Designing a bathroom should be simple – there are only 3 activities to accommodate (and they all start with the letter ‘S’ :) It’s anything but simple though, because a bathroom has to function according to our habits and lifestyle. Furthermore, a shared bathroom has different requirements than a single user one. Here are 3 features that will make your shared bathroom a more functional one:
separating the toilet within the bathroom will allow another occupant access to their sink and toiletries, shower or tub, even when the toilet is occupied.
2 sinks are always better than one, even if you rarely get ready at the same time. If space is at a premium, then one trough sink and two faucets will do the job nicely.
unless you are a daily bather, consider eliminating the tub altogether to free up space for storage, or a larger shower. (Only consider this if there is a tub elsewhere in the house though – I believe that every house should have one) If square footage is not an issue in your bathroom, then by all means a tub can be the cherry on top.
Here’s how my husband Richard and I arranged our Ensuite Bathroom to function for us, in a 13ft x 6 1/2 ft space:
Toilet Area: There is only one exterior wall in our bathroom so that means it’s the only location for a window. Luckily, it’s on the top floor which gave us the opportunity for a skylight. I would give up a lot of things in my home before I gave up natural light. Also shown here, a ‘top down | bottom up’ blind. This allows the light to come in through the top of the window, but offers privacy where it’s needed.
Our toilet room is 39″ wide by 78″ long. We built a thicker wall behind the toilet, to accommodate a built-in cabinet. This holds all of the toilet paper, extra shampoo, soap, etc. It basically does the work of a second vanity and frees up our drawers for the items we use daily.
Vanity Area: I chose Stonington Gray for the cabinet, Silver Satin for the walls and Chantilly Lace for the ceiling and trim.
Two sinks were a must for us, having shared a single-sink bathroom for a year and a half while we built our home. The vanity is where most of our time in the bathroom is spent whether we’re brushing, curling, shaving, drying, scrubbing, flossing, plucking, picking, steaming, bleaching, contouring, highlighting, waxing… and that’s just Richard :) kidding.
A vanity can get absolutely cluttered in no time at all so we installed a Kohler power bar under my sink so that I could leave my hairdryer, irons, toothbrush plugged in and out of sight! Notice also the towel bar. It’s there so that I can keep my less-than-pretty face cloth behind the cabinet doors and out of sight.
Drawer dividers are also a must. We were intending to have them made for our drawers after market, but discovered these ones at IKEA that just happened to fit our drawers perfectly.
Shower: (You get a small glimpse of the skylight here, reflected in the glass panel.)
Neither Richard nor I wanted a lot of extras in our shower. Jets, rain showers, steam baths are all fun to use when we stay in a hotel, but for everyday purposes all we use is a fixed shower head. We also installed a removable hand held wand, for rinsing the shower. We did however, indulge in a heated floor and appreciate it on a daily basis!
Instead of a niche to hold our shampoo and body wash we opted for a dual purpose grab bar and trays. This conforms to other barrier free features within our home, yet doesn’t compromise on style.
It always amazes me how much planning and detail goes in to designing a bathroom. Here is a peek at everything that went in to our own, with links to find everything below. (Exception: the silver tray and the rug were both vintage finds. Also, the light featured in the storyboard below was my original pick from Schoolhouse Electric, but not our final selection.)