Get the best from your bathroom

Get the best from your bathroom

When it comes to home improvements the ‘small room’ can be overlooked in favour of the more visible kitchen and lounge, yet a bathroom is used several times a day and often at night too. For many households it provides a sanctuary; the one place you know you won’t be disturbed – if only for five minutes.

The latest trend in bathrooms is to lift the room from the purely functional and put in some pleasure-to-use factor. It’s all about creating a spa-like environment.

There’s nothing to beat a warm shower or a relaxing soak in the tub after a long day; an opportunity to switch off from our eternally ‘connected’ world. Even on a budget it’s not difficult to turn a bathroom into an inviting retreat with just a few affordable tweaks.

Consider your colour scheme to start with. Bohemian style bathrooms with bright patterned tiles and the recent passion for shabby chic with its dollops of pinks and greens will make way for more muted shades in 2014. Pastel paint is the way to go. Lots of bright colour can dominate and make a room appear smaller and cluttered.

Any clutter should be cleared out. Only keep toiletries that you use and get rid of the rest as they only serve to gather dust and will bring your bathroom atmosphere down. Anything that doesn’t belong in the bathroom should also be ejected and everything else should be suitably stored. Again, there are plenty of innovative storage solutions. Look online for inspiration.

Affordable update

New accessories, a soap dish or dispenser, toothbrush holder, toiletries tray and, of course, towels and bath mats are a simple way to give a bathroom an affordable update. It’s the accessories that allow you to stamp your own style on the potentially bland affair that you get with an all-white suite.

Think about mixing and matching product lines too so that you achieve the style that you want. You can also save money this way and make the room more interesting too.

Replacing the taps and showerhead with modern designs and functionality can work wonders. That also goes for cabinet handles, light pulls and switches.

Bringing a bit of nature into the bathroom can work wonders. A single stem in a slim vase looks elegant. Stoneware accessories will continue to be popular and tie in with the trend for natural materials such as wood and basket weaves.

Spas are infused with wonderful relaxing aromas. Create this sensation with an essential oil burner or a group of scented candles placed on a shelf or a space on the countertop.

Lighting is crucial in creating an atmosphere and can make a world of difference to your new décor. Keep fittings in line with your style scheme and if you have a small space use a good sized mirror to open it up.

If you can stretch to a complete bathroom makeover, study the market carefully as design has come on a pace, even in the last year. It’s now easy to create the kind of bathroom that you’d find in a top notch hotel.

Design and planning

Make use of the design and planning service that many bathroom suppliers and fitters provide. A suite plays a big part in determining the style of your bathroom as well as being the biggest outlay. This year it’s out with angular shapes and in with contouring and rounded fluid lines that feel more relaxing.

A wet room has become a popular and fashionable alternative to the traditional bathroom suite. This design has the boon of allowing easy use of a shower chair or stool; very useful for those with limited mobility.

Whatever you decide, investing in your bathroom will pay divides, adding value to your home as well as providing a pamper zone.