Design your dream bathroom like a pro
A bathroom needs to be much more than a place you go to carry out your morning routine. It needs to be a space where you can unwind in the evenings, as well as wake yourself up for a busy day. A place that is somehow simultaneously relaxing and invigorating — and ideally, beautiful.
But just what do you need to know to create the bathroom that is perfect for you? It’s not an exact science, but here’s a few tips and tricks taken from the pros to help you on your way to designing the bathroom of your dreams...
Look for the products you want
This is perhaps the best way to start, whether you work with an interior designer or go it alone. Take a look in magazines, catalogues, online and even in the backgrounds of tv shows to find bathroom fixtures and fittings you adore.
Whether you want a waterfall tap or a clawfoot bathtub, compile a mood board of all the products you like, and see if they go on sale to save you money. Remember, that members of the trade can get exclusive discounts on products, so it is worth seeing if your builder/plumber can source you the same items cheaper.
Sort out your layout
When it comes to bathrooms, above all else you need to get the optimal layout for the room right in order to create a spacious feeling of space with a sense of flow.
Homeowners often assume that the existing layout of the bathroom is the best one, and therefore when they replace their bathroom suite it should all stay in the same place. There are two reasons why this isn't the case.
Firstly, it just plain might not be. Bathroom layout may not have even been one of the original developers' main concerns when your home was being built (especially if you live in an older property where the bathroom was installed after its construction). And secondly, even if your bathroom is in the best layout for its existing fixtures, the old ones might have different dimensions from the new appliances you’re installing — a smaller sink and a larger bath could mean that the existing layout would wreck the flow of the room, making it feel cramped and claustrophobic.
Don’t be afraid of drastically moving things around, it might mean some extensive reworking of the plumbing, but it could vastly improve the flow of the room and even buy you a considerable amount of useable space. Making do with just a shower in the ensuite? Speak to an expert who might be able to rejig the whole room to allow you to fit in a tub/shower combo.
A great way to try and perfect your layout from the very start is to use a piece of computer aided design (CAD) software. Check out this free and easy to use online version. You just need to take a few measurements of the room to get cracking.
It also provides a 3D view, to help you picture exactly what your new bathroom will look like when it's completed!
Think about the colour scheme
Consider the room’s colour scheme. Bathrooms are trickier than most other rooms because of the variety of colour options available for the different components of the room. You may have a certain shade of paint in mind for the wall, have found some beautiful textured tiling, and already have purchased a ‘must-have’ coloured marble bathtub. But put all these colours together and it could spell disaster, it could make for a room you can’t bear to look at.
Before you get to purchasing and fitting, get some swatches and samples so you can try and piece together an overarching colour scheme you love.
Finally, you need to get the lights right
Nobody wants a bathroom that’s too dim in the morning, or eye burningly bright in the evening. There are strict building regulations in bathrooms surrounding what types of lights you can use.
To avoid this hassle, homeowners often just go for one bright central ceiling light, or a set of recessed lights, that illuminate the whole room whenever they’re on.
This type of lighting may be good for waking up in the morning in the bustle of getting ready for work, but makes it hard to unwind in the bath in the evening, and makes a midnight trip to the bathroom a bit of an ordeal.
Happily, it doesn’t need to be this way. Providing you follow the IEE regulations concerning bathroom zones you can even have ambient lighting inside your bathtub! You could also add mood lighting around the room, in addition to the bright overhead task lighting many of us make do with. Speak to a qualified electrician about just what your options are.
One last note...
While bathrooms can be tricky to perfect. Many homeowners don’t realise how easy it really is to achieve getting the bathroom of their dreams, it just needs some careful planning beforehand to ensure you know exactly what you want. Follow these steps and your renovation is sure to be a success.