Home Improvement

4 Folks + 1 Rest room: How & Why It Works For Us

Any time we point out having just one lavatory it spawns a flurry of curiosity in our Instagram DMs about how we handle that with our four-person household. Though we’re undoubtedly not intrepid for having this setup in any method (so many households within the US & overseas dwell an exquisite life in a smaller residence with one lavatory), and we even have an outside bathe that we will use nearly year-round (which undoubtedly takes the stress off of our single indoor lavatory), there’s a stunning quantity of curiosity across the matter.

So we’re right here to interrupt down why it has labored so nicely for our household and what we’ve executed to make it additional environment friendly & simple to dwell with.

I do know some individuals will learn this and suppose “I may NEVER dwell that method!” or “I’ve ALWAYS lived that method, what’s the large deal?” and the reality is that what’s proper for one household is unquestionably not at all times proper for one more. So this put up isn’t written to suggest there’s some “proper” variety of bogs – it’s simply to fulfill the curiosity individuals have expressed about how one lavatory particularly works for our household.

Tip #1: Dwell With One thing For A Scorching Second To See How You *Actually* Really feel

We moved from a a lot bigger home that had three bogs and anticipated to land right here and IMMEDIATELY need to add a second lavatory…

Collage of three bathrooms in previous home

… however by means of a complete 12 months of at-home studying the place we actually examined the bounds of residing in a smaller residence just about 24/7, we didn’t really feel the one-bathroom squeeze. In any respect. Curveball, proper?

So we went forward and added a pool and even renovated our kitchen – all with out feeling even an inkling of want so as to add that second lavatory we anticipated to want a lot.

Ikea Kitchen With Painted And White Cabinets With Wood Accents And Jute Stair Runner

It has now been almost three years of residing with one lavatory, and to this point… zero plans to endure the price & mud of a reno so as to add a toilet.

Now in the event you transfer into a brand new home and it’s instantly clear you desire a second lavatory – don’t add a pool first. Ha! This primary level is simply that you simply’ll be capable of inform rather a lot about how your loved ones makes use of a house when you’re in there residing inside its partitions, and the must-have issues will naturally float to the highest of the listing. In order that’s why we at all times advocate residing someplace earlier than making any huge reno selections (which we acknowledge isn’t at all times doable, however in the event you can, what you find yourself desirous to deal with first or under no circumstances may shock you).

Since we purchased our home in Feb of 2020 after which lockdowns occurred, we needed to make lots of reno selections from afar (like selecting a trex colour to redo the decks and a paint colour for the inside & exterior)…

Large outside deck on white house with lots of trees

… however as for precise main format modifications, we primarily made zero (we drywalled over a large doorway that we may simply reopen down the road, however apart from that, all of the rooms stayed the place they have been and we made the larger decisions after we landed).

Tip 2: Ask Your self If It’s An Precise Want or A Projected Future Want

This tip is mainly the following logical step after the primary suggestion we outlined above. After you reside with one thing for a bit, and develop some concepts for what you need to renovate, it by no means hurts to ask your self if you wish to renovate one thing as a result of it’s a right away want or a projected future want. As a result of boy oh boy is there a distinction between utilizing *future hypotheticals or guesses* about what you’ll want down the street and addressing *precise wants* as they come up in your house.

We undoubtedly aren’t shy a few renovation (howdy, we’ve mounted up seven homes)… a few of which have been insanely massive initiatives…

Duplex renovation photos of home stripped to framing

You’ll be able to see the earlier than & afters of this home proper right here

…. and up to now we would have jumped so as to add a second lavatory “as a result of sometime we’ll most likely need it though we don’t want one proper now… so let’s simply get forward of it.” However we’ve discovered that one of many worst reno strikes that may be made is to do a venture since you’ve PROJECTED what some future model of your self will seemingly want, solely to understand later that YOUR ACTUAL NEEDS aren’t being met in any respect when that future day comes.

After we purchased the home, this deck was off of our bed room (that set of doorways led to the wall the place we now have our king-sized mattress).

Before photo of beach home with empty side porch with open door to bedroom

After residing right here for a few 12 months (throughout which all 4 of us labored and digital schooled from residence, no much less!) the one lavatory didn’t develop into a sticking level. No fights. No line on the door. No issues in any respect.

Plus we realized a big bump-out in our bed room would truly work as a second lavatory if we wished so as to add one down the road. We additionally realized that the wall with the doorways that led out to that deck could be an superior place to place our mattress (we now have six different glass doorways that lead outdoors on one other wall!).

Over time we thought-about lots of different choices for that porch and determined it could serve our household finest if we sealed off these two additional doorways that led to the bed room and used the porch as a lined facet entryway into our kitchen (since we park our automobile on this facet of the home).

After photo of exterior porch with new door and plants

We even earned a mini “outside kitchen” with the addition of a storage sideboard for prepping and setting out meals + a grill + an outside desk.

View Of Kitchen Porch As Seen Through Kitchen Door

Because of residing right here some time, closing off the door to the bed room and including one which results in the kitchen has been a GREAT choice (you’ll be able to learn concerning the porch renovation right here). If we had requested our contractor to only flip that porch into a toilet from afar throughout lockdowns, it undoubtedly would have robbed us of this setup that we now have now and LOVE.

So even in the event you’re assured that your loved ones will desire a sure factor down the road… you may find yourself with a greater plan if it’s in any respect doable to attend till you really want one thing versus leaping the gun to “simply get forward of it and do it now.”

Yet another instance is that you simply may add or renovate your children lavatory once they’re tiny and nonetheless taking baths in your individual tub, solely to later notice that you simply want you had added a bigger double sink and a bathe as an alternative of a bath as a result of your children aren’t small anymore and don’t want it (and at all times used your tub once they have been tiny). Heck, you may even find yourself transferring earlier than you get to that projected future second of needing one thing you paid so as to add!

Ready for that readability about what you *really want* (versus guessing what your loved ones will need sooner or later) is so beneficial.

Open Door View To Kitchen Porch With Trees Outside

We love that with time and thought we gained an excellent useful kitchen porch AND we nonetheless have an ideal spot so as to add a second lavatory when and if the necessity arises. Plus it feels nice to know that with this strategy, our solely job is to make our home work finest for us proper now (and never have the onus of projecting what some future model of our household goes to want in a while).

Bright modern bathroom with wood vanity and gold accents

Bear in mind, we purchased this home *assuming* that having one lavatory could be an enormous drawback. So typically we’re simply as shocked as anybody else that it hasn’t been – and it reinforces that age-old lesson about what occurs if you assume. Plus, after we actually cease to consider the the reason why one lavatory works simply tremendous for us right here, it’s actually not that stunning or sophisticated, which brings us to tip #3…

Tip #3: We Already Have A Second Bathe

One huge issue that we identified within the very first paragraph of this put up is that we do have an additional bathe: our outside bathe. Whereas it’s actually not the identical as having a full second lavatory with a bathroom/sink/bathe inside, having this alternate bathe area is a large assist. Almost year-round all of us choose to bathe out right here, except it’s raining or tremendous chilly.

It beats any indoor bathe I’ve ever used and it’s additionally an important choice for rinsing down after a sweaty exercise or a messy day working within the yard since we don’t have to tug our dirty our bodies by means of the home. And clearly, it’s the MVP after we come again from the seaside and need to get the sand off as an alternative of monitoring it into the home.

Wood Slatted Outdoor Shower With Cascading Hanging Plants

Showering will be probably the most time-consuming, bathroom-hogging actions there may be, so this provides me a spot to take a protracted, leisurely post-run bathe with out feeling rushed to liberate the toilet. In the meantime, Sherry prefers a night bathe on the market underneath the twinkle lights.

Regardless that our outside bathe isn’t as fancy as some big ensuite bathe or tub may be in a flowery residence, it checks the field of getting a particular “luxurious” feeling bathe expertise someplace in our home. Nothing beats the solar streaming down and all of the crops hanging round. Actually. Expertise an outside bathe in the event you by no means have, and it simply may change your life.

Tip #4: Our Morning Schedules Don’t Overlap

One other huge cause one lavatory works for our household is that our morning routines are fairly unfold out. Our youngsters depart for college an hour other than one another, so one is barely awake by the point the opposite is leaving. And since Sherry and I each do business from home, we push off our morning routines and monopolize the toilet after the youngsters are gone. Meaning we by no means encounter these cliche TV household clusterforks the place everyone seems to be combating to get into the toilet on the identical time (Shameless involves thoughts for me).

Bright modern bathroom with large white sink and bone inlay mirror

Additionally, since our two children are 4 grades aside in class, they’ll seemingly by no means have the identical faculty schedule. So at the same time as they become older and may have longer quantities of time within the lavatory to prepare, we don’t foresee a time when any of us are arguing over the identical morning timeslot. However we will completely see how having children on the identical schedule may make issues extra of a decent squeeze.

Tip #5: Youngsters’ Persona / Habits Can Make Or Break This

Our youngsters are presently 8 and 12, so that they’ve but to succeed in ages that may stereotypically contain extra lavatory “grooming” time. I’m drawing on my reminiscence of getting two older sisters in highschool on the identical time painstakingly curling their bangs within the mirror (this was the late ’80s in any case). So though we’ll have a teen in two months, our family has but to expertise the complete inflow of curling irons, hair gels, and physique sprays (yikes) that I recall from my youthful days. And even after we do, we’ve received a plan for that (anticipate it, it’s our subsequent tip).

Bathroom sink with gold plant on window shelf by shower with subway tile

On the flip facet, our children are each sufficiently old that we don’t have, like, hourlong play-filled bathtimes at evening anymore, or toddlers tenting out in there whereas they’re potty coaching. There are nonetheless events when our youngest will get away the bathtub toys or replenish the sink to play within the water with some color-changing toy or what-have-you, however that stuff will be interrupted if anybody else wants to make use of the toilet.

Tip #6: Grooming Occurs In Our Bedrooms

One other method we be sure one individual isn’t hogging the toilet is by protecting it for under, let’s say, “important” lavatory actions. So you need to use it to bathe, brush tooth, and go to the toilet – however nearly every little thing else takes place in our respective bedrooms: doing hair, placing on make-up, making use of numerous lotions and potions that hold us wanting ageless like Paul Rudd, and so forth.

This actually helps lower down on anybody individual overstaying their welcome within the lavatory at any given time. Plus, it additionally implies that our solely lavatory storage (the self-importance pictured under) doesn’t overflow with everybody’s grooming provides like make-up, hair brushes, hair gel, and deodorant.

Wood vanity in modern bathroom with mint chevron tile floor

Our youngsters every have a mirror of their room and hold deodorant, hair stuff, a hair brush, and so forth of their prime dresser drawer. And Sherry and I every have devoted a small part of our bed room closets to our “grooming” stuff. I even put in little mirrors inside our closet doorways so we will see what we’re doing.

As an illustration, I hold a small tray of hair gel, deodorant, and beard cream in my closet proper by my garments, and I mounted a mirror proper contained in the door to make use of whereas I rapidly prepare. It’s tremendous handy and since I’m not in anybody’s method, I can take so long as I want.

John getting ready in closet mirror in Ikea Pax Wardrobe

Sherry has a pullout drawer subsequent to her in-door mirror along with her make-up and deodorant and hair stuff too. She has by no means been somebody to take quite a lot of minutes to prepare, so this setup has been working nicely for us for over a 12 months now (our daughter’s setup is extra like a conceit with a seat and an enormous mirror in entrance of it). Sherry likes to remind me that everybody she knew in Jersey sat on the ground of their bedrooms and curled their hair, so not doing that stuff within the lavatory isn’t that international of an idea.

I notice this may increasingly really feel like a downgrade in the event you’re used to having your individual devoted lavatory sink or self-importance in your individual non-public lavatory, however we solely had a pleasant double sink setup very briefly in our final home (under), so it was by no means one thing we had time to develop into accustomed to.

Large main bathroom after photo with gray vanity and walk in closet and arched mirror

You could keep in mind Sherry used to nearly completely do her make-up within the automobile on the best way to wherever we have been going. Level being: it hasn’t been an enormous adjustment to maintain these varieties of actions out of our solely lavatory now.

Tip #7: We Talk (Okay, Perhaps Over-Talk)

This may increasingly sound apparent, however an enormous method we forestall fights over the toilet is to only talk with each other. It’s as simple as “Hey, I’m about to take a bathe, does anyone want to make use of the toilet first?” Maybe this requires a degree of openness that some households won’t be snug with – however for us, it simply comes with the territory of residing in a small home. Let’s name it bonding!

Colorful artwork in gold picture frames above toilet in bright modern bathroom

And sure, up to now three years we now have lived by means of norovirus and even salmonella! So there was loads of time for us to say “nope, this isn’t working” (we are inclined to have a 24-48 hour tiered occasion relating to the household falling ailing with some abdomen bug). We’ve additionally cleaned our one lavatory very well after somebody received sick AND NOBODY ELSE GOT IT. Speak about a miracle…. which brings us to tip #8.

Tip #8: We Solely Have One Rest room To Clear

Generally we get requested if we now have any points having company over with only one lavatory. We’ve had as many as 15 individuals in our home and haven’t had a difficulty. Folks may go out and in all through the evening, however there isn’t a line of individuals all hopping from foot to foot, ready for it to open up with a panicked look on their faces. Very like a restaurant that may have only one lavatory with a lock on the door, individuals know what to do. All hell doesn’t break unfastened at a bistro if somebody has to attend for the restroom (thank goodness).

And the beauty of us all sharing one lavatory (and due to this fact solely having one lavatory to scrub) is that it doesn’t sit unattended for days or even weeks. It doesn’t actually have a second to “get away from us” in the identical method that the lesser used/considered bogs did after we entertained in our previous home. Again then we’d have that panicked “is the upstairs corridor lavatory clear?! I simply cleaned the powder room downstairs!” second.

White bathroom with inlay mirror gold picture frames and brass mobile

We by no means have to fret concerning the children’ lavatory getting out of hand as a result of we haven’t laid eyes on it for per week. And as an grownup who beforehand had 12 bogs to keep up/repair/fear about (sure, our home had 3, the seaside home had 3 and the duplex had 6!) I can let you know that one lavatory = the great life for us. Particularly with the bonus outside bathe – that actually does take the stress method off.

One Last Thought

Our good friend Shavonda, whose household of 4 additionally lives in a small home with one lavatory (and her children are teenagers!), chimed in on Instagram with a perspective I wished to finish with as a result of it summarizes lots of this dialogue. In her family, there’s an understanding that the toilet is a utility area. “You get in. You do what you gotta do, and also you get out,” as she put it. That’s an important abstract of how we really feel about it additionally, and that perspective is an enormous a part of what makes this work for our household.

Ep106 Shavonda Photo 780x1024

I feel that mindset will be uncommon to some individuals who as an alternative take a look at their lavatory as extra of a dream room/escape – particularly in America (as a result of bogs have develop into far more than easy utility areas in a number of homes – they’re typically “luxurious, spa-like retreats designed for individuals to unwind after a busy day”). However for us, this home and this location supply us so many different locations to “luxuriate” and unwind (our pool, the seaside, our scorching tub, absorbing the celebrities out by the hearth pit, our upstairs deck, even the outside bathe!) in order that trade-off has been so value it and so doable.

Backyard pool with round hot tub in small home backyard

We’ve been very happy to relegate our lavatory to a easy, utilitarian function. However we will additionally see how another person may say “no method, I want my very own lavatory and an enormous soaker tub and that’s what retains me sane.” Completely. Agree 10000%. All of us have home perks which can be non-negotiables, and so they’re going to be completely different for each individual & each household.

P.S. You’ll be able to see all the small print of our lavatory earlier than & after proper right here on this renovation put up. And you’ll see the additional fancy lavatory renovation that we undertook proper earlier than we moved out of our final home right here (plus the funds breakdown for that reno).

Marble Traditional Bathroom With Herringbone Walk In Tile Shower

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