Thoughtful Use of Space: Planning a Tiny Bathroom & Kitchenette
A generic statement, such as: “In this bright white modern space, the architect used clean lines, a minimalist palette, and simple shapes to create…” can succinctly describe my intentions for a tiny bathroom and adjoining kitchenette I am in the process of planning. Although it sounds formulaic, it’s anything but. Trends come and go; the object is to design with the site-specific requirements in mind.
I was just emailing a DIY Ally client recommending the 11-step method described in DIY Like an Architect. Telling him that the first two steps guide us through a particular type of brainstorming that validates a vision all our own. Recognizing what really matters to us helps to generate a parti. Once there’s a parti, everything falls into place. I know this because I’ve employed the process for years. It REALLY works.
Every single project, no matter how tiny, requires its own exploration. A parti justifies all of the choices.
For example, today I am focusing on the kitchenette that doubles as a hallway leading to a tiny bathroom located under a loft. There’s barely enough room to turn around. I need to be as clever as possible with my planning — ushering in a dreamy, airy feeling despite the square footage. Brainstorming, I take advantage of online resources, such as my own allaDIYally Google+ page where I stash various image-rich blog posts for future reference. For instance, here are two articles showing a wide range of ideas for untraditional bathrooms and small kitchens.
The tiny bathroom and kitchenette I am planning are in the pool house, which is intended to supplement the activities associated with outdoor relaxation and swimming. The concept of bringing the tranquility of the outdoors in seems reasonable. Hence, I zero in on the parti. FLUIDITY.
The pool house is a re-fashioned garage. We are preserving the outside, but are completely changing the vibe inside. The goal is to transform the existing dank, gloomy area into a calm and inviting space. Thank goodness for its vaulted ceiling giving a modestly sized room the appearance of spaciousness.
So, the parti is my proverbial measuring stick. Therefore, every choice and decision has to be aligned with it. Too much pattern or color can be overwhelming, which is not consistent with the parti. It’s meant to be soothing. Taking design cues from the existing exterior and the adjacent house, I opt for neutral tones in cabinetry and tile. Rustic wooden countertops, country-style sea foam green built-ins, and light gray porcelain tile flooring will work well considering that the bathroom and kitchenette are practically within the dining room-slash-living room.
The goal is to be as subtle as possible. These servant areas need to stay in the background and feel as if they are barely there.
- Translucent glass pocket door;
- Understated light fixtures;
- Strategically placed mirrors to make the space feel “breezy.”
Fluidity is synonymous with integration, don’t you think? In the kitchenette, the sink cabinet can morph into open shelving and then seamlessly transform into a storage closet accessible from the loft above.
The bathroom should be infused with harmonious simplicity:
- Wall-hung vanity with a sleek wall-mounted faucet;
- Shower fixtures and hooks for bath towels in the same finish as the faucet and the hardware in the adjacent kitchenette for consistency;
- The same tile on the floor and the walls for the sake of fluidity;
- Recessed shelving for bath towels and shower products to make the space feel balanced and organized.
I am sure that more ideas will pour in (pun intended) as I begin to choose the actual finishes and materials for the tiny bathroom and kitchenette. Keeping the parti in mind will be quite helpful — informing all of my selections as it does during the planning stage.