Our aim, when designing a bathroom should be to make this space both functional and stylish; it should be a welcoming space that invites you to leave the stresses of the day behind, yet be practical enough to meet the demands of a busy family life.
Before you can begin adding your own unique touches, there are a few key design decisions to be made:
Assess your needs
Your bathroom is a space that will be used by you and your family every day, so let your needs act as a starting point for your design. Think of the space as it is now and what you want your design to accomplish. What do you like about this room and what’s missing? Is there enough surface space and storage? Think about how many people use this bathroom daily – a guest bathroom will have different needs to the master bathroom you use to get ready every morning, so take that into consideration too.
Decide your style
Knowing the kind of style you’re going for will help you pull together an inviting space. For a Chic look, choose natural finishes and materials: wood, taupe, neutrals, stone colours and plenty of textured bath linens will help you create a calm, relaxed atmosphere. If you want the elegance and impact of a luxury hotel, choose materials such as marble, mirror and glass to pull the look together. For a more contemporary, Urban space, choose a monochrome palette and emphasise clean architectural lines. Look for high gloss finishes in black or white, using colourful accessories to create contrast.
Focus on lighting
Lighting is one of the most important elements in your bathroom and can transform your space from cool and sterile to warm and inviting. The right combination of ambient, task and accent lighting will help you create atmosphere but also provide the light you need for more precision tasks like shaving or applying makeup. Recessed or down lights are an excellent ambient light solution in bathrooms that are awkwardly shaped or don’t benefit from good natural light. Putting your overhead lighting on a dimmer also makes it easy to adjust the levels of light for different tasks – brighter for your morning rituals or softer for an evening soak in the bath. You want to look your best when you look in the mirror and need good light to perform daily tasks. Avoid placing a light directly above the mirror – this will throw too much light at your forehead and cast shadows under the eyes and chin. Instead, place task lights on the wall to either side of the mirror or choose a mirror that has lighting built in so light can shine on you directly from the front. Use a lightbulb that offers natural white light, and avoid bulbs that are too warm, which will give off a light that’s too yellow, or too cool, which will give off a tinge of blue.
Pick a colour palette
Finding the right colour palette for the bathroom can be tricky; the size and shape of your bathroom and amount of natural light it receives will all have an impact on how colour is perceived in this space. Choosing white or a very light colour might seem a practical choice to help brighten up a small, dark bathroom, but it can also make the space seem bare and sterile. Don’t be afraid of colour – using rich tones can help create a calm, intimate space that feels welcoming rather than dark or closed off. Neutral colours also work well in this space, and will provide some depth while still creating a relaxed atmosphere.
How you layout your bathroom will depend on whether you’re undertaking a major renovation or simply looking to update your space. Because so many of your bathroom features are fixed in place, getting the layout right is all about maximising space to feel organised and streamlined rather than cluttered.
Making sure everything in your bathroom has a rightful place will help your space look clean, stylish and welcoming. Consider the storage you have now; are dozens of products lined up around the sink or on the floor of your shower? Do your towels get in the way? Rather than just one storage solution, use a combination to keep all your possessions organised and accessible. A magazine rack near the bath, shelves for your favourite candles, bottles of fragrance and accessories and drawers or cabinets to hide away medicines and other hygiene items will help ensure you have everything to hand when you want it.
More often than not when we come to update our bathroom the major fittings – shower, bath, sinks, and toilet – will remain as they are unless you’re planning a major renovation. Focusing on the smaller fittings can have just as big an impact. Cabinets, towel rails, mirrors, lighting fixtures and faucets are all relatively inexpensive to change and can have a transformative effect on the finished design.
Adding the essential finishing touches will transform your bathroom from a room that’s just a shower, sink and a toilet, into a sanctuary. Accessories will help enrich your space and bring your design together, and ensure every time you enter you breathe a deep sigh of relief.
Romantic and relaxing, candles are the perfect bathroom accessories. You can use them to mimic the feel of a luxury spa and create ambience around the bath, or to help fill the space with a subtle, relaxing scent. Leave a tea light or small votive in your guest bathroom to create a welcoming scent and a guiding light.
You can turn your daily shower or bath into a decadent experience and add a touch of spa style to your bathroom simply by choosing the right bath linens. Pick out a few accent colours for your towels, bathrobes and bathmats and choose soft, luxurious finishes like thick Egyptian cotton.
Choose stylish finishes and arrange accessories together on shelves and counters to create an attractive composition of what would otherwise be functional products. Look for finishes that go with your chosen style; frosted glass and chrome are perfect for chic interiors, while bold colours work well for urban designs. White ceramic and leather are perfect to help you achieve a sophisticated, luxurious look.