How To Make the Most of Typical Rental Features: The Only Bathroom is Through the Bedroom

published Jul 25, 2014
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Once upon a time, I was flat-hunting in London and found an adorable one. The location was convenient and the space bright and sunny. The problem? The bathroom was located off the bedroom, meaning that guests would have to go past my bed in order to use it. Here’s how to make the most of this sometimes awkward layout:

Though I immediately discounted that flat, I’ve since discovered that this layout isn’t as ridiculous (or rare) as I once thought. Due to locations of windows, walls and services, sometimes it just isn’t possible to have that only bathroom in a logical place for both inhabitants and guests. If you’re currently dealing with this tricky layout, here are some tips to make the most of it.

Make it obvious. If you have multiple doors leading off of your bedroom, say to a closet as well, make it obvious which one goes to the bathroom. Hang a tongue-in-cheek sign, paint it a different colour (“Bathroom? In there then through the purple door!”) or even—and easily—just leave it open when not in use. This will cut down on the time people spend in your bedroom, looking around.

Clear the way. Try to keep a wide, clear path from door to door, with few obstructions in the way. Ideally the bed can be positioned on the other side of this path, but this isn’t always possible; settle for a mainly furniture-free path.

Keep it neat. Sort of goes without saying, but if you don’t want people looking at all your stuff, keep it under wraps. This might simply mean having a quick bedroom tidy before company comes over, or it might require adding storage options to corral your clothes and possessions out of sight. And the most important bit? You guessed it— make the bed!

Consider screening. If your bedroom is large enough and you really don’t want guests eyeing your thread count, explore some options for adding privacy. A good old Expedit bookcase can work, as does a folding screen or a curtain. A canopy bed can even self-screen, so think creatively.

Have you ever lived with the solo bathroom off your bedroom? How did you make it work?