Bathrooms over the years have evolved from being purely utilitarian to now being a space where form meets function. A functional, beautifully designed bathroom is a desire of every homeowner. After all, it is one of the most important rooms in a house. Ablutions aside, it’s your sanctuary, it’s where you find inspiration, and it’s where you begin and end each day.
The bathroom, however, can also be one of the most challenging rooms to design. Coordinating the aesthetics with functional elements to create a cohesive design can be tricky in any room, let alone the smallest room in the house, often with weird angles.
Consider these essentials for a successful bathroom design:
Safety is not usually the primary thing that comes to mind when homeowners think of a remodelled bathroom. Yet the bathroom is one of the commonest places for injury in the home. When making choices for the room, think safety first. Slip-resistant flooring in and outside the shower is readily available in various colours, designs and textures. If you are thinking long term, then consider grab bars and bath chairs.
Don’t neglect privacy in a bathroom. Windows are great for sunlight and serene views, but they offer little privacy from prying eyes. Shutters and shades are ideal for private moments.
The four main components of a bathroom’s layout are the shower/tub, vanity, toilet and door. If you plan on changing your existing layout, carefully consider the space you are working with and decide on the placement that best suits the space and satisfies your needs. Also, consider the placement of storage cabinets and plumbing. If possible, try to keep the existing layout, as moving fixtures around may spiral remodelling costs.
Functionality is a key feature in a bathroom design, and it should take precedence over aesthetics. Functionality largely depends on a homeowner’s lifestyle and how space is to be utilized. In a small family that prefers showers to baths, you may think there is no point in including a tub. Bear in mind, however, that a tub is essential for a home’s resale. You may opt instead for a smaller tub and a more luxurious shower.
Multiple bathroom storage options are a must to keep the space clutter-free and organized. Clutter detracts from a bathroom’s look and feel. Vanities work well for extra towels and knick-knacks. Use drawers to hide toiletries and makeup. Mirrored bathroom cabinets are great for toothbrushes and medication.
For smaller bathrooms, be creative with storage solutions. Utilize open shelving and hanging storage units for items like your scented candles.
Lighting is an important contributor to how a bathroom functions and looks. Utilize sunlight where possible, and layer lights to ensure that all your lighting needs are met. Ambient lighting illuminates the room and creates mood, task lighting allows you to perform tasks such as putting in your contact lenses and applying your makeup, and accent lighting can be used to highlight your décor and design elements.
Never place downlights directly above mirrors as they cast shadows, making it difficult to perform tasks. Instead, lights should be placed at the side of mirrors on the vanity. You may also want to include dimmable lights or lights triggered by motion sensors for late-night trips to the bathroom.
Technology is no longer only found in our living rooms and kitchens. More and more, it’s finding its way into our bathrooms. There is a host of options from which to choose to enhance the function and utility of this room. Technology installed in toilets is used to keep the seat warm and open the lid with a motion sensor. Infrared sensors in faucets turn them on and off, and timers determine how long they are turned on for tasks like brushing teeth. Towel warmers heat towels for that spa-like effect.
Most bathrooms are naturally humid. Adequate ventilation is necessary to keep the space odour-free, hygienic and free of mold and its ill effects. In-line fans, window vents and extractor fans (especially important in bathrooms without windows) can be used to ventilate the room. A lack of ventilation can result in structural damage to your home.
A successful bathroom design must result in a space that meets your needs as well as that of your family. Working with a designer can increase your chances of success.
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