Brave enough for an open-plan bathroom? Here's how to design one

23 August 2015 - 02:04
By Janine Jorgensen
An advantage of an open-plan bathroom is that natural light can flow between the bedroom and the bathroom, and both can benefit from any panoramic views.
Image: Hansgrohe An advantage of an open-plan bathroom is that natural light can flow between the bedroom and the bathroom, and both can benefit from any panoramic views.

Open-plan living is a feature of most modern homes. And the concept has extended to the bedroom and en suite bathroom. How far you want to take it is up to you, from something lavish, with a sculpted bath as a focal point, for example, to something less exposed, perhaps preserving a bit of modesty with an enclosed toilet.

WHY OPT FOR AN OPEN-PLAN BATHROOM?

One large room as a sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation has an indulgent quality, associated with luxury hotels, where you can step barefoot from bath to bed and vice versa. You can also maximise features you want in both rooms, such as being able to watch TV from the bath and the bed, or installing a fireplace for a cosy atmosphere.

Free of any dividing walls or partitions, the open-plan bathroom also has the appeal of making a space feel bigger, especially in a compact home.

Other advantages are that natural light can flow between the bedroom and the bathroom, and both can benefit from any panoramic views.

HOW TO DESIGN A STYLISH SPACE

To maintain a seamless appearance throughout the space, it’s important that the bathroom is in keeping with the style of the bedroom. Pay attention to your choice of sanitaryware, as it will be on display, most often as a focal point – make sure it’s visually pleasing and matches the decor of the rest of the space. If your bedroom has a romantic theme, sleek, modern finishes may be jarring.

As the bedroom is a place of rest, you don’t want to be surrounded by mess from the bathroom, so have adequate storage and keep clutter to a minimum. Wide basins will prevent any puddles on the floor; the correct drainage is essential for the shower; and a portable towel stand is practical.

With the space being larger, you can add furniture, such as an armchair for laying out your robe or chatting to someone in the bath, or a table that can double up as a vanity unit.

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PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Of course, privacy is an issue in such an intimate space, so if you’re sharing it, make sure your partner is happy to have an open bathing experience too.

An open-plan layout means there are no sound barriers if someone wants to use the bathroom while another is sleeping. To compromise, look at erecting a screen for privacy and noise. Glass can maintain an open effect.

Damp is a concern, so your flooring has to be suitable for a wet area. If you prefer carpeting in the bedroom, consider tiles around the bath or shower. Alternatively, use tiles throughout and soften the space with rugs. If you want the wood look while maintaining the practicalities of tiles, there are a great number of natural-effect tiles on the market. Underfloor heating is an option to keep the space warm with hard surface flooring.

Ensure the space is well ventilated to prevent mildew and moisture build-up.

The plumbing can get complicated in an open-plan design, as it may require going underneath the floor, so seek advice from a professional before embarking on any project.