How to Share a Small Bathroom (and Still Remain Friends)
Bathrooms that are on the tiny side can still work for two. Here’s how to give yourselves enough elbow room to live side by side
The key is to organise and pare down your bathroom with effective storage, plenty of light-reflecting mirrors and a calming, neutral colour palette, so that even in the most pint-sized space, peace and harmony will reign once more.
There’s nothing worse than soggy towels piled all over the bathroom floor – especially when they’re not your own.
A simple solution to clearing the decks is to fix a row of hooks for each member of the household onto the wall or the back of the door. And go for colour-coordinated towels so you know exactly whose is whose. Look out, too, for decorative initials to attach above each hook.
OK, so you might not have enough room for two basins, but if you do, it will solve those early morning bathroom squabbles in an instant. If you can only squeeze in one, make sure it’s a vanity basin packed with masses of practical storage space.
Buy an off-the-peg design or create your own bespoke vanity with a deep ceramic basin on a vintage chest of drawers. Call on the expertise of a plumber, however, to ensure it’s all in working order.
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Divide up shelf space equally by filling it with simple wire baskets – two baskets each, so all’s fair in love and storage! Wire trays and trugs let you see instantly what’s inside without having to rummage to the bottom (just make sure your towels are clean and neatly folded).
Pretty metal tins are also spot-on for storing cotton wool balls and buds and other random bathroom paraphernalia that, left unchecked, will clutter up surfaces.
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In a teeny bathroom for two or more, you need to think vertically and make use of every inch of wall space up to the ceiling.
Wooden shelves, cubbyholes and slimline cupboards are perfect for narrow bathrooms. Mix and match open and closed storage so you can put the prettier toiletries on display (glass jars always look stylish) and hide the more functional bathroom bits away behind closed doors.
This is a great idea if you are sharing your bathroom with a flatmate or friend. Splash out on individual bathroom caddies and fill with your own toiletries, flannels and lotions.
You’ll know exactly what belongs to who and, even better, you could take your caddy back to your bedroom after you’ve finished in the shower, freeing up valuable floor space in the bathroom. Simple but savvy.
A small, unassuming stool can be a boon in a bathroom-for-two, for so many reasons. It can be used as a temporary spot for clothes and towels, or pulled up to sit on if you fancy a quick chat with your other half who’s having a soak in the tub.
If ledges and sills are in short supply, too, the stool can also double up as a small perch for toiletries.
A lick of all-over white paint will magically enhance the proportions of a space-squeezed bathroom. It’s also cheap and simple to do and should appeal to all tastes if you are house sharing.
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If you’re sharing your bathroom with a partner, go for a bath with two equally sloping ends, so you can both bathe at once. Position the taps in the middle of the bath so neither one of you needs to be uncomfortable – or, even better, have them wall-mounted and out of the way. (Also perfect if you regularly bathe more than one child at once.)
Not only will mirrors help bounce light around a dark, cramped bathroom, they’ll also help ease the rush when there’s more than one of you needing to look your best in the morning.
Hang up a pair of mirrors on an unused wall space or transform an awkward alcove with specially cut, mirrored tiles or a series of mirrored bathroom cabinets.
If built-in storage just isn’t feasible in your shared wash space, then a tall, freestanding bathroom cabinet will do the job just as well.
If possible, go for an equal amount of doors and drawers to divvy up your bathroom bits. And the beauty is that, should circumstances change, the cabinet can be moved to another part of the house and be used for storage elsewhere.
Do you have any clever tips for sharing a bathroom? Let us know in the Comments below.