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Second Bathroom Design Ideas & Advice

There was a time when many UK householders were more than happy with a tin bath, a basin and an outside loo at home. But times change and we are now increasingly likely to want more than just the one bathroom in our houses or flats. With two partners both working, or with kids that don’t need dragging to the shower, it can be almost essential to have a second place to wash and get ready for the day. Those of us who like to have guests stay over may also feel the need for some space and privacy for both parties.

Second bathroom

The main problem with second bathrooms is that they can take up a lot of space, as well as costing a good deal to install. This means that these extra bathrooms are often shoe-horned into what was an airing cupboard, wardrobe or a room with just about enough room for a WC. As a result, they can suffer from poor light and poor ventilation, often being in rooms with neither a window nor a skylight.

second bathroom

Image source: Pixabay

How to design a bathroom

If you can get a window or another source of natural light into your bathroom design then you should do, but if you cannot then it doesn’t mean that your design will be a dead loss. Good bathroom fitters and builders have a number of tricks up their sleeves that will stop your new en-suite or guest bathroom from being an embarrassing, dark and depressing place to get ready of a morning.

The first thing you and your tradesman will need to work out is good ventilation. This is even more important than light. You will need at least one wall to be an outside one, or be prepared to vent up through the ceiling and out through the ceiling or roof. The more work you have to do to get air in and out of the room the more it will cost, but this is just a matter of the work that will have to be done to get a vent to fresh air.
Make sure you get as powerful a ventilation fan as you can. Small spaces allow the damp to linger and you don’t want mould to build up in your new en-suite bathroom.

hanging towels

Image source: home space via Flickr

Once your ventilation is sorted then you will need to think about light. If you have a small space with no windows then you should either see if you can install a small skylight or be prepared to get creative with both lighting and décor. Spotlights and down-lights are what you need here, rather than harsh strip lighting. Think about hotel bathrooms and how the more expensive hotels create an atmosphere in a bathroom that, in most cases, will not have a window. Soft light and paintwork often create the feel of space and luxury in these rooms as much as the fixtures and fittings.

The oldest and most obvious tricks for small spaces will also work with your small bathroom. So, in the absence of a window and space you can create the illusion of both by the use of large mirrors or mirror tiles. This will double the impact of your light and also give you the feeling of open space. You should also use blocks of colour, rather than patterns. The large surface areas will give the feeling that your room is larger than it is.

how to design a bathroom

Image source: Pixabay

Good storage is always a must for a bathroom, but you need that even more in a small room. Make sure you have a mirrored cabinet for make-up or shaving and that you have other cupboards or even seating that doubles up as storage space, such as Ikea’s lovely Molger storage stool. Be sure to have plenty of hooks or rails as well, so you can store your clothes or towels off the floor as you wash.

Need some specialist help designing and building a second bathroom? Find a qualified and trusted Bathroom Specialist on Rated People. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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