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Dual purpose bathrooms

Dual purpose bathrooms

In shared or family homes, consider first whether it is sensible to include additional facilities in a big bathroom if it will then lack privacy when it is needed. Perhaps a better planning solution may be a flexible layout where you can screen off or enclose the toilet and basin so the tub, shower, and additional facilities can be used without disruption.

Fitness bathroom

Installing fitness equipment close to the shower makes it easy to step from one to the other to freshen up. This is a popular option for busy couples who do not spend much time together, making it possible to catch up with the news while one works out and the other takes a shower. It is also useful for families, enabling parents to use the equipment while keeping an eye on young children in the tub or shower. You do not necessarily need a huge bathroom to accommodate fitness equipment: just look for fold-away designs that can be secured to the wall or stored in a cupboard when not in use.

Morning room

Combine a fresh cup of coffee with an invigorating shower first thing in the morning by allocating an area in the bathroom for a breakfast table and chairs. If space permits, install a small counter for a coffee machine with a built-under fridge to keep fruit juices and milk fresh so that you do not have to go to the kitchen to collect them. Use the area in the evening with a glass of wine and a relaxing soak after a hard day's work.

Room to dress

Adding a walk-in closet with dressing area makes it easy to shower and get dressed quickly, without returning to the bedroom. \/\/ith clothes storage in close proximity to steamy, humid bathroom conditions, it is important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation to remove moisture-laden air from the shower and tub areas.

Things to consider:

Surfaces: the addition of a table and chair can provide an area to apply cosmetics, take coffee, or simply relax with a book or magazine. Consider folding tables and chairs, which are useful if you occasionally want to clear the space to roll out an exercise mat for aerobics or yoga.

Planning: bathrooms with fitness centres need adequate ventilation so that stale air is extracted and they are a comfortable space in which to work out.

Plumbing: saunas come in a wide range of sizes to suit 2-6 people. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for installation and ducting so that when a sauna is in use the rest of the bathroom remains comfortable and dry.

Plumbing: consider installing a large whirlpool tub in bathrooms that several can share at one time. The latest luxury designs combine water and air jets with rim- mounted "waterfall" spouts to massage aching necks and shoulders.

Flooring: different types of flooring can be matched to the separate activity areas in a bathroom: for example, lay waterproof, rubber or vinyl in the "wet" areas and a soft carpet in the breakfast or exercise area. Match their colours to provide a visual link, or contrast them to define the different areas.