Design Your Master Bathroom to Maximize Space

October 26, 2022 | Bathroom

Big or small, your master bathroom needs to be planned perfectly. Consider these master bathroom layout ideas so you can create a well-designed, luxe sanctuary.


There are several basic principles that can help you create a gorgeous bathroom. Read on to discover some of our favorite master bathroom layout ideas and start designing the retreat of your dreams.

Use Natural Light

One of the most important things to consider when designing your primary bathroom layouts is the light. Natural light can make your bathroom space feel more open, airier, and more relaxing. If you have windows or skylights in your bathroom, it’s a good idea to consider how you can make the best use of them in your new layout.

If you have a window, consider putting your vanity under or near it. This will give you lots of light when you’re doing your hair or makeup in the morning, and it will make your bathroom feel like an upscale spa. Bathtubs can be gorgeous under skylights since they can make you feel like you’re bathing in sun, as well as making your tub a prominent feature of the room.

Divide Your Spaces

If you have a larger bathroom, you may want to consider dividing the space up into a few smaller rooms. This can help to divide the various purposes of the space—an area for bathing, another for getting ready in the morning, and a separate toilet area. It will also make your bathroom feel more approachable and cozy, rather than being a giant, empty room.

As you’re creating your sub-rooms, you may want to consider using glass walls to preserve the open feeling in your bathroom. Glass shower walls are traditional, but you can also use paned glass walls to divide your vanity from your shower area. You could even place frosted glass walls around your toilet area to allow natural light to come through while still maintaining privacy.

Create Focal Points

An important consideration in any design is the focal points you use in a space. A focal point is the first thing that draws your eye when you walk into a room, and it’s a good thing to start building a design around it. In a bathroom, your focal point could be your tub, a vanity, a mirror, or another accent piece.

Stand in your bathroom door and look at the space, considering what your eye will naturally hit first when you enter. Look for ways to dress up this area and make it more of a statement in the space. Depending on the size and shape of your space, you may consider having more than one focal point to draw your eye as you move around the room.

Make an Entrance

As you’re establishing the focal points, you may also want to spend some time thinking about the entrance to your bathroom. Oftentimes, the doorway can go overlooked as nothing more than a way to get into the room. But done right, your bathroom doorway can set the tone for the entire space.

Consider the style you’re doing in your bathroom and look for a door that matches that aesthetic. If you’re going for rustic, a barn door might work; in a more elegant space, you might consider French doors if you have the space. If you want an ultramodern look (and you have a toilet area with a closeable door), you might forego the door altogether and opt for a simple archway.

Add Seating

Another overlooked aspect of bathroom design is having seating available in the room. Because bathrooms are thought of as mostly functional spaces, most people don’t include seating in the bathroom. But having someplace to sit down can be very helpful, especially if you have a larger bathroom.

If you have a lot of open space in the middle of the floor, consider adding an ottoman that you can use to put on or take off your shoes or just rest after a shower. You may also consider adding seating under the vanity for you to use while you do your makeup and hair. Even if you have a small space, a nice fold-out stool can be a great way to get some seating in your bathroom.

Consider Negative Space

When you’re designing your bathroom, it can be easy to focus on where all your fixtures are going to go. Most of the time, showers, bathtubs, vanities, and toilets get tucked against the wall in the tightest spot they’ll fit in. But if you have the room to do so, it’s a good idea to consider the negative space in your bathroom when designing the layout.

Negative space is the area around all the stuff in your bathroom—the middle of the floor, the area on either side of your vanity, and so on. You need to make sure that your layout gives you enough space to move around each item, as well as to clean. If you have enough room, you can use this negative space to create a beautiful and functional flow in the room.

Use Central Space

On the subject of negative space, larger bathrooms may pose the question of what to do with the space in the center of the room. Even if you divide your space by function and spread things out, you may find yourself left with a large “hole” in the center of the room where nothing is going on. This can make your bathroom feel bare and undynamic if not handled right.

As we mentioned, some extra seating can be a great way to take advantage of that large space in the middle of your room. You may also opt to create a decorative focal point on the floor to make the space feel purposeful without obstructing it. Or consider adding a small table or central decorating piece to make that area pop.

Focus on Your Tub

It should come as no surprise that your tub will be a major focal point of your bathroom. Not only is it one of the largest aspects of your bathroom, but freestanding tubs can also be one of the most decorative pieces in that space. Considering it as a focal point can be a great way to make your bathroom design feel elegant and intentional.

If you have a freestanding tub, it’s a good idea to think about not only the best placement for it (more on that later), but also the décor above it. Will you have a piece of art hung on the wall over it, or will you place your tub under a window? If you have a tub/shower combo, consider tiling the surround or whether you want a shower door or curtain.

Arrange Your Bath and Shower

On the subject of your tub, one of the biggest aspects of bathroom design is deciding where your tub and shower will go. If you have a small room or a tub/shower combo, these two may share the same space. If you have a separate tub and shower, however, you may need to consider how each acts as a focal point and how you want to arrange them in relation to each other.

In recent years, wet rooms have become more popular, as we’ll discuss more in a moment. You may also opt to have your tub and shower in the same area of the room without combining them in the same space. You’ll also need to prioritize which you want to be bigger based on how often each gets used.

Consider a Wet Room

Wet rooms are a popular trend that can make a bathroom feel more luxurious while saving some space. A wet room is a style of open shower that also includes a freestanding tub. Typically, all the walls are tiled and there isn’t a separation between the walk-in shower and the freestanding tub.

Wet rooms can be a wonderful option if you don’t have quite enough space to separate your walk-in shower and your tub. You can simply make the shower a little extra long and situate the tub at the end of the space. These can also be a great option in rooms where you have enough space to make the entire area a shower.

Hang Your Fixtures

If you have a small bathroom, there are several bathroom design tricks you can use to make it seem bigger. Basically, your goal is to create the longest visual lines you can. The further a viewer’s eye can travel in your bathroom, the bigger it will seem, even if the space doesn’t change at all.

One great way to create those long visual lines is to hang your vanity and toilet on the wall, instead of having floor-mounted models. This will free up more floor space, reducing the number of visual obstructions in the room and making it feel airier. While wall-mounted vanities are relatively simple to install, a wall-mounted toilet will require reworking some plumbing if you didn’t already have one.

Keep Flooring Consistent

Another great way to make a smaller bathroom seem bigger is to keep it one large, unified space. Embellishments in your floor tile can be fun, but they divide your space. In an area that may already feel tight, chopping it up into smaller sections will just make everything feel that much more cramped.

Instead, use the same flooring throughout your bathroom, even in different areas or rooms. Tile your shower floor with the same material as the rest of your bathroom and, if possible, consider installing a curbless shower. This will keep the eye moving in one uninterrupted line all the way across the space.

Go Tall

When you’re in the design process, especially in a bathroom, it can be easy to focus on everything from eye level downward. You’re focused on the fixtures, the flooring, the wall tile, and so on. But if you really want to make your bathroom feel large and gorgeous, you need to turn your attention upward, too.

Make sure to add décor that goes all the way to the ceiling, not just at your eye level. Consider adding decorative light fixtures that will draw the eye up to the ceiling or hanging art above your tub. You can also use paint or wallpaper to direct attention upward and use the full vertical space of your bathroom.

Plan for Storage

As important as aesthetics are, your bathroom does also have to be a functional space. You’re going to need places to put towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, extra shampoo and conditioner, a first aid kit, medications, cosmetics, and so on. Your bathroom needs to have plenty of storage for you to organize all of this.

Your vanity will be the first (and perhaps most important) storage space, so be sure to pick one that has a good layout for you. You may also consider adding a linen cabinet or closet if you have the space. Freestanding shelves, side tables, and even wall-mounted cabinets can offer extra storage space, too.

Find More Master Bathroom Layout Ideas

Your master bathroom should be a haven and a relaxing retreat for you at the end of each day. Picking the right layout can make your bathroom feel spacious, luxurious, and functional for your everyday needs. Make sure to consider storage and where you place the focal points in your room, as well as how the space will look when you enter it.

If you’d like to find more master bathroom layout ideas, check out the rest of our site at Michael James Remodeling. We are luxury remodeling specialists who are dedicated to giving you the best remodeling contractor experience you can find in North Georgia. Contact us today and start experiencing renovations the Michael James way.

Chic bathroom featuring a freestanding tub against a white brick wall, designed by Michael James Remodeling.


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