The ideal bathroom has many requisites, but vast size, acres of granite, and a whirlpool tub aren’t among them. What really counts is having generous space where it’s actually useful, and having all the elements of your daily bath ritual right at hand.
|One of my favorite "wow factory only" designs.|
If you have 300 square feet to spare,
you can have a tub like this, too.
• Natural light trumps artificial light. Basically, this mean you should buck the usual bathroom standard--a paltry, high-placed window--and insteadprovide the biggest window possible. And don’t let privacy worries restrict the window size or placement, since you can always augment privacy using window coverings, exterior screening, or planting.
• Natural ventilation trumps mechanical ventilation. Don’t rely on a puny exhaust fan to ventilate a naturally humid room like the bathroom. Fully-opening windows such as casements or awnings are ideal, but generously sized sliding or double hung windows will work too if they’re better suited to the style of your house. If you can provide cross ventilation with two windows spaced some distance apart, all the better.
• Usable space trumps “wow” space. If you’re more interested in genuine comfort than impressing your neighbors, delegate your bathroom space to useful purposes, not to grandiose statements like huge, seldom-used whirlpool tubs. For example, few bathrooms have adequate storage for bulky items like toilet paper, extra towels, and bath sundries. Sure, you can cram them into the lavatory cabinet, if you don’t mind rooting around on all fours to get them out. But a generous cabinet at eye level is much more convenient. Likewise, when you shower or bathe, it’s a real luxury to have a cabinet with clean underwear and another hiding a laundry hamper, all within arm’s reach.
|The vastly impractical vessel sink,|
current darling of interior designers.
They're already showing up in the salvage yards.
You can probably come up with your own favorite impractical features, but you get the idea--simply keeping up with current product fads is no basis for an intelligent bathroom design.
Next time, we’ll take a more detailed look at what makes for an ideal bathroom--including the choice of fixtures, hardware, and lighting.