With little or no divide, these bedroom-bathrooms represent the most immodest take on the ensuite design.
While open concept living is perfect for the flow of air and light, and is particularly effective in making a smaller space feel larger, there are some limitations. Streamlined sightlines don’t offer much in the way of privacy, which is especially evident when you are combining bathroom and bedroom spaces, walls removed.
As you’ll see here, not every room is conducive to open concept. These bathroom-bedroom combos are pretty to look at, but are not so user-friendly. However, in some cases, the design is really perfect aesthetically, so fashion sometimes trumps function.
Nothing like a cold shower to wake you up, literally, the moment you climb out of bed.
Pros: for those who favor the snooze button, a water-based wake-up call might be just the motivation you need to spring out of bed in the morning. Cons: Soggy bed linens and dog-eared, damp paperbacks on your reading shelf.
And a tub beside the bed means more room in bathroom. Why not install a lavish shower.
This soaker-tub affords some dreamy views from the windows but is plonked at the base of an open staircase. This room would work better if the layout was reversed, and you could even have a moveable privacy screen to divide bedroom from bathroom, closer to the vistas beyond the balcony.
This room is part of Ecologia Montréal by designer Gervais Fortin, Montreal’s first single-family home built to Platinum LEED standards.
As a LEED-certified home, great care was taken to include sustainable materials and building techniques to maximize sustainability. This vessel tub really complements the sleek decor in the bedroom, but this room could easily just have an oversize shower only. And showers are more eco-friendly than baths.
A rustic take on the open-concept master bedroom.
This bedroom-bath combo shows that sometimes the best design solutions are the simplest. A sliding divider in front of the tub gives you all the privacy you need, and it is decorative to boot. Leaving the panels on the top half of the door open still gives the light and air a free-flowing pathway, but blocks sightlines where necessary.
And here we have a more minimalist design.
A half-wall goes a long way to divide space. Here it does double duty as a built-in headboard. While your partner may not appreciate the running water on the opposite side of the wall on a Sunday morning lie-in, it does serve a smart design function.
This see-through shower is part of a loft conversion in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood. Trulia estimates the home’s worth at $1,768,000.
Loft living is all about embracing open concept, with just the right balance of industrial grit and light. In this loft conversion, the see-through shower keeps the sightlines friendly, and introduces a softer touch with abundant natural light against the moody, dark shower stall.
The bathroom opens up to the bedroom, which in turn opens up to the outdoors. Privacy be damned, this home is about maximum exposure.
Sometimes it’s worth it to have one space roll into the next, choosing layout over privacy. With sliding glass doors, this bedroom-bathroom-outdoor terrace combo, the space sprawls out and you can just feel the breeze.
Sauna, gas fireplace, glass wall — we love everything that’s happening here.
Perfectly balanced. While this glass wall does zero for privacy, it acts as a visual reference for the rest of the space. It succeeds in drawing the eye up and out, and emphasizes some of the key focal points, like the fireplace, sauna and tub. And the natural light pouring in through those skylights needs enough room to move.
The bed-facing toilet might be taking the open-concept a step too far.
While a glass wall makes this small room feel bigger and brighter, that toilet placement seems obtrusive, to say the least. And here we see why water closets are a thing.
Photo: Ricardo Bofill Arhcitects
Spanish firm Ricardo Bofill Arhcitects designed this intimate suite in the W Barcelona Hotel.
It’s more acceptable to have wide open space in a hotel room- firstly because they tend to be smaller than your home. And second- having a soaker tub next to your bed promotes rest and relaxation, and it just makes sense design-wise.
Photo: Fresh Palace
The foliage-filled backdrop gives the impression that the bathroom is outdoors.
Current design favors incorporating natural materials as much as possible, so as to create a connection with nature, even when you are inside. That’s what the foliage accomplishes here, and also suggests a separation of the space. Showering in the rainforest seems like a Zen way to start your day.
Photos: Wespi de Meuron Architekten
Recently featured in our post 21 homes that are doing exposed brick right, this room is part of Casa Olivi, a restored Italian farmhouse that you can rent for many thousands of dollars a week.
While smack in the middle of your living space, this tub is neatly placed between two wide windows, and you can imagine the rolling hills of the Italian countryside beyond their borders. The brick wall is rustic and warm, so unwinding in a bath with a backdrop like this is inviting.
A clinical, space-age design from the future.
One can envision your robot-butler waiting just off camera to clean the spots from this center stage shower. This room has a definite spaceship vibe, but it would probably make more sense to position the transparent shower in one of the corners, lest you confuse the clear stall for a teleportation device.
Photo: Nepa Gallery
Exposed brick and exposed bathers.
What challenges this design isn’t just the lack of separation between bed and bath, but that the space is very small. You can be straddling two distinct living spaces at once. It’s worth closing in this bathroom by running a half-wall up from the floating vanity.
The bathtub-shelf combo is a clever space-saving design.
The enemy of open concept is clutter, which can be combatted with smart storage, where pieces do double duty, like the one pictured here. Built-in soap dispensers help to free up counter space, but they could put some more built-in storage underneath the floating vanity.
Photo: Camp Jabulani
One of the Zindoga Villas in South Africa’s luxury Camp Jabulani resort.
This room flips the script a little bit, with mosquito netting providing an opportunity for some semi-privacy in the sleeping quarters, rather than the bathroom being the space sectioned off.
Photo: Piyawut Srisakul via ArchDaily
No room is clearly defined in Thailand’s Wonderwall House, where bathrooms open up to bedrooms and bedrooms open up to the outdoors.
No question, removing walls creates a sense of space, but this room feels a bit spartan. Some well-placed furniture and wall art would add some color and visual interest.