Bathroom Configuration - Thoughts?

Good Morning!

Just to reiterate the scenario - we have two bedrooms in our basement that we use for air. Until now we’ve had a toilet, literally, in a closet, under the stairs. There is a sink in the kitchen area. The shower is upstairs in our personal space. Crazy, right? But so far it has worked, and our guests from Asia and Europe hardly blink an eye.

Now!! We have started construction on a full bathroom. However, the space is still tiny, so the best we could do is a small wall sink and storage just outside the bathroom.

But this morning, my guest - who happens to be a civil engineer who designs interiors :smiley: : :smiley: was reviewing my plans for me, and we realized that we could put a sink and cabinet just outside the bathroom. Bonus is that would be right by a large window from which you can see trees and sky.

Pros: 1. More privacy, ease of use, since one of the group can use the toilet and shower while one person uses the sink (I only have 1 group at a time and the space is mostly private), 2. more open space in the bathroom (I’m telling you, it’s tiny) 3. Makes use of that large window and nice view and 4. we can use a larger sink.

Cons: It’s not all contained. It’s not as private. However, we would rarely walk in that area, and it’s set far off from where we would walk (to access our second fridge).

However, I think most Europeans/Asians aren’t going to even think twice about it. I don’t really get a lot of Americans (and the Americans I do get have ALL been born elsewhere).

Thoughts? Would love to hear from you!

Not about the bathroom, but is there any way you could rearrange things so that your second fridge/extra food doesn’t need to be kept in the (now)downstairs guest space? It seems like this bathroom will help you to raise the price of your Airbnb and finally give the downstairs area more of a feeling of a self contained apartment. If it was possible to either get an upstairs fridge large enough for your family or move the second fridge somewhere upstairs, I believe this would definitely add value to the space, as I know guests really appreciate the feeling of privacy. I understand that what may be ideal is not always possible. I also understand you may have already agonized over the fridge situation and decided there are no other answers for your family.

If it was possible to have anything in a separate area the toilet would be a great choice, but of course it would require enclosing, and I’m sure you’ve already thought of that. There is a fantastic design I enjoyed at a studio type apartment I stayed in once, not sure if it would even work in your space, but it involves building a wall several feet in front of the original bathroom and along it a basin/mirror, and toilet room. Opposite is the bathroom which now has a nice sized shower. Alternatively the shower goes in the new room along the false wall, and the toilet stays in the original room. The whole area is tiled, and it creates a cool kind of ‘walk through’ bathroom. The toilet isn’t held up by someone taking a long shower, or vice versa.

Anyway, I’m sure what you have designed is going to be perfectly lovely. It will be right for the space. It’s hard trying to be helpful when you can’t see it!

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Really good suggestions about the fridge; I’ll have to think about that a bit more.

Yeah, it’s hard to design it even when you CAN see it! I know that adding the sink to the outside (which is tucked around a corner, so will feel very private) is going to be costly to run the plumbing, and, after pricing vanities, I’m not sure it’s feasible. We haven’t go the quote yet for moving those pipes. I may have to stick to a tiny wall sink. You know how projects balloon and at some point one has to say ‘enough’.

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Have you checked out Craigslist for bathroom parts and vanities? I have seen new vanities, tile, and parts on there for a fraction of the store price.

Since you would rarely go down to the fridge anyway, what are guests told about someone possibly coming down the stairs? I don’t think having the sink outside of the bathroom would present any issue if guests are already comfortable knowing someone “might” walk down quickly to get something out of the fridge.

I do like the idea of someone being able to brush their teeth, put on makeup, blow dry their hair while someone else can shower and use the toilet.

I would only be concerned about a guest accidentally forgetting that someone might walk down the stairs and they are parading around undressed - awkward…lol.

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Good thoughts, cabin! The area where we would walk is separate from where the sink will be. There’s a 6’ ? long hallway, then, around the corner is the sink. We do try to be very careful and think ahead so we don’t have to walk downstairs to the fridge when the guests are home.

Besides, that’s why they have those nice white cotton bathrobes! ; ) ($20 from Ikea, what a steal!) Maybe I could put that in my rules: “thou shalt not run around naked, for then when we hail the, thou turnest pink in the cheeks, both the top cheeks, and the bottom cheeks…”

I did check Craigslist, nothing yet - oh, but that reminds me! There’s a place here, a thrift store, for building parts!! Thanks for the suggestion! Today we find out what the price will be for the extra plumbing…

I second second hand parts (ha). We installed a second bathroom upstairs, and I got amazing beautiful exterior pipes and taps for ridiculously cheap from both eBay (basin, plus the basin was given to us by friends!), and craigslist. The gorgeous brass fittings (natural patina) for the bath/shower would have cost thousands, but I got an amazing double ended claw foot tub with the pipes and fittings for $800 all in. Perfect condition. The family just wanted a regular shower, so we scored! You can definitely find great deals if you are prepared to look. The taps for the basin I found were around $600 in store, but I got them on eBay for $30 - absolutely perfect, and just what I wanted. The box was just a bit crushed.

I think the basin separate from the bathroom should be fine too.

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I live in a very small community where people often live in 500 sf and less and I have seen the sink (with a mirror) in the bedroom. The bathroom contained only the toilet and shower. It can be totally darling.

I have also seen showers that are walk-through (exterior door is made of hurricane glass).

Good luck with your tiny space.


Well, turns out that getting the plumbing to that space would be very complicated. So back we go looking for a tiny vanity or pedestal sink. There are some nice things available we just have to keep looking and keep measuring!

For that corner where we thought we would put the sink we will look for a fun/funky/retro dresser in which we can store towels, etc.

Thanks for all the tips. A walk through shower? Wow!

Oh well, sometimes the pipes make the decisions for us!

Perhaps a mirror near the dresser so that people can easily dry their hair, do makeup, outside the bathroom space and take advantage of the natural light. If the window is above the dresser, even a large makeup mirror that could be taken out of the dresser would work just fine and free up the bathroom.

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Oh! Fantastic idea! Thanks, Chicago!