If privacy is not a concern when it comes to your ensuite bathroom, consider a modern open-plan layout for a daring wow-factor in your space
Additional reporting by Cheryl Lai-Lim.
While we have all heard of open-plan living rooms and dining areas, open-concept bathrooms are a harder find. More commonly seen in luxury hotels rather than the everyday home, open-plan ensuite bathrooms can visually enhance your space space to feel bigger and brighter. For master bathrooms that are tucked in small, awkward spaces, an open-plan bathroom can allow light to enter and bounce off the surroundings to create an illusion of space.
There are, of course, plenty of considerations to factor in if you're thinking of building your own hotel-inspired open-concept bathroom—it's much more than just simply knocking down the walls. Here, we chat with interior designers and industry leaders on material choices and clever design solutions to consider.
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1. Opt for a semi open-plan layout
For those that are hesitant to completely expose their bathroom, consider a semi open-plan bathroom that can still visually enlarge the space whilst fostering a sense of sensual intimacy in the bedroom. By installing glass panels or a doorless entrance, you can create a seamless connection between the two areas.
“When a bathroom is visually connected to the bedroom, the space looks bigger and brighter,” says Robert Cheng, founder of Brewin Design Office. “Functionally, it helps to reduce the size of the wet area, for example with our Nassim Park project, the vanity is part of the dry area next to the wardrobe.”
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2. Install a privacy screen to use when needed
One of the main benefits of an open plan bathroom is that you can direct natural light from bedroom windows to naturally brighten the bathroom interiors. Deepu Mahboobani, vice-president of international hospitality design firm Wimberly Interiors, suggests using sliding shutters between the bathtub and bedroom to create an open feel.
“You can use a clear glass screen with blinds, a translucent glass screen or a smart glass screen to create a visual connection between the bathroom and the bedroom,” says Mahboobani.
3. Go sculptural
An open-plan bathroom also allows you to make a statement with your choice of bathroom fittings.
Mahboobani adds: “Having a highly transparent bathroom presents an opportunity to showcase striking, minimalist bathroom fixtures and furniture such as Vaselli’s H2O stone and metal bathroom collection by Irene Goldberg, which consists of a bathroom unit, shower tray, bathtub and accessories designed to evoke the vibe of a futuristic scientific laboratory, or Valdema’s Cameo, Occhio and Cut collections which include beautiful, sculpture-like washbasins. To maintain privacy, you can implement clever lighting and screening details.”
4. Choose a unified colour palette
Eve Mercer, founder of Insight School of Interior Design in Hong Kong, suggests sticking with same materials and colour tones to enhance visual continuity in a semi-open plan bathroom.
“For example, you can use a honey-coloured limestone for the bathroom floor and walls that will work well with the light oak of your bedroom floorboard. Also, make sure there is a window or a good exhaust fan in your bathroom or your bedroom will soon turn into a steam room,” she says.
5. Get cosy with soft fabric
Having soft furnishings in your bathroom can also add a cosy touch to the space, blurring the lines between the bedroom area and your bathing zone.
“If you have space, a nice comfy seat can feel very indulgent; you can even consider adding fabric curtains to bathroom,” says Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention. “There are plenty of outdoor grade fabric that are very hardy. You can also line a standard indoor fabric with shower curtain for a protective backing.”