By Jeff Sherman
City dwellers face challenges their country cousins rarely encounter. The same is true of their bathrooms. An urban bathroom won’t have to contend with a septic system, but it will likely suffer from no natural light, a tiny footprint, or a lack of storage. Here are some tips for dealing with these common problems.
Windowless bathrooms demand more from lighting design. Bathrooms are all about lighting faces, and faces are flattered by light from the side, so avoid the conventional light over the sink. Also, multiple sources of light will make any room more pleasant than a single overhead light. Lastly, no one should ever have to make a 4AM trip to the bathroom without a dimmer switch. Install dimmers.
City living is synonymous with insufficient space, but a large mirror can do wonders for a tiny bathroom. Go wall to wall, not just over the sink.
Need two bathrooms, but don’t have the room? Consider a single bathroom with segmented functions. A small toilet room takes up little extra space, but it lets two people use one bathroom without undo intimacy. The same goes for a shower or tub room.Storage
The classic prewar bathroom came with one medicine cabinet and a pedestal sink. Today, this wouldn’t hold the product required by a toddler. Here’s what a modern bathroom needs: at least one medicine cabinet; a cabinet under the sink for cleaning supplies and plunger; vanity drawers for makeup, blowdryer, toothpaste, etc.; a linen closet for towels and toilet paper; a shampoo niche; and, since most shampoo niches aren’t enough, an extra ledge for surplus product. Plan ahead.