The one thing some of us have learned recently is how to navigate being with your significant other 24/7. Second to sharing a bed, sharing a bathroom is the most intimate experience two people can have. Bathrooms are spaces that host many activities, from physiological to hygienic to hours of gazing and asking, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall ..."
While many couples do not mind sharing space, others cannot possibly live with a "yours, mine, ours" space concept. Different organizational habits give rise to disagreements about bathrooms between people that otherwise enjoy each other's company.
Women have always been faulted for lengthy sessions in front of the mirror getting ready, but with more beauty products readily available for the metrosexual man, men are spending an equal amount of time in front of the mirror. Everything from pampering and wrestling with wrinkles to applying hair-coloring products is mainstream for both sexes, and they all take up time in the bathroom.
For years, the solution offered by designers to some of these problems has been the single vanity with double sinks. But as one of my clients says, "That's the root of all the problems!" As it will happen, one person's items tend to encroach upon the others, and what ensues is mayhem — nothing short of a yellow stripe down the middle to delineate whose space is whose.
If designing a single vanity with two bowls, the recommendation is to have at least half the amount of space on either side of the bowls as you have in between them. Therefore, each user has the same amount of space on either side of the bowl. Another design recommendation is to create a break in the countertop surface by either designing cabinetry to go slightly up in between the two bowls or having the cabinetry drop down for space as a makeup vanity and stool.
In this day and age, couples that have been together for a long time often have separate bedrooms due to erratic sleeping patterns, snoring or other ailments. So if this is OK, why not have separate bathrooms? Today, I try to encourage clients to build two smaller bathrooms rather than one larger bathroom suite. Although this is a bit more expensive, it mitigates the bathroom feuds. What could be a better argument for separate facilities?
Designs can range from two exact copies of the same bathroom to one side having a shower and the other a tub. It all has to do with the habits of daily life for those living together. Everyone's preferences are a bit different. What might seem odd at first just might be the perfect solution to a day-to-day activity. It might seem extravagant and even gauche to have duplicate facilities, but for some, it is the ultimate solution for marital bliss.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.