Shared Spaces: Designing a Bathroom for Two

Shared Spaces: Designing a Bathroom for Two

April 23, 2015

No matter what size of house you’re dealing with, designing a space for couples has its challenges. This is especially true when we’re talking about the bathroom. How do you create a sharable space in this intimate area that’s often also the smallest room in the house?

In a recent press release, Cheryl Dixon, Head of Brand and Trade Marketing for GROHE America said, “It has often been said in jest that separate bathrooms is key to a happy marriage.” But that’s not always possible, especially in tighter city spaces. However, with some strategic planning a single bathroom can work for two.


 Bathroom vanity designed for two by Jan Gleysteen Architects, Inc.; photo via Houzz

Beverly Hills-based interior designer Christopher Grubb is used to dealing with couples who often have two very separate visions of their bath space, not to mention different tastes. He says that when designing a bath for two it should never be about “compromising.” Rather, “successful negotiation” is what it takes to make each individual feel that their needs are being met. 

Here are some questions to consider when pulling together a spa-like retreat meant for two:

• Does either person have specific wishes for the décor? Are there ideas about color scheme, materials, flooring, or lighting? Try finding a common ground in one of these areas and build from there.

• Which amenities would be in your ideal bathroom? Would either individual prefer a television, speakers, jetted tub, dual shower, or heated towel racks? Anything both people agree on should be included. The rest is where the “negotiation” comes in.

• Is one partner partial to natural stone such as granite or marble? If so, who typically does the cleaning? Are they willing to perform the required maintenance? (Note: It’s not necessarily as hard as you think. Check out our tips for maintenance and cleaning natural stone here). 

• Will you share a sink, or do you require separate bowls? And what size and style of faucet do you prefer?

• Does one partner bathe more often than the other? Is a tub crucial in the design? When dealing with a tighter space, consider eliminating the tub in favor of a two-sink vanity with extra storage.

Most importantly, think of designing your new space as a new adventure. And remember, just like most aspects of a relationship, it’s all about give and take. Find common ground and take it from there. Having a space where you’ll both enjoy some “spa-therapy” is better than ending up in “couples therapy”!


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