Bathroom Designs: When asking ahead can save you a headache

bathroom designs

Bathroom Designs: When asking ahead can save you a headache

I have my head knee deep in bathroom designs these days. Right now, Iโ€™m working on

  • A master bathroom and a fun powder room for one family.
  • Another master bathroom, master closet, main bath, and the addition of a main floor laundry space for another family.

In both instances, I did something that I’ve learned to do ahead of making any plans:

Ask my plumber!

Bathroom Designs


When it comes to designing bathrooms in existing homes, plumbing plays a key role. When I carry out my Renovation Discovery Sessions, I visit the home to see what we are dealing with and what the rest of the home looks like.

Yes – what the rest of the home looks like. Things I’m looking for are:

  • Is there a basement and is it developed or not. This includes the basement and whether it has a finished ceiling.
  • Have there been any plumbing issues previously?
  • What is the current plumbing situation?
  • Is part of the wish to go from one sink to two?

All of these plumbing questions and scenarios come into play BEFORE I begin to plan the bathroom.

Can it be done?

As I tell my clients, anything can be done – it just may cost. I believe it’s my job to not design a space that is going to cost hundreds, if not thousands more due to a bad design. I also don’t want to ever get the hopes up to only find out that the design I created is not do-able. Oh man…that would be the worst feeling!

A Real Life Example

Master Bath One

Here is one master bathroom that I am currently working in.

bathroom designs
Bathroom Design: As Is

As you can see, there already is a double sink vanity, a monstrous corner bath tub, and a small neo-angle shower. Beside the double sink vanity is a half wall that has the vanity counter continuing across.

On the Wish List

  • Better use of cabinet storage. Currently there are doors on the sink cabinet bases. The middle cabinet has drawers.
  • My clients wish to have a tub/shower combination. The idea of a nice, large bathtub is on the list of wishes.
  • More useable storage.

Answers to my plumbing questions

Prior to me starting the designs of this bathroom, I asked my plumber and site supervisor some important questions.

  • Does the new bathtub need to go where the existing one is OR can it go where the shower is?
  • Can a new bathtub go where the existing vanity sits?
  • What are the budget items I will need to know? I don’t like surprises!
  • IF the new bathtub goes where the shower goes, do I need to have a plumbing wall for any reason (6″ ) as opposed to a normal wall (4″).

While some of these questions I already know the answers to,

There is no question that is a dumb question!

I would rather get confirmation, a rough cost estimate, and rough timeline ‘cost’ now, then after!

Creating the bathroom designs

Now that I know the answers to my questions (and so you know ahead of time, the toilet is not moving), I can create the magic. I have the answers I need to create two, functional designs for my clients.

Option 1

The first option is one that I typically do for my clients. It simply is changing out the old with the new, in addition to some modifications.

bathroom designs
Bathroom Design Option 1 (ignoring the darn pointed wall that will just not change!)

For this plan, I kept the existing vanity where it is. This will be easier on the plumbing budget to keep things right where they are.

Instead of a stub wall, we can use cabinetry to have additional storage.

For the bathtub area, I’ve specified a nice big bath. By deleting the shower, it allows us room for a nice tall cabinet for additional storage including a clothes hamper pull-out at the bottom.

Bathroom Designer Sheri Bruneau | Option 1 for a Master Bathroom

Option 2

Since I have already asked my plumber and site supervisor what I can and can’t move, this option involves switching the location of the vanity and bath tub. This option, in my opinion, gives a ton of storage! While the plumbing would be a little bit higher for this plan, it’s not crazy expensive more.

Bathroom Design Option 2 (ignoring the darn pointed wall that will just not change!)

For this plan, the entire back wall is cabinetry!

bathroom designs
Bathroom Designer Sheri Bruneau | Option 2 for a Master Bathroom

Bathroom Design Renderings

When I create these renderings, sometimes I use the same material and sometimes I switch things up. For these two options, I kept the flooring the same, but changed up the cabinets (option 1 has Walnut cabinets while option 2 is using a deep blue). The renderings are really to give my clients a peek at what their space could look like.

Some bathroom essentials

Oh, I have been writing about the fluff and stuff more and more. It seems like my clients are wishing for me to fully finish their space. Part of designing a bathroom, once the functional layout is solidified, is to source all of the pretty. While we still have a design to decide on, I’m already thinking of this part. Here are a few bathroom essentials I think are needed to complete a space.

My blog contains affiliate links. Any purchases, that are at no additional charge to you, are most appreciated and make this blog possible.

1.Bath Robe. 2.Body Scrub. 3.Succulent art 4.Bath towels 5 .Fluffy slippers

I look forward to seeing which bathroom design my clients go for. I can’t wait to start pulling this space together so that construction can start in the new year!


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