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Simple Life Style: The Cottage Kitchen

•Get tips on how to create a better couple's bathroom.
•Learn how to maximize space and storage.

Living with the one you love can be an adventurous, exhilarating and rewarding experience. But life à deux is a lot less fun when you're elbowing each other around a cramped bathroom or trying to find your toiletries amid your mate's mess. By keeping communication flowing and taking a few smart steps toward creating a better bathroom, you can maintain both of your individual preferences while enjoying the harmony of cohabitation.

1. Double your space

Every relationship needs space—in some cases, literally. It isn't always easy for two people to share a small bathroom, especially when they're trying to prepare for the day in a small sliver of time. Side-by-side sinks are a simple and smart way to maximize space. They provide plenty of breathing room for couples and save precious time during busy mornings.

2. Conquer the clutter

Soaps, toothbrushes and lotions take up valuable space in cabinets and on countertops, creating an unnecessary and unsightly mess. Start paring
down by eliminating duplicate items—chances are, you're unknowingly hoarding more than you need. Cut down on the number of containers by choosing grooming products that are designed for both genders. To keep the rest of your toiletries tidy, use organizers and shelving in out-of-sight but easy-to-reach places. Wicker baskets and opaque plastic boxes are just two solutions for hiding toiletries, and they'll keep the bathroom looking neat.

3. Decor diplomacy

When it comes to decorating the bathroom, avoid going to gender-specific extremes. Be willing to compromise by discussing your ideas and seeking common ground. Consider a neutral color scheme, which will leave you free to experiment with accessories. Adding colorful accents, such as leafy ferns or a set of jewel-toned towels, can lend a more masculine or feminine feel.

4. Create a sanctuary for two

Take your bathroom beyond mere function, and you can create a couple's retreat within your own home. Set the stage for romance by adding scented candles, dimmer switches and a selection of aromatic shower gels. A deep, roomy bathtub—especially one with soothing underwater jets—is sure to inspire long soaks for two.

5. Private eyes

You love being together, but some things still require privacy. To help maintain the mystery, consider closing off the toilet area with a pocket door. This easy fix can make you feel like you’ve extended the size of your space without actually taking up any more square footage. Both of you can be in the bathroom at the same time without intruding on each other.

6. Get to the seat of the matter

Of course there are bigger problems in life than leaving the toilet seat up, but why squabble over it when you don't need to? Keep a lid on your arguments by installing a smart toilet such as the Peacekeeper®, which flushes only when its lid is closed—therefore curtailing potential commotions over the commode.


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