Seven Essential Steps to Planning the Perfect Bathroom

Regardless of what’s new in bathroom design, a bathroom that kicks off your day with both time-saving thoughtful convenience and uplifting décor takes some careful planning. You need to get some fundamental elements in place to elevate your bathroom from functional to fantastic. Not as complicated as it sounds; just follow our helpful bathroom planning guide for tips, ideas and inspiration.

1. So What Do You Do in There?

Minimalist bathroom

Beautiful bathrooms, whether a remodel or a full overhaul, start with an overarching theme that can marry your practical needs with a unified and coherent design. Bathrooms get the most traffic in the early morning and in the evening; think what your needs are at each time. Are there five of you that need a quick powerful shower pre-work or school? Someone who works long days who dreams of sliding into a low lit tub? Do you need to wash a wriggly toddler’s hair or need special access to the shower? Always start with how you actually live when planning a bathroom, or your imaginary space might not fit your real life needs.

2. Styles & Themes 

Modern, contemporary or traditional, all bathrooms need functional hardware so it’s better to work with this basic premise. A traditional bathroom or one with a country feel, may work better with sanitary ware with Edwardian styling or Art Deco shapes (a big trend for 2016) rather than a basic sink with a flowery valance. Modern bathrooms can have a more hard-edged feel with lots of glass, engineered wood or brushed steel, but they will still need some natural touches (such as stone) to stop them feeling more hospital than hospitable. Floor to ceiling windows here can also bring the outside in, with perhaps the addition of some privacy-affording vertical blinds to protect ones modesty.

3. Colours 

The core bathroom colour that never seems to go out of style is, of course, white – a colour associated with cleanliness in almost everyone’s mind. However the 2016 Dulux colour of the year Cherished Gold (a burnished yellow hue) has filtered through adding a soft quirkiness, whilst other big colour schemes include black and white (great on tiling) and a yearning for some high glamour through materials such as copper and brass, great for adding a glitzy jewellery feel.

4. Walls & Flooring 

Bathroom tiles are no longer just workaday solutions. The trend for renovation with ambition has given the humble tile a makeover with pattern and texture, from the return of reclaimed traditional encaustic to jewelled mosaic floor tiles and wall tiles made of marble hexagons. Match with slated wooden shutters in a dark wood finish to add contrast, luxury and texture.

5. Showers, Baths & Sinks

white freestanding bath

Think outside the box when it comes to bathroom shower ideas. Literally. The days of designs limited to shower cubicles are long gone, with rain showers from the ceiling over large baths with floors that run away to a central drain meaning glass panels are a thing of the past. As well as rethinking the physical boundaries, rethink materials: stone baths, brass taps or cement walls can be used sparingly as a focus to great effect.

6. Natural & Task Lighting

Bathroom lighting has many jobs to do. It needs to feel fresh and clean to get that zing in your step every morning, have ability to wind you down each night or make it easy and glamorous to primp for date night. Try and see daylight and electric light as one scheme in the planning stages, rather than just replacements for one another. Top down/bottom up blinds or window blinds that can filter light can be used with spot light fixtures, ceiling lights or vanity lights to change the look and feel during the days and changing seasons. (You’ll need to supplement your sunlight on dark winter mornings, but it will possibly need filtering on full summer sun mornings.) Privacy is also key here, so look to control the light as well as the visibility rather than plump for a standard waterproof roller blind (although these can be great, affordable and tight-space solutions for small spaces).

7. Furniture & Accessories

Bathroom furniture is no longer about standard wipe down cupboards. Convert old wooden drawer units to a washbasin stand or take a tip from modern kitchen design storage and use deep drawers so you can stand products upright. Open shelves with more attractive storage such as vintage tins or glass jars in varying sizes can add interest to a plain scheme. (Just remember whatever you put on those shelves will most likely be exposed to moisture.) Try sinking storage into your wall where you need it, such as above the sinks or in the shower; an easy to clean and stylistically smart solution. 

Planning a bathroom and looking for that perfect window treatment? Take a look at our Duette® Shades for added sound and heat insulation and varying transparencies which you can mix and match.


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