The His and Hers Bathroom

This master bath…yikes! When you first walked in, no…as soon as you opened the door, BEFORE you even entered…your eyes saw nothing but this immensely over-sized raised and sunken and jetted bathtub!

It had 4 12”x12” columns and 12” surround and 22” high. You had to climb up 2 steps just to step down into the sunken tub.


Original set up of the master bathroom.

It was supposed to be grandeur, but it wasn’t.

After your initial shock from the giant bathtub that sat 3’ from the entry, you will notice, builder grade his and her granite vanities flanking the bathtub on opposite sides of the room.

Hidden behind the giant bathtub, was an open half-circle shower. This was tiled in 3” square natural stone from shower floor and up the wall 7’ high. It didn’t have a door, or a curtain, thus being an open shower.

It also had 2 shower heads that sprayed further than the “invisible” door. The tile stopped inside the shower, so the walls that were just on the outside of the shower were just drywall.


The original open half-circle shower has problems with design and function.

Did I also mention that the shower sprayed further than the shower? Even when it didn’t, our movement caused splashing outside the shower. So it was no surprise to us when our home inspector said the baseboard was rotten and needed replacement.

This master bath was in my house. I came up with the design for the bath before we moved into the house while we were still in Virginia. The design came to me as most of my other ideas do, it just pops in my head, after hours of  contemplation.

I start staring at the space, well, technically, at the picture(s). I keep in mind the needs and wants and budget of the client, in this case myself and my husband. I also kept in mind that this isn’t our forever home and will want to have a good return on it in a couple of years. I imagine a blank slate pretty much.

I know I am keeping the vanity cabinets but exchanging the tops. I know a stand alone tub needs to have a place. I know the shower needs doors. I think about the rest of the house, and the style it is and more importantly, the styles it isn’t.

After draft after draft in my head, I doodle on my white board. I love doodling designs on my white board! It’s a creative process that makes me happy!

The issue I was having is the big giant space that the big giant tub left behind. If I placed a soaking tub, which most average 30”x 69-72”, in the big giant space that the big giant tub left, then it would feel like an afterthought, not to mention no sense of real privacy.

I could put the average size soaking tub where the shower is, but then I would have to move the shower to the center build a 4 walls of glass, or 4 walls of something. I’d need to figure out how to be fancy and have the shower head come from the ceiling, which will mean moving plumbing.

One design decision always affects another decision and that decision will affect another decision. I scratched that idea quickly. Plus my tub would have felt squished to me.

So back again to the big giant space for the now normal size tub. Literally, I went back to the drawing board.

I knew I wanted my average size soaking tub to be next to a bubble tile wall. I had seen a bubble tile many years ago and had always wanted to incorporate it some how, but my husband wasn’t so keen on the bubble look. So now I can see my average size soaking tub next to my bubble wall, with a stand alone faucet.

But I don’t have a wall to put my bubble tile and average size soaking tub unless I build one. Oh, and there goes the floodgates. Now I have floating wall in the middle where the big giant space is that was left from removing the big giant tub. One side will have bubbles for me, and the other side will have bricks for him.


Her side features a bubble tile wall and an average size soaking tub.

As I was shopping for shower tile, I found reclaimed wood mosaic. THAT WAS IT! My husband’s side of the floating wall in the big giant space left from that big giant tub will have this gorgeous reclaimed wood mosaic!

Against his wall he will have a white bench, a couple of hooks, a shelf and a mirror. A nod to a gentleman’s locker room. His closet is next to his vanity, so everything for him will be right there on HIS side.


His side of the bathroom features a reclaimed wood mosaic wall and finishes that are a nod to a gentleman’s locker room.

The dilemma for the shower, was if we had one door in the middle, it would run into the floating wall. If we scooted it down to one side or the other, then the other would have an awkward entry and exit.

If I put a sliding door, again, the other person would have an awkward exit. Wait, what if I had 2 doors? Each one opening from the proper side. I spoke with the glass shower man and he said he could do that! So we did that!

The vanities evolved from being white quartz to custom made-in-place cement tops. The bling(s) i.e., lights, faucets,floors etc. fell into place once the floor plan was decided.


The new vanities feature custom made-in-place cement tops.

What was the point of this blog post? LOL, I guess to show that it takes a while for a design to come about to it’s final form. Not only is there a long thought process for the look, but plenty of math for measuring spaces and forms, to order the right amount of tile without too much overage, to calculate how much light will project from the ceiling lamp and for budgeting.

Many hours of research to find the right pieces that come in within your time frame, and within budget. Then hopefully the contractor will tell you all your design plans are feasible and we don’t have to compromise on anything.

Then we can begin.


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