Monday, July 9, 2012

My Bathtub Is In My Bedroom. The Open Concept Master Suite

For how much I made fun of the heart-shaped bathtub in the bedroom of my 1977 dream home, you might be surprised to learn that I *currently* have a bathtub in my bedroom. Known as an "open concept" or "resort style" master bathroom and bedroom suite, this is something you don't see very often outside of honeymoon hotels with jungle-themed rooms.

In the case of my bedroom, which is very small, I think the bathroom was kept open to the bedroom so a large jetted tub and separate shower could be included. While I appreciate having these amenities, it is kind of weird the way the tub juts out into the room. I really got a laugh when one of the carpet installers who came last fall walked into the room (which didn't have any flooring in it at the time) and said, "Wow! This is the biggest bathroom I've ever seen!" as he looked around confusedly. I didn't really have the heart or patience to explain that this was my bedroom AND my bathroom. This "before" photo from the listing when we bought the house shows the problem to its absolute worst advantage. The picture was taken at an odd angle and with a weird lens, because the space under the window is 9' wide, but in the photo it looks the same as the bathtub, which is less than 6' long. We have our queen bed under that window, with regular sized nightstands on either side, if that explains just how "off" this picture is. In reality the tub juts out about 18" into the space that "should" be the bedroom's.

See, this next photo was taken from the doorway and you can't even see the tub.

But yes, the tub is back there, hanging out in the bedroom. Here's my floor plan again, to orient you.

Again with the making the tub look extra long. But at least you can see that the wall next to the vanity more than halfway on the bedroom side of the tub. (P.S., Stop being so jealous of those curtains.)

All the upgrades you see above (wood floors, tile, painting), we did ourselves, cheapskate DIY style. We really deliberated about what to do with the flooring, because of the ambiguity of the line dividing the bedroom and the bathroom. It used to have carpet all the way through, as seen above. I wanted to do wood all the way through, but we were worried about water damage and we also couldn't get enough of our chosen wood. We decided to do wood and tile, and to keep the dividing line where it would have been if the tub weren't there. I devised a plan for dividing the two rooms, yet to be implemented.

In the meantime I looked for inspiration pics for open concept master suites. Was there a way to make this look luxurious and spa-like rather than tacky and tiny? In a word, NO. Not without a lot more space. One famous open plan master bathroom out there is that of Jenna Lyons of J. Crew. 

Well, at least my toilet isn't visible from my bed, I'll give it that much.

So, tell me honestly...if you were looking at houses, how bad would this weird you out? I'll tell you that  we thought it was weird at first, but we've been completely happy with it. Maybe part of that is just happiness at being able to have the luxuries of an oversize jetted tub and a stand-up shower at the low price point of our condo. What do you concept master bathroom: luxurious or ludicrous?


  1. We also have the open concept master bedroom, so it was fun to see this post! I should show you some pictures. You would probably be inspired and have some good ideas. -The jetted tub is tiled in pink. I know. Maybe I am just more okay with tacky (because I can see how it is), but I've quite enjoyed it. I like that Dave can read to me from the comfort of our bed while I have a long soak or while I'm bathing Peter. I like the open, luxiourous feel. I can see where people who wouldn't like it would be coming from though.

  2. I didn't realize some of the condos down on your end have the open concept master too. All the three bedrooms up here have it, and most of the two bedrooms. A couple years ago on Apartment Therapy the subject came up and I replied saying the same things you did here. It's nice to be able to converse while a partner is bathing, without having to be perched on a toilet. And it's much nicer for bathing kids, especially as they get older. The boys can be in the tub while I fold laundry on the bed, get ready, rest on the bed, or whatever. I've really grown to like it, but the general consensus seems to be that people don't like it.