Everyone has a different idea about what makes the perfect bathroom. Some love to wallow in a deep steamy bath, others would rip the tub out in a heartbeat and replace with a gigantic walk through shower. Some yearn for a calming oasis whilst others go Insta crazy over pattern and colour. Whatever floats your bathtime boat, there are some advice which helps in most spaces and I was happy to pop over some Moregeous tips to Heritage Bathrooms after they spotted their Dorchester loo in our Cabin cloakroom and loved the space.
We’ve almost finished the main bathroom and guest ensuite here and just have our master bedroom ensuite to go. Making decisions is so hard isn’t it, there’s SO much choice out there. You know what I think the trick is, decide on your own look and then avoid Instagram like the plague 😉
Who am I kidding, like any of you could do that! Here’s some of my tips for achieving the perfect bathing sanctuary….
Traditional V Contemporary Style
A new bathroom is an investment and one with is classically styled fittings will always endure, however be assured, traditional certainly need not mean old fashioned. In my period home the classic bathroom pieces are given a twist and the spaces brought bang up to date with the interior styling : paint colours, feature tiling and even wallpaper can ensure a modern feel and can be changed more easily and affordably than sanitary ware.
Talking of wallpaper, this is a huge trend for bath or cloakrooms for 2017 and I think it’s one set to grow in popularity. Wallpaper adds personality and pattern, plus is so easily changed and totally transforms a room. There’s no excuse not to explore your wild side and be brave. Yes, that’s is the ceiling of my monochrome bathroom, I’m in the jungle when I shower!
Really think about who uses the space and how it’s used before any work starts or products are bought, I can’t stress enough that planning is key for a great bathroom. For one not used by children is a bath necessary or would a huge shower area be better? Larger or even double sinks are increasingly popular and can often be designed in with some clever thinking. Ask your plumber what’s possible in your home before designing your dream space as there are many practicalities to consider, especially where the loo can go.
Who wants messy shampoo bottles and bathroom paraphernalia cluttering surfaces in their newly designed retreat? No-one that’s who. Clever bathroom designers always factor in storage. Hide it in alcoves, behind doors, in wall cabinets and under the sink. The smart money is currently on beautiful vintage items which add warmth and character, and can often be bought for a song, just needing a little TLC. My ensuite drawer shelves are not only the cutest things but are also super practical.
All you InstaFans will know that zoned areas mean picture perfect bathrooms. Using heavily patterned or feature tiles to highlight a specific area in the bathroom and gives amazing visual impact. Try highlighting the area around a free standing bath or even a tiled ‘rug’ in the middle of a room. Going bold with graphics is both very now and also very heritage so don’t be afraid to pick a pattern you love.
The one thing people often forget about in a bathroom is good lighting and it amazes me how it can be an afterthought. Bright overheads are vital in family bathrooms but also think about dimmable wall lighting for relaxing bath times and directional LED lights over mirrors for cut-free shaving and perfect make-up. My tip – look at soft industrial or traditional external lighting, which is IP rated but a tad cooler than a lot of the bathroom lighting on the market.
For decades, British bathrooms have featured chrome, chrome and, yes, chrome, but all that has changed. The trend for warmer metallics such as brass, copper and antique bronze has crossed the pond from the US and we now have a plethora of shades at our fingertips, across taps, showers and accessories. Never before has there been so much choice. My tip? Don’t be tempted to buy internet import cheap as the quality is poor, whereas good quality fittings won’t let you down.
Create A Bathing Oasis
Bathrooms are quite marvellous places to feature house plants as not only does all the warm damp air makes them grow like triffids but there’s something wonderfully relaxing about having natural beauty as a calm backdrop. Try cacti on a sunny window sill, steam loving ferns in hanging baskets or a powder room palm adding height and lusciousness.
One often forgotten details for bathrooms is the tiling grout and builders rarely take the time to match up and work out the best colours for the tiles. There are several manufacturers out there and choosing the most complementary shade is a details often overlooked. Consider also using a contrasting colour such as dark grey with white tiles, and investing in an epoxy rather than cement grout which won’t develop those ugly mould spots which sometimes appear in a well used showering space. Also match your sealant to the grout for a seamless look
Who doesn’t adore the look of sumptuous marble? With all the new size formats and designs in tiling, this material can deliver a traditional or a contemporary look equally well. Rectangles, subways, herringbones or hexagons, the world is your marble oyster. For those who don’t want the faff of constant maintenance (and yes, it does stain and water mark), try the amazing porcelains which today’s photographic technological advances ensure look pretty much as good as the real thing without any aftercare.