Our Small, Floral Water Closet

July 2, 2018

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We’re still waiting for a few more things to arrive (and for me to get my butt into gear and paint the trim once and for all!) before the full bathroom reveal. But there are so many details that went into the water closet (a small room for a toilet) that I thought it deserved its own post.

When we were re-working the layout of our bathroom (see this post), this water closet was giving us the most grief. We just couldn’t seem to find enough inches that we thought we needed (or the recommended 36×66″), and many people told us there was no need for a toilet to have its own room at all (eek, agree to disagree there!), but there were three things that really help this small, 42×50″ room feel actually spacious.

The first thing that helped our small water closet feel twice as big is going with a pocket door. We shared all about the soft close pocket doors we added to the bathroom in this post, but in addition to the luxury of soft close-ness, they keep everything feeling open. We only had room for a 24″ door and it’s perfect.

(if you’re reading from a reader, you may need to click over to see the gif)

As a final touch, we added the Prive sign to the door and it makes smile every time it’s closed.

The second thing we did to maximize space in here was to choose our toilet wisely. We ended up going with the Kohler Corbelle Comfort Height® Two-Piece Elongated 1.28 GPF Toilet with Skirted Trapway from Wayfair. The skirted trapway is so pretty and clean-lined and is perfect for tight spaces because wiping around it is a breeze. And the tank in the back is nice and slender.

Initially, we planned the 12″ rough-in toilet to give us even more room in front, but the floor joist ended up being right where the toilet needed to be so we had to move the toilet forward which cut down on the amount of space in front of the toilet by a couple of inches. It ended up being totally fine and there’s still a roomy 22″ in front of the toilet.

While we’re here, the toilet paper holder we chose (this polished nickel one) is making me want to change all of our toilet paper holders to match this one! It’s so beautiful and sturdy, and makes changing toilet paper so, so easy! Note: changing toilet paper is already very easy, but this makes it inexcusable to leave a finished roll sitting there, if you know what I mean. There’s no springs to mess with, it just slides on and off. I will say, we stayed at a hotel with a similar style toilet paper holder last week, except they had the open side facing the toilet. Not good. The paper slid off every time we tried to unroll it. So I would 100% recommend this holder and this installation direction. Ha!

Speaking of toilet paper, we thought it would be nice to have some storage in here for such things. We had our cabinet maker customize something for the space, and I think we could fit 600 rolls of toilet paper (exaggeration). Haha. We emptied a whole package and it didn’t even fill the bottom row.

The cabinet is 42″x44″ including crown molding and I’ve also packed in feminine hygiene products, my steamer, sunscreen, lint rollers, air freshener. Basically anything unsightly but useable is going in this cabinet. We finished it off with these knobs that match the vanity and linen cabinet in the main area of the master bathroom.

The initial light we got was not bright enough. But I found this pretty LED flush mount that looks similar but gives off an entirely better light. I’m sooo happy with it.

The third thing that really opened up the room was adding a window. Our former master bathroom had no natural light at all, so adding two privacy windows (in the shower and water closet) has been a game changer.

Lastly, but definitely not least as it was the thing that helped inspire a lot of the other decision in our bathroom, is the smoky floral wallpaper. The thing you probably noticed first and the easiest decision of the whole space. It feels modern, yet classic. It adds an organic feminine feel to an otherwise masculine, straight-lined bathroom and that juxtaposition makes my heart flutter.

A bold wallpaper is so fun to add to a small space because it is such a small space and a small commitment. There’s not room for art or anything else so the wallpaper is the art and the mood and the space-maker in here, for sure!

Can’t wait for you to see how the rest of the room came together!






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What do you think?

  1. Allie says:

    Do you guys have textured walls? I want to wallpaper so badly but our walls are orange-peel texture. If there’s a post or another DIY’er you know that has tackled this, I’d appreciate it!

  2. Meyling says:

    love your water closet!!! This is exactly what i was looking for. i have space for a 36 x 54. Do you think this could work?

  3. Sabha says:

    I’m wanting a water closet in my master bathroom also. Do you think 36”x50” will be too tight? Trying to have as much space for the vanity. It’s a small master bath. Trying to make the best use of space.

    • Chris says:

      36×50 is pretty tight, but you’re the only one who can say what “too tight” is. I would map it out on the floor using painters tape and see if that helps you visualize.

  4. Mary daly says:

    Where did you get pocket door from?

  5. Terri says:

    Very pretty! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Hannah says:

    Hi Julia! I’m not sure if my first comment went through or not, but I was wondering where you bought the wall cabinet above the toilet? I was only able to find shorter ones, but I love that yours goes all the way to the ceiling! Thanks in advance :)!

  7. Traci says:

    Love! Would you mind sharing the hand towel source? I need it now, lol. Can’t wait for the reveal thanks

  8. Jeni says:

    So pretty! We’re buying for our bathroom redo now. What size trim/molding do you use around your windows? Same type for around doors? What size for baseboards?


  9. Julie S says:

    Nice job guys!! Our own water closet is very very similar – 5″ wider so as well as the over-toilet cabinet we have a skinny sink/cabinet in the opposite corner of the non-centered toilet, and same depth to our room but 2″ less knee room than you managed to configure.

  10. Curious says:

    I feel like the wall paper kinda clashes with the marble, so you think you might do a wall treatment to divide it up?

  11. Anne Elliot says:

    Lovely bathroom! Regarding the toilet paper holder: I’ve discovered this can be a lefty versus righty issue. Take the roll mounted in this bathroom: If you are on the throne and you reach for TP with your right hand to pull it off the roll in a “right to left” direction you naturally pull the whole roll towards the end of the holder that is closed, no problem. But if you reach for the TP with your left hand to pull it off the roll in a “left to right” direction, you may find that you push the entire roll off the holder (off the open end). I am left-handed and I dislike these open-ended holders for just that reason; I can’t tell you how often I’ve tried to pull off a square or two and accidentally pushed the whole role off the holder. I like the idea of mounting the holder vertically, which would maintain the ease but eliminate this problem. By the way, this is one of my best examples of how product design or application fails to take into account handed-ness. (The other is soda machines with coin slots that are installed so that you MUST insert the coins with your right hand.)

  12. Susie says:

    The children in cages would be in heaven!

  13. Kim says:

    Looks amazing! Couldn’t agree more about the floral pop on what could be a masculine space. Well done!

    (PS the gif isn’t working for me – I’m in Chrome)

  14. Rachael says:

    Love how it turned out! Can you source the cabinet above the toilet? Looks great!

  15. Kristy says:

    Why didn’t I think of hanging a cabinet above the Loo?!? Can you share the distance from the top of the loo to the base of the cabinet? This is a lovely space.

  16. Heidi says:

    So pretty! What color is the black vanity?

  17. Gillianne says:

    We have a similar style of toilet paper holder and mounted it vertically, with the open end pointing up. That functions better for us in the space. I also like the way it looks in that position. Has anyone else mounted an open-ended holder vertically?

  18. Monica says:

    Looks like the space worked out well but wondering if you considered a “tank in the wall/wall mounted” model. Not sure what the proper name for this type is, but friends who just gutted and redid a small bathroom chose this and I was very impressed! Not just with the added space but also with the ease of cleaning since nothing is on the floor!

    • Julia says:

      There is a fan in the main area of the bathroom to help with condensation from the shower, but for the water closet, the window opens if need be. Haha

  19. Emily R says:

    Everything in the water closet looks beautiful – I love a skirted toilet, and the wallpaper is beautiful! My only real comment is that it seems that the toilet is caulked to the floor. I’ve learned both from experts and the hard way that this is a real no no. If the wax ring fails (and they all do eventually) the caulk will keep the water under the toilet and you’ll only learn it’s leaking when it comes through the ceiling below. I say I learned this the hard way because the condo above me did this, the wax ring failed, and I was left with a hole in the ceiling and toilet water in my unit!

  20. YES to the toilet roll holder!!! It’s…pretty sad how much easier it is to change it with one like that. Our new house has one like yours and I absolutely love it hahaha!

  21. JG says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of the wallpaper at first glance, but it’s really grown on me – it looks greats!

  22. I love this room so much and can’t wait to see the final reveal of your master bath! You have done such a beautiful job with this space.

    I do have one question that I hope doesn’t come across as a criticism, I’m merely asking out of curiosity. Is it normal not to finish the underneath of a mounted cabinet? I’ve noticed on several design blogs recently that the underneath of upper cabinets are often left unpainted. My dad builds custom cabinets and he always adds a finish piece to the underside so that if you see it from below, it looks just as finished as it does from eye level. Is that not standard practice when it comes to custom cabinetry?

    • Christina says:

      I didn’t know anyone finished the underside of cabinets but me! I have always been bothered by the unfinished edge so I add a thin piece of painted veneer with finishing nails and then caulk away so you cannot even tell it is a separate piece. Maybe I’m OCD, but it just doesn’t look finished to me…kitchen cabinets, etc.

  23. Rachel B. says:

    Beautiful! Was the original light the nina alabaster brass flush mount from Cb2? I was thinking of using it for my hallways and was waiting to see how you liked it. :)

  24. Debbie Ricks says:

    that is a beautiful room!! When you paint the trim will you be painting under the cabinet above the toilet? It’s one of those details that if its done, you don’t really notice, but if it’s not done then it sticks out? Just a suggestion!! I am looking forward to the big bathroom reveal!!!!!

  25. Jennifer says:

    I had to read “easy to wipe around” a couple of times before I realized you meant wiping the floor. I mean, it is a small room but I really thought you were oversharing for a minute.

    • Julia says:

      Ohhhhh nnnooooooo.

      • Jennifer says:

        ???? The room is lovely. The details are perfect. Love that wallpaper and I know what you mean about the little sign on the door making you smile. I have a black WC sign on my 1/2 bath door and it’s a favorite little addition to my home.

    • emily jane says:

      Jennifer, I had to read your comment a few times to understand what You meant..? As your meaning dawned on me, the sound of my own laughter surprised me -it was the kind of comic moment that lingers on your face as a smile long after the laughter has faded. thanks : )

      Julia (and Chris of course), oh my GOD I love this bathroom so, so, soooOOO much! As always, you guys are a wonderful design, process and product resource for all of us, but separate from that -this bathroom is simply STUNNING all on it’s own… Looking forward to the full reveal as it comes.

      Have a safe and happy 4th : )

  26. Laurel says:

    It’s beautiful! We are currently in the middle of a bathroom renovation and love your insights. Thank you for always adding your sources. Would you mind telling me the depth of the cabinet above the toilet? Such a smart use of space, and I like how it doesn’t look too bulky. Thank you.

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