Master Bedroom Size...I'm Under The Wire!

sandy808January 25, 2011

I need some opinions on the size we have designated for our master bedroom. BEFORE the wall framing starts! I keep worrying I will feel squeezed in (had plenty of those kind of bedrooms in the past).

Right now the wall our king size bed and nightstands are going on is planned to be 16 feet. The depth of the room itself is to be determined yet depending on what we decide to build in there. (This is the opposite wall from the bed). It can range from 14 feet which is a minimum in my mind, up to about 18 or 19 feet. I would like for dresser space there, and perhaps a blanket chest at the foot of the bed. I want to be sure of plenty of walking space and room to pull a canister vacuum without it getting caught on the furniture.

None of these dimensions have accounted for any closet space yet, which would have to be taken out of the bathroom area, and/or small 3 ft. deep closet(s) at the wall opposite the bed.

Right now I'm thinking about a 16 ft. square room, but it looks awful small out there in the house shell!

I am worried if we expand the bed wall too much larger is that it starts cutting into bathroom and closet space.

While I don't need a huge bathroom, I do want it to feel nice and not cramped, so I have to be careful. You know the cramped bathrooms.....the toilet crammed up against a tub, and the sink so close you can hardly reach the toilet paper.

With the 16 foot wall, I have 14 feet to play with to do a bathroom and some closet space. Expanding the 16 ft. wall starts really squeezing that space down, especially considering each wall takes some inches out.

Any opinions? I'm panicking right now. We have window framers framing windows right now, so if we need to re-center the windows in the bedroom I have to have them do it NOW.



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What are the dimensions of your bed? I have my queen bed on the long wall and the wall to the side is 12 feet. It's not really enough room IMO. We have a dresser on the wall across from the bed, and there is 3 feet between the bed and dresser. It doesn't feel cramped, but doesn't feel spacious either. If a king mattress is about the same length as a queen, 14 feet would be plenty.

The space always looks tiny when there are no walls up. I wouldn't give up ANY closet space. I don't know how big your planned bathroom space is, so can't tell you if it's too small. Our master bath is tiny. The only good thing about that is that it is easy to warm quickly in winter. Our friends with a big bathroom - the kind with a tub in the middle, and two corner closets on either side, with sinks and shower opposite, and vaulted ceiling, if you've seen that kind - complain all winter about freezing in the bathroom because their heater can't get it warm.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 11:18AM
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I believe a king bed is about the same length as a queen. A queen is about 18 inches smaller from side to side than a king. The wall I was worried about is the 16 foot long one where the bed and two nightstands are going. There is going to be a window on either side of the bed, which the nightstands will be centered under.

I feel I want the depth of the room (wall across from the bed) deeper than 14 feet. Right now I can have about 18 or 19 feet that way. I guess as it stands now the room would be 16 feet (bed and 2 nightstands wall) by up to the 18 or 19 feet if I want it. Is the 16 feet enough room? My husband says we would have about 4 to four and a half feet between the bed and the walls.

I am considering keeping the extra room on the other wall for dresser space and perhaps an antique armoir if I can find a nice one, rather than small built in closets.

The square footage left over for the bathroom, a walk in closet, and the duct work for heating and cooling is about 14 feet by 19 feet. I am hoping to squeeze in a small powder room within that space as well. The powder room would open into the main part of the house, of coarse.

I have opted not to have a bathtub that in reality I wouldn't use much, for a nice big shower with two shower heads. I want a rain shower, but I need the hand held type to actually clean the shower with. Makes life easier.

I agree about huge bathrooms being more difficult to climate control, and perhaps not very cosey. They look pretty, but the true comfort and secure level of the emotions associated with them isn't good. That can happen with a bedroom too, if they get too large. But I hate squeezed in as well. This is our last house, so I'd let to get things as close to perfect as possible (knowing no house is ever perfect). It'd be good to keep the "after" irritants down to a miniscule level.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Sandy- If your king size bed is 6' across, that would leave you 5' on each side...a little less, with bedding, etc. Plenty of room to walk by and still have some dresser space (usually 18" deep) so that would leave you at leat 3' between the bed and the dresser.

As for the depth, figure 7' if you have a headboard and maybe 18" for a blanket chest. Another 18" for a dresser and that's 10' leaving you 4' for a walkway, with a 14' deep room. If you want to put in chairs or something bigger at the foot of the bed, you'll need more space.

I would get some graph paper, measure and draw out your furniture in the room...and then see how much space you have left. Measure a comfortable walk way in your home now and see if that's going to be enough room, between the bed and other furniture.

It's good to find out now, while you can still make a few changes :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:50PM
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I've been doing the graph paper and it LOOKS like it will be just fine. I mean, it all actually fits......I just wasn't sure about the actual FEEL of the room, although one wall by the bed is going to be a wonderful 8 ft. sliding glass door looking out at the woods. This should open up the feel of the room.....And, too large doesn't feel very nice either.

My husband says he feels we should leave well enough alone and that he has no qualms about it. We haven't drawn out the total logistics of the bathroom, closets, etc. that are having to fit in the other half of the space on that gable end, and he is afraid if the bedroom got much larger we will be very limited with what we can do with the bathroom.

I'd like to trust my honey on this one, and I guess deep down I do, but this is a man that says "everything's a compromise" and other "intelligent" quotes. My response is yes, we get most of what we want but not all, but this is a new construction so why build in restraints that would exist if this were a remodel of an existing home. You should see the wonky bathroom plan he came up with. I about rolled on the floor laughing and took that one out of his hands. He's a great engineer and has done an excellent job with the structure design and looks. It is exactly what I wanted. He just can't visualise laying out living spaces, and I can accept that.

These decisions are so scary! They end up being rather permanent.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 2:43PM
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can you post the graph paper layout with the bdrm marked off on it? 14 x 16 should be a nice sized room.

and mark off where you want the door from bdrm into bathroom.

doorway into main living space and the 8' sliding door also.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Oh Gosh Steph, I'm so computer illiterate I don't know if I can post it. I'll try. We're locked into the bedroom layout due to the section of the house we want the bedroom in, and where the door into the bedroom is going to fall. I didn't want the door into the bedroom at the head of the bed. It's more secure, to me, to have the door so I can see what's coming at me.

Everything ripples with a house layout, particularly one that is reasonable in square footage rather than huge. When we started construction we realized because of the porch posts, and where sets of sliding glass doors had to be lined up and centered with the house, it set the layout of the interior back a bit. However, it is now starting to fall into place as we build, and I feel the house will flow when we are done. In fact, some of the areas such as my pantry, laundry, etc. will be set up as we frame the interior.

It has not been easy putting a modern floor plan into an old style of house that existed before bathrooms, and when kitchens were detatched from the house. Some of the constraints were that widening the depth of the house would have ruined the unique pitch of the metal roof, etc.

I'm thinking 16 by 16 would be just fine. My husband is afraid the room would dstart feeling way too big otherwise, so I guess I'm going to trust him on this one.

I'm still noodling around the entry into the bedroom and am leaning towards a small hall so that we can turn the entry out of view. I never liked the entry to my bedroom being directly off the great room/living room in my last house. Anyone in the kitchen or great room had full view into the bedroom. Not nice when you're getting dressed. I vowed I would not do that in this house.

I do need to figure out how to post a drawing. When I get ready to commit to the bathroom fixtures, it'll be nice to make sure everything is optimized.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Hit and run post we have company.This is a14 by 16 foot bedroom and there is another dresser to the right of the mirror door and a coat/hall tree.Along with the walk in closet that dips into the bath on the other side of the wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: 14 deep by 16widebedroom

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:40PM
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Another view same room

Here is a link that might be useful: more of that room

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:42PM
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I think 12 foot is a bit too tight, but like Marti says, 14 would be fine for the bedroom. If you have 16 feet, it will be spacious enough for that chest on the wall opposite the foot of the bed, and maybe a narrow bench at the end of the bed too. What I did up north with a 13' room, was to have no chest across from the footboard, but to put a blanket chest to sit on along that wall, and above it I mounted a flat panel wall TV between two windows, and a floating shelf below it (high enough to be out of the way when we sat on the bench)and on that floating shelf placed the TV peripheral equipment...small DVD, cable box, the wall plug on the wall behind the TV.

The bedroom is 13 x 15. At the foot of the bed, there is about 3 feet of walking space between the bench and the foot of the bed.

Lost my train of thought. Back tomorrow when I think a while.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:29PM
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I had a full size steamer trunk at the end of our bed in those other pictures.It barely shows as it has an afghan on it.What made it work with room left over was to put narrow piece across from in. The mirror screen door.Dressers one either side of that. This room felt HUGE.Really

Our room now is 12 1/2 by 14 1/2 and has three dressers a large buffet a sofa table at the end of the bed and a tall narrow cabinet in the corner and small bedside table. Full size bed and the full size steamer trunk under the window. Also dog beds on the floor.There is plenty of room to easily walk around.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Thanks so much shades for the link to the pictures. What a beautiful and warm room! I feel I could peacefully go to sleep there.

Marti and Moccasin, you were both so helpful as well. I feel really confident about the size of the room now and where we have the windows. The windows are already framed in, so I'm glad I don't need to pay to have them re-framed.

I also talked to the wife of one of the men who is framing our house this evening. She said their bedroom was 19 feet and she felt they had too much space, even with a king size bed in there.

I'll keep checking in to see if anymore ideas pop up. Thanks again.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 11:43PM
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what are the measurements left for the bathroom, closet and PR?

do you have a scanner? if so, you could scan the layout into your computer, then put it out on photobucker/flicker etc and then add the link here - or use the 'code' that puts it direct into the body of the post.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 4:18AM
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12' is definitely tight. Our room is an odd 12' x 18'. The POs had the bed on one of the 18' walls, which didn't leave much room to navigate around the foot of it and still have dressers and/or chests. A couple extra feet would make a big difference. We put the bed on a 12' wall -- wall of closets on the opposite end. There is room for a chest on each long wall, but a long dresser would be a problem given the location of doors and windows. But there is a bunch of empty space in the middle. When in doubt, make the room more of a square than a rectangle.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Our BR is about 11'7" X 17'. The bed is on a long wall, and there is a small dresser with a TV opposite the foot of the bed. I wouldn't want it any tighter there.

I wish I had the courage to do a very small bed chamber, and a separate area for dressing, etc. How much room does one really need to sleep? Even when I was a young and athletic man, I never needed much room in the BR LOL! I think a small bedroom is cozier, for what it's worth. I'm not comfortable in huge bedrooms.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 5:23PM
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I was just out in the house and am able get a really good visual on things now that the windows are actually framed and the space cut out for them. I'm loving what I'm seeing and getting awfully excited about this house.

We currently have a 16 by 19 foot space allotted for the bedroom, so I am going to go with it and not change things. The 19 foot depth gives us enough to room to do something built in, if we want. The bed and nightstands are going on the 16 foot wall. I never had intended on a 12 foot dimension in the bedroom. It was originally planned as a 16 by 16 square.

Desertsteph, I have about 14 and a half feet by 19 ft section to put our bathroom, a walk in closet for our clothes, and a small powder room. (I can actually steal a few more feet from an adjoining space if I need to, but don't want to, making it longer than the 19 ft.) This should be plenty of room if the space is layed out properly.

I really appreciate the feedback here, and the wonderful pictures to look at. I think the bedroom will be perfect the way we have it planned.

Well, out to wash cat litter boxes. Not my most favoritre chore.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Sandy- OT, but where are you putting the cat boxes, in your new home? That's something I've been working on, myself :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:15PM
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ok, we can work on those numbers... not using any extra space - then if you think one or the other is a little too tight you can sneak a ft or so if you want to from the other area!

these days I wouldn't want a bdrm smaller than i have and will have which is about 13 x 13.5 or so. if I were building I'd try for at least 14x14... i have big antique furniture... and share the room with a furbaby!

you could put in a built in 'closet' of shelves on that 19' side. I'm putting 2 freestanding cabinets w/shelves in my walkin closets. 1 for my sweats/night shirts and 1 for my sheets/towels etc. there's no linen storage in the mstr bdrm/bath area! I don't really have that many clothes to hang up either.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Yes, where are the cat boxes going, please? We were just trying to figure that out for the new home:-)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:15AM
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I Googled HIDDEN CAT LITTER BOX and found a good variety of things which might help with this totally necessary object.

The one I show linked below is based on an IKEA piece that two architects modified for their hidden litter box, located in their entryway. It might easily be located in a mudroom too.

And, what do you do if there are multiple cats? When I had two cats raised together, it was no problem. But when one of them went north, it staked out its claim to that litter box. When we took the SECOND cat north, they had different ideas of top cat, and WOULD NOT SHARE. So we had to locate TWO litter boxes in separate areas to satisfy their needs.

Anyway, here is one of the links found by searching Google under HIDDEN CAT LITTER BOXES. Some pretty nice solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hidden cat litter box

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:25AM
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I have moved our litter box to the laundry room under a small drop leaf table.Works great!!!!This little table gets constant use from me.Hides the litter box. Easy to get to to clean.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Hey, I'm open to cat box location ideas!!!!! I've been cleaning today because I have oral surgery tomorrow and I wanted to recover in a nice, fresh place when I hget back home. I still have to wash all the kitty drinkwell fountains.

Anyway, while cleaning, I've been trying to come up with good palces for litter boxes. It used to be the 5 kitties were willing to share one box, but then Billy (an adorable orange and white kitten) came sauntering out of the woods, and decided he was moving in. Now one of the girls started using our shower for her litter box, so I've had to set a second one our bedroom for lack of any other space in here.

In addition, we rescued a nice gray and white male kitty who someone dumped off at a local restaurant. Now we have & kitties! I am out of my mind. Barney is living in my husbands office in the barn brecause he has a urinary tract infection and he did not get along with the other 6.

So now I have 3 litter boxes to tend to, and I don't exactly enjoy the whole litter box process. It's a lot of work. And they are all very messy. You'd think they were digging for gold or something.

I need lots of ideas too! One of my girls is afraid of the washer and dryer noise.Then, if this isn't enough, the boys like to ambush this little girl.

It's like having a house full of toddlers! I love them all dearly though.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Sandy, they say that male cats do not like spayed females. Is that the case with the ambushed female? And, if any of the females have babies, they will look for a safe place to hide the litter because the male cats will seek the babies out and kill all the male kittens. Like lion males do. I cannot tell male from female kittens, but male cats can tell, and they grab them by the back of the neck and ZIP it is all over.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 2:33PM
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ML we have had several litters of kittens born on the porch from the wildcats. We do not have any trouble at all with the males bothering the tiny kittens. One male would gather them up and sleep with them while Mom went hunting.Fortunately we are down to the last couple to get spayed.

My biggest concern with the tiny ones is one litter of kittens thought the new litter were supposed to be toys and tried to bat them around but it was play.They did not hurt them though.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Your male cat with mothering instincts is a real prize. It goes to show that there are exceptions to animal behavior. Perhaps our modern living conditions can make an impact on the instinctual behaviors of "survival of the fittest."

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Our present master bedroom is 16 X 14 and it is plenty of room for our California King, dresser, chest, end of bed chest, two night stands, a small recliner and lamp. Depends on how your room is arranged. Instead of outdoor opening, we put in a large window and the dresser fits perfectly under the window. 12' would be tight, but we find this is plenty of room...I'd never give up closet space for a larger bedroom.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 11:44AM
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bath, closet, PR -

on the outer right side of bathroom 'side' - 11 x 14.5' for your bathroom. that's big. on the front left (off entry?) a 5x7 or 8' PR... the 'inner' corner/area = closet at about 8 x 8. will 8x8 be enough? if not you could still take a ft from the mstr bath and have a 10 x 14' mstr bath. my bath is about 7 x 13 and huge to me. I don't share it w/anyone tho!
there should be plenty of room for a separate shower and tub if you want one. a double sink, partitioned off toilet and a good sized storage closet.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 6:45PM
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