4 June 2019
Cloakrooms are often the smallest functioning room in the home. We frequently get asked for cloakroom ideas and in this article we’ll answer the following:
This article will focus solely on an array of best practice cloakroom ideas from an expert designer’s opinion with a little bit of cloakroom history thrown in for good measure.
Would you believe we get asked the question ‘what is a cloakroom?’ a lot and when you look into the history of the modern day cloakroom it’s easy to understand why.
In the Oxford dictionary a cloakroom is defined as a room that contains a toilet or toilets. Also referred to as a downstairs WC within the private home, a cloakroom is also a term used to describe a room in a public building where outdoor clothes and luggage can be left.
As a result, this poses quite the contradiction. We agree.
However, the reason for the dual use seems to stem back from the Victorian times, when up market establishments started to offer indoor facilities to ladies enabling them to ‘freshen up’ on arrival.
This room existed whereby ladies could remove their outer coat (or cloak) and refresh themselves. This room was known as the ‘ladies cloakroom’.
Over time similar facilities began to be offered to men and ever since the phrase has gradually morphed into ‘cloakroom’. Now used to describe a room where a toilet, basin and mirror could be found. Designed purely for visiting guests, its highly likely that within the home this will also feature an array of coats, potentially a shoe rack, and even a vacuum.
There are a number of cloakroom ideas that you can incorporate into the design and decoration of this practical suite. Aside from the layout options and size restrictions, which we will cover later in the article, here our top 3 cloakroom ideas.
First and foremost the ultimate space enhancing cloakroom idea is to always keep things off the floor. The reason being, the more floor space you can see the better. This will help create the illusion that the space is bigger than it actually is.
Wall hung basins and WC’s, whether standard or corner fixings, are great cloakroom ideas. And with compact designs to suit, you can have a wall hung unit that is smaller than average creating even more space.
In any small space storage is key and this rule is no different in your cloakroom. Having a solution to store items can help maintain a clean, clear and clutter free look and feel.
Spare hand towels, extra toilet paper and replacement soaps don’t need to be on display so invest in a wall hung vanity basin unit and keep these items out of sight and off the floor.
Creating straight clean lines and a maintenance free finish by concealing all pipework and services is a small cloakroom idea must.
Whether box work, building a stud wall to conceal the toilet cistern, or the incorporation of fitted furniture to house the basin and provide storage, it is strongly advised you consider your options.
When it comes to decorating a small cloakroom we would strongly advise keeping it light. More often than not there is only a small window, if at all, in a cloakroom. This makes the small space dark and dim.
Bright lighting, tiling and use of mirrors will help elevate the room, opening it up to its surroundings. Pale colours such as white, creams, beiges and light greys are ideal shades when decorating the room as they help bounce light around the room. This bodes well for both natural or artificial light making the cloakroom appear bigger.
If we’re talking minimum size then the smallest a cloakroom can be and still remain functional is 70cm wide x 130cm long. Remember, strictly speaking, it must include a WC and basin to be deemed a cloakroom.
All that said, in an ideal world, you want to be working with a footprint of at least 80cm x 140cm in order to make the space comfortable. And in either instance the door would typically have to open outward.
Taking the above into consideration you have two plausible options when it comes to having to work with a small cloakroom when design planning.
Both designs would feature the WC under the slope of the ceiling if your small cloakroom is located under the stairs. In addition, from an aesthetic point of view, you would also avoid having a door opening onto a toilet. This means the basin would be situated on the opposing wall as either a standard or corner installation.
More Bathrooms, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshire's only 5* rated bathroom design and installation company. Making dream bathrooms, shower rooms, en-suites and cloakrooms a reality we are extremely proud of the exceptional service we continuously deliver from design right through to installation and after care.