It was once a pure practical space; a room where one went to answer nature’s call and nothing more. But today, the modern bathroom has become a personal oasis and a place of relaxation that’s as privy to visual aesthetics as the living room, bedroom and kitchen.
Yes, many of us are renovating our bathrooms with spa-like pampering and deluxe designs in mind. And let’s not forget how a gorgeous bathroom can influence a home’s resale value.
But whether you want to give your existing bathroom a little makeover or are thinking about a brand-new en-suite, there are certain factors one always needs to keep in mind when planning a bathroom.
And lo and behold, here they are!
Like any project or plan in life, one’s costs need to be in place. And with a good budget planned from the start, it’s easier to prioritise where to spend and where to save.
The great thing for those who are seeking a bathroom with a spa vibe is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – simply invest in one striking piece (like a free-standing tub which can be bought for under £500) and show it off against a more budget-friendly backdrop.
But keep practicality (and your family size) in mind – you may need to invest in a larger water tank, a double sink design, etc.
What are your key priorities when planning a bathroom? A spa-style sanctuary complete with rainfall shower head? Or simply extra storage space and maybe an extra toilet to add more functionality to your household?
Let your needs guide you to the kind of design your new bathroom will require. A spa-like bathroom will undoubtedly go for neutral and earthy colour palettes with wooden surfaces, for instance.
Don’t change your existing bathroom layout just for the sake of changing it. If it works well as is, whey spend extra costs on changing water pipes, etc?
For a quick facelift, opt for replacing fittings, floor tiles, or repainting walls. And to gain a bit of extra space without tearing down walls, you can always re-change doors or fit in sliding ones.
If you do want to change the layout, however, always measure your bathroom carefully. Take note of all doors, windows and pipes. And it couldn’t hurt to visit a local bathroom showroom for advice (and gain inspiration).
Finally, keep in mind how your needs will change in the future. Those kiddies will grow up and move out. You may require a bathtub instead of shower one day (or vice versa). You may even plan on selling your home, in which case a bath will have broader appeal.
The sooner you have a design style in mind when planning a bathroom, the better. Scour homify’s range of bathrooms for ideas, but also look at interior design magazines and bathroom showrooms to see what’s trendy.
If possible, start a mood board with ideas on how you want your new bathroom to look. It’s much easier showing a mood board to someone (like a professional bathroom designer) than trying to express your vision in words.
What’s the point of dreaming about his-and-hers sinks or a walk-in shower if there’s no space? The harsh reality is that these features are not possible in most UK bathrooms.
Be realistic about your bathroom’s legroom. Never try to cram in fittings, as it will only result in a cluttered look. Instead, research products that will help you make the most of your square meterage, such as wet-room style showers or Japanese-style square tubs.
In keeping a bathroom’s practicality in mind, don’t overlook ventilation, especially with furniture, for condensation can seriously damage wood. A single open window is not enough.
Besides, what’s the use of a brand-new bathroom that’s damp and rotten? Ventilation becomes even more crucial with en-suites placed close to the bedroom. Always make the room well ventilated, as you certainly don’t want steam flowing in to the bedroom. And always try to make your extraction as soft as possible.
Any successful bathroom requires decent storage space – and no, a single floating shelf won’t cut it. Toiletries never display well, nor does it look good if shampoo bottles and liquid soaps are taking up valuable floor space. For a super smart buy, invest in a substantial vanity with space for extra towels.
And don’t overlook the tried-and-tested features that are mirrored cabinets – they’ve been around so long for a reason.
For additional storage potential, we recommend niche storage in the walls to help store bottles discreetly in the shower.
The lighting of your en-suite bathroom should be considered carefully – you don’t want bright lights glaring while you’re trying to sleep, do you?
We recommend layered lighting. That way, any late-night trip to the bathroom can be met with low-level lighting without waking up others (or yourself) too much. Some of the lighting could even be operated by a motion sensor, cancelling out the need to fumble around for a light switch.
Next up: working with your bathroom’s décor. See these 9 easy bathroom decor ideas anybody can do.