Bathroom, Renovations, rooms

Q&A: Open-Plan Bathrooms


The open-plan bedroom/bathroom design is becoming an increasingly popular interior option. HL chatted to Bathroom Bizarre’s Jasmin Kraneveldt for some insight into this functional trend.

How did the open-plan bathroom/bedroom design come about?  

It was first seen in luxury boutique hotels and quickly became sought after in the residential arena too. It started when boutique hotels started taking advantage of a change in building regulations. Before, water and electrical power outlets had to be separated by means of walls to prevent any chance of electrocution. Today, however, the laws require a minimum distance between power points and any wet areas, thereby opening the doors for the bedroom and en-suite bathroom to be integrated as one space.

Are people no longer concerned with privacy?

Today, people are more comfortable with being exposed – the more Victorian ideas of being hidden are quickly eroding, and so open-plan bedroom/bathrooms are catching on. However, it is important to note that this design is not for everybody – if you value your privacy, then this bathroom layout is not an option.

Are there any rules one should adhere to?

The general rule of thumb is to include the basin vanities, and the freestanding bath into the bedroom, while keeping the toilet enclosed in a separate room of its own. This is the most practical solution for those that still hold on to a bit of modesty and privacy.

What are the pros?

One of the obvious pros is the fact that there are no dividing walls or partitions. As a result, the design is a great space-saving solution. If designed well, it can help make the bedroom and the bathroom areas feel much more spacious than they actually are. Other major advantages is that any panoramic views can be fully appreciated from both spaces, and that any natural light is maximised, as it can flow freely from one space to another. Lastly, it makes the space a more sociable and free-flowing area.

And the cons?

The major drawback is the lack of privacy. It is a very personal and subjective choice to include a design like this in your home – some people love it, while others hate it. Also, lots of planning is required of the successful integration of these two spaces. You need to choose your sanitary ware, fittings, flooring and cabinetry very carefully, so that the bathroom space harmonises with the bedroom decor, ensuring a seamless flow between the two spaces. Furthermore, because the bathroom will be part of the bedroom, it is vital that it remains neat, tidy and uncluttered, so as not to overwhelm the bedroom space.

Visit bathroom.co.za for more guidelines and information.