Wash This Space

by - May 30, 2016

It’s said bathrooms sell houses but even if you’re planning to stay the distance in your current home it makes sense to get the bathroom absolutely right. After all, it’s one of the most used rooms in your home.

On the surface, bathrooms seem simple and formulaic — shower, vanity, basin and, if there’s space, a bath and toilet. Not much room for error there, right? Well, as reality TV renovation shows have taught us, there’s plenty to consider when designing your dream bathroom.

“Layout is a really important factor when designing your bathroom,” explains Mojo Homes interior design Sandra Lockhart. “Where will the toilet go? Is there enough room to dry off when I step out of the shower? What am I looking at when sitting on the toilet?”

“The most important thing to consider is who will be using the bathroom,” says Tradelink national selection centre manager Eamon Lowe. “The layout, the fixtures and fittings should be tailored to the people who are going to use it. If there will be several people using the bathroom at a time perhaps think about twin shower heads, two basins, and space- saving features such as wall-hung toilet and vanity.”

A bathroom with hidden cistern by Reece
Budget is also an important consideration.

“If you’re working to a strict budget, compile a list of ‘must haves’ and a list of ‘lust-haves’,” advises Reece bathrooms business manager Daniela Santilli. “Essentials such as storage and proper ventilation need to be in the budget breakdown, while the inclusion of splurges like a rain shower or heated towel rail may need to be revised when the final costs are completed.”

First things first

Getting the order right is especially important in a wet area like the bathroom where, generally, space is limited and each element of the room heavily relies on the others.

“When selecting your products, start with the largest items first as these can dictate further choices as you layer products from big to small,” says Reece’s Daniela Santilli. “For example, the kind of vanity you select will dictate whether the basin is inset or above counter, which will then influence what kind of tapware you choose. Similarly, the type of bath and its placement will impact the taps and spout you can use.”

The usual sequence of events is: rough in, plumbing, waterproofing, painting/tiling, and installing new fixtures and fittings. However, the order of these may vary depending on your project.

Tile choice

Gone are the days when bathroom tiles were confined to square and white. While white is still a popular choice, patterned and textured tiles are adding interest to otherwise neutral spaces. Trends to watch are hexagonal-shaped tiles and mosaics which work well in a small feature wall or around the vanity.

A bathroom tile mosaic features on last year's season of The Block

Lighting that works

“Well-planned lighting is essential in a bathroom – it should never be an added afterthought,” says Tradelink’s Eamon Lowe. “Ideally there should be both ambient and task lighting — ambient for bathing and showering, and task lighting near the vanity and mirror for grooming.”

The bathroom in the Nova display home by Mojo Homes
Lockhart suggests keeping all your different lights on separate switches for the ability customise each bathroom experience.

First published Home Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2015

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