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February, 2009

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream bathroom in mind.

Creating a Bathroom Built for Two

Creating a Bathroom Built for Two

Traffic jams should happen on the highway, not in your bathroom. But according to the 'Bathroom Inventory' survey conducted by Moen Incorporated, the reality is that more than half of master bathrooms are less than 75 square-feet - forcing most couples to make do with limited space.

Yet there are ways to reduce the congestion in this crowded room believes Tim Bitterman, Senior Product Manager of the Inspirations by Moen line of bath accessories. "Careful design, dedicated space for each individual and a willingness to compromise can make even the smallest room feel more spacious."

Following are some of his top tips to create a comfortable bathroom for two:

Organization is Key

Small spaces require organization. Too many toiletries, cleaning products and hair dryers can make a small space feel smaller. Clear off the sink, clean out the medicine cabinet and remove products from under the sink. Take stock of what you own and what you use on a daily basis. Pare down the excess and keep only what you need. Baskets and bins will provide order to the items you plan on keeping.

"It's all about creating more room and carving out your own space," explained Bitterman. One such example is installing a glass shelf. "This easy project is perfect for the DIYer, doesn't take up counter space and gives both of you more room to store smaller toiletry items as well as keep them easily accessible."

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirrors have the ability to visually double the size of your bathroom. By reflecting natural light, they can give your bathroom the appearance of being more open and bright. Full sink to ceiling mirrors create the most significant illusion of increased space. But if that isn't an option, consider a single mirror in a unique shape to create a point of visual interest.

Two sinks can make sharing a bath much easier - provided you have the space. Many newer vanities can accommodate two sinks. You'll need to allow at least five feet when adding a vanity for double sinks. No room? Consider side-by-side, small pedestal sinks instead. No budget for new sinks? Change your faucet with one of today's newer high arc styles. The longer neck and spout of these faucets make it easier for both of you to have the room to brush your teeth, wash your face or even shave - at the same time.

Shed a Little Light

A dark room feels cramped and crowded, while natural light can make the bath feel open and larger. Add sheer blinds or apply a film treatment to your window to let in more light, while still allowing for privacy. Consider changing the lighting fixtures as well. Overhead lighting tends to add unflattering shadows to your face while looking in the mirror. Try installing wall sconces level to the top of the mirror. This puts the light in front of you, creating the most optimal lighting for grooming.

Double Up

Consider installing two double robe hooks for items such as robes, pajamas and towels. Keeping robes and towels off the floor reduces the cluttered appearance of a small bathroom. Bitterman suggests double towel bars, as well. "If each of you has your own designated towel bar, you'll have ample room to hang washcloths, hand towels and bath towels."

Share Your Shower

Transform your shower into a spa experience with a massaging showerhead with multiple spray settings. This will allow you to choose and personalize your settings. Choose a vigorous massage for him and a soothing rainshower for you.

Decorating Duo

Most importantly, according to Bitterman, "Don't impose your decorating styles and tastes on your mate. Talk about color selections and look at wallpapers and paints together. By incorporating colors you both like, it's possible to create a room that brings the best of both worlds together, creating a retreat that can become the calm in your morning storm."

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