

Here are some of the plans I came up with.

I thought since it would be a shared bathroom, it would be nice to perhaps put the toilet in its own space for privacy:

Or maybe move the tub and toilet around?

I also toyed around with the idea of having both a shower and tub in the bathroom and must have thrown out that plan. Ultimately I decided I did not like the lopsided sinks and that it did not make sense for our budget to move the plumbing for the tub and toilet around so I decided to work with the plumbing where it was (basically) and center a trough sink that could accommodate three faucets and place tall cabinets on either side for both symmetry and closed storage. Because of our roof line, we would also need to use a sun tunnel for natural light, rather than put in a full skylight. At least the bathroom will no longer feel so dungeon like, I'd still rather have fresh air though. Oh well, I can't have everything - just hoping I can have everything else :-)

Here are the images of the design from Brenda, our architect:

As I believe I have mentioned previously, there were no listing photos of this bathroom and I had just about decided that I wasn't going to show pictures of this space and I for sure was not going to show my mock ups of them, where is the fun in that though?! Who knows, maybe you won't think they're that bad. Fair warning, you have time to bail now before you see these if you wish to!

View from the hallway. The day we moved in my older daughter kindly went to Target to get some essentials and I asked her to bring back a shower curtain. She asked me if I cared what it looked like and I said nope, get whatever you want and this is that shower curtain!

View from "bedroom #4":

View from toilet. I started taking the picture sitting on the toilet and then decided it would be better for all of us if I stood in the tub.

Now for the pictures attempting to show the placement of the design. This is where the sink and cabinets would be:

This is the removal of the closet and niche:

Okey, doke. There you have it. The hall bathroom is no longer a secret. This bathroom is yet another space in the house that will really benefit from a complete redo! I sure hope the before and after photos are as awesome in reality as they are in my head right now. Next time we will look at the master suite. A lot of changes planned in there. I hope to see you there.

Thank you so much for being here today,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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