Few things in a house are more frustrating than having to share a vanity with your partner. For men, you might not know what all the different makeups are for and why they need to be out all the time. For women, you ask yourself why he can’t clean up all those facial hairs and rinse the sink when he’s done. For some couples, the issues might be double. Now imagine this master bathroom is connected to the master bedroom with no doors dividing the spaces. Better get used to waking up and going to bed when the other does every night and day.
This was the case for the Hanauers in the Parkwood Hills neighborhood. Their master bedroom opened up to the vanity in the bathroom—one corner was the vanity and the other was the bedroom’s closet. A door opposite the closet led to a toilet and tub that had an inward-swinging door just missing the toilet’s edge. When Bella Domicile came to help redesign the way the homeowners interacted with their master suite, they worked together to create a list of objectives.
Objective One: separate the bathroom from the bedroom
The previous layout had it so the closet was a u-shaped area across from the vanity with three sets of closet doors for each side of the “U.” The answer was to put a pocket door, at the inside wall’s end of the “U” to allow the two rooms to be closed from one another.
Objective Two: make the closet storage more accessible without so many doors and hard-to-reach corners
First things first, how much closet space was available in the previous design? After taking some measurements, the most practical solution was to have the closet open directly into the bedroom and create a wall between the vanity and closet, allowing for more areas to hang clothes. Everything became more accessible, and the clients were able to purchase their own closet-storage systems after I gave some recommendations.
Objective Three: add a second sink if possible and still maintain a makeup area/create a vanity space easier for two people to use at the same time
With a new wall where the closet used to be, the placement of the second sink was clear. We used the new wall for one sink and part of the old vanity for the other. This allowed the homeowners to each have their own space for toiletries, makeup, razors, and whatever else they’d need. Both sink areas have their own medicine cabinets as well to help keep everything organized.
Further organization was achieved through the use of Dura Supreme cabinets, which are frameless to maximize storage. The bathroom and vanity areas were tied together with marble-patterned quartz countertops for the sinks and marble-patterned ceramic shower tile for the shower, creating the always-timeless classic look.
As a bonus when tackling the bathroom, we thought it best to do something about the door leading to the toilet and tub. A pocket door eliminated the awkward entering and exiting when maneuvering around the old swinging door in a relatively tight space.
Objective Four: update materials while keeping the style in line with the traditional 1960s home/create something special with tile in the space
The clients hated to see the old wall arches/flutes go, so we created mirror frames with cabinetry parts that have fluted and arched details reminiscent of the old wall. Since the vanity floor area is very visible from the bathroom, we decided to incorporate a decorative tile feature there rather than on the more-hidden shower walls. With multicolored hexagon-shaped mosaic tile and the marble-looking porcelain tile around it, we created a sensible “rug” look.
Objective Five: close the door from the bedroom to the office area
When entering the master bedroom, the master bathroom is to the right and the bed is to the left. On the wall shared by the entrance door was immediately another door on the left leading to the office. Another door to the office was just outside the entrance to the master bedroom, creating a corner in the office where the two doors swung into each other.
I suggested we move the main entrance to the bedroom down the hall a bit because when the door was fully open, it actually blocked off the vanity. The wall created when moving the master bedroom’s entrance door into the hall allowed a pocket door to be implemented for entering the office from the hallway. The door to the office from the bedroom was eliminated, creating a stronger feel of being in a home rather than a hotel room.
The Hanauers hired their own general contractor for the labor and ended up with some truly unique design elements that feel as classic as they are current. They added a Solatube to incorporate natural light into the windowless bathroom, highlighting the faucets and accessories purchased to coordinate with the light fixtures they wanted to reuse. I suggested a bench under the low window just outside the closet for additional storage for gym bags as well as a place to sit and put shoes on. Everything now has a distinct feel and appropriateness to it. Now the Hanauers have an added ownership to their space, making it more their home and something they’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Lead Designer: Dana Langreck
6210 Nesbitt Road
Madison, WI 53719