Update: I’ve concluded that separating one of my sinks from the bathroom (and keeping it open to the upstairs hall instead) will not work in the space I have. It may have been handy, but I’ll be sticking with a fairly conventional bathroom with two sinks. Continue reading if you want to see my thoughts when I was considering this.
So I spent the weekend with relatives out west, and got a novel (to me) idea for my bathroom. It looks like I have JUST enough space to install my second sink outside the bathroom instead of in it. This would mean that I’d have a basic 5×8 bathroom with a tub, sink, and toilet, similar to a bathroom in my parents’ house from 1951. Outside of that there could be a small vestibule, basically separated from the bathroom by a door but with an open doorway connecting it to the upstairs hall. The vestibule would have a sink in it. There would be just enough space to fit it in, and this wouldn’t be closed off from the (extremely narrow) upstairs hall. So what should I do? Either way there will be two sinks? Should I put them both in the bathroom and put 3 luxurious feet of extra space in the bathroom? Or is the functional benefit of having a sink that’s not in the same room as the bathtub a bigger luxury?
I decided that instead of drawing floor plans I’ll just post pictures for comparison. If I put a sink outside, the outer one will be in a space about the size of the sink in the first photo. The door to the bathroom would be where the towel bar is, and the corner of the laundry chute soffit would be an opening (with no door) to the upstairs hall. The second photo is more or less identical to the main part of my would-be bathroom, except there would be a narrow window behind the toilet.
One side benefit of having one sink separate is that if and when I put in air conditioning, I could drop the ceiling above the outer sink room to hide the ducts. If I don’t need this there would be a soffit visible in either the bathroom or the hallway. Not a huge deal but I do like square rooms with these things hidden wherever possible.
So please weigh in. Should I take extra width where I can in my narrow house, or should I continue the “working man’s row house” tradition of putting in everything by making everything the minimum size?