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The Bathroom Floor Plans At River House And Why Each Layout Makes Sense – Emily Henderson


Over 2 years ago Annie Usher, the architect, designed the layout of the house, including the 4 1/2 bathrooms. Max weighed in first on the layout of each bathroom and I have to be honest that I don’t remember how involved I was, so I have to assume “not very” is the answer. I really really trust architects to put the plumbing where it should be to flow (literally) in the house, and while the bathrooms are certainly important they obviously get placed second in priority to some of the other rooms. So today you’ll see where Annie put them and how they are laid out, all differently including some insight or tips on why the vanities and toilets were put where and why that makes a difference.

Emily Henderson Riverhouse Floorplan GROUND FLOOR With Border Bathrooms

We have two bathrooms on the 1st floor – the mudroom/downstairs guest full bath and the powder bath. Then upstairs we have…

Emily Henderson Riverhouse Floorplan SECOND FLOOR With Border copy

The kids share a hall bath close to their rooms, there is a proper guest bath for the guest room, and of course, the primary bath – all on the second floor. I think the layout is FANTASTIC and Annie did such a great job.

EHDxKohler 101 1

Two years ago THIS MONTH, we flew down to LA to the Kohler showroom to look at all the fixtures in person. We were all actually there for different vacations (Katie went to a bachelorette, Hendos to Palm Springs for President’s Day weekend, and Max for a fabric partnership) so we set up a shoot because the LA showroom is EPIC.

So many of you will skim by this post, and I get that, but those of you who love knowing how other people like to lay out their bathrooms, hopefully, you’ll find this RIVETING. There is logic, flow (ahem), and style all considered.

EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts LowerGuest

The downstairs guest bath is right off the mudroom and may be where kids will run back to pee while swimming in the river (unless they make the more “natural” choice, of course). It didn’t need a shower but felt like a “when in Rome” situation and good to have should they have any crashers (like us) in the family room. It was a more “nice to have” shower, but it’s also very pretty

From Max: “I love using pony walls in bathrooms. It adds a sense of privacy and coziness to a shower, but since it’s waist-ish–high, there’s still a lot of openness and light throughout the room. And it’s nice to give a separation between a shower and a toilet whenever possible. The pony wall in here was another way to show off the awesome tile, since we tiled both sides of it. Another tip is that the shower valve is directly across from the opening to the shower. Instead of under the shower head (where it would typically go). I do this a lot in guest bathrooms, so friends and family who are using this shower can turn it on and futz with the temperature without getting soaked. It also creates an interesting visual, with the faucet trim being such a focal point. There’s another wall ledge in here instead of a shower niche.”

EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts Powder

Ya’ll, the powder bath is turning out SO CUTE and rather big. I have the same thoughts as Max re the toilet (aka, not in front of the door). No one wants to look at a toilet.

From Max: “Whenever possible, I try to put powder room sinks and vanities directly across from the door to the room. That way, you and your guests get the nicest view when walking into the room. And if the door is left open, people are looking at a cool vanity instead of a toilet. Since we used a wall-mounted sink and there’s no countertop space, we added a ledge above it to give a spot for soap, etc. This meant we had to bump that wall out a few inches and lose some floor space, but we had the room to do so.”

EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts Kids

From Max: “I can’t remember whose idea this was (probably Annie’s!), but originally we had the vanities on the opposite wall under the windows. The layout in this room wasn’t clicking until the vanities were moved across the way. Double vanities are really charming looking. You lose a little storage space compared to one long vanity with double sinks, but it’s worth it in a space like this.”

I think this double vanity situation will be so great for their boy/girl kids. Listen, kids sharing a vanity is not the worst and surely it’s good for them, but my kids do, in fact, fight a lot over space and so having their own just deliniates the space and mitigates the arguments.

I had to force a bathtub into this house – their kids prefer showers so they really didn’t need one, but I knew that for future resale they would need at least one bathroom with a tub. So they chose this lower one that is easy to get in and out of – not a big tub moment. I hope I’m right about this (I feel VERY confident that I am but only time will tell).

EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts UpperGuest

This one is small and simple – a vanity, toilet, and shower. The only thing really interesting about the layout is the relationship with the closet across the hall.

EmilyHenderson RiverhouseDrywall KaitlinGreen 16
EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts UpperGuestCloset

As you can see the the pocket door of the bathroom and the closet are aligned perfectly, which was an intentional choice by Annie. It’s just a nice clean flow and good sightlines.

EmilyHenderson Riverhouse BathroomLayouts Primary

From Max: “The goal here was to maximize the view towards the river from the tub/shower area. Even though it’s a lot of square footage, it’s a super linear series of rooms, and we needed every inch possible to fit all the things in. We had to re-route some things in that shower valve wall so there would be enough space between the shower heads and the edge of the tub. Props to Ken and Katie for really going for it in here; this is a super special bathroom layout. A lot of times when I’m designing a bathroom, there’s overkill on storage, but in this case, it’s more about keeping things open and uncluttered.”

EmilyHenderson RiverhouseDrywall KaitlinGreen 28

This bathroom is likely my favorite – it’s SO PRETTY and also another one where I basically insisted they have a tub in it. In my opinion, you don’t have this house, and you certainly don’t buy this house (should they ever want to sell it) without a tub. I would never buy a house without a tub since having one – especially in the winter in PNW where it’s a 5 night a week mood-boosting before-bed routine. I really want to teach Katie the ways of the bath – and it starts with a GREAT tub (which they haven’t had before so understandably they aren’t bathers). Sound off in the comments about how important a nice bath is to you because to me it’s an absolute deal breaker.

Clearly, Max is a big old bather. Now please, if you think I did the right thing by forcing one nice bathtub (and one kids’ bathtub) into this house let us know in the comments – SUPPORT MY PRO BATHING AGENDA!! Ken and Katie are still undecided bathers which I get if you don’t have a bathtub you love and if you don’t have a bathing routine you long for every day. For me it’s 20 minutes where I get to escape in the name of “showering” and “cleaning myself” but instead I light a candle, drop in some bath oil, and read my romance novels (or scroll if I haven’t been on social for a couple of days) and then my body feels so good/clean/warm and my mood is boosted. Will you vote with me and be pro-bathtub!!!

*Photos at Kohler by Veronica Crawford
**Photos of River House by Kaitlin Green





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