His and hers bathrooms: a lesson in harmony

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 30 August 2018

A double basin unit offers both a sink each and storage to keep everything neat and tidy. Picture: Roper Rhodes

A double basin unit offers both a sink each and storage to keep everything neat and tidy. Picture: Roper Rhodes


Does your bathroom resemble a battleground in the mornings? Elbows at the ready as you jostle for space over the basin, arguments over who gets to shower first, and a regularly disputed timeshare of the bathroom mirror. Here are some tips for creating a harmonious ‘his and hers’ bathroom.

Joan Collins, Michael Cane, Sarah Michelle Geller, Melania Trump, and even Bette Davis have all been reported as saying that separate bathrooms are the key to a happy marriage. But for most of us, the dizzy heights of separate bathrooms are up there with having a chaise longue in your bedroom – in reality it would just become a glorified clothes horse in my house.

There are, however, some solutions which will make your shared bathroom a more harmonious space. Adding a second basin is probably the most obvious option, and one which will make your morning routine more time efficient.

“We’re seeing a growing trend for double, ‘his and hers’ basin units,” says Helen Shaw, marketing manager at Roper Rhodes, which supplies bathroom furniture and products to Supreme Bathroom & Kitchen Centre in Wymondham. “Where space alows, they are an obvious choice for those looking to create a stylish, boutique hotel style bathroom or en suite and are perfect for busy households.”

Helen adds that modern, modular, wall-hung furniture can give a spacious look, and a double basin unit featuring a deep, double drawer also provides generous, practical storage space for keeping toiletries and essentials close at hand, while keeping your bathroom neat and tidy.

If one of you is prone to leaving their items strewn everywhere, then having designated storage solutions for your belongings is a must. If you can’t squeeze in two sinks with built-in storage, try to find a solution that keeps your toiletries separate.

A free-standing unit with drawers or shelves, a storage caddy, or even some simple woven or canvas baskets will help to keep things ordered and make cleaning easier.

What if you prefer a hand-held shower, while he prefers a waterfall? The latest multi-head showers offer both so no one has to compromise on their shower experience.

“These showers allow each person to choose exactly how they want to use their shower,” says Gareth Pendleton, managing director at Norwich Bathrooms and Kitchens (NBK).

“The other option, again completely down to personal preference, is to have a separate shower and bath. While one is happily soaking in the bath, the other can shower at the same time without interrupting each other.”

If you’re not opposed to sharing, you could even have a double shower. “It’s completely possible, and is easier done when your bathroom is undergoing a full renovation due to the technical details that may be involved behind the scenes, such as increasing water pressures and changing pipe sizes,” says Gareth.

And what about the classic leaving the toilet seat up?

“The most popular toilet seats are soft-close, due to the lack of slamming,” says Gareth. “Self-close seats are available on the market, normally referred to as Smart Seats or Electric Sensor Seats, and they probably would save a lot of arguments, however, I can’t say we’ve had them requested by any of our customers as of yet, maybe they’ll become a trend in future years.”

It’s also worth considering colour schemes. A “his and hers” space should aim to be gender neutral. Luckily, current bathroom trends are steering away from bold accent colours in favour of pale grey tiles with a feature wall, often in a contrasting tile – no pink towels allowed!

“Colours in bathrooms are all about preference,” says Francesca Farrow, design director at Waldorf Farrow Interior Design. “When it’s a shared bathroom, neutral colours and greens always work well. A neutral palette can be accessorised with more colourful items, such as soap dispensers, candles or towels which can be replaced easily when you feel like a change without a huge overhaul or redecoration.

“There is a huge range of tiles and surfaces on the market now, and when designing a bathroom for a client I will always choose these first and select the paint colour afterwards. I also think it’s a great idea to mix materials, using tiles, woods and stones in the same space can add real interest to the space.”

For more inspiration, check out the digital edition of Beautiful Homes & Gardens.

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Caroline Culot


I am the property editor in charge of delivering some exciting and informative content within Archant’s varied titles. We have 16-17 pages of stories, features and columns in the EDP Property supplement out every Friday free in your EDP so please don’t miss it.