Narrow bathroom's natural light can be preserved

DESIGN LINE

March 12, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I'm planning to remodel and enlarge a bathroom by knocking down the wall separating it from a small unused space. This will make the bathroom 12 feet long, but it will still be only 6 feet wide. The most logical spot for the tub is along the 6-foot wall under the room's only window. But that will result in privacy problems and may interfere with the room's source of light.

A: Your first consideration must be the proportions of the space. Because it will be long and narrow, the remodeled bathroom could resemble a galley. The proportions may seem especially awkward due to the placement of the tub at the far end.

Some possible solutions are suggested by the bathroom shown in the photo. It's probably similar in size to your remodeled

space, and here, too, the tub has been situated under a window.

The large window has been randomly fitted with various types of glass, such as textured, colored and opaque as well as translucent. This clever and colorful array permits a view to the outside and allows daylight to stream in even as it protects privacy.

Please note as well that the room's proportions have been made more appealing by the construction of a partial wall around the tub. The result is to foreshorten the long and narrow room. The wall does not interfere with the natural light, yet it does create a cozy niche for bathing.

A color change for this area is probably a good idea. The bath alcove could be sharply contrasted with the rest of the room, perhaps by installing chocolate brown ceramic tiling on the tub deck and its surrounding walls while painting the other walls in a cream color. That's the combination used in the model bathroom, featured in Jill Cole's "California Interiors," published by PBC International.

Although natural lighting is one of your major concerns, don't slight the role of electric lighting. Daylight, while a psychological and aesthetic necessity, is really not integral to the room's functional aspects. How often do we depend exclusively on daylight to illuminate such tasks as shaving and applying makeup?

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