The thing about a half-bathroom is that it is usually the one most seen by guests. We’ve always found it a fascinating design challenge to bear this fact in mind when it is also usually the smallest bathroom in the house. Wide open spaces are not an option, and so making this limited space useful to the household and pleasurable for guests is a matter for imagination and ingenuity. For our clients, we do our best to make the discovery fun, too.
Picture a Moment
The concept for your half-bath makeover can come from imagining your guest stepping in and closing the door. What do you want a guest to see and think and feel in that moment? It could be a continuation of the design inspiration they saw in the living and dining areas. Or it might be a sassy comment from another era. Or it just might be something even more personal. It’s up to you. We find that this thought experiment can be a great starting point.
Just a Few of Many Possibilities
When it’s possible, it can be an advantage to position the half-bath on an outside wall, because even a small window relieves the feeling of limited space and improves ventilation. Another suggestion that may be surprising is that using large tiles for the floor, or at least a segment of your walls, can make the room feel larger.
Smaller wall-hung sinks with a bit of storage for toilet paper and tissue are half-bath friendly because the open space beneath them adds to the sense of space for the whole room, especially compared with cabinet bases, and your storage needs are few. A bright accent wall can be attractive, yet neutral colors for the most part are a good idea, given the space limitations. Dark colors might be good to avoid.
Though the layout may be dictated by existing plumbing, many feel it’s best to position the toilet perpendicular to the door, rather than facing it. Privacy can be added, too, by the way furniture is arranged in the adjacent room, to focus away from the door, as guests prefer not to be center stage, even on their way to the half-bath.
One of the Easiest Makeovers
Something to consider is that, for all the value that an attractive half-bath adds to your home, it is one of the easiest makeovers, because it is the least disruptive. You are not decommissioning your main bathroom, after all, while the work is done. This brings to mind another interesting possibility that half-baths bring: Because they typically are used less frequently than the primary bathroom, you can select more delicate fixtures and décor if you wish.
The basic requirements are few. A toilet, a washbasin, and a mirror are the fundamental elements. Even the shelf or cabinet needs are minimal, just enough space for extra tissue and hand towels will do it. In fact, it is sometimes wise to minimize the cabinet space to help resist the impulse to use the half-bath for main bath storage items.
Another “easy” factor is the peace of mind it brings when you know your guests are getting the same fine impression of your home when they visit the half-bath that they get from your living, dining, and hospitality areas. And further, your own privacy is secured when guests have a bathroom that doesn’t put them in touch with the prescriptions and personal preferences that typically populate the primary bathroom.
Let’s get together and discuss the fun factor in refreshing your half-bath. Connecting your desires with the finest results that excellent design can offer is our passion and our pursuit.