Building a better bathroom

Modern bathrooms need to do double duty as a hardworking functional space and a serene sanctuary that’s ideal for relaxing. Get the best of both worlds with a bathroom design that’s beautiful and practical.


Often the smallest room in the house, we expect our bathroom to be well organised to make our morning routine flow smoothly but comfortable enough to make bathing or showering a luxury experience. Follow these tips to get the balance right for your bathroom design.

Location and flow

The first thing you need is a floor plan with everything in the right place. Start with windows and doors to give you the best access to your entry/exit and available light. Having your vanity positioned closer to the door improves traffic flow at peak times and, if space allows, install a generous double vanity to keep jostling for toothbrushes and soap to a minimum. You can also avoid bathroom battles by making space for a second toilet or powder room nearby.

There are standard measurements to bear in mind when planning the relative position of your bathroom elements. Do your homework and allocate the right amount of space from the toilet to the wall and hang towel rails within easy reach of your shower or tub.

Dial the lighting up and down  

By installing spotlights and a dimmer switch, you can boost lighting levels for good visibility and take them down for a more subdued mood. For stronger lighting around vanities and mirrors, pendants are becoming more popular in bathrooms. Combine these with lighting strips installed under cabinets or for inset shelves and you can easily switch between mood and task lighting. Remember to check with your supplier or installer that fittings are suitable for wet area use.

Finish and colour

To keep your bathroom looking beautiful, choose finishes that are easy to clean. Look for semi-gloss or gloss paints for walls and ask your supplier for mould resistant options. Also bear in mind that bigger tiles mean less grout to clean. Larger tiles are often a better option for smaller bathrooms and continuing the same tiles from the floor to the wall creates the illusion of more space.

There are a whole range of tiles to look at, from ceramic and porcelain to encaustic cement and natural stone and the colour choices are endless. Be careful to choose a colour and surface combination that makes the most of natural and artificial light. A white and highly reflective tile may be a good neutral option for your bathroom design but with too much light, you’ll get a dazzling and disorienting effect.

Storage and accessories

Continue the balance when deciding on the finishing touches for your bathroom. Focus on practical things like heated towel rails for easy access to warm, dry towels, include plenty of hidden storage for keeping clutter at bay and then add some plants, candles and a feature stool next to the tub for keeping a cuppa or glass of wine handy as you bathe.

Disclaimer:

The information in this section has been prepared as general information only without consideration for your particular investment objectives, financial circumstances or particular needs. Read the full disclaimer.