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REAL ESTATE TIPS: Keep bathroom design, remodel basic and simple

When talking about homes, whether existing or new construction, we always tend to hear the same terms. Open floor plan, mudroom, or man cave. But there are three important things that matter that we don’t talk about – until now. So for the next three weeks, we are talking about three very important rooms in your house. Your bathroom, your garage and the home office.

I don’t care whether you have lived in mansions or tiny houses, a bathroom is important and brings back memories. I’m serious.

One of my cousins grew up in a home with one bathroom for her, two siblings and her parents to use. As an adult, she recalled that experience. She said that the only person who was guaranteed privacy in the bathroom was her dad. For example, if she was in the shower and her sister had to go to the bathroom, her sister was allowed.

One of my sweet friends has one of those big garden tubs in her master bathroom. She never used it as a tub but rather a “play pen” so that when she was in the shower, her young toddlers could play in the garden tub that she had filled with toys – and no water.
It was a win/win. My friend could get a shower in peace (a rare luxury for a mom with toddlers) while the kids played contently in the “play pen” she provided, I am sure if you would ask them, they would remember how much fun they had playing in that big tub.

I don’t know when indoor plumbing and bathrooms became a thing but I do remember someone saying years ago that people probably thought that the guy who came up with the idea of indoor plumbing was crazy. I mean, he wanted to bring that smell in the house?! On purpose?!

So here we are today. Where one bathroom is expected and sometimes multiple bathrooms are preferred. We went from days where one bathroom was a blessing, to a master 1/2 bath being a sign of prestige, to a master full bath as almost a requirement in some cases. And then within those types of bathrooms there have been so many options and changes. One sink was normal but two sinks was an upgrade. Master bathrooms with showers so small some people might not fit in them to garden tubs so big they take up half of the room. Or traditional showers to showers bigger than some closets I have had!

So if we are remodeling a bathroom or building a home and designing a bathroom, and I want to avoid trends that I will regret later, what am I looking for? Basic and simplicity. Because at the end of the day, people want a place to store their bathroom supplies, a place to do their business and a place to clean their body. That is it. When you start getting too fancy, you risk having an outdated bathroom — and the layout of a bathroom can be hard, and expensive, to fix.

For example, I recently showed a mobile home. When we walked into the living room and looked to our left, the first thing we noticed was that you could see all the way to the end of the mobile home. They had put in a sliding glass door along the back and the sun was pouring in. My buyer and I were eager to see what was in there. It had to be an awesome room to use because not only did it bring in all of this natural light but we knew that it was also the way to access the patio we noticed when we walked up to the mobile home to go inside. Maybe it was the master bedroom? Maybe a reading nook. I was intrigued.

Imagine my surprise when we walked toward the beautiful sunlight only to see that the room with the sliding glass doors was not the master bedroom as I had suspected but the master BATHROOM! And taking up space in the middle of the room was this ginormous jetted tub! You literally had to walk AROUND the tub to get to the sliding glass door and go outside to your patio.

I thought that it was weird but just in case my client thought it was amazing, I held my tongue.

After all, if her dream had been to sit in her tub and look outside over her patio, who was I to be a dream crusher. But she wasn’t feeling it either. She said that she would remove the tub.

Ultimately one of the reasons that she did not buy that property was the expense of fixing it so that the room was more functional.

In my opinion, the best bet for having a bathroom that will work for all of the years that you will be in the home is to keep it simple. Make sure that you have some kind of linen closet or ample cupboard space.

If you prefer privacy, keep the toilet in a separate room, but just have the toilet in that room, not a toilet and shower as that still limits how many people can use the space. For example, if someone is doing No. 2 in the separate toilet room, someone else can still be showering in the remaining bathroom space. And unless you truly love soaking in a big tub daily, just go with a basic traditional tub and shower combination. If you decide to have them separated, go for it – but understand that you are doing it for you and not for resale.

That’s it. Everything you wanted to know, or perhaps didn’t want to know, about bathrooms.

Whether you have one bathroom or four, count your blessings that we live in a country where running water and flushing toilets are a normal way of life. Have a blessed week!

Esta Ryder, Broker/Owner
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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