Category : Bathroom Posted : 04/04/2023

Public spaces may be meant for all, but the bathrooms within them still call for privacy. Designer Jehan-Ara Poonawala, an expert with commercial spaces at hotels, retail, offices and more, teaches us the dos and don’ts of designing shared bathrooms…



These two washrooms are part of the lobby of a 100-room hotel of the Fortune Group. The design brief was just to keep things simplified. Each bathroom was to be designed as easy to use, easy to maintain and easy on the eye and had to be uber-chic to keep in sync with the lobby renovations, besides being a talking point too! The result: the unique colour scheme of black and blue. We were keen to use materials which are not part of the usual vocabulary of a public washroom. Translucent materials defying the Indian notion of privacy and colours which are quintessentially ‘male’ and ‘female’ were essential to the final design concept.


Jahan-Ara’s Handy Guide to Designing Commercial Bathrooms

  • Maintain adequate ambience lighting that needs no modifications through the day

  • There is no need not provide access to switches or sockets as no guest needs to control these

  • Use materials that spell hygiene in all senses. They need to be easy and quick to clean, therefore remember to use less grout joints

  • If sanitary fittings can be sensor-controlled then that’s an ideal choice

  • Larger mirrors allowing full body reflections are an added bonus

  • When it comes to colours…preferably no whites other than the WC or washbasin. Go for greys to match with wood tones or highlight colours that work with the overall space as they tend to show up less dirt


Jehan-Ara Poonawala, Director, JJ Poonawala, Mumbai

“An eye for detail and flexibility to customize every need; for me, it’s not only a profession but a form of art…a form of expression. My trademark is contemporary design fused with an elegant touch of tradition, birthing one-of-a-kind interior designs. My firm’s sharp eye for fresh approaches, cutting-edge design modalities and collaborative brain-storming strategies mixed with the use of current technologies has resulted in a steady stream of satisfied clients.”

Text by: The Blue Pencil Design Company
Images courtesy: JJ Poonawala 

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