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Read our expert top tips for your open plan living space.
Your bathroom is likely to be one of the smallest rooms in your house but also one of the most important and so careful planning with the design is crucial.
First, think about who will be using the bathroom and what for. For example, is this a private ensuite away from the rest of the rabble?! Or is it a family bathroom that needs to accommodate teenagers, children and guests equally? Then think about the needs of each person using the bathroom and how to meet them.
Layout is very important to get right early on in a bathroom. Unlike other rooms in your home - you won’t be able to move things around later.
The best place to start is with your toilet. You might be limited to where your soil pipe is situated but if you have some flexibility - try not to place it directly opposite the door….not only could this prevent some awkward moments but it’s also not the prettiest thing to see as soon as you walk into a room!
Another key item is your bath and/or shower. For rectangular shaped bathrooms it can save space to install your bath along the width of the room. Having a window nearby is also a bonus as you can prevent humidity after long steamy showers.
Think about where your towel rail will be hung too. You want it within reaching distance of the bath and shower so you don’t drip water all over the room!
When planning where your vanity or sink should go, find a stretch of wall where a mirror can be hung. Double vanities can be incredibly useful for large families as well if you have the space.
It can be tempting to think that bathrooms need to be white, clean and clinical...but this isn’t the case - every room in your home should show your personality, especially the privy! You spend a great deal of time in this room so it’s important you feel comfortable in it and it flows with the rest of your home.
Do you love colour and pattern but are afraid to commit? Bathrooms are a fantastic place to dip your toe in the water if you’re considering bright bold colours as they’re small and you’re not sitting in them for long periods of time. We always encourage our clients to let their imaginations run wild in bathrooms and so should you!
Whether that’s a jungle themed wallpaper for your downstairs cloakroom or pink geometric tiles in your ensuite - have fun with it! You’ll soon find you catch the bug and gain more confidence.
To link your bathroom to the rest of the house you can create a common thread like an accent colour used throughout the rest of the house or a particular style or similar artwork.
Don’t forget to include a focal point in your bathroom design. A successful design gives your eye something to land on when you enter a room and then take in the space from there. Whether that’s a beautifully tiled wall, a piece of artwork or a majestic claw foot tub.
Bathrooms are the hardest lighting schemes to get right. In the morning you’ll need plenty of light to get you ready for the day ahead and then in the evening you want a much softer and warmer light for a soak in the tub to wind down after your busy day.
You’ll need the most light around your sink area and so wall mounted lights at head height around your bathroom mirror work very well.
Very often bathrooms lack windows and natural daylight and so you’ll want to consider a bulb temperature that’s slightly cooler to replicate daylight.
Another thing to consider is safety. It’s no surprise that water and electricity don’t mix well! You need to check the IP rating of the lights you install in your bathroom depending on the ‘zone’ it will be in. For lighting inside baths or showers you’ll want the second digit of the IP rating to be 7 or above - this will protect against total submersion in water. Near a bath, shower or tap where there’s risk of splashing it needs to be 4 or above.
It’s fair to say that choosing tiles for your bathroom design is one of the biggest design decisions to make! You need to think both practically and also aesthetically as they will cover a great proportion of the walls and floors.
The choice available today is also vast! From a range of options on materials (Porcelain, marble, granite, ceramic etc) to a seemingly endless choice of colours and patterns.
Use tiles to make a design feature in your bathroom. Like a bold and colourful tile framing your bath or vanity unit. Also carrying a patterned floor tile up one wall opposite the door to give the illusion of space in the room and can be a really nice feature.
If you’re choosing floor tiles with a pattern then make sure you have enough floor space to avoid cutting off the pattern which can look a little clumsy. Measure out the width of your floor and if possible choose tiles that fit perfectly in space when laid out (not forgetting the grouting in between). Not only will this look a lot better but it will also make the tiling job simpler, saving you money. Make sure the pattern is complete along the boundary into the room as it’s the first thing you’ll see.
Absolutely! It’s a great idea to place a well loved piece of artwork opposite your bathtub so you have a lovely view when you're soaking away.
Understandably, many are concerned about how condensation might affect your lovely bathroom art prints but with good quality frames and glass you should be fine. Take precautions though by making sure you keep your bathroom ventilated with an extractor fan and keeping doors and windows open to minimise humidity.
You could also consider whether hanging a sculpture on your walls rather than framed art could work just as well with no risks of steamed up glass.
It’s always important to be realistic about the space available to you. Even if your water closet isn’t blessed with spa-like proportions, you can still design a wonderful space that you’ll love.
To maximise space, opt for a wall mounted toilet and vanity unit. They take up less space physically but also visually as being able to see the floor underneath gives the illusion of space.
Try to prioritise - do you really need a bath or will a shower suffice? If you have another bathroom in your home with a bath then perhaps that’s all you really need.
If a bath is a must-have then consider compromising with a combined bath and shower instead. If that leaves extra space for a double vanity or a storage unit you’ll be grateful in the long run.
Reflective materials and tiles will reflect light and make a room feel larger.
But as ever with smaller spaces, the trick is all about storage…
Storage can really make or break a room and your bathroom is no exception. There’s a lot that you might need to find a home for from spare linen to makeup to baby bath toys. Yet as one of the smallest rooms in your house, you won’t have bountiful floor space for storage cabinets.
Your bathroom vanity is a great source of storage. Open units may look on trend but the look will be ruined when there’s bathroom clutter everywhere! Choose your vanity based on what you’ll need to store in it. Do you need a drawer for each family member? Do toothbrushes need to live here? If so they’ll need enough room to stand upright and be within easy reach and far away from bathroom cleaning products.
For extra bathroom storage look to your walls as it can help keep your floorspace clear. Wall mounted cabinets, baskets or shelves (if you can commit to keeping them tidy) work brilliantly. Don’t forget the back of the door as well for bonus storage hanging.
Look out for any ‘awkward’ spaces in your bathroom that could also house extra storage and are currently wasted. For example installing a shelf in the section of wall above your bathroom door for items that aren’t needed daily like spare towels or extra loo rolls. It might also be possible to add in storage between the end of your bathtub and the wall if it’s built in and there’s a gap. It will take a bit of creativity and time but you’ll thank yourself later!
If you’re building your bathroom from scratch you have a great opportunity to squeeze in storage into the walls. Speak to your builder about whether you can add in recessed shelving in the shower to hide shampoo bottles out of sight. We also love a secret cupboard hidden behind an ordinary looking mirror that contains storage within the walls!