A well-designed and elegant master bathroom can be the crowning jewel of a home. However, creating this oasis of luxury can be quite challenging when the existing space has a convoluted layout or dated features. In a recent whole-home remodel in Los Angeles, designers were tasked with transforming a cramped and compartmentalized master bath into a spa-like retreat. By opening up the space, adding luxurious features, and embracing a crisp yet timeless aesthetic, they successfully created a master bath that left the home’s checkered past behind.

Demolition: Opening Up a Compartmentalized Layout

The existing master bath in this 1930s traditional home was chopped up into small separate spaces that felt cramped and claustrophobic. A tiny water closet was closed off from the main area, while the shower stall, tub, and dual vanities were all cordoned into their own discrete areas.

To create a more open, airy layout better suited for relaxation, the first order of business was demolishing walls. Removing the barrier between the water closet and main bath helped improve flow. Further opening up the space, the separate tub and shower were combined into one large walk-in shower. Eliminating these visual barriers immediately made the compact master bath feel more expansive.

Fixtures and Finishes: Infusing Luxury and Elegance

With the layout opened up, the next step was selecting high-end fixtures and finishes to match the elegance of the home’s overall design vision. The existing dated tub and shower stall were removed to make way for a sleek frameless glass walk-in shower. Outfitted with dual shower heads, an inset shelf, and intricate tile work, this custom shower became a luxurious focal point.

Rather than closed-off vanities, a single floating double vanity was installed. The wall-mounted contemporary design and quartz stone countertop contribute to the airy, uncluttered aesthetic. Brass hardware and sconce lighting add a touch of glamour. Some original details, like the hexagonal floor tile, were thoughtfully preserved for character. Crisp white millwork, marble accents, and pale blue-gray paint keep the space feeling bright and soothing.

Thoughtful Touches: Ergonomics and Accessibility

Though now highly elegant, the redesigned bathroom didn’t neglect critical functional considerations. With accessibility and ergonomics in mind, the space features a curbless walk-in shower and comfort height toilets. Subtle grab bars are seamlessly integrated. Storage solutions like pull-out drawers maximize organization. Heated floors and a towel warmer lend a pampered spa experience.

By demolishing dated walls and barriers, installing luxurious new finishes, and focusing on comfort, the once cramped and compartmentalized master bath is now an open, elegant oasis for relaxation. The checkered past has been entirely transformed into a spa-like retreat. This stunning bath offers proof that even the most challenging existing spaces can ultimately be redesigned for beauty and elegance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Transforming Master Bathrooms

What factors should you consider when remodeling a master bathroom?

When remodeling a master bath, key factors to consider include your budget, personal style preferences, how long you plan to stay in the home, accessibility needs, storage requirements, lighting, ventilation, and ease of cleaning. Focus on timeless rather than trendy selections for more long-lasting enjoyment.

How do you create a spa-like feel in a master bathroom?

A spa-like master bath prioritizes a soothing vibe through finishes like stone, tile, and wood rather than high-gloss surfaces. Include a large walk-in shower, ample lighting, heated floors, a soaking tub, towel warmer, and plenty of storage. Neutral colors and minimal clutter also promote a relaxing spa aesthetic.

What layout changes can open up a small, cramped bathroom?

If your bathroom feels cramped, consider removing walls and barriers between compartments to create a more open, airy layout. Combining a tub and shower into one large walk-in shower can be especially helpful. Floating vanities also take up less visual space.

Should you remodel a bathroom before selling your home?

Updating a dated bathroom can allow you to sell your home faster and for a higher price. Focus on cost-effective changes like new paint, lighting, vanity, faucets, and shower enclosure. Avoid extensive layout changes unless the bathroom is highly dysfunctional.

How much does a master bathroom remodel cost?

The average master bathroom remodel costs $10,000 to $30,000. Layout changes, tile work, luxury tub and shower installations, and high-end finishes can send costs to $50,000 or more. Carefully balance your budget with your goals for the space.

What are some trends to avoid in bathroom remodels?

Trendy finishes that may feel dated down the road include bold wallpaper, intricate tile patterns, and bright colors. Avoid impractical layouts and oversized features that limit functionality. Focus on clean, simple, timeless design over fleeting trends.


Remodeling a master bathroom presents many exciting opportunities to create your ideal soothing, spa-like retreat. However, transforming even the most convoluted, outdated layout is possible with careful planning and design. Knocking down walls, upgrading fixtures and finishes, and focusing on ergonomics and accessibility can turn a master bath with a checkered past into an elegant space for relaxation. With strategic demolitions and a few luxurious upgrades, your dream bathroom oasis awaits.