Part 1 – Coleman Residence, Oregon

Part 1 – Coleman Residence, Oregon (PDF) | Part 1 – Coleman Residence, Oregon (JPEG)

  • Meg Escott

    When considering master bathrooms I would use the following guidelines.
    - The bathroom and closet should be close to one another and if possible should be on a corridor coming into the bedroom with a door at the end. That way one person can get up and shower and go without disturbing the other person (although doesn’t apply with this client).
    - Try and provide a seperate wc, particularly if there’s only one bathroom.
    - Pay attention to wet and dry zones. It’s better to have the shower and bath furthest from the entry of the bathroom with adequate and usable towel rails and drying off space with the sink nearer the entrance (and the wc if it must be in the bathroom). There’s nothing worse than showering and getting dressed, having breakfast and coming back to brush teeth and getting wet feet.
    - The view from the bed must not look into the closet/ensuite corridor.

    One of the nicest arrangements I’ve seen is with a walk in closet with a shower and vanity at the back, wc completely seperate and bath behind sliding doors in the bedroom. This thinks about how the shower and the bath differ in use, showering tending to be a day to day practical activity and bathing a form of relaxation. This makes clear which zones are for relaxing and which for washing and dressing.

  • gerard

    while the owner has a son, it seems that practically there is no need for an entire second bedroom for the guy. rather than leave the whole floor as a dormitory/bathroom, maybe we could introduce some new uses into the old masterbedroom? hobby area, reading room, some plants/fish… we dont want the owner to be using this whole floor just to sleep. i mean, we’re not dealing with the dubai royal family here. the bathroom could close off on the right where the door is, removing the large closet in the bedroom and making room for these activities which will keep the owner busy in his retirement(?). a more versatile room is appealing here (hide-a-bed) because the future might have something in store. keeping it as a bedroom would monotonize the whole floor. the bathroom, as meg pointed out, would be better off with no wet floor on the way to toilet, however that can be done.

  • Elva

    I have been actively reading your site since the G&M article. I too wish to downsize and have found useful information wrt evaluating potential properties when I start looking. Although slightly off topic, I would like to make a case for bedrooms at the back of homes. Although dependent on location, I think they would be quitier at night as the house would provide a buffer from street noise. This is true particularily in the summer when sleeping with an open window. Even in quiet cul de sacs, neighbours come home late and car doors do clunk.

  • Terri

    When modifying these plans, are we to assume that all window openings stay as is? Is the large window by the big bathtub actually glass block? Could that be filled in and another window inserted somewhere else on that wall?
    I’m also one of the newer G & M converts (am just loving this site, BTW) and would like to participate in the redrawing of this 2nd floor plan.
    Thanks for any/all input.

  • Volker

    I am still not sure about which room I would recommend as the master bedroom. Trying too keep the costs for construction low, I’d leave as much as possible in place. I do prefer to keep the master bedroom at the rear – less noise from the street, (indirect) morning light through the window and enough space to place some additional furniture, some place to study, sit down and so on. Still perhaps this room is way to big for a single person and we do not know anything about the ground floor. It would be nice for his son to use this room too, offering him the possibility to sit down there with friends, have his computer hooked up… The front room is a very nice size, the balcony is very nice, just sitting there watching the sun going down… then just taking a couple of step and I am in my bed – thrilling idea.

    People in the 80s really like those over-sized tubs? I’d prefer to have to bathroom “flipped over”. Now when entering the room, you go towards the window, while brushing your teeth perhaps you can even look out. The wc is close by, although not visible when you enter – this way you avoid running into someone already using this room. As suggested by Meg I’d place the shower and the tub (if really wanted) at the rear of the room. The additional window would be nice to have but not a “must have”. I do like bathrooms with windows but unfortunately this room is rather deep and therefor the very end of the room will not get to much natural light with just one window.
    The main design idea is to keep this simple – leave the rooms, get rid of those “walk-in closets” a nice piece furniture, some cabinets will do the same. A single bathrooms should work too, keeping the amout of money as low as possible.


  • Brad W

    The master bedroom has been moved to the front. The closet has been enlarged making it necessary to move the door to the balcony. The master bath has been imagined as an open space. Natural materials and minimalist design combine to implement a large walk in shower area and a vanity capable of having two sinks. The bedroom at the back of the house doubles as library/den with the addition of a fireplace and shelving for books, photographs and other personal items.

    No bathtub has been included and the resale implications of this design decision should be evaluated.


  • James Scott

    Here’s what I came up with. I remembered the example from a week or so ago about bringing the head board or a wall forward to make the room a little less empty and using the back space for storage. I think it works here.

    I purposely kept the bathroom simple (no separate shower) to avoid cramming the space.

    Same with the second bedroom, which to me really serves as a guest room. Now in my guest room at home we purposely put as big a bed in there as practical. We’ve all been to friends homes where we were stuck in sleeping quarters that were an after thought. Not very comfortable (maybe that was a hint). So that was why I felt an open space with a larger bed was the way to go.

    Ans as suggested by Gerard I added a desk to the second bedroom to suggest dual purpose.

    One idea I did not incorporate was lights or windows between rooms or the stairwell. I wonder if that could work here? I saw a neat trick in the Waterloo Green Home (Ontario) a number of years ago where a fairly large double glazed window was placed above the bath tub to allow daylight into the bathroom. I believe it had no exterior walls and this was the only source of natural light. The air space between the glazing was filled at the factory with broken chunks of glass that allowed the light to enter the space but maintained the privacy of the bather. I guess the current owner of the home would be the one to say if the concept was a good idea or not.


  • Bill Kratz

    John — In the video you mention that one would use less water by having only one bathroom in a house. I’m not really sure why you come to that conclusion. Perhaps you can shed some light on your thinking.

    Regards…..Bill Kratz

  • Brad W

    Plan B

    1.No exterior changes.
    2.Minimize plumbing changes – the toilet has been moved forward; the shower and tub have been replaced with a large shower (optionally could be a tub/shower combination).
    3. Master bedroom at the back – used part of the upstairs hall to create entrance from master into bathroom; master retains library/den feel with fireplace, books etc.; no desk as master is imagined as a getaway from work as per previous plan.
    4. Guest bedroom – closet simplied; added dresser with mirror; desk and TV.


  • highway6

    I removed essentially all interior walls, including around the stairs. Toilet is the only fixture that remained constant.
    Concept is 3 millwork pieces that are used to frame 4 spaces – 2 bedrooms, shared restroom, and vertical circulation/study.
    I opted to not go with walk-in sized closets since this is only one guy and a son who does not live here full-time.

    The 2 blue millwork pieces are identical. They contain bookshelves to the interior, while the bedroom sides are combination of upper closet space and lower shelves and drawers. The left side piece, the book shelf becomes the upper wall for the stairs, while the opposite side continues the railing around, adjacent to a private reading nook.

    The brown millwork isn’t really millwork, but would be detailed to read as one piece, probably wood veneer. It contains the toilet space, walk-in shower, as well as linen shelves to the bathroom side, and more study book shelves to the study-side. It has frosted glass which separates the restroom from the circulation to help bring the light from big restroom window into the vert.circ/study space. Lastly, the brown millwork ‘piece’ contains 5 pocket doors which close off spaces as needed.


  • highway6

    I forgot..
    The master bedroom was moved to the front/left, and is given priority, direct access to the restroom. The secondary restroom access is shared between the study and son’s/guest room.
    Lastly, i opted for a claw-footed free-standing tub because when not in use, they come across as sculptural beautiful pieces and this seemed to make more sense and more appropriate to be seen from the reading nook.

  • Paul C

    Very inventive. I like the translucent shower that permits light into the middle of the upstairs. A little risqué and fun. The wide use of millwork or implied millwork would give a refined look imo. Similar comments with respect to bathroom widths. WC enclosures or showers that are close to 30” wide can feel a little bit narrower imo. A free standing tub would be in keeping with the refined nature of this design.


  • Doug Roberts

    Highway6 — Didn’t mean to ignore your plan or the others posted here under Part 1. Of all the plans posted here and under Part 2 (including John’s) it was Louis’ plan that appealed to me the most, so that is the one I chose to comment on. In terms of your plan I think that the angled wall that you added to the son’s/guest room is very interesting, although it does create a larger dead space than is otherwise needed to house the flue, and may make it a bit more challenging to add other furniture to the room. Maybe you could use some of this otherwise dead space by insetting a cupboard or shelving into the wall on the bathroom side above the tub. I also like that you incorporated a cozy loft/reading area next to the stairs. I am not too sure about the frosted glass shower wall — I like the idea of letting more light into the hallway/stair area, but not if it means having to see the backlit silhouette of my father or son showering while on my way downstairs for breakfast!

    PS. What does the circle in front of the bathroom window represent? A stool? A laundry basket? A plant?

  • Terri

    Highway6–In response to your request for feedback on your plan, I liked your idea of opening up the space with your matching millwork Ls at either end of the hall, although I wondered about the lack of a door to close the bedrooms off from the hall. I agree with those who have said the angled bed allows for a big corner of wasted space. Doug’s idea (above) to integrate a headboard/cupboard/shelving kind of idea instead. With your other millwork, it seems this would be most suitable.
    I also like your water closet in the bathroom. I’m not sure that we need much light coming from the bathroom into the hallway as there’s a good southern window in the stairwell which should provide ample light for a hall area. Of course, if you sat at that desk, you might still need a lamp.