is 12x14' master bedroom too small?

liveinseattleJanuary 21, 2013

Hello, all
I have been suffering this site for a while, always amazed what fresh ideas you can get from it. I appreciated that you taking times help others to get best of their space. I have a question keeping me awake sometime in the night. We are planning to re-do the master bathroom and closet this year. So I am researching ideas and items on line a lot. Current bathroom is very small and the vanity is actually in the bed room. The shower and toilet in the closet with a pocket door. We can steal some space from bedroom to enlarge the bathroom and closet. In this case we can make bedroom 13 x14 feet with 11x11 feet as bathroom and closet, the bathroom will have signal sink vanity. If we reduce bedroom to 12x14 feet then we can have double vanity and bigger closet. I have not lived in the small bed rooms after my college years, even when I was renting, the bedroom seems always feel spacious. Our current setup give me about 16x14 bedroom space, it is not big, but comfortable. When I look our furniture which we do not have a lot ( Queen bed, nights and dresser used as entertainment center) and imaginging the wall next against my night stand, I feel pressed in. Is anyone have small master bedroom like my and do not feel too cramped?

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Mine is 12x16 and I have thought about taking a foot or two off one end to enlarge the closet, so that will make it 12x14 also. And like you, the size it is now seems ok and I'm concerned that the furniture will crowd us if I make it smaller.

What I am going to do is move the furniture out from the wall as if the wall were moved and live with it for a week or so and see how I feel then.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 8:22PM
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We have a 10 x 11 bedroom (I use the larger master as my office), and it works well for us, but we never watch tv in the bedroom, so our circumstances are a little different from yours.

I like having a bedroom that is only for sleeping, but if you don't, I'm not sure how well you'd like a smaller room.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:56PM
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We enlarged ours to be 11x14 when we did a remodel and it feels positively palatial to me. I will say that I think the key to making it feel roomy was high ceilings (not an option for everyone) and built-ins. The only furniture we have in the room is the bed and two nightstands. Everything else fits in the small closet or in the built-ins. We also have a small window seat so there is a place to sit down (but really it holds the pillows we throw off the bed and we use it to put socks on mostly). We don't really hang out in our bedroom. Occasionally watch a little TV, or read a book but otherwise it's just about sleeping.

I will admit the photo is generous ... the fisheye lens makes it look a little bigger than it really is, but it's the biggest bedroom I've ever had.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:59PM
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What a pretty room, wi-sailorgirl. Love the built-ins.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:30AM
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wi-sailorgirl, I always thought your bedroom was bigger than that. My 12' width (well almost 12') leaves just enough room to walk between the end of the bed and the dresser.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:03PM
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marti8a, we have our bed on the short wall and there is *just* enough room for the door to open and two nightstands flanking the bed (but smaller ones). I'd say we have probably 4 feet from the end of the bed to the built-ins.

Thanks, writersblock!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 1:06PM
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What a pleasant, happy feeling space, Wi-sailorgirl! I think I could sleep quite comfortably in such a beautiful room! I also prefer to have minimal furniture, housing all clothing in the closet.

Liveinseattle ~ How exciting for you to be embarking on such a remodeling project! I have difficulty with spatial reasoning, and thus find myself struggling to determine "just right" sizes for rooms. We are finalizing our plans to build and our new master bedroom will be 14'11" by 12'3". Our master bathroom will be 8'3" by 12'1". I have measured, and measured, and measured some more and so hope this will work for us! I guess time will tell! Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Our master is 12'6" by 14' and we have three dressers and a small one ans a buffet and a night stand and chair. Sheese I am a hoarder. And the chair in the picture has been switched to a larger one now and the trunk is now a sofa table.

Master bath is 8' by 12' 6". Behind the open door is a walk in shower.

Beyond the shower is toilet and this cabinet.

We had a 14 by 16 room once and it felt very large to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Master

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:48PM
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wi-sailorgir, that room like the cover from BHG, I am very impressed by what you done to your bedroom. Maybe 12x14 is not too bad. I think I am going to put a curtain on the wall to make current room 12x14 and live for few days, just to get feel to see if I like it or not. I really like built-in idea, I also need to make some space for my dogs, I have 2. maybe I move dresser out as well. Thank you all for the posts, I am really excited for this reno, since I have lived in the house for 6 years, and finally decide I cannot stand the bathroom anymore.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 3:15PM
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It's also going to depend on where windows and doors are, and how much furniture you plan to have in the room. Our MBR is 12' x 20', with the bed on one of the 12' walls. There is room for nightstands, but no room for dressers in the area consumed by the bed. the other 12'wall is a wall of closets. So that extra 7' or so at the foot of the bed has to handle two dressers -- one on either long wall. If our room were any shorter, doors and windows would make it difficult to have much furniture in the room.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:28PM
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WE have always built in drawers in our closets to eliminate the need for dressers. Top drawer with jewelry trays. And with shelving above the drawer unit, I can place items there (leave about 18" space before shelves start). We also incorporate a shoe shelf unit and a deeper (14" depth) for folded clothing. I use closets in our guest rooms for seasonal hanging (clothes that need to be on a hanger). And we use our bedroom for sleeping only and occasional TV (for someone not feeling well).

Having a bed with large headboard and footboard such as a sleigh bed makes my pathway at the foot of the bed a bit smaller, but I love my sleigh bed more, so it is OK with me.

We should customize our own homes to be comfortable for our lifestyle and preferences, makes life at home so much more pleasant!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Our master is 13x16 and we have a king bed, two largish nightstands, a small bookscase, a large chest and two identical large dressers. I placed the dressers with one short side against the wall and their two backs against each other. They sit in front of the wall of closets. Bills side is the side by the closet, so he can grab his shorts and socks, turn toward the closet and get his shirt and slacks, and move out of the way. I, on the side facing the closets, can look at what is in my drawers, look across the dressers to the closet, see what I have there to choose from, and then pull what I want from my drawers before going around the dressers to my closet. It works pretty well for us. I got the idea from a picture of a fancy closet with an "island" in it, I think. I certainly don't have a fancy closet! But putting our two dressers together back-to-back, sticking out from the wall just two feet in front of the closet, keeps the clothing all together on one side of the room.

LiveinSeatle, a 12x14 bedroom is not small by small-house standards. Many of us don't have master bedrooms that big without big closets. If making your sleeping room that size will allow you to keep all clothing storage in the closet and out of sight, I would say that it is a very comfortable size.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:57AM
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Wao wi-sailorgirl, your bedroom is perfect... i loved the built-ins... it looks too spacious

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:51AM
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Sorry for not follow this for few days getting busy at work recently.. Yes. I think 12x14' is ok, since we don't have a lot of furnitures. I am finalizing my layout in few days. My house is 2000sf according to county record, so it is still a smaller home. Cheers

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:29AM
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Now we have a 12 x 16 but in the last house is was 12 x 13 and it was fine. In that bedroom we had a king size bed a double dresser, night stands and a tall dresser. The bath room and closet was on the same wall. It wasn't large but it wasn't cramped either.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:35PM
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We have an 11' x 11' room with 2 bookcases (down from 4) a armoir (for extra closet space), a queen bed and two nightstands. It's fine for us as we only use the room to sleep, get dressed, and sometimes to read.

On the other hand the bed is in a corner, so someone has to be willing to climb over the other person to get in or out. This is because we found that when you move the bed out from the wall far enough for someone to get around it, you basically split the room in half and turn it into two walkways with no floor space.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Hi LiveinSeattle - we're practically neighbors, I live up north!

Say, our MB is 12X14 and we've been living in it for 14 years. We have a King size bed and 2 nightstands - everything else is in the closet. We also have a high ceiling, so I'm sure that makes a difference in feeling a bit larger. We have one window, and about 3 years ago we added a single, glass door and a small deck (our MB is upstairs). I have to say - adding the glass door made it feel even more spacious and light.

All that said - I wish I had a larger MB, but it won't be happening in this house. If we had a Queen size bed, the walk space around the bed would be better.

Good luck on your remodeling!

Wi-Sailorgirl - your room looks lovely. I'm wondering if your recessed built-ins are included in the depth of your measurements? Funny thing is, we would have had that extra space when we built the house, but at the last minute we pushed the wall back into the MB, giving the living area a bit more space.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Hi. Hope it's o.k. to jump in. I'm a long time lurker here, usually active at the kitchen table.

Our master is approx. 11.5 x 13.5, not huge. Skinny, narrow closet and no bath attached. We have a king size bed, (no headboard or footboard), a wardrobe, a chest of drawers and a smaller cabinet beside the bed. I could have more walking around room but we love and don't want to give up our king size bed.

Bed is along the wall that the door is on. Opposite wall has double window with dresser on the left, wardrobe to the right of the window. Far wall has one window and a small cabinet with a lamp.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Sorry I don't know how to post multiple pics in one post. This is right side of the double window.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:46PM
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And small cabinet w/lamp beside bed.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I think my bedroom is 11 x 14 maybe. I need a path because the deck doors are off the bedroom. We have a small closet probably about 3 x 6. I fit the queen bed with a half nightstand. Lamp is on the wall on the other side of the bed. I have a small laundry basket on the path and have a vertical dresser with a full sized mirror beside. There is one decorative chair as well. It works very well! There is beautiful light and two skylights so the room is comfortable.

You don't really need two night stands. I just put books I'm not using on the book shelf. With a small closet I am forced to purge and put seasonal clothes in storage. Under furniture storage is important.

I also have to keep it clean since it is an access to the deck, which is a good thing since I am a messy person. Once my fiancé moves in there will be more purging but we sleep very well in the small room. Tv is in the living room.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Here's a photo that doesn't show the closet lamp or mini garbage can. You can manage it just take prioritization and some unconventional thinking.
I can move the night table and bed really easily so making the bed actually isn't very hard. The screen can also be moved out to another place though my man is still weirded out by no curtains. Haha

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:13PM
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When I rented a house on the river from a friend, I had a 14 drawer chest that was pretty tall, and was the width of a full size bed. So I moved it away from the wall, and turned its back to the back of the headboard. It works nicely when you have a room that is disproportionately longer than it is wide. Like, with this one, I loved having the bed almost in the center of the room, with a lot of walk around space completely around the bed. Because of the location of the bathroom door, the chest could be opened and clothing found, and it became my dressing area. I also put a canopy of mosquito netting over the bed, and it was SO EXOTIC.

So think about making such a backup to your headboard, moving it away from the wall, and creating a small spot for either a chest, or maybe a private desk area hidden by some old shutters or something. Or your sewing? :)

This picture shows it just as I was beginning to set it up. Note I painted the back of the chest soft lavender.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:54PM
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And I found another one which might be clearer. Taken later, like I think around Christmas time and the canopy was down.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 10:58PM
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As we"re designing our retirement house, we've discussed this heavily. We've decided that the master bedroom is not a priority. We want it to be attached to a nice but small bathroom, and we want it to have ample closet space . . . But we just sleep in the bedroom. My husband insists upon keeping the king sized bed. Our plan is 12x15.

We think too many people get caught up in, "I could build this great idea" rather than building for their actual lives.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:39AM
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MrsPete, you are exactly right! As long as I was just THINKING about things, I could consider lots of different ideas. But when the "rubber hits the road" or when the time comes to think about paying for all these great ideas, I'd rather have it paid for with a REALITY CHECK. I can afford more of that.

One thing I had on my idea list was an emergency natural gas generator, like the brand Generac. However, with all the other things we need now, that is going to have to be postponed. We will have natural gas range and water heater, and maybe a small gasoline generator to carry the fridge and the a/c. It will be mostly hot weather when our emergencies occur.

In the house plan we just recently worked out, the original bedroom is staying the same size. But where the exterior wall once was, we will take out a single window and widen that into about 5 foot wide opening, same as the passageway from living to dining room. Then that allows us a sitting area for us, with an 8' wide closet at one end, I wear a lot of long caftans or muumuus whatever, and then I can keep my sewing in on end of the space too.

Future residents can have the option of adding another doorway to the wider opening, I've made it possible to have a kingsize bed on two walls of the bedroom (we only like a queen). Present plans though are for a surface mounted door using barn door hardware. Haven't bought the hardware yet, but we are using an old heavy cypress door salvaged from our house destroyed by Katrina. My DH likes things finished nicely, while I like OLD look, with some of the paint left on it, sanded of course, and then sealed. I have a pocket bathroom door, and they are fine in the right spot, but for sheer character, nothing beats an old door with its hardware visible.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Thought I'd jump in here, too and say that our MB will be almost exactly 12' square. One door and one large window. I'm just now trying to plan the built-in wardrobe that will have to hold our clothes as there is no room in there for dressers with our king bed.

DH did manage to find the LARGEST king size storage headboard made of oak that I've ever seen. On Craigslist. He loves it and I can live with it because we need the storage and that it does have, in spades. This bedroom is bigger than the one we currently have, BTW so it's an upgrade for us!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:09AM
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Deedles, you may find that even with your king size bed, the 12x12 bedroom is comfortable. Our previous house had an 11x11.5 bedroom. Our king size bed only had a 6" deep padded headboard. I had a skinny (but tall) metal etagere that was meant for a bathroom as my "nightstand". I added cardboard shelves to it's wire ones that I covered with the same fabric as the headboard. DH had an old 1 ft wide table with a slanted bookshelf underneath as his. At the foot of the bed we had a footstool also covered with the headboard fabric (so the dogs could get up in bed if they chose to do so). On the wall across from the bed we had two tall dressers and a laundry hamper. Both DH and I had to step into dog beds to enter and exit our sides of the bed, but otherwise, we did have room to walk. And DH could open the closet door. I kept my clothes in the next room's closet!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Ours is about 10x9 with a built in closet in the room. We built the bed rather than buying one, so we could build it with storage underneath it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:54PM
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The bedroom in the house I just bought (and which is rapidly becoming a Money Pit...) is 12x13. After realizing that there was no way that the bed plus 2 night tables was going to fit against the only possible wall (the 12' one) I had the 2.5 ft deep closet ripped out to make most of the room now 15x13.

I refuse to put ANY piece of furniture in front of a heating baseboard and unfortunately the baseboard runs the length of the only clear 13' wall (the other 13' wall has the room entrance and a chimney chase, thus reducing that wall to only 8 ft usable, which was where the closet used to be. I dithered between keeping the closet vs keeping my dresser and mirror, and the dresser/mirror won out. I'm going to convert the second bedroom to a closet room (the third bedroom becomes the computer/library room).

Still, the only furniture that the master will have room for is the bed/pair of nighttables, dresser/mirror, and the electric fireplace/mantel unit which is an absolute must for me in the fall and winter. The fireplace is 5' wide and 19" deep. I also have a bench that now is at the foot of my bed but if I put it there in the new bedroom I will only have 2 ft between the bench and the front of the fireplace across from it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Our plans are getting ready to go now. The contractor is 60% finished with a job, and when he is ready, it begins.

Let's hope there are no hurricanes during the work. We will be getting new floors and a new roof, and any windows changed have to be approved by the new building code for high wind locations. When I get the final plans, I'll post them on the forum.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:06PM
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I'm a bit late to this discussion, but...

My husband and I adore our antique full sized bed, so even with the assorted dogs and cats that share it, the 12x13 master in our new house will feel huge -- room for two dressers, two nightstands, and ample bookshelves. Even if we had a king sized bed, we'd still sleep snuggled together, so the extra real estate would be wasted!

We've also wondered why the need for double vanities in any bathroom. Even when we're in a mad rush to race out the door (almost always), it takes little effort to share one sink. A bit of time and space management goes hand-in-hand with living in a small house.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Know this is an older post but just wanted to say that we just built our house and our master is 10'8x12. We have a queen bed, two nightstands, a large tv and tv stand. There is still plenty of room for a king if needed. Actually the other two bedrooms in the house are bigger at 11x12. :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:43PM
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