How designing by committee killed the bathroom interior design project

Last November, I had a client approach me about a master en-suite renovation. She wasn’t sure about exact timelines, but she was looking to work with a professional to explore design concepts and investment costs.

Fast forward to last week and I bump into the client. I hadn’t heard back from her so I was curious. I had to ask the obvious…. “How did the bathroom renovation go?” Colour me shocked when she replied “Nothing. I’m soooooo confused!”

Back in November, I was sure she was itching to get moving with the bathroom renovation. I didn’t know she was planning a house sale in the next 24 months. Ok – no biggie. Complete the bathroom renovations…..stay within the allocated budget …. enjoy the bathroom…. sell the house.

Interior Design Ideas Abound

What happened instead? The client is talking to family, real estate agents, friends and colleagues about this bathroom renovation. Everyone has an opinion. Move the bathtub there…... move the toilet to the other side….knock down that wall…. no leave the wall there….. add glass here….. Just when she settles on what she thinks she might like, she hears another idea and she is off to the design races again.

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.

Interior design is everyone’s passion. Everyone has ‘an eye for design’, shelter magazines are a dime a dozen and finally who doesn’t want to be the one with the winning idea? Except, all this confuses the person who needs to proceed with the renovation. A new bathroom floor plan and design concept is a process. It’s more than a vanity, paint colours and pretty white marble tiles.

Bathroom design with glass shower and two vanities

Playing With Interior Design LAYOUTS

The client has a vision – ‘the ultimate spa bathroom’. She is willing to spend whatever it costs to make that dream come true. Her plan is to relocate the toilet, the shower and the bathtub. This is no minor renovation! When you start relocating plumbing, opening up walls and redirecting pipes invariably your costs are escalating right along with the dust in the air.

The bathroom renovations don’t stop with the master en-suite. Next on the list is the family bathroom. It includes removing the bath and replacing it with a walk-in shower. Two schools of thought here – both agree that at least one bathtub is required in the house.

Where they differ is the location of said bathtub. One says it’s ok for it to be in the master en-suite while the other steadfastly calls for it in the family bathroom. Ultimately, the question worth asking is – is it really a master en-suite when you have to share a bathtub with your children?

The Bathroom Break

The bathroom renovation is now on hold. The client continues to solicit ideas and approach this as a committee decision. There is really no hurry since the client isn’t selling right away – anyway.

My recommendations:

  • Seek the advice of 4-5 real estate agents who specialize in the area. A family friendly neighbourhood will have different requirements than downtown living

  • Work with a professional on a design concept and costing budget. Getting a floor plan on paper helps with placement. What you think you want may not be possible. Putting together contractor quotes and product costs will put a number on the renovation project. It’s an investment. You have to decide if it’s worth it or if you need to scale back.

  • Obtain contractor quotes – see above

  • Ditch the design committee. Everyone has an opinion and that can get overwhelming. Worse still, you may end up with a bathroom you hate. The only opinions that should matter are those of the people living in the house.

Unlike, the broth, it doesn’t have to be same for this master en-suite bathroom. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

Happy decorating!