Increasingly, bathrooms are being designed as retreats for couples with rare private time. Architects and interior designers say bathrooms are getting larger to accommodate massive tubs, double showers and huge vanities with opposing mirrors large enough that couples can stand back to back and still see each other.
“Communing while grooming” might seem like a strange phenomenon, but according to Kate Murphy of The New York Times, for a growing number of couples, it’s an appealing way to bond. Once a privacy zone, couples now retreat to their shared baths for intimate down time. But these aren’t just the functional bathrooms of yesteryear.
Gary Carlson, a homebuilder in Scottsdale, Ariz., said, “It’s kind of like the bathroom has become the new den.” Today’s bathroom is larger and multi-functional – more of a lounge than just a place to shower and go. It’s a place for the woman to primp and share her new clothes with friends, while her husband uses the same space to enjoy watching the game and grabs a snack from the stocked mini-fridge. In The Bathroom Break, Kate Murphy explains that for many busy couples, time in the bathroom provides a restful break, a rare snippet of “alone time” in their over-scheduled lives. Murphy says it is natural that the bathroom became a shared space for the modern couple especially as the open floor plan of modern houses prohibits the privacy afforded in more traditional homes.
How to Transforming a Bath into a Retreat for Two:
- Add Dual Sinks
- Opt for a soaking tub with room for two (forgo loud jets so you can converse in the tub)
- Choose a double shower
- Stock a “morning kitchen” with a coffee bar, and a mini-fridge loaded with midnight snacks, champagne, wine and breakfast nibbles
- For a luxe touch add a heated drawer for towels
- Install a bidet
- Built in cabinetry with a substantial look adds elegance and storage
- Don’t squabble over space add large his and her closets and changing areas
- Sprawl in front of a tub-side fireplace
- Lounge in your boudoir with comfy chairs and a flatscreen tv
- Too much togetherness is just too much. Have separate half baths for him and her
If discussion of lounging in the bathroom brings back comical flashbacks of Saturday Night Live’s “Love Toilet” (which is now actually commercially available as the Twodaloo), for most couples bathroom bonding actually creates more of their own private space in el bano.
Most couples with a bathroom a deux have specially designed their retreat to offer his and her’s private spaces. For example, a husband who leaves commutes early in the morning might opt for a separate dressing room and freestanding shower away from the bedroom so he does not wake his wife. The wife might choose a traditional vanity table for make-up application and an extra large shoe closet in her private quarters.
In the central shared area, a pedestal tub backlit by a fireplace are the main focus. Side by side sinks with ample mirrors allow for companionship while getting ready. To continue touring shared bathrooms at This Old House.