Whether you’re planning an entirely new bathroom or just want to give yours a bit of a freshen up, the key to success is to be prepared, with a capital P. Knowing your water system, getting tile samples, checking out the different tap finishes on offer…
These are just a few of the essential details that will help you create a bathroom that looks and functions brilliantly for years to come. Get off on the right foot with this list of what not to do.
Don’t discount your lifestyle
Ask yourself a series of questions if you want a smooth-running and efficient bathroom. How do you use the space? Who else uses it? How much time do they spend in there? Will their needs change over time? Asking these questions ahead of a renovation will help you to design an efficient, user-friendly bathroom like this one that will work well for you over the years.
Don’t overlook the floor
Floors are billed as the fifth wall these days – not just a functional afterthought but a chance to pack in some extra decorative clout. A feature floor in the bathroom can make all the difference between an OK room and one with serious design credentials, as shown here. Bold, encaustic-style cement tiles are perfect for adding pattern and personality to an all-white scheme.
Don’t choose incompatible fittings
It’s no good opting for an all-singing, all-dancing power shower with body jets and multi-spray patterns if you don’t have a compatible water system to make it work efficiently.
Seek advice on your water system (is it a combi boiler, gravity fed or pressurised?) from a qualified plumber or bathroom specialist, as this will affect your buying choices. Once you know what your water system can handle, you can choose a high-tech shower system that will work for you.
Don’t forget about finishes
While you might have your heart set on a traditional shower and heritage-style mixer taps, don’t forget to pick the right finish to suit the style of your bathroom and give it added wow factor. Look out for copper, gold and warm metallics for something a bit different. Here, copper fittings add a chic twist to the traditional look.
Don’t buy tiles in haste
Tiles can make or break a bathroom, so it’s wise to take your time when picking out the right colour, size, material and layout. And don’t forget to choose the right-coloured grout too. Decisions, decisions… Larger tiles can make a small bathroom appear bigger, while stone and wood lookalikes made from porcelain look great, but are hard-wearing enough for a busy family bathroom.
You can’t go wrong with simple, rectangular metro tiles, as seen here. They now come in a range of rainbow hues and rustic, crackle-glaze finishes, and can be laid in traditional brick fashion or in a chevron style for a thoroughly modern feel.
Don’t skimp on storage
Even if you’ve purged your toiletries and towels in a bid for a streamlined ‘new you’, storage should still be a priority in your bathroom. You’re sure to acquire more lotions and potions over time, particularly if you have a growing family. A mix of open and closed storage works wonders, as this elegant space demonstrates. You can shut away ugly bathroom necessities and leave pretty toiletries and fluffy, fresh towels on display for all to admire.
Don’t suppress your personality
Bathrooms aren’t just an area to wash and brush your teeth. Considering the amount of time we spend in them, they’re almost becoming extensions of our living areas, so they should echo the style we have in the rest of the house.
Be inspired by this bathroom and don’t be afraid to use rich colour, patterned tiles and bold artwork to create a personality-filled space you’ll love chilling out in.
Don’t make lighting an afterthought
Plan your lighting scheme from the outset – both for usability and to make the space look great. Take your cue from this beautifully lit room and blend efficient task lighting, targeted over specific areas, such as mirrors, with softer, diffused ambient lighting for a relaxed mood. Candles are always a quick-fix mood maker, too, if you want a budget-friendly option.
Don’t miss the magic of mirrors
A bathroom mirror is essential on so many levels. It’s a practical fixture, for sure, but it also has hidden design uses. Whether you plump for contemporary, wall-to-wall mirrors, as seen here, or a giant-sized Venetian glass number, hanging up a carefully chosen mirror can open up a small room, bounce light around the space and add that all-important finishing touch.
Don’t underestimate accessories
Elegant soap dishes, toothbrush holders, vessels and vases will definitely tip your bathroom from run-of-the-mill into something with star quality.
Pick a loose theme and go with it. Opt for sophisticated silver and glass for a boutique hotel-at-home bathroom feel, or go for pretty, floral and distressed for a more vintage vibe. In this room, dark towels and matching accessories create a smart look. It’s your bathroom, so choose something that reflects your style personality, no holds barred.