Master Suite Series - Master Ensuite

I've come to realize that getting ready in the mornings with the Mr. is a luxury that I miss from our old house.  We were spoiled with double sinks in our previous master ensuite, making it a breeze to share the bathroom in the mornings.  Our current bathroom situation at the rental?  The master ensuite is a utilitarian space, with a single sink and vanity... do your business, in and out, not a place to linger.  The Mr. is letting me have the ensuite to myself, while he preps for his day at the main bathroom, before little man gets up.

The one space I'm lookng forward to most at our new house is, you guessed it, the master ensuite. The new house's master ensuite has a practical layout with features that I love.  

As mentioned before in the first master suite post, an alley separates the closet to the right and ensuite to the left.  That makes the ensuite a long rectangular room, and a bit longer than the closet.

I was actually able to find photos on Pinterest that look similar to our ensuite's layout and size.   The entrance to the ensuite faces the double vanity, which is flanked by a stand-alone tub on the right side, with a window facing the tub as such:

And a full length shower to the left end of the ensuite, with a window above the toilet.

Amazing what you can find on Pinterest!

Modern day master ensuite is not only a room for "personal business", but more so a relaxing spa-like space to enjoy.  That is my goal to turn this builder ensuite into our sanctuary at a reasonable budget. 

The one main change we did for the ensuite was replacing the double swing-in bathroom doors with a pair of pocket doors.  I struggled with this change for a while, because I have always envisioned changing out the pair of original solid doors to a pair of beautiful french doors.  The brass handles on this pair are simply divine:

Source unknown

Source unknown

But our house has an "open door policy", such that no doors should be left at less than wide opened, for fear of monsters hiding behind the door... (and let me tell you, it wasn't my request nor the little man's).  If I've to leave our ensuite doors open flat at all times, then I wouldn't be able to put anything at the walls behind them, losing out on valuable space.  After looking at the layout of the ensuite for the millionth time, I checked with the Mr. if he would be open to a set of pocket doors instead.

And he was!  Here's a photo of our ensuite taken from the closet across.  You can see the framed slots for the pocket doors on either side of the entrance.


With the pocket doors in place, now I can turn the left nook behind the pocket door into a stylish usable space.  I can decorate the space with an etagere, or install a train rack on the wall and pair it with a stool.

With the vanity facing the entrance of the ensuite, I wanted it to be a beautiful piece.  Here are some of my favourite vanities of different styles:

Vanity Styles | Classy Glam Living |  clockwise from top right:   Belle Vivir , Brian Gluckstein Design;  home adore ,  Restoration Hardware .

Vanity Styles | Classy Glam Living | clockwise from top right:  Belle Vivir, Brian Gluckstein Design; home adoreRestoration Hardware.

As much as we love the open bottom style, we'll have to go with a vanity with storage, since we've made another change to the floor plan to delete the only linen closet in the house.  The Mr. doesn't quite like the floating style, so my compromise would be the furniture look.  It provides the storage we need, with a slightly open bottom on furniture legs to make the bathroom appear more spacious.

We're installing white glossy floor tiles, so we would go with a grey vanity for some contrast.  We asked the builder to install 3 light boxes for our sconces.  In place of the builder's large wall mirror, we'll have two individual beaded vanity mirrors.  I love a light crisp colour on the walls of the bathroom to add some contrast against all the whites and greys.  Last but not least, I think the Mr. would LOVE to add some wainscoting to our bathroom!

New House Master ensuite design board | vanity view | Classy Glam Living | Sources:  Vanity  Muti ; mirror  Home Depot ; Single and Double Scounces  Restoration Hardware ; wall colour Benjamin Moore Marilyn's dress; crop of wainscoting  Lowes

New House Master ensuite design board | vanity view | Classy Glam Living | Sources: Vanity Muti; mirror Home Depot; Single and Double Scounces Restoration Hardware; wall colour Benjamin Moore Marilyn's dress; crop of wainscoting Lowes

Another design feature in our master ensuite is the wall by the free-standing tub.  It's like a blank canvas that spans the length of the tub.  We can either take the modern route, with bookmatched marble wall as such...

Or a more classic approach, with a marble ledge that is supported by corbels, going across the length of the wall. 

New House Master Ensuite |   Tub Feature Wall Design | Classy Glam Living |   Marble ledge image  ( VIA );  Tub  Home Depot ; Chandelier  feiss ; side table Joss & Main; Corbels  home depot .

New House Master Ensuite | Tub Feature Wall Design | Classy Glam Living | Marble ledge image (VIA); Tub Home Depot; Chandelier feiss; side table Joss & Main; Corbels home depot.

The wainscoting that the Mr. will install would continue to the wall behind the tub as well.  A small side table for a drink to enjoy in the soaker tub, dimmed light from the mini crystal chandelier above the tub, would be the perfect ambiance at the end of a day.

I can't wait to plunge into the deep soaker tub in our new master ensuite, and I won't get up even after my skin turns wrinkly like a prune.  Afterall, I've waited long enough to enjoy this bathroom! While the Mr. hangs out at his workshop for the numerous projects at the new house, I'll be...  right here.

Master Suite Series - Dressing Room

We went for our new house's pre-drywall inspection last month and it was an amazing feeling to see the bones of the house in place.  It gave us peace of mind to see that the builder didn't miss any of our changes to the layout.  Although we were walking on sub-floors, it gave us a good idea of how everything will fall into place once it's completed!

When we got to our master suite, the site supervisor commented on how he appreciated we planned it out.  That's such a nice compliment!  When we got to our walk-in closet, which we opted to remove the wall between the "his and her" closets, he bellowed out, "love how you're turning it into a big closet, put in some closet organizers, bada boom bada bing, love it."  OK, I added the bada boom part, but in my mind that was how he would've flowed as he shooted out his vision for our closet =)

Layout Change | Dressing Room | New House | Classy Glam Living

Closet organizers are great - they ensure there's a place for everything and everything in its place. They make the morning rush all the more efficient and laundry sorting a joy (ya right).  But if you've been following along, you know that installing closet organizers is seemingly undermining the Mr.'s love to build.  He's always up for a challenge, and knowing him, he now wouldn't settle for anything less than our previous dressing room.  

The new dressing area isn't as large as our previous dressing room, and we would need to make some design adjustments to enhance the storage layout and esthetic of the storage units.  

My wishlist for the new dressing area includes these enhancements from our previous dressing room:

  • Make the area appear larger with the use of mirrors
  • A counter for our trinkets
  • A valet hook for prepping next day's outfit
  • For the Mr., a pull-out tie rack (just because I also want a pull-out for my scarves)

We've drilled down to 2 options to complete this dressing area.

Option 1 - Installing storage units with architectural details

With a large entrance to the dressing area, the best design would be to play off of the room's symmetry.  And since it would be nice to have some counterspace to put our trinkets, the perfect option to achieve this symmetry is to have a chest of drawers in the middle.  We can then install the hanging units symmetrically on either side of the chest.  The Mr. came up with a quick design sketch for the long wall facing the entrance of the walk-in:

New House Dressing Room Long Wall Sketch | Classy Glam Living

The Mr. is quite an artist, at least compared to me.  That complements me perfectly, since I can't draw at all.  ;-)

Armed with his design, I headed to my beloved Pinterest to search for the vision that I have.  I want to use mirrors to give the illusion of a spacious dressing area and also to reflect some light from the master ensuite across the hall.  

Of all the dressing rooms that I've pinned, I think this one below speaks to me the most.  Its colour tone is so serene and elegant, with the full length mirrors reflecting light all around the room.  The built-in dresser in the middle of the room provides ample counter space and drawer storage for easy access to daily essentials.

Image via Atlanta Homes

Image via Atlanta Homes

Here's another dressing room that illustrates the use of mirrored doors on the storage units, which are placed on either side of the middle built-in chest of drawers.  Ours won't be quite as large!

We may choose to go with our reliable IKEA PAX as the main storage units again.  As for the middle chest of drawers, the Mr. may have to custom build them, depending on the actual measurements of the room.

Option 2 - Boutique style walk-in closet

MirrorS, MirrorS, on the WallS...  Option 1 was all fine and dandy, but then who can forget this moment from the movie "Sex and the City 2"?

Yup, my jaw would drop just like Carrie Bradshaw's and hear the music of heavens at the sight of such a beautiful dressing room.  But don't be silly, this is not a request to the Mr.!  It does, however, give me another inspiration.  Instead of the closed storage with mirror doors, how about we go with a boutique style dressing area?  One with open hanging racks, storage and display shelves, and brightly lit hanging areas...  who wouldn't want to go shopping right in the morning?

Instead of using mirror doors, we can install mirrors behind the hanging racks and shelves.  Keeping everything open and backed by mirrors would also give the illusion of a large area.

So, which option do you think we should go with?  Open or closed?  Dust or no dust?  Traditional organizers or boutique style?  

Master Suite Series - Master Bedroom

Part of the reason why I can see us downsizing was because of the master suite in our new townhouse.  In our old house, we had the back of the second floor as our master suite - a spacious bedroom with sitting area (which we never had the chance to tackle), a generous size ensuite, and an adjacent spare bedroom that we converted to our dressing room.  Our new townhouse's master suite layout also takes up the back half of the second floor.  Of course, every section of the master suite is not as expansive as the old house, nonetheless I think it's a better use of space while still roomy.

When you go into the master suite, a long alley separates the closet on the right and the ensuite on the left, with both facing each other.  As you continue along the alley, it leads you to the main bedroom area.  It's in an elongated rectangular shape, where we would put the bed on the left side and the sitting area on the right side.   

Builder's suggested furniture placement

Builder's suggested furniture placement

I imagine setting an elegant and tranquil tone for the bedroom with a beautiful light fixture in the middle of the room as the focal point from the entrance, backed by a pair of gorgeous drapes on the windows.

I love how these drapes are pulled back up high for more drama.  The weight of the fabric also gives a full gathered look at the top, while the bottom elegantly drapes like a ball gown.  

I think the richness of the drapes is a perfect backdrop for a crystal chandelier or one that has simple lines.  

The width of the room is sized for a king size bed and two bedside tables.  So the left side of the room would be a no non-sense look as such...



We'll switch out those bedside tables with our to-be-refinished vintage ones.  Place a dreamy bench at the foot of the bed, and a neutral rug to go under the bed.

The fun comes from imagining the possibilities on the right side - the sitting area. The builder's layout plan included a simple sitting area.  The colour tone of the inspiration photo below is what I'm going for:  cream, grey, and taupe never fail to dress up an elegant space.



There are numerous design ideas for this sitting area.  If we opt for additional storage, we can place a dresser against the long wall, and perhaps a chaise in front of it.  There may even be room for a small vanity table.



The Mr. suggested another option, one which he would build a mantel for a faux fireplace.  A pair of armchairs can go in front of the candlelit (with faux candles!) fireplace.  Oh...  that would look so romantic =)



I'm liking the light grey walls with a hint of lilac for our bedroom.  It's neutral, yet the slight touch of lilac works well with the overall romantic feel of a master bedroom.  I sneaked in the Benjamin Moore Violet Pearl on the design boards above...  ya think the Mr. would notice?

Master bedroom wall colour options | Classy Glam Living

Stay tuned, as I'll be sharing our design ideas for our master ensuite and dressing area soon!

Are you looking for master bedroom design ideas?  Check out my Pinterest board to see what inspirations I'm gathering!