Designing your ultimate bath-time sanctuary starts with the basics
A bathroom is often the smallest, coldest room in the house but with the right design advice it can be a practical and restful haven perfectly suited to the needs of your family.
First think about functionality. Who will use the space? Does it need to be child-friendly? Pay attention to features you absolutely must have and, of course, consider your budget. Glean ideas from home magazines and the internet, and consider our top design tips:
- Sketch your ideal bathroom layout. Consider power point placement, how doors open, space between the shower/bath, toilet and vanity, and whether the toilet is visible when the door is open.
- Materials need to be moisture resistant and able to withstand high humidity. Tiles are a common choice but the timeless look of timber floors works well too.
- White and soft neutrals lend a chic feel and never date, while darker colours add a dramatic effect. Mosaic tiles in your shower or splashback are an effective way to add colour and texture.
- Do you need a bath and a shower? If space is tight, a large shower may be preferable to a small bath. Make sure your basin isn’t cramped. Built-in vanities and baths make cleaning easier but create a more crowded aesthetic. A freestanding bath and a floating toilet will make the room feel more spacious.
- The theory that a small room requires small fixtures and fittings simply isn’t true. Large handles on drawers, for example, look great and are easy to use. Consistency is key for a streamlined look.
- Storage is often overlooked in bathrooms, especially when space is at a premium. It may simply be an easy-to-access vanity for items used daily or a larger free-standing cabinet or open shelves for storing towels, toilet paper etc. If space is tight, keep the daily essentials in the room, with a linen cupboard nearby.
- A heat and ventilation light will help avoid mould build-up and you’ll be thankful for the heating on a cold winter night. Consider a timer for your heated towel rail to save power.
- A combination of task, accent and ambient lighting works well. Task lights on either side of your vanity will avoid overhead shadows and you can create visual effect using LED lights placed low at the base of a wall. Ambient light is easy to achieve using a dimmer.