In the world of interiors, Autumn always signals a new beginning. People up and down the country take stock of their homes and decide if it’s time for a change. We were delighted to be part of the recent London Design Festival which was awash with designers, suppliers and artisans showing their new collections for AW19. New tiles, sanitaryware and inspirational finishes for bathrooms were particularly in evidence so, in case you’ve decided yours is in need of a revamp, we thought it timely to give you our 6 top tips for creating the perfect place to bathe.
Your bathroom is likely to be one of the most frequently used spaces in your home as well as (possibly) the smallest so it’s essential that it functions effectively. The type of sanitaryware you choose will depend on who’s going to use the bathroom but the position of items such sinks, WCs and mirrors needs to provide sufficient space for occupants to move around comfortably.
A family bathroom with probably need a bath as well as a shower and even, where space allows, double sinks. A children’s bathroom might only need a bath but with taps that have a shower attachment for hair washing. A shower will probably be sufficient in a guest bathroom.
It’s essential to establish the location of existing services in your bathroom such as water and drainage. Assuming they’re fit for purpose, work with them where they are as it’s costly to change their position.
Imagine using your new bathroom in the depths of winter and on the hottest summer day. Regardless of whether you’re using underfloor heating, towel rails or radiators, make sure there is sufficient heating to make the bathroom a welcome sanctuary on the coldest day. An electric towel rail has the benefit of operating independently from the heating system and can be used all year round to keep towels dry. And if you’re lucky enough to have an open fireplace in your bathroom, think of it more as a decorative feature than a heating source!
Good ventilation is equally important. All bathrooms should have an electrically operated extractor fan that switches on with the lights and is vented through a wall or ceiling to the exterior of your home.
It’s easy to underestimate how much storage you need in a bathroom. Think carefully of all the items you will need to stow away - medicines, cleaning materials, extra toiletries, towels etc etc. You will find that some items can be placed behind a mirror or in a vanity unit but sometimes a bespoke solution is the best option to make the most of the space available. Use open shelving judiciously and only for towels or attractive items. Rows and rows of toiletries on display make a bathroom look cluttered and feel smaller.
Good lighting is absolutely essential in a bathroom. Done well, it will elevate your bathroom beyond the ordinary and create a beautiful sanctuary where you’ll want to spend time. You’ll need effective, day-to-day lighting which tends to be brighter than most other spaces in the home. You’ll also need task lighting, specifically focused around the basin and mirror area. The most effective and flattering way to provide task lighting is via a ceiling light placed above the basin plug hole and wall lights positioned at face level either side of the mirror. You may also wish to include feature lighting perhaps to highlight a focal point.
Almost as important as having sufficient lighting in a bathroom, is having flexible lighting. Your requirements will change throughout the day and the lighting you’ll want when you’re getting ready in the morning will be different from when you’re using it as a spa-like retreat at the end of the day. Make sure therefore that the different types of lighting are on different circuits and that you install dimmer switches for maximum control.
Bathrooms have the potential to make as much impact as any other room in your home. Decide what you want your eye to be drawn to as you enter and choose fixtures or finishes that demand attention. A brightly coloured basin, a dramatic (waterproof) wallpaper, or scalloped shaped tiles (very on trend!) could be the stars of the show. There’s more affordable choice than ever before.
By their nature, bathrooms are full of hard surfaces so you’ll want to introduce elements (beyond towels) that soften the feel of the space. Plants are good for this as long as you choose wisely. Spider plants, peace lilies and most ferns will thrive on the humidity of a bathroom. Some such as snake plants will also purify the air and all greenery will increase your connection with the outdoors, improving your sense of well being.
A beautiful window treatment will soften as well as complete any bathroom. The style of the space and the amount of room available will determine whether you opt for curtains or blinds. At Stitched we recommend fabrics with a high wool content for bathrooms as wool is a naturally water repellent fibre. Fabrics from our Wool, Flax and Upcycled Silk ranges make perfect blinds or curtains. Roller blinds are also a good option and we offer 15 colours in blackout as well as our classic transparent fabric. You could also opt for our Revive fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, in a range of beautiful colours.
Start planning your new bathroom today and explore our bathroom-friendly fabrics