Return to the Building a Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Posted by ash6181 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 23:50

In my plan review post, I've received several comments that my master bath/closet area is huge. Perhaps I've overreacting to the super tiny bathroom in our current house, and the closet shortage. In a house of around 3500 square feet on the two main levels, what size master suite areas would be about right, or "average"? What dimensions or area would you expect to see?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

The master in our new build is 16 x 14. I don't have my plans in front of me, but our bath isn't very large. However, it makes great use of the space so we still have 2 vanities, shower, toilet closet and soaking tub. We do have a large closet though. Even though our new build is a larger home, we are downsizing our bedroom and master bath from our current home, and upsizing our closet.

It felt right for us to make the master bedroom & bath smaller and have larger living areas in this new build.

You should make your rooms the size you want and don't worry about what others think! You will be living in the house and you know how you live and what space you'd like!

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

I agree with downsy.

Our current house is about 3000 sq ft. Our master is upstairs with a 16x19 bedroom, 11x14 sitting room and 10x14 bathroom. But, our new house will be 5500 sq ft with a first floor master...we are doing a 16x17 bedroom, a small 6x10 bump out space for one chair/table (bc we never use our sitting room), and an 11x17 bathroom. So, our house is increasing, but the master suite/area is decreasing!

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

We did the same as Downsy. Our house is a ranch with 2600+ sq ft on the main level with a finished basement. Our bedroom is the same size as Downsy's, with a nice 5-piece bath, and BIG closet/dressing room, and no dressers in the bedroom. We've been in the house for 3 months, and I love this arrangement.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

You should build the house YOU want!

But, if you're just looking for info, our house is right at 3500 sq feet on two floors and our master is 15X17. We have two walk-in closets - each about 7x9. The masterbath is somewhat oddly shaped so giving dimensions wouldn't be helpful but overall it is about 120 sq feet. So, total space devoted to mastersuite area is right at 500 sq feet.

I have no idea if our mastersuite area is over, under, or right at the average for homes of our size... and don't care! It was the right size for us. And,you have my personal permission to do whatever is right for you. LOL!

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Our house is 2590 sq. ft. and the master "suite" (room/bath/closet) is 664 sq. ft. of that. Obviously, we splurged a lot on that side of the house we use daily.... It is definitely a personal choice. I had a too-small space before, and I wanted to change that.

Master - 16 x 21 (In retrospect, this could be smaller... :) we like it a lot, though.)

Bath - 16 x 12 (There is a large open space in the center, a huge shower, linen closet, etc.... It could have been smaller, but I love that the mirrors don't get foggy when I shower because they are on the opposite end. I also love that I don't get hot when I am blow drying my hair. (A small room with shower steam and a blow dryer heats up really fast... makes getting ready difficult......!)

Closet - 8 x 17 (There are two doorways in this room. This room is sized perfectly. We keep suitcases in here on top of our clothes/shoes/accessories.)

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Our house started with 3800 square feet, with a giant master suite:
-master bedroom 13' x 30' (longer than needed)
-master bath 250 square feet
-master closets: 12' x 18'

We added 400 square feet of living area downstairs, so added on a 10'x10' sitting area off the master.

Go big or go home. :-)

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Question for those of y'all with huge MBRs: What exactly do you use all the space for?

Our current MBR is about 12x15 and we've got a bed, 2 dressers, and a tv table. While we'll certainly welcome large walk-ins and a moderate MBa, we're not sure what exactly we'd do to fill a large bedroom. Especially if all the clothes were in the closet and we no longer need dressers. But it's hard to find a plan these days where the master suite doesn't include a 400+ sq ft bedroom.

Case it point, we looked at a newer home over the summer. The master suite was on the 2nd floor. The bath & closets were above what was the laundry/mudroom, and were decent sizes. The master bedroom was over the 2 car garage, so it was 22x24 or something, plus a vaulted ceiling. All that was in it, at the far end of the room, was a bed and a pair of nightstands. It looked hilarious. Like living in a basketball court. Made us realize how much superfluous furniture we'd need to buy to fill such a space.

So for those of us currently shoe-horning into modest spaces, what else do you have in a master suite when you get to the other end of the size spectrum? Sofas? Treadmills? Desks?

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

16 x 21 .... the king bed is on a 16 foot wall..... the TV is on the opposite wall (facing the bed directly.) There are two end tables on either side of the bed. I think 16' is a nice width. Nothing is crammed in, but there isn't too much extra room.

We do, however, have extra room between the end of the bed and the TV. (So, the 21' feet does create extra space that begs for something to be done to it.) Because my DH comes home mid-shift in the late evening, we are putting a small couch in front of the bed. This will give him a place to sit when he is home on break/lunch (while I'm in bed getting ready to sleep.)

If we had more traditional sleep/work schedules, we certainly wouldn't need anything in that space....

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Our house is 2900 sq ft, single level. (Plus garage, screened porch, terraces, etc.)

Our master suite is in a rectangle roughly 15 X 40 (600 sq ft/20% of the house). The rest of the house is a guest room, a library, a foyer, LR, DR, kitchen, breakfast room, and back hall with laundry and powder room. It's 2 (or 3) BRs, 3.5 baths.

The doorway from the bedroom hall is near the middle of the suite's length. MBR is 15wide X 19long but three of the 19 feet are partially 'walk-through'. A king bed, side chests, bench, and a chaise and side table are in the remaining 15 X 16. There is also a 10 X 2 bay on the long wall opposite the bed with a writing desk and chair.

*Important* to me: There is enough of space within the room for two adults to walk past one another. There is light from two sides of the room. The headboard is on an interior wall. There is airflow from one end of the rectangle to the other. The closets can be accessed without disturbing anyone in the bathroom. There is no TV.

Our bath is 15wide X 11deep plus an alcove that adds three feet to the width (linen). Two large pedestal sinks back to the closets with deep medicine chests inset above them. Toilet room, airjet bathtub, and shower are in a row opposite. There are windows over the tub, beside one sink, and in the toilet room. There is a powerful (but quiet) exhaust fan.

MBR and bath are connected by an 8 foot long center hallway flanked by two walk-in closets with pocket doors and daylight fluorescents. Ther is no door from MBR to hallway. The bathroom has a pair of French doors.

It isn't all about how MUCH space, but how it 'lives' for you.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Echoing the "it's all about YOUR life" advice.

Do you have a King sized bed or are you happy spooning in a full size?

Do you both read in bed and want large nightstands?

Will you ever spend time in your bedroom other than sleeping?.... ie will it need to have an easy chair, reading area or desk?

Do you watch TV in your bedroom? If so are you giant tv folks or do you prefer just a tiny set hidden in a small piece of furniture?

How full are your current closets and what is their current size?

After answering these questions, I'd plan for a room that can comfortably suit your needs without being "tight" or having a lot of wasted space left over.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Thanks for the input everybody. To clarify, I wasn't asking because I'm afraid of doing something different or feel I have to do what everyone else does, but I did want to make sure I wasn't being ridiculous. Why does the home building process make me second guess myself so much? Your answers have been reassuring, and I think the ideas I have in my head will work great for my husband and me. I don't need a huge bedroom, but I do want plenty of space in the bathroom and closets. Our closets will be for more than just holding clothing- I'd like mine to have a vanity area, and my husband has a gun safe or two that will go in his.

Is a 16 x 16 master bedroom large enough for a king size bed, two nightstands, and a TV? I can make it larger if needed. All clothes storage will be in the closet. Thanks again!

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Well it depends on the layout. We worked on our house plan awhile and we have now ended up with a 19 x 13 SF master bedroom. We could actually have fit everything in 16 x 13 (what we currently have in a rental before we build). But there were some plans that were larger and couldn't fit our furniture (kingsize bed, nightstands, armoire and loveseat).

New house will be 2600 SF with 19 x 13 master bedroom, 10 x 9 shared master closet. Master bath is L shaped with one part 7 x 14. The other part is about 10 x 10. Entire bath is about 200 SF.

Old house (4500 SF) master bedroom was 21 x 14 with two master closets with one about 11 x 6 and the other 8 x 6. Rest of bath was about 12 x 20. All of it was larger than we needed and had unused space.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

You can fit what you want in 16x16.

I am designing a tight space at just under 13x13. The plan is for a king bed, 2 nightstands and a TV (on the wall) with a dresser underneath.

A king really likes 13 feet. Anything more is airspace around the nightstands which most people like. For TV watching, I don't like our current bedroom at 18 feet long. I think our TV is 42 inches and it is a bit small at that distance. Either way - that is a pretty big TV to be "small" but at 18 feet away.....

Our current bedroom is about 14x18 and we have king, 2 nightstands, TV on wall, a chaise lounge and a bench at the end of the bed. It still looks a little spartan but we like it that way. I really think anything larger is too much - I wish ours had 3 feet less length and we didn't have that lounger which we don't often use. I've been a big fan of smaller master bedrooms but I am in the minority apparently. My only child is 19 months old - perhaps I'll change my tune in a few years. A big master closet with no dresser in the bedroom has apparently not shrunk the bedroom but I think it should.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

ash -- Get some graph paper and cutouts of bed, chests, bench, whatever you want to have in the MBR. Where is the 'walkthrough' space to get in and out of the room and to the closets and bathroom? Are there windows on two sides of the room? Can you and your DH pass one another without doing the side-step? lol

The early "Patterns" books have a lot about making the MBR a special, separate space, a 'nest' away from the rest of the house (and kids).

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

With our room at 21' feet long, our 55" TV seems pretty small.... so what David said is very accurate.

"Is a 16 x 16 master bedroom large enough for a king size bed, two nightstands, and a TV?"

To me, yes. I just measured out what 16' x 16' would be in our room.. Everything (king bed, 2 night stands, tv) would easily fit, and it still would seem rather roomy without extra wasted space. It does depend on where you have windows and doorways....

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Thanks everybody. Good points about the TV seeming small, and considering where walkways are. I'll definitely do a furniture layout before we finalize the plans.

chisue, I do want our master area to be a retreat of sorts. Are you referencing the pattern language books?

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Large masters are fantasy living. It's how people wish they lived. It's the TV fantasy where you sit in the reading chaise wearing white lace honeymoon attire and ostrich slippers drinking a glass of sparkling wine while your smoking jacket clad husband massages your feet and you read a first edition Jane Austin. Real life is you grabbing a 2 minute shower while your 6 year old pounds on the door (or learns how to unlock it) and screams about the dog throw-up (that he's now eating) and the water goes cold because you just finished 6 loads of laundry from the 4 year old and your husband who both had the stomach flu at the same time. And now your 6 year old just threw up on the carerra marble floor--which will leave a permanent etch mark and maybe even a stain because he just drank a glass of cherry Gatoraide. You step out of the cold shower and slip on that same marble floor, hit your head on the granite vanity, and now the marble has another stain (blood this time, but at least it will match the Gatoraide), and the granite has a chip. And you're feeling queasy yourself. Both from the damage to your "spa" and the fact that now the circle of vomit is about to be complete. And you still need to bundle everyone in the van so you can drive yourself to the Emergency room for 12 stitches for you and some subQ fluids for the 4 year old. The dog sneaks in while you are gone and pees in your pebble shower while the cat watches from atop the cornice over your 8' window that he climbed his way up the silk drapes to get to.

The biggest issue with a large master is that you are paying a lot for space that rarely gets used. Maybe 1/3 or a bit more of the time you are there? And you're usually asleep! You don't notice all of the high ceilings and huge walkways with your eyes closed! But, you are paying to construct them and heat and cool them---and not using them for 2/3 of the time.

And now for some practical considerations outside of the realm of regurgitation. (Yes, the stomach flu is making it's rounds at my house right now. That's why I'm up this late.)

Those luxuriously large walk in closets are often space wasters rather than the Imelda's shoe lockers that they were intended to be. You get more storage per square foot from a reach in than you do a walk in, unless it's a galley walk through type space. Any time you have a corner, that's inefficient, and it's wasted space. One of the easiest ways to keep the square footage down and yet not to sacrifice any storage is to create a "closet wall" in a bedroom rather than a walk in. It can make for problems in siting furniture when you eliminate one wall from that possibility, so it's not automatically the best choice, but it is a goal to strive for: closet space without corners.

Master baths also waste space when they have too much open room. Anything larger than a second bedroom is going to be in that category. You don't need a 14'x20' space in order to have room to bathe and perform other bodily functions! Often, the big culprit is the inability to give up the large bath tub. 90% of all adults would rather have a large nice shower than a medium shower and a large tub. That large tub can be placed in a secondary bathroom as a tub/shower combo and used there for the 5% of the time it's ever used. That give you everything you will actually use, just distributed in a more space compact way.

Most people would rather slim down the master area and put that room in a kitchen or family room. Unless of course, the home's square footage (and budget) is pretty unlimited. Everything has it's tradeoffs.

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

ash -- Yes, and the "Patterns of Home" (a bit easier to digest).

Green -- (Ah, how apt, eh Green?) Hope you are feeling better, but you wrote a very funny post anyway. I actually use our airjet tub frequently, but I deliberately chose one 'just my size' that fills in a couple minutes and that has a hand spray to swoosh it out easily after use -- before the jets get blasted dry. You couldn't GIVE me a surface for real *use* that needs the protection marble requires. (Years ago someone posted, asking how to 'fix' her enormous marble shower after her maid had ruined it with cleaning agents. Answer: Tear it out.)

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Green Designs, what a funny post! I hope you feel better soon. You are so right about the fantasy of living in those spaces. We have so many homes around us with ridiculous master suites. Some of the closets are as big as our current generously sized master bedroom. Speaking of Imelda, some of the architects I interviewed toured me through houses with separate shoe closets. My standard line to all the architects was, "We don't wash that much and we don't wear that much." In other words, we need adequate, even gracious bathroom and closet space, but we really don't need - or want - a round, tufted settee in the middle of the master bath.

In answer to the OP, we have a 17x17 bedroom now and it is plenty big. We have a king sized bed, two nightstands, two dressers, a sofa at the foot of the bed, a book/tv cabinet facing the sofa, two boudoir chairs and another bookcase. Our new bedroom will be slightly smaller. I think 16x16 will be plenty.

Best of luck with your design!

RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

Our home is 3800 square feet.

Master is 16 x 14. Room enough for a king size bed, armoire (we store linens, but you could put a tv in it). We don't have a reading chair but there's enough room by the patio doors if I want to put one in the future. I don't like to hang out in my bedroom. just sleep and maybe read. Tv's were banned from our master many years ago.

Anything bigger than 16 x 14 and you'll have to buy extra furniture to fill the space.

Our master bath is 12x16. A little extravagant-yes. Our closet is 9 x 14'. Yes, that's extravagant as well. But we use it and it keeps everything organized.




RE: Size of Master Suite-Bathroom and Closet

funny post Green, hope you are feeling better.
I have a different pov...
first that I get up early to have my hour long soak
in the tub. only two of us here in my little house
but I would make my kitchen tiny tiny and expand my
bathroom. not a chair or lamp, but a clawfoot tub..
or a whirlpool tub. depends on the size I could expand to.
personal preference. back/neck injury...blah blah blah.

the thing I look at on plans for my clients is how many
supply grills...1-2 for bedroom..1 for bath and 1 per closet. if you supply 4-5 supplys of air
how does it make its way back to the return air?
undercutting the door 1" handles 1 grill.
jump ducts...transfer grills solve this problem.

as for ducts in closets, we pack our stuff tightly
next to a moisture source..shower/tub. over time
clothes mildew & smell musty. mold grows on leather.
depending on size of closet a 4" or 6" duct will suffice.

While I like usable compact space, to only have one way to
re-arrange the bedroom bothers me. I like be able to re-arrange. Again a personal prefrence.

I know that my post isn't dealing with the original
topic, but just wanted to provide food for thought
as you are in planning stages now. Better to think these
things out now than to have to live with them later.

I like your bathroom pps7, clean not overcrowded.

Chisue ( hi Chisue!) has a great idea in making cutouts
to see how you can fit/arrange and re-arrange furnishings.

enjoy your build, please yourself and as always...
Best of luck.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Building a Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here