When it comes to design, the bathroom is often last in the queue for attention. It’s a shame because this little room is probably the first place that you go after waking up, and it can set your mood for the whole day. It’s also a place where you may like to relax at the end of the day in a hot bath. Shouldn’t a room like this look appealing? Good bathroom design is easier than you might think, even if you’re on a budget.
More than just functional
If you have a small bathroom, the chances are that your main focus has been on fitting everything in, leaving you feeling that your design options are very limited. Yet bathrooms deserve to be more than just functional, and there is almost always something else that you can do if you think outside the box. A good starting point is considering that bathroom furniture doesn’t need to take the most common forms that we see. Toilets are available in different widths or heights at no extra cost, making them easier to fit into niches. Basins don’t have to be part of larger units but are available in stand-alone form, freeing up space around them. Baths don’t have to be long but can be square, and are relatively easy to build for yourself once the plumbing is in place, with tiles sealing the interior. You could even use a Japanese-style barrel tub, which takes up a relatively small amount of space and can be very comfortable to sit and soak in.
Walls, floor and ceiling
Decorating the walls, floor and ceiling of your bathroom is easier than ever. A new generation of splash-proof, mould-resistant paints and even wallpapers with similar qualities mean that you can do much more with colour, brightening the place up or adding stylish accents. Tiles are cheaper than ever in real terms, and you can really make an impression with a painted tile border or sheets of mosaic tiles. You can even decorate your own tiles using acrylics (with stencils to help as required). Fully tiling an area and adding a drain means that you don’t need to use a shower curtain or screen, broadening your options. If you have an internal bathroom, remember to use mould-resistant paint on the ceiling so that you don’t run into problems caused by lingering steam.
Windows and lighting
If you have a window in your bathroom, it can make a great feature. Window films mean that you can preserve your privacy without resorting to the old standby of frosted glass, giving you much more creative control. Do away with curtains, which never look good when they’re damp, and fit a set of cheap shutters, which will create a much more open look and which you can paint in any colour that you like. Add some plants to the window sill for a fresher look – they’ll love the extra moisture. Where artificial lighting is concerned, diode bulbs are fantastic. They rarely need to be replaced, which makes them a more practical option for sealed light fittings, and if you choose the right ones, you can adjust the colour of light that they give out so that you can have bright light to wake you up in the mornings and a warm, soft, relaxing light in the evenings.
Bathrooms don’t need to be boring, but because of the issue with dampness, many people hesitate to bring decorations into them at all. In fact, there are all sorts of things that you can do. Because many people like to stick with watery themes, seashells are a favourite – after all, they’re designed to get wet – and they can be built into things such as mirror frames. Waterproof stickers are a simple way to brighten up tiled walls, even over the bath, but you can also get your local copy shop to laminate just about any picture – for instance, you can have your children’s artwork on the walls. Properly glazed and sealed paintings in metal or glass frames (often cheap in charity shops) are an alternative option, giving the room a touch of class. As long as you anchor it so that it won’t slide around, you can use pretty much any kind of rug on the floor – just hang it up to air when it gets damp.
Getting creative with your bathroom can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Even if all you do is repaint it, you’ll be amazed by how much better it can look. It will then transform from being a merely functional room to a room that you really enjoy.