Over the years, bathrooms have become pampering centres rather than just the ‘smallest room in the house’. But how do you create the perfect bathroom for your lifestyle?
With such a wide range of bathroom designs and styles available on the market today, it’s vital that you decide which of these best suits your individual taste.
When you’re choosing a new bathroom, remember that your ultimate aim is to create a room, which is calm and restful. That’s why most bathroom suites and accessories tend to be in muted colours, with simple lines and curves, which are both pleasing to the eye and relaxing.
The most popular ranges tend to be white or paler shades – particularly for the sanitary ware. White is seen as modern, simplistic and symbolic of purity, so it’s ideal for a relaxing bathroom refuge, but natural materials like wood and stone are also popular for the room as they tend to reflect an ‘earthy’ environment.
That’s not to say, of course, that you can’t go for deeper, more dramatic shades. Rich, dark chocolates and velvety hues warm up a bathroom and create a more enclosed sanctuary, while iridescent and reflective materials, such as pearlised glass tiles and mirrors, will also add to the effect and give a more dramatic feel to the space!
Ah, the old chestnut! The old bath v shower argument has raged for years, but many people now have fabulous examples of both in their bathroom – so they’re spoilt for choice!
Let’s face it – you get the best of both worlds with a bath. At the end of a hard day, nothing quite beats the relaxation of a ‘good soak’ in the bath, while, in the mornings, you can perk yourself up with a cooler, more revitalising nip into the tub.
The bath is generally the central focus of the bathroom and the centre of indulgent relaxation. Choose from a Jacuzzi, a roll-top or claw-foot Victorian, a free-standing copper, or even a rectangular granite bath – there’s a wealth of variety out there!
For sheer decadence, why not opt for a fabulous whirlpool bath? This type of bath can add an extra dimension to your bathing routine by soothing your body and relaxing your mind. Hydrotherapy can also relieve symptoms of back pain, arthritis, rheumatism and varicose veins.
Showers, on the other hand, can provide that perfect ‘quick fix’ at the start or end of the day. From small, traditional showers, to contemporary walk-in enclosures, to luxury steam cabinets, the choice today is amazing. Some of today’s showers are almost like small rooms in themselves and incorporate a variety of jets and sprays, while other people still opt for the more minimalist version.
The European trend for a shower without a curtain or surround is beginning to catch on in Ireland and so, to allow for this, the surrounding area is tiled, with the floor sloping downwards to let the water drain away.
One of the most decadent concepts to hit our bathrooms in recent years is the ‘rain shower’, which takes showering to a whole new level. With a large, fixed shower-head directly above you, you choose the type of ‘rain’ you desire – from light shower to monsoon. The experience is about more than just washing; it seems to be more about going back to nature, cleansing your body and mind. >
Tiles for style
Ceramic tiles are the ‘go to’ tile for many modern homes. And nowhere are they more likely to be used than in the bathroom.
There’s no denying that the tile is beautiful and offers endless opportunities for creativity, but it’s also extremely durable and can withstand a lifetime of abuse. Here are some options for you to think about…
An unglazed tile is basically a fire-hardened clay slab. Examples include quarry tile and terracotta, and colours run from ochre yellow to deep sienna brown.
As the name would suggest, glazed tile has, at some point, received a ‘top coat’. This glaze is a tinted liquid glass that is either brushed, sprayed or poured onto the face of the tile.
Quarry tile is a very rugged, earthy material. Its surface can be glazed, but it’s most often left in its raw, unglazed form. This primarily red-coloured clay tile frequently exhibits dark streaks or marks, which are called ‘flashing’.
Porcelain tile never seems to go out of fashion, does it? That’s partly due to the fact that it is endlessly versatile and virtually indestructible. Some of the more popular styles on the market today imitate silky smooth marble or rugged slate.
Small ceramic and porcelain tiles are commonly referred to as mosaic tiles. These tend to be used on both floors and walls and are available in a range of classic shapes including squares, octagons and circles. They can cover an entire surface or can be simply used as a decorative accent among larger tiles.