There used to be a time when bathrooms were purely utilitarian and meant for one's ablutions only, but we have come a long way since then. Now a washroom (calling it a bathroom no longer sounds kosher?), is nothing short of an understated symbol of having quietly arrived.
So these days, more often than not, we find bathrooms with live plants for that much-needed oxygen and fresh air (deodorants are so old school), repurposed ladders painted in pop colors for hanging towels, a wet area (such as the shower stall) overlooking a green space through large French windows, or an open-to-the-sky rainshower shower stall with exposed brick wall styling for that ‘back-to-the-nature’ feeling.
Large, airy and minimalist is the preferred style these days, with lots of stone, rainshower stalls and state-of-the-art fittings. But then these things are easier to do when you have space to spare. A lot of people, while designing their houses still don’t give much thought to the bathroom; the aesthetics are either often overlooked, or are added as an afterthought in a haphazard or random manner.
Bathrooms used to be that place that no one wanted to step into unless they absolutely had to.
But as we said earlier, modern-day bathrooms have come a long way from just being that space one needed to go to and be done until the next time and only when they had to. These days, bathrooms are like an extension of your bedroom (if you have one in there) and are no longer thought of just as a necessity, but, as space where one can relax and pamper themselves after a long, tiring day of toil.
But then again, not everyone is lucky enough to have these modern-day luxury fixtures in their bathrooms. How many times have you bumped your toe into something nasty when you went to hang that towel? Or toppled off all those shampoo bottles when you stood up on your tiptoes to retrieve that shower gel you like so much?
More often than not, bathrooms are one-person affairs, meaning it cannot have more than one person at a time. That could essentially mean that you would have to wait for your turn. Let’s take a look at some innovative bathrooms designs, that, if planned right, could turn out to be that one place you long for after a day of hard day’s labor.
Planning It Right
First of all, you need to take a serious look at the available space. The more space you have, the more fun you can have to design your bathroom. But fret not, even if you have a smaller bathroom, a properly planned layout will eliminate most of your problems. All it takes is a little rearrangement.
Start by taking a careful measurement of your bathroom. The more accurate the measurement is, the better designed your bathroom will be. Putting your layout to paper is always a good start.
You might want to make the toilet enclosure a little more private if you have space. Keep it out of the line of sight, and plan a panel around it with frosted glass, so as to obscure the view but also allowing light to come in. This may not work if you are not too fond of being enclosed inside the walls inside your bathroom. Alternatively, you can have thick, translucent drapes instead of the frosted glass.
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Another great addition can be moving your sink to the corner so that it utilizes that never-used space, doesn’t come in anyone’s way and well, just looks great!
Keeping Needful Things Handy
It is your bathroom. You know what you use more often. If you are one of those who likes reading in the bathroom, a small, wall-mounted book cabinet might be what you need. It looks neat and saves your expensive books from getting splattered with water droplets.
You may also want to have another modular cabinet just for your daily accessories as well. This will keep things in place and make the bathroom look very tidy. An out-of-place toothbrush or an open shower bottle on the shelf looks… just not right! You may also want to add a few open shelves to that space; that way you can store spare towels and/or extra clothing that you may need.
You can also opt for built-in shelves. This will not only keep the toiletries hanging precariously at the window stills, but will also keep them hidden from direct view.
Fancy a Dip? Think Again
You are very fond of bathtubs, most people are. But do you actually have space for one? Sure, you installed it in a wave of excitement. But is it hampering your movement in the bathroom? If yes, you may want to take it out completely and rethink. It has taken up valuable space in your bathroom and giving it a very cramped, unclean look. Instead, having a separate enclosure for a shower will look neater and also save you lots of space! Or better, you can opt for a hand shower, which is great not only for you but works wonders if you have pets at home.
Toilets on the Wall
Does the sight of a commode bother you just as you enter your bathroom? As mentioned earlier, keeping it out of your line of sight works. It will work even better if you can have the toilet mounted on a wall, if your walls have space to build a tank inside them. Not only does that look tidy, it will make it easier to clean around it too.
If not though, you can consider building a ledge behind the tank so as to keep your toiletries to save them from being kept on the tank in an untidy manner.
Replacing Your Door
You may not have realized it, but that in-swinging door of your bathroom is taking up a lot of space. Instead, you can implement these great ideas that not only would make your bathroom look swanky, but also add a lot of functionality to it:
Replace it with a sliding door (you will have to open up the wall in order to achieve this, but it is worth it!). This will free up a lot of space you never thought you had.
Also, if you have a narrow bathroom, you may want to convert that in-swinging door to an out-swinging one. This will not only free up space inside the bathroom but also make getting in and out of the bathroom a lot easier.
Alternatively, you can go for a “pocket” or folding door, that “folds in” to make an enclosure for your shower. This way, more than one person can use the bathroom at the same time.
Are you one of those who likes a smoke every now and then in the bathroom? If yes, do you have a window in the bathroom? This is another aspect that a lot of people often overlook and naturally, regret later. If your bathroom opens into your bedroom, ventilation is a must. Also, installing a small exhaust fan will save anyone walking in the bedroom after you have taken a hot shower.
Consider those lighting fixtures carefully. You don’t want a full blast of light every time someone goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You can have a light with different levels, the ones which come with a dial. This way, not only do you not disturb others, but save yourself from coming wide awake for those times when all you want to do is crawl inside the bed again. As a great side-effect, it will add great ambiance to the bathroom.
Also, consider installing a motion sensor for the bathroom. In that scenario, there will be no fumbling around for the switch in pitch darkness!
Utilizing What You Have
A lot of homes have what we call a “half bathroom”, something that doesn’t have a bath but just a toilet and a washing basin. But it would be awesome if you can convert this space into a full bathroom, without having to add much to it? Here is how!
Simply add a faucet to shower converter to the already existing sink and lo and behold, your half-bathroom is now a full bathroom! Now all you need is a drain installed here so as to get rid of all that excess water.
Using the Right Colors
Having dark walls in the bathroom will make your bathroom look much smaller (if it is already small, to begin with). Having a lighter shade on the wall will reflect more light, and give the impression of a larger bathroom.
If your floor tiles match your shower tiles, it will create an illusion of continuity, and make it look more spacious. As a side note, you may also consider installing a mirror wall to the bathroom; not only does it look great, it makes the bathroom look much bigger than it actually is.
What Should You Do?
The suggestions we made certainly do not involve spending those big bucks. With simple layout changes, you can achieve the look of a comfortable bathroom. Don’t let the space constraints hold you back; break the mold, get creative and make your bathroom your neighbor’s envy!