Homebody Queries: Big Bath or Closet Space?

The hubby and I had a great time touring a slew of houses on Saturday (prior to our sod-laying bonanza).  No, we’re not in the market to move, but my realtor husband likes to keep an eye on the homes currently on the market and I’m always a willing companion.  I mean,what’s not to love about spending the afternoon checking out other people’s digs?

While we were snooping around all of those houses, I noticed that one house in particular had tons of potential – and a major flaw.  Basically, the master bath was tiny.  I’m talking cruise ship tiny.  Take a look at what I mean:

Homebody Query: Big Bath or Closet Space?

Homebody Query: Big Bath or Closet Space?

Homebody Query: Big Bath or Closet Space?

While tiny bathrooms can be beautiful and cozy (not cramped!), this particular bathroom certainly did not warrant the title “master.”  With a teeny stand-up shower, single sink and no window, there was no way that two people could be in the bathroom at the same time.  And this was in a 2,450 square foot house!!   Not cool.

Anyone who buys this house is clearly going to gut the master bath, without a doubt.  And there are two closets that back up to the master bath – one or both of them could be stolen to increase the size of the master bath, but closet space for the master bedroom would be sacrificed.  What’s the new homeowner to do??

The way I see it, the new owner will have two options with this master bath:

(1)  Leave everything where it is and gussy it up as much as possible. Pros: minimal costs and both closets would remain intact.  Cons: tiny bathroom, no tub.

Homebody Queries: Big Bath or Closet Space?

(2)  Gut it completely and steal one of two closets to make a decent-sized bathroom. Pros: bathroom fit for two with a tub.  Cons: lots of extra costs associated with moving plumbing, only 1 small closet in the master bedroom instead of 2 medium-sized closets.

Homebody Queries: Big Bath or Closet Space?

Here’s where you guys come in – what would you do in this situation?  Save costs by keeping the tiny bath, or create an awesome bathroom but sacrifice closet space?  Which is most important when designing a bathroom – a rockin’ bath or oodles of closet space?

Let me know your thoughts through this handy-dandy poll:

Big Master Bath v. Lots Of Closet Space
Have to have a big master bath!!!
Extra closet space is the way to go!!!
Other suggestion (leave comment).

pollcode.com free polls

[P.S.  If you’re reading this post in a Reader, I’ve noticed that the buttons don’t seem to show up on the poll – just right click on the title of this post to open it in a new window and vote away!!]

Anybody else seen something crazy in a home that can top the hideous wallpaper from the tiny bathroom we saw on Saturday?  Am I the only one that could tour houses until my feet fall off??

Images courtesy of PointClickHome, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. Kathy says:

    That is a tough call. I’m a closet girl, but a huge master bathroom would be tough to pass up. I think either choice will be a winner!

  2. Joan says:

    The agony of deciding!

    Option 3 proposal: Enlarge master bath and keep the closet space by stealing 5 feet or so from the room with the closets by moving the closet space, door and walls forward that amount.

    Net result: big bath, big closets, significantly smaller room beside bath.

  3. bertha says:

    how are the other bathrooms in the house? do they need to be enlarged also? i would suggest at least 1 nice, big bathroom somewhere in the house (master or elsewhere). the large closet is very tempting!

  4. Liz says:


    There is one pretty great jack ‘n jill style bathroom in the house (that opens into a hallway so that guests can use it) and a 1/2 bath that also houses the washer & dryer. The jack ‘n jill bath even has a tub, so it would work for a family with little kiddos. You make a great point – spiffing up the jack ‘n jill bath may be just the ticket!!

    ~ Liz

  5. christy says:

    Our master bath is teeny tiny – 3 feet deep by maybe 6 or 7 feet long. Half of it is our tiny shower stall. But the owners before us put in a nice shower, nice tiles on the floor, a nice pedestal sink and nice shelves so it works. Two of us can NOT fit in at the same time, but that’s okay with us. There is no way to add more room to it so we’re just glad it was renovated before we moved in. I love those inspiration pix you chose! I would LOVE to have a large master bath in our next house – with double sinks and a big walk in shower!

  6. Averill says:

    That master bath IS tiny, but I can’t help but think I’d prefer a large closet to a larget master bath. The benefit of working with something so small is, as you point out, you can upgrade it for not a lot of money (and even use fancy materials since you won’t need so much). I think I’d do something like tile the walls to the ceiling, etc. to try and make the room feel taller, even if it’s not so wide.

  7. natalie says:

    I love to tour homes as well! I also like to buy a home, tell my hubbie we will NEVER move I promise!, then fix it up and then find another home and start the process all over again. We just bought our 3rd home!