Master the Shared Master Bathroom

Master the Shared Master Bathroom

Bathrooms for couples typically conjure up images of matching bathrobes and swimming pool-sized tubs overflowing with bubbles and bubbly. For today’s busy couple, though, the bathroom has become a more complex space with two equally important, but opposite, goals – functionality and relaxation.

To make a bathroom as functional as possible, Dave Alderman, a certified master kitchen and bath designer and co-owner of Dave’s Cabinet Inc., has two key pieces of advice.

First, he recommends as much countertop space as possible, as well as two sinks. “If you have the space, it’s better to have two distinct areas,” he says, in order to help maintain “territorial space.”

Moreover, Alderman has found that accommodating each person’s height – usually by raising the countertop by two to three inches for males – can be useful for making bathroom rituals feel a little bit more natural.

Second, Alderman suggests that couples have a lot of storage space. Simple bins and storage racks can be sufficient for keeping the room in order, but furniture with drawers and especially doors creates more space to stay organized and creates a more complete look.

Kate Flaherty, vice president of building products and special projects at the Chicago-based home renovation showroom LuxeHome, agrees that storage is key. “Build a linen closet or add storage units in the bathroom for easy access to linens and bathroom accessories,” she suggests. “This will save time when getting ready in a hurry.”

Of course, not everyone can afford the space and price tag needed for a large master bathroom, but good lighting or an intimate effect like hanging candles can help “take a smaller bathroom and make it more elegant looking,” according to Alderman.

However, if you do have the space, a bathroom can become more than just a place to soak. Some couples opt for turning the bathroom into a complete living experience with the addition of big screen televisions, sound systems, refrigerators and sometimes an entire room attached with space for lounging, laundry or exercising.

When planning a shower, Flaherty says that it should be large enough for two people and designed with the needs of both in mind. “A toe rest or shelf in the shower is perfect for women when they’re shaving,” she says.

She adds, “The master bath should fit the needs of the couple who uses it.”


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