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For this week’s “Inside & Out” post on interior design and architecture, we’ll be looking at a creative design to increase the usable space in your house – particularly, the bathroom.
In many home floor plans, bathrooms are treated as merely a functional necessity, and relegated to the minimal possible space to serve their required purpose. However, we spend a fairly large amount of time in our bathrooms – the average person spends a cumulative hour of every single day in the bathroom. For most of us, it’s the first room we go to in the morning, and the last room we visit at night before bed. Many parents will also attest that the bathroom is the one room of solitude that they have in the entire house. With that being the case, why are these important rooms given so little space and consideration?
Most of us don’t have the ability or technical experience to knock out walls or re-run plumbing to increase the space of our bathrooms. So how can a person reclaim some of the existing space, to give their bathroom a more open, inviting feel?
Let’s look at a 3/4 to full bathroom (which is defined as a bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower (3/4) or bathtub (full)). What takes up the majority of the space in the room? It’s the shower/bathtub. Shower enclosures take up a lot of valuable space in a bathroom – but do they really have to? While we can’t get rid of the fixture itself, maybe we can update it, to not be such a single-function space hog.
The EOOS group – a Viennese design firm – has developed an innovative solution for Duravit, called the OpenSpace shower enclosure. Framed in chrome, the glass enclosure hugs the contours of a corner of the bathroom, as most shower enclosures do. However, there are two brilliant features to the design; the first is utilizing a drain tray system that is flush with the existing flooring, so there is no raised basin tray or lip required, which would typically break up the overall floorspace.
Secondly, the self-locking glass doors can be equipped with a large mirror on one side, so that after showering, these doors can simply be unlocked and folded back against the wall, significantly opening the space in the room while hiding the tap fittings and also providing a large, full-length mirror for use. The locking door mechanism also avoids the once-necessary floor and/or top rail that would normally protrude into the room, for the doors to slide back and forth in. With the OpenSpace enclosure full retracted, the tap fittings and shower hose are all concealed behind the mirror, and the bathroom appears significantly larger – an effect that is further enhanced by the full-length mirror.
A functional, space-saving design that dramatically enhances it’s surroundings; you don’t get much better than that.
Interested in more space-saving and remodeling ideas for your bathroom?
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Photos: Toilets in Sweden, Creative Commons courtesy of Linsenhejhej. OpenSpace enclosure photos courtesy of Duravit.
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