Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Ensuite Bathroom Dilemma

Ensuite Bathroom Dilemma Ensuite Bathroom Dilemma

The Problem

Andrew from Ferntree Gully, Vic, Australia writes:

Hi Alex.

Great info on the site.

We're now making plans for our ensuite & bathroom and undecided on if we should put the toilet in the bathroom, or keep it separate.

Also with the size of the study, we'd like it to be a little bit bigger to use it as a bedroom, although that relies on having enough room for a toilet in the bathroom.

We're confined to the physical space of the external walls, but inside of that, it's a blank canvas.

We have 2 young children (girls: 3 & 1yr), and possibly looking at another child down the track, so a good bathroom will be needed.

We have a separate toilet downstairs, and we'd like to have a second one upstairs in/next to the bathroom, and if there's enough room, another toilet in the ensuite.

We finally have the money to put the renovation plan into action, and while trying to get some ideas, my wife kept saying "draw up the measurements, and send them to Alex!", in the hope that you will settle our arguments as she was so blown away with the idea you came up with last time.

We are stuck on either using the space in the middle for the study/bedroom, keeping it as a separate toilet, or merging it with the bathroom. My wife would love a bigger bedroom/study for more kids, but I'm not sure if we have the space in the bathroom for a toilet.

Any advice from an expert like yourself would be great.


Finding the Best Solution

Hello, Andrew! Nice to hear from you again and thank you for your questions! I'm going to summarize what you said to help pinpoint what's most important to you and your wife:

  1. You have two small girls ages 3 and 1 year (lovely ages!)
  2. You would like to have another child
  3. Your wife would like a bigger bedroom/study for more kids
  4. You have a separate toilet downstairs
  5. You would like a toilet in the ensuite
  6. You would like one more toilet, but not sure if you have room or where to put it

I'm not sure I have enough information about the rest of your home to offer any great solutions, but I will try to give you some guidelines that might help you make a decision:

  • Since your children are small, I'm sure you will want them sleeping as close to you as possible. That would make a bigger bedroom pretty important right now.
  • You may not need that extra toilet for another few years.
  • How long do you plan to stay in your present home?
  • If you plan to stay for a long time, would you have the room and resources to add on another bedroom and bath/toilet in say 5 years?

When making major changes to your home, like plumbing, walls and bathrooms, in addition to pleasing ourselves, it's wise to think of our home as an investment. A few things to consider:

  1. What if after a few years you decide you want to move? Will the changes you're making add value to your home or will they decrease its value?
  2. Every time you add a wall, you take away 6 inches of space (or 25.4 mm).
  3. In the USA, a master bedroom/bath (ensuite) is a very desirable thing to have.

Without knowing any more about the rest of your home, my recommendation would be to:

  • Make your ensuite bathroom as beautiful and functional as you can afford.
  • Make the children's bedroom big enough so they can sleep near you.
  • Consider if this home will be big enough for your future needs.
  • Start browsing sites like Houzz.com for small bathroom ideas to help you use your space in the most efficient way. Compact can be beautiful!

Modern Bathroom by Brooklyn Architect Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

Thank you again for writing, Andrew and I hope this helps you and your wife with your remodel.

Best wishes!


Ensuite Bathroom Dilemma Ensuite Bathroom Dilemma

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.