How to create a stylish, space-saving Jack and Jill bathroom

Without compromising privacy.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every bedroom in the house had its own ensuite bathroom? Maybe not from a cleaning perspective, but can you imagine creating your own private bathing sanctuary, then a couple more for each of the grubby kids and a guest bathroom that always stays pristine for overnight guests? It may be a reality for luxury homes, but for most, budget and available space prevent the dream coming to fruition. But there’s one clever solution that can turn a single bathroom into a shared ensuite in one hit, and that’s the Jack and Jill bathroom. 

The key feature that distinguishes a Jack and Jill bathroom from a regular bathroom is that it has two points of entry. So if you have a bathroom located between two bedrooms, it can be a great way to create an ensuite for both rooms – without having to build two separate bathrooms (and pay for all of the plumbing and tiling costs, twice). Thinking about designing a Jack and Jill bathroom in your own home? Here are three design points to consider.

Hamptons style all white bathroom with herringbone marble-look floor tiles
(Credit: Photo: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

1. The doors

Unless you have plenty of space to swing two doors, sliding doors or pocket doors are usually the best option for a Jack and Jill bathroom. Sliding doors will allow you to maximise the available floor space and still fit in everything you need. It goes without saying but lockable doors are also an absolute must in a bathroom with two entry points. 

2. The layout

Nailing the layout of a Jack and Jill bathroom is essential to ensure both functionality and privacy.

In a small shared bathroom, ensuring that the doors open onto the vanity (rather than the toilet, shower or bath tub) will reduce the severity of any potential awkward encounters should someone forget to lock both doors. 

Pale blue bathroom cabinets with hexagonal marble mosaic floor tiles
(Credit: Photo: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Nonci Nyoni)

But, if you have the space, consider creating a segmented Jack and Jill bathroom (also known as a Hollywood bathroom), where the vanity area is separated from the bathing and toilet zones by walls. By doing this, the room can be easily used by two people at the same time without compromising privacy.

Studio McGee created a Jack and Jill bathroom (or in this case, a Jill and Jill bathroom) for their clients’ daughters as part of their ‘Home on the Ranch‘ project. A Hollywood style layout allows both girls to use the vanity area simultaneously, while the bathing area and toilet have been separated by walls.

Dream Home Channel 7 Brad and Mel's home Spencer's bedroom 3 by Taelar and Elle
Dream Home contestants Taelar and Elle created a Jack and Jill bathroom accessible by a ‘hidden door’ in the bedroom. (Credit: Image: Dream Home/Channel 7)

3. The fixtures

Because a Jack and Jill bathroom is designed to be used by at least two people, it’s a good idea to double up on functionality where you can. A double vanity is an excellent option, as it allows two people to use the bathroom simultaneously.

What are the downsides to a Jack and Jill bathroom?

  • You’ll need to lock two doors before you can get down to business. Not exactly a deal breaker, but kind of annoying if the door is located all the way on the other side of the room (i.e. the standard configuration) or if you’re just really busting.
  • Ever noticed how bathrooms echo? Imagine having a noisy echo chamber located smack bang between two bedrooms, so everything your neighbour does in the bathroom is amplified for all to hear. 
  • When you’re finished in the bathroom, you’ll need to unlock both sides so the person in the other room still has access. If the person sharing the bathroom forgets to unlock your side, you’ll need to a) figure out whether the bathroom is actually occupied before b) walking all the way around into the other room to unlock your own side again.

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