Bathroom designs

Posted: March 11, 2015 by Chynnie in Architecture, Design, Musings
Tags: , ,


My family has this urgent need to move out from where we live presently and i took it upon myself to scout for a new house (of cos as the Architect in the house, who would have done this better). I really thought this was going to be an interesting or easy task but its been quite very frustrating, annoying and difficult. So i recently sat down to analyse all the houses i have been to and considering, and i realize that non of them are good enough. I am not looking for perfect, just something good enough. One i actually did love, a simple 4 bedroom apartment, nice facade, lovely landscape, nice light fittings (lovely chandeliers and wall scones), had a beautiful pendant light in the balcony, lovely POP ceiling designs, but you wont believe this little 4 bedroom apartment had six entrance/exit. Yes i said 6. Lets analyze each of those entrances; 1. the major entrance into the living room – perfect. 2. Another entrance from the entrance porch directly into the common lobby – probably if you are avoiding going into the living room first (not really necessary considering there is also a kitchen exit door), 3. The kitchen exit door – perfect. 4. Three (3) bedrooms out of the four bedrooms had an exit door, not to a balcony or a varendah, just an exit door leading outside the house. And i asked why, i was told in case of any emergency, everyone can easily escape. Seriously, so they didn’t think of security, 6 exit doors for a small four bedroom apartment is a big security breach. Apart from security, i thought of my 17yrs old cousin who lives with us and is very lousy, after good nights and everyone has gone to bed, i am  sure she would open that door and go for a party or her boyfriend’s then come back the next morning and no one would even suspect she didn’t sleep in her room. I am deviating from my reason for this post. I am just simply amazed at the kind of designs that are actually being built.

The major problem i had with most of this houses were the bathrooms. The way these bathrooms had been designed is so pathetic considering the lovely designs in the other spaces. This simply shows that no one really gave thoughts to the bathrooms, and this brings me to my post for today. The bathrooms lacked purposeful planning in the design, in short i can out-rightly say that non of them had been designed at all. What are these property owners thinking, you spend a lot of money building elegant buildings with chandeliers, nice lovely expensive finishing and then you get into the bathroom and its a no no. Please can someone tell them that its not just a toilet or a bathroom, it should be well thought of and carefully designed to serve the user functionally. I am going to list out 3 common things that i personally cant stand in bathroom designs.

  1. Windows: I really don’t understand why toilet windows must be small, 600mm x 600mm. I even see some windows smaller, 450mm x 600mm, 450mm x 450mm and i am like seriously? I understands there are some standards and right from school of architecture we were thought that standard toilet windows should be 600mm x 600mm. We were also taught standard window sizes which we all mainly use is 1200mm x 1200mm, but now i see beautiful windows 1500mm x 1200mm, 1500mm x 1800mm, in short the standard height for windows is becoming 1500mm instead of the usuall 1200mm. So why do we still have toilet/bathroom windows 600mm x 600mm. I beg to ask, would anything go wrong if we have bigger windows in toilets, at least 900mm x 900mm (i don’t mind them bigger). This is not limited to small bathrooms, i have seen big bathrooms and even big master bathrooms have 600mm x 600mm windows. We can have bigger windows in the bathrooms like in the pictures below, i see nothing wrong with them.
  2. Doors: Please this is Architecture in the real world and no more in the school of architecture. If you have a very small bathroom and when you swing the door in, the door hits the Vanity or the WC, simply swing the door out. There is no law that states that all doors must swing in. If there is a minimal space, simply swing your door out.


    If only this door was designed to swing out, this would have been avoided.

  3. Design: Crappy designs everywhere. Same toilet designs everywhere. Same pattern…..i’m simply bored. Cant we make this beautiful and interesting. I know its just a bathroom, but please can we be creative.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think the major problem we have here is the fact that 90% of property owners do not hire Architects but instead hire builders to build out some design they have in their head. This results to very crappy designs that normal people shouldn’t live in.

Another problem is we Architects just assuming that its just a bathroom and do not design that little space. We should be creative even while designing bathrooms. Even the very small spaces needs to be designed.

I hope i am not the only one who think we should have beautiful and thoughtful bathroom designs. When i say beautiful, i do not mean the sanitary fittings, or tiles/colors used. I simply mean the design layout. Is there anyone out there who has these same thoughts, please leave your comments below.

  1. Baz says:

    Hmmmm! Interesting read – had no idea about this blog before now. I appreciate the points you raised, but I believe alot of the stuvs have to do with the Architect.
    If our WC/Bathroom spaces are better designed (and possibly furnished with Shop designs/details) they would go a long way in aiding delivery of construction. A lot of drawings out there are not even furnished on plan – leaving the design of the interior spaces of these restrooms “at the mercy” of the Mechanical engineer or builder (if no mechanical drawings are in use).
    About the size of windows in these conveniences you spoke of – some of those pictures you posted might not necessarily be on groundfloos – but I’ll add this though – as far as you don’t expose the user of this space to external view (as they assume the nude within these confines), you can glaze the entire envelope for all i care. *Lol**

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chynnie says:

      I agree, its important that we Architects must always furnish floor plans. That’s a great point. As for windows on ground floors, we have very lovely blinds out there these days, so we shouldn’t really be afraid of exposure. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Lionheart says:

    I love the windows part…i love wide apertures..picture windows and stuff…sadly you’re right about what is available..tiny windows…some sliding for that matter..I think they’ve invoked the MINIMUM standard so much it is becoming the ultimate standard. You query the design and they say the smaller the window, the cheaper….well, i say bullshit! Nice article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chynnie says:

      Imagine a sliding 600mm x 600mm window? Why don’t they just make it a casement or top pivoted window. I totally agree with you….I say bullshit too, lol. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Lionheart says:

    I love the windows part…i love wide apertures..picture windows and stuff…sadly you’re right about what is available..tiny windows…some sliding for that matter..I think they’ve invoked the MINIMUM standard so much it is becoming the ultimate standard. You query the design and they say the smaller the window, the cheaper….well, i say bullsh!t! Nice article.


  4. kenechukwu says:

    naiz one chynnie.. but if u think its lovely to use large windows, wot do u think should b d minimum sill height for the toilet windows?.Wot about d privacy of d user?…Wot about the cost implication of using very large windows?. I think every architect should try to take in to considerations the budget cost of d project to ensure dat both functionality and aesthetics is achieved..most of dis large windows are very expensive..I think our designs should maintain a balance between cost, functionality and aesthetics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chynnie says:

      Agreed and well understood. Why do we always have to worry about privacy, what is the function of a blind? I think i should do a post on blinds. the cost difference between a 600mm x 600mm window and a 900mm x 900mm window wouldn’t be much.
      Bw, do you know that Asoren has very large windows (some are full glazed) in the toilets?…..anyway that’s a luxury apartment so no one is gonna bother about cost.


  5. Ikenna says:

    I find the 600x600mm toilet windows annoying too. But we must consider privacy in bathrooms. If you have large windows and need to cover them with blinds all the time then the effort is defeated. At what time do you use the bathroom/toilet and don’t mind being in public view? One solution is increasing the width of the windows without necessarily increasing the height. That way lighting and ventilation is improved without compromising privacy. I have preference for 900x750mm /1200x750mm windows depending on the bathroom size. I believe keeping the windows ‘high level’ no matter the size you choose is somewhat desirable for a bathroom/toilet space.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chynnie says:

      Nice one. If client is really bothered about “privacy” and insists, then of cos the 1200×750 is ideal. I personally don’t want to stand on tip toes to look out. On blinds, i dont think we understand how this works. When in use , you can let it down, and other times you adjust the control and take it up, even if its a curtain. Its the same thing in other spaces, if you are dressing up in your bedroom and you are concerned of your privacy, you would let your curtain/blind down.


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