Lisa Lemon from Oakleys Plumbing offers expert advice to ensure you get the most out of your bathroom – no matter the size
Think of the Tardis from Doctor Who: from the outside it appears to be your average box; but walk inside and it looks and feels like a concert hall. Entering the bathroom is hardly an experience comparable with time travel. However, an average-sized bathroom may be transformed into a spacious, stunning space when you think carefully about the overall layout and positioning of bathroom furniture, as well as colour and lighting and how these tie in with elements like tiles.
Standout products on the market combine sleek aesthetics with clever design to enhance functionality and, most importantly, optimise the space that is available.
The larger your tiles, the larger your room will feel – with less grout interrupting the flow of the space. Smaller 100x100 wall tiles are things of the past, with most tiles today at least 200x600. For walls, 300x600 is preferable, and for floors, 600x600.
COLOUR & LIGHTING
As the bathroom is often used for applying make-up and looking in the mirror, colour plays an important role. Lighter colours will reflect the light and make your space look larger, while dark and contrasting colours will absorb the light, making the room appear smaller. Lighter earthy tones are set to be popular throughout 2017, and beyond, offering longevity in terms of look.
Lighting itself is a very important consideration; and, with the latest LED technology providing excellent levels of light output with lower running costs, it is possible to achieve that perfect balance between aesthetic mood lighting and practical spotlights.
Wall Hung vanities offer great storage, and come in a range of designs: from your classic cabinet with doors and drawers, to single and double drawers. A wall hung unit allows you to achieve a feeling of space in a small bathroom, as the visible floor area extends under the cabinet – which also makes cleaning easier.
More recently, competitively-priced Slim vanity options have entered the market. These units come in standard widths, but the cabinet depth is only 400mm, compared to the standard cabinet depth of 460mm. While still providing good storage space, that 60mm can make a big difference to the overall design of a bathroom.
Ideal for relaxing in at the end of the day, baths continue to be a must for many. Offering an elegant aesthetic and promising luxury, back-to-wall freestanding baths are growing in popularity. Designs like the Athena Contro, which is now offered in right and left options, can be installed in the corner of a bathroom – saving valuable floor space, while providing a spacious, luxurious bathing experience.
Showers such as the Allora and Lifestyle from Athena feature an acrylic tray and frameless glass door. Combined with wall tiling, this type of shower adds a touch a class to the bathroom and augments the sense of space. Sizes range from 900x900 through to 1800x1000. The acrylic tray also saves time and money on installation and maintenance – with no floor levels to worry about, and reduces the risk of leaks.
MIRRORS & STORAGE
A mirror is not only a practical item, but a great way to make a bathroom look and feel larger, as it reflects light around the room. Mirror cabinets also provide storage, without occupying valuable floor space. They come in standard sizes to complement your vanity; they can be surface-mounted, or fully- or semi-recessed into a wall; and they are available in a full range of colours to match the rest of your bathroom furniture.