How To Build A Better Bathroom

Renovating your bathroom is probably on the wish list of every person's home improvements. A bathroom refresh can not only modernise your home but also add sizeable value to your property. Yet, it's important to get it right and create a bathroom which functions for your lifestyle as well as looking fantastic. From avocado coloured corner bathtubs of the 1970s to today's trend in walk-in showers, bathroom fashion and be confusing and a tricky path to navigate if you don't know what you're doing, so having the right advice so you can avoid costly renovations is incredibly important.

DRAW UP A PLAN

First of all, begin drawing your existing bathroom floor plan and then take the time to think about what you don’t like about it. Make a list - decide what can you live with, and what has to go and finally, your budget. Measure up the room and figure out the plumbing system you have under those floorboards and behind those walls. This may need a professional to take a look but knowing the parameters of your plumbing will be a factor in deciding if this needs to be altered in any way to accommodate a new design. Once everything is checked, the fun part starts: you can start playing with the layout. Do you want to strip out and start from scratch or just improve what you already have with new finishes, colours and materials?

WHO USES BATHROOM?

Is it a family bathroom, an en-suite, or a guest bathroom? A family space will need a bigger bath and a lot more storage, also recessed mirrors are great for this too and provide a much neater overall look - an essential requirement for a busy overused room in the home. Consider wall-mounted toilets and vanity units for smaller bathrooms, as they will make your bathroom feel much bigger with the additional exposed floor space. A well-designed ensuite bathroom will usually have an element of luxury about them, so consider a walk-in shower or a free-standing bathtub, recessed alcoves for your toiletries inside your shower.

REDECORATION OR REMODELLING?

Having your design layout means you have the basic skeleton to your new bathroom, so the next step is to create a more functional space. You could install a variety of additional appliances:

  • Underfloor heating

  • Heated towel rail

  • Built-in storage

Remember, transforming your bathroom with these new features will add significantly more costs and possibly require the relocation of the plumbing system, so talk this through in advance with your plumber or interior designer.

MATERIALS

There is an infinite number of choices when it comes to materials. It's hard for marble or marble look tiles to go out of fashion as it's such a classic look and the height of luxury for many. If you are looking for something more contemporary then book-matched slabs on your bathroom walls are incredibly popular right now, as the material creates a natural work of art with an explosion of colour and texture. Concrete is also a very versatile material, as you can use it everywhere: floor, walls, countertop, basin, walk-in shower. Mix it with wood and white ceramic and you can achieve a modern yet timeless look. We are currently using this material for our Docklands project. The advance of new technology and printing techniques has made the impossible possible. You can now use wallpaper in a bathroom, even on the shower walls! This is a great opportunity to introduce bold and colourful prints and make your bathroom unique and personal. A great example of this was the recent bathroom interior we designed in Stratford.

CHOOSING METALWARE

Choosing materials for the tap fixtures, exposed plumbing, bath/shower mixers, and console sink vanity units is important as they can make or break the appearance of your interior. If you shop as much as I do, you can't help but notice gold and brass are everywhere and will continue to make an appearance next season. If you're looking for an alternative to this metal material though, you could opt for the very popular gunmetal and pewter which we're currently using for our Earl's Court project. These aren't matte black as they have a brass quality about them and certainly not as boring as chrome, and these finishes will give depth and tactile quality to your fixtures.

ADDING FURNITURE

The final element to your bathroom will be the furniture. Linear and geometric patterns are here to stay for the next couple of seasons. The illusion of line will make your space feel airier and minimalist.

Round corner mirrors are being used for many contemporary bathroom designs. We recommend matching the mirror's frame with the tap fixtures to complete the minimalist look. A freestanding bathtub must be the goal of many people's ideal bathroom. These are perfect if you have a decent size bathroom, though practically an equally luxurious addition is a walk-in shower with clear glass, which has the added bonus of making your space feel bigger.

Your bathroom is your sanctury. Invest in the room during the design process and it will return the favour and pamper you right back when you get to use it. Have you renovated your bathroom recently? We'd love to hear about your bathroom renovation experiences.

Love Omar x

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