Three years ago, when our daughter was born, my husband and I decided to build our own house. My husband is a structural engineer, so he designed our house himself together with a friend who is an architect. This meant we were able to make some very personal ideas come true.
When we were planning the house, it was important to us that it should have large, open rooms in which the individual functional areas merged with each other. This idea is a familiar one in public living rooms, where the combined kitchen/living room has long been a popular choice. However, this level of openness is not so common in the more private rooms. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of the word for this area until recently, when I read Bette’s blog article about it. So without even knowing what it was called, we decided we wanted a particular room feeling that apparently is a “combined bedroom/bathroom”, or “all-in-one bed and bath”. We’ve connected the bedroom and the bathroom, and have incorporated an additional dressing room as well.
When it came to arranging the functional area, we considered the directions of the rooms, the lighting and looking out – as well as looking in. So we put large floor-to-ceiling windows to the south, while to the north in the dressing room and in the bathroom we opted for smaller windows with parapets. Unfortunately, due to the position of the plot, we couldn’t have any windows facing east to capture the morning sun. But instead, we were able to have a large dressing room with eight metres of wardrobe.
Combined bedroom/bathroom – a conflict of interests
To be honest, though, if you’re planning a combined bedroom/bathroom, you have to remember that this particular combination of rooms isn’t without its problems. The bedroom is traditionally the coldest room in the house, the bathroom the warmest. Plus it’s difficult to combine the high humidity in a bathroom, such as after showering, with an open dressing room. The open design is also tricky if the combined bedroom/bathroom is being used by two people if they get up at different times. On the one hand the wet area and dressing room have to be light enough, but on the other they can be quite noisy, which can be irritating in the sleeping area. This conflict of interests has to be taken into account when planning, so suitable solutions can be worked out.
What helps in our case is that my husband and I like a room temperature of 21°C rather than 19°C. This means there isn’t such a big difference in temperature to the wet area. And as well as the underfloor heating, we fitted a wall heater in the wall behind the bath so the additional radiated heat raises the perceived temperature and increases the comfort. We solved the problem of humidity by separating the shower, which is mainly responsible for the high humidity in the wet area, with a minimalist glass cubicle, which in turn has an extractor. This means we are able to prevent moisture from even coming into the room. There is also the option of cross ventilating the combined bedroom/bathroom via the windows.
When it came to designing the rooms, it was important to us to achieve a simple but homely effect. We did this by having the same floor covering in every room on the floor. The polished exposed screed reaches seamlessly into the wet area. The only change is in the shower, where we put a floor-level shower area. Because we decided against having tiles, we used a waterproof cement filler on the walls in the wet area. This creates a uniform look on all the walls in the combined bathroom/bedroom, and the individual functional areas merge seamlessly with each other.
Fittings and features
The surfaces described earlier are the base for the other furnishings. The highlight in the whole combined bedroom/bathroom is the free-standing bath. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into the room. We chose the BetteLux Shape bath in classic black-and-white, as its clear design language and minimalism are seen to their best effect in the room. To me, the shape of the bath is a modern interpretation of the antique French bath. I think the use of glazed titanium steel is also very special, as it feels fabulous, is extremely hard-wearing and easy to clean.
For the washbasin, we chose customised furniture made by a cabinet maker with an inset countertop basin. The mirrored cabinet with integrated lighting has also been adapted to our requirements, and was individually made by the cabinet maker. We chose simple wall-mounted designs by Grohe for all the fittings. The rest of the furniture for the dressing room and the bed were also custom-made by the cabinet maker.
To complement the bath, we chose the washbasin from the same Bette design line for the separate toilet. This is the only room that is strictly separated from the combined bedroom/bathroom, and we also use it as the guest WC. We still get so much pleasure every day from the sight of our lovely combined bedroom/bathroom, and in particular from the bath, which all our guests always admire.
We thank you very much for the great and interesting insight – feel free to take a look at Eva’s blog as well.