Design Review: Master Baths
Large, small, or in-between, focus on functionality
Those of us who have been in the business of designing and building homes for a while have witnessed a dramatic change in the size and features of the master bath. The days of a basic 5-by-10-foot bathroom with a tub, toilet, and single lavatory are long gone. Today, in smaller homes, too, it has become standard to include spacious areas with large showers and plenty of storage.
Whatever the bathroom’s size, the overall emphasis should be on creating a high-functioning space—even in the case of larger homes featuring spectacular master baths. Built-in drawers and cabinets allow for all clothes to be stored in the bath and dressing area, eliminating the need for the traditional dresser and chest of drawers in the bedroom. Locating the laundry room so it’s accessible to the master bath has become another practical feature. One item that seems to be evolving is the master-bath tub. The massive “garden tubs” of the 1980s—often large enough for kids to swim in—have gradually been eliminated in favor of larger showers. However, smaller freestanding tubs are now becoming standard in more and more master baths.
These contemporary versions of the old claw-foot tub are functional, efficient, and comfortable, perhaps once again proving that if something works well, there’s no need to reinvent it. As always, we encourage your comments and questions.