Clever Idea: A Surprise Window in Small Bathroom

By Robert Knight

There's a surprise in this small bathroom: there's a window behind the mirror.

Fitting the required amenities into a small bathroom can be a big design challenge. With limited wall space, windows and the valuable daylight and views they provide can easily find their way out of a design in favor of more functionally valuable items such as linen closets, showers, and vanity mirrors. In this small bathroom, reinterpreting the latter provided the bathroom with the utility it needs without having to sacrifice ventilation, access to daylight, or valuable views to the trees and water beyond.

A double sided mirror is set into a Douglas fir frame that sits inside the window jambs, much like a storm window. The door unit is made operable with a piano hinge installed along one of its stiles.When the mirror is
folded against the side wall, you can see out the window. Daylight can pour in, but you still have a mirror on the back side of the door. Close the hinged door, and you have a more traditional mirror. I especially like the fact that when the door is closed over the window, it looks like a simple but attractive medicine cabinet. The window behind it can be a surprise to guests.


Robert Knight is an architect in Blue Hill, Maine.

Originally Published in Fine Homebuilding

10/03/2013

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