As far back as my memory cares to take me, all my city apartment bathrooms have been small by American standards.
I say American because I recall a brief overnight stay in a kind Parisian gal’s apartment when I was just 22. A missed train, a miscalculation in funds, a misadventure of sorts found my good friend and I in the company of Anna. Her bathroom was so small it had a corner mounted sink, a folding door, and frankly I don’t recall a shower. Personally I like a shower, and I have longed to live in Paris, but if I had to choose one or the other, I am not sure Paris would win out. Still we were grateful for the accommodation. We Americans demand a little more space and tend to get it. Whenever I feel truly wedged in like ten pounds of sausage in a two pound bag, I remind myself of Anna’s petite salle de bain. I have, none the less, experienced my fair share of steam filled spaces, inexcusably limited storage, and one bathroom that literally had no place to install a toilet paper holder…it had to vie for valuable square footage atop the tank of the toilet. I briefly entertained the idea of suspending a string from the ceiling and letting it dangle within arms reach. Thank goodness it was only a moments desperation that passed quickly….still I think it best to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Sometimes a solution simply doesn’t present itself. Alas, I am human, and how will you avoid my miss steps if I don’t clearly spell them out for you?
I promised a few tricks, did I not? Here they are:
– Glass equals transparency: transparency creates the illusion of space – if you can design your bath with a glass walled shower it will feel bigger,
– Ceiling mounted shower curtain tracks: A clean simple, custom application that draws the eye up, is super inexpensive, and easy to install (just three screws) make this a really attractive option. While it comes with an interior curtain, you will need to have a custom curtain made in your choice of fabric to hang outside the shower. I like Trax: http://www.ceilingshowerrod.com/new/
– Hardware: Mount towel racks and holders inside the shower, on the walls just outside, next to the sink – it’s useful space and gets towels and such, out of baskets and off of your floors,
– Cut into the wall: this last tip admittedly creates actual space previously hidden by your drywall. Have a handy man install a sleek medicine cabinet like a Robern which has models dimensionally lean and tall to fit between studs.
I have employed these techniques in the nests that are part of my quest. While I dream of one day having a Dorthy Draper style en suite bathroom with a soaking tub, separate shower, Butler that brings me my martini and makes ready my ball gown for the evening’s activities. Whatever your dream might be, I hope these tips make your reality a little more glamorous.