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Making the Most of Small Bathrooms
by Kaja Gam© 2006, All Rights Reserved

Early in the design process of renovating an older bathroom, the question invariably comes up: Is there room for a double sink? In many cases there is room if you use a little finesse and creativity. But the real question is what do you give up when including two sinks in a small bathroom? Double sinks are beautiful and stylish, but in too small a space the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.

Double sinks use a great deal of counter space. Counter space is usually at a premium. Where do you find the space for hair dryers, make-up, creams and shaving gear? Since time spent actually using the sink is minimal in comparison to time spent in front of the mirror, it only makes sense to install a single sink. Instead of that second sink consider a beauty bar with a cubby shelf underneath including lots of outlets and an additional mirror. If you install an enclosed vanity sink you have the benefit of even more storage space underneath the counter. Please note that it can make the toilet feel cramped.

Even with a very small 4- by 6-foot bathroom, you can easily accommodate a 3-foot shower stall and a toilet along with an extended sink counter.

Other sink options are the pedestal sink and the console sink. Pedestal sinks are elegant and offer greater floor space. Many pedestal sinks are now made with a small amount of space around the rim of the sink on which you can set toiletries.

Console sinks, fashioned after styles popular in the late1800's, when water lines were first carried into houses, are supported by legs and, like pedestal sinks, are not enclosed underneath. Reproductions and new interpretations are available in most price ranges. However, the trend is the same: to get away from the motel-style double sinks so popular in the 80’s. Instead, the sink is made larger with space on both sides plus a shelf below.

If using either a pedestal or console sink, you can easily store towels in an attractive basket or directly on the shelf under the sink. If floor space is getting cramped and you're still in need of more storage area, look toward the sky! Installing custom cabinets or shelving can solve the problem.

Should you give up the tub? There is something indulgent and relaxing about a tub. A long, hot soak with botanical salts, bath beads or body washes is very soothing after a long day.

What's more, Realtors recommend having a tub in at least one bathroom of your home to maintain resale value. But the shallow built-in tubs found in most houses can be quite disappointing. If your budget allows for a custom tub as part of the shower by all means go for it. You may also choose a deeper yet shorter soaker tub inspired by Japanese baths. These are becoming increasingly popular and take up less space than a regular tub.

Planning is the most important step to making the most of small bathrooms. Before purchasing any new sinks, tubs, showers or fixtures, consider your lifestyle and usage patterns. In this way you can create a bathroom perfectly suited to your needs.

Kaja Gam may be contacted at http://www.kajagamdesign.com kaja@copywritingcourse.com. Click here to view more of their articles.
Kaja Gam offers interior design in New York and surrounding areas. Featured on HGTV.com, Kaja is famous for designing rooms that are comfortable, functional and make a distinct statement about your personality. Sign up for Kaja's free ezine today at http://www.kajagamdesign.com.

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