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When designing a bathroom, consider skipping the bath entirely and making the shower the hero. After all, it is what we use the most! Simply by choosing the right materials, fixtures and fittings, you can transform an everyday bathroom into a luxury spa, perfect for relaxing and unwinding.
The shower is key to taking your bathroom from so-so to spa. A double walk-in shower with two showerheads is the ultimate indulgence. For this on-trend approach, you’ll need a space of 1600mm x 1000mm. A more comfortable option would be 2000mm x 1500mm. For a single shower with wheelchair access, allow 2200mm x 2000mm. If you have the space, include a built-in bench and a niche for shampoos and soaps.
In a smaller space with one shower, you can create a spa vibe by going big with the showerhead, or try an overhead model with a rainwater-style spray.
The goal is to produce a feeling of pampered wellbeing, so the finishes and fittings you choose should play into this. A neutral palette can help create a calming feel, along with natural (or natural-look) stone such as marble, limestone and travertine. Andy Grigor of Methven also suggests a minimalist look. Think stylised geometric shapes and a simplified colour palette, or a Scandi-style layering of timber touches. Whichever you choose, it should be simple, uncluttered and soothing to look at.
Nicole Budge of Johnson Tiles suggests matching the colour of your grout as closely as possible to the colour of your chosen tile. This not only hides the grout but creates a continuous flow which evokes luxury,” she says.
Frameless glass is the go-to choice for screens, creating a feeling of openness. “You can also make a statement with dramatic floor-to-ceiling glass to add impact,” says Andy. Options include having a glass screen on either side of the shower or a door that slides or folds back. The glass screen here is almost invisible, allowing the eye to travel through the room and enhancing the sense of space.
Consider feeling, function and form when choosing your fixtures and fittings, says Andy. “Select your accessories with complementary shapes to create a cohesive look,” he advises. A double vanity creates a feeling of luxury. However, if space is an issue, a wall-mounted option will visually open up a small space by allowing you to see more of the floor. Wall-hung toilets have a hidden cistern, which conceals the plumbing inside the wall. Also, invest in a heated towel rail – nothing makes you feel pampered like a warm, dry towel!
With a myriad of colours, styles and finishes, tiles are the go-to for any bathroom. For a luxe look and resort feel, think durable stone-effect tiles in soft colours and natural textures. Usually, to make a room appear larger and grand, tiles of a light colour are preferred, not only to open a space up but to make it appear crisp and clean,” says Nicole. “A gloss or polished tile will evoke a high-end, luxurious feel, allowing light to reflect off the tiles. Using the same-design tile on the floor and wall can give the illusion of a larger space and make the room look seamless.”
The flooring of any wet area needs to be considered, adds Nicole. Ensure that what you’re walking on is safe and non-slip.
Balance both the practical and pampering side of the lighting design, says Sharon Breeze of Brilliant Lighting. “For practicality, look at downlights or the new panel LED bathroom exhaust heaters as your main light source, then consider some lovely wall lights or glass pendants hung near the vanity to add to the luxury feel. Ideally on a separate and even a dimming switch,” she says. “These work as both vanity and mood lighting, allowing you to select daylight or warm globes for a relaxed feel.”
Safety tip: Always consult a licensed electrician for the selection, positioning and installation of bathroom lighting and appliances.
Check out our design guide on how to create a bold industrial bathroom.
Photo Credit: Gap Interiors/Alistair Nicholls, Caroma, Alamy Stock Photo and Sue Stubbs.