You trip over a rubber ducky and sit down on a cold, unforgiving bit of porcelain. You notice that someone’s been nice enough to stack three empty cardboard toilet paper tubes in an intricate pyramid above the toilet paper dispenser. You make a mental note to scold said offender (and add toilet paper to your grocery shopping list). You turn on the water to wash your hands and accidentally knock a precariously balanced mountain of lotions, shaving cream, and makeup into the running water.
You head to the closet to pick out your clothes for today. Well, you would if you could find them amidst four seasons’ worth of his and hers wardrobes sagging perilously on a two-foot section of closet rod. If only you had space for out-of-season storage. Or your shoe collection. Or his/her stuff so you had room for your own stuff.
Perhaps, hypothetically speaking of course, you wonder why your idea of a dream bathroom or closet is the “before” video on most of the home improvement shows you like to watch. Because you don’t need luxury—you just need room for All.The.Things. You just want spaces that are functional, after all.
But what if we told you that you don’t need to be featured on a reality home repair show or to hold an imaginary job making millions to create specialized spaces that not only meet your #housegoals but also exceed your expectations?
Master (the) Bathroom Suite
What do you need to store? Think toilet paper, cosmetics, toiletries, bath toys, blow dryers and such. Consider other available storage areas around your home. What needs to have a permanent home in the bathroom and what can be stored elsewhere?
Who needs to be able to use the space? Are you sharing the bathroom with a significant other? Perhaps a double sink would prevent you from tripping over each other while trying to brush your teeth in the morning. Do you need to factor in accessibility? You can install bars in the shower and by the toilet to help with mobility (and safety). Are you likely to have little ones intent on using “the good bathroom”? Then you might factor in built-in storage that makes the space kid-friendly without compromising a more adult look.
What is your aesthetic? Do you like neutral colors or bold ones? Tile, laminate, vinyl, or wood? A pedestal sink or a vanity? What draws your attention when you’re flipping through home design magazines?
What extras would make this space extra special? Maybe it’s a rain shower. Or you like the idea of a tub with jacuzzi jets. Perhaps your idea of special might be that your toilet be tucked in the corner of the bathroom in its own zone (and with its own door) so that just once you could have that emergency conversation your toddler insists on without you having to make awkward eye contact at the same time.
Walk-In (to the) Closet (of your dreams)
The questions you need to be able to answer about that master bathroom suite apply here as well:
What do you need to store? Do you have a matching purse for every outfit? A robust baseball cap collection? Do you need space for a season’s worth of clothes or for everything you own? This is also a great time to think about how you like to store your clothing and accessories. Do you prefer to hang or fold your clothing? (No wire hangers ever.) Do you keep your shoes in their original boxes or like to store them in cute little shoe cubbies? You can customize this space to your very precise specifications (which is why you need to be clear on your specs before you start).
Who needs to be able to use the space? Is this your private walk-in closet or one that you’ll share? If you’re sharing closet space, make sure to be clear on the other person’s specifications for belongings as well. And don’t forget to factor in any accommodations you may need to make for a person with mobility limitations (lower clothing racks, room to navigate a walker or chair, etc.).
What is your aesthetic? When you think standard closets, you think white walls and a clothing rod, right? But a walk-in closet is another room in which to leave your very own artistic imprint. Animal prints, team colors, rainbow unicorns—the closet is your canvas to paint, wallpaper, carpet, and/or tile as you wish.
What extras would make this space extra special? Will you be leisurely dressing or hanging out in a terry bathrobe? Hello, seating area. Want a display of your day-of-the-week tiaras? Think custom drawers and/or shelving. Applying your makeup? Yes, please, light-up vanity. Folding clean clothes or packing for travel? Why, yes, an island would be a great idea.
Here’s the main takeaway when it comes to specialized spaces like master bathrooms suites and walk-in closets: The difference between ordinary and extraordinary doesn’t need to wreck a budget, especially if you have a clear idea of what you need and want and the right team to bring your vision to life.