ASK RACH: How Do I Hide a Bathroom Next to a Kitchen?

The third Ask Rach question is a typical condo-dweller’s problem: How to deal with a bathroom that is right next to your kitchen? This particular question was posed by my friend F, who lives nearby.

Dear F, we actually have the same problem! But being a crazy, can’t-care-less even if there was a bathtub in the middle of my kitchen-Aquarian, I have just chosen to ignore it until Kingdom Come. But yes, I totally understand how disconcerting it is to have a bathroom open right gob smack onto the primary place where you prepare food (and sometimes, dine).

My kitchen/dining area which opens up to the bathroom (at right), and the bedroom (left). Literally no place to hide!

First, let me explain why condo developers always put the bathroom and kitchen right next to each other, like strange bedfellows. The reason why these areas are always located next to each other is because they share a plumbing or water system. By keeping these areas close together, this minimizes the lateral layout of pipes, and thus, is more cost-efficient during construction, and is easier to access for maintenance post-construction. This plumbing layout also extends to the unit below you, and so forth.

Truth be told, some builders also use this type of sanitary layout in houses—also for the same reasons. But with bigger floor plans and areas, there’s a lot of space and leeway between kitchen and bath, along with many ways to disguise or draw less attention to the area, such as building a hallway or putting up a partition.

But how to deal with it if you live in a 40sqm (or less) condo? In these types of units, the dining room is usually located right next to the kitchen, which means it is also next to the bathroom! This can prove to be somewhat awkward, especially if you’re entertaining. Here are some ideas you can do, without resorting to the expense and trouble of building a partition (this will just make your unit look even smaller, BTW).

It’s a good thing this bathroom opens up to a sink!

Make sure you have a proper ventilation system. Keep the bathroom window open and preferably, use a strong and efficient exhaust fan. Have one of those exhaust fans installed that run when you switch on the bathroom light.

If you have guests over, light a scented candle in the bathroom, or for safety’s sake, use a scented diffuser. For obvious reasons. 😊

Flip the door. By this, I mean the door swing. If your bathroom layout (and conversely, kitchen layout) allows it, transfer the swing of your bathroom door to the other side so the door doesn’t open straight onto the kitchen or dining areas.

If there’s enough space, try to locate the dining table away from the sightline of the bathroom. This minimizes the sightline between people in the kitchen/dining and the person emerging from the loo.

And remind your guests to always lock the bathroom door when using it. This simple act solves a load of awkward bulaga problems!

Kitchen and bathroom photos by Francesca Tosolini and Andrea Davis via Unsplash. Dining room photo is mine.

Published by medinarach

I am an interior designer, writer, and content editor for print and web. Join me on my adventure as I look for design inspiration, art, and culture in everyday life.

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