There was a time, not so long ago, when bathrooms were nobody’s decorating priority; when they lay neglected and unloved with their terrible 70s suites and peeling wallpaper. But how times change. Bathrooms are now as big a design focus as any other part of the home—and for good reason. They’re where we begin and end our day, soak away our cares, and primp and preen for a night on the tiles. So it’s vital this space has a positive impact on our state of mind, as well as being highly functional. But where does one start when planning a modern bathroom? First things first, do some research and decide on the basic fittings and fixtures. Think clean, sleek and timeless designs. Once you’ve settled on the suite, turn your attention to key furniture pieces, lighting and flooring—which materials will work best in the space you have? When it comes to aesthetics, most modern bathrooms stick to a neutral palette, so go with whites, greys and stone-coloured hues. Finally, you’re free to focus on the last-minute touches like mirrors, plants and accessories that’ll make it feel like home.
Picking the right bathroom floor will require some research and planning, so make sure you enlist the help of a professional to guide you through the process—a free consultation is a good place to start. The most important thing to ensure is that your chosen material can withstand damp and humid conditions. Carpet, therefore, is a no-go. Untreated wood will also be a disaster, so it’s best to stick to tried-and tested contemporary options like ceramic tiles or natural stone. These materials can weather spills and drips until the cows come home, and remain a safe bet if you have the space and budget. Other modern favourites are laminates and vinyl. These can mimic marble, granite, wood, mosaic tiles and pretty much any other design you fancy, so they’re a great way to get your desired look without compromising on practicality or cost.
Bathrooms can be inherently tricky to furnish with adequate storage due to the damp conditions and awkward spaces. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible—you’ll just need some strategic thinking if you’re to effectively house all those cosmetics and cleaning products. If there’s an airing cupboard, make the most of the internal space with plenty of shelves. Opt for a vanity with hidden storage if possible, or some in-built shelves alongside the bath or one wall. If you’re still in need of extra space, try a wall-mounted unit or some free-standing shelves.
Now that bathrooms are to be taken seriously in terms of decor and design, lighting them becomes key. Gone are the days when a forlorn ceiling bulb would suffice. Lighting has a huge impact on the feel and functionality of the room, so it’s important you get it right. Whilst primarily a practical space, the bathroom also needs to look good and have a positive impact on your mood. In order to bring yours up to date, opt for ceiling spotlights, recessed strips around the basin or washstand and some smaller, brighter lights around the mirror. Pendant lamps are another winning look, and can be used over the bath or above the vanity or sink. Overall, try to include more than one light source, as this will allow you to adjust the brightness and ambience to your taste.
There’s one important thing to remember when accessorising your modern bathroom—keep it cool, sleek and simple. Chintz and trinkets are out, clean lines and timeless design are in. Once you’ve added some basic storage units, think about those decorative features that’ll make it your own. Will you be needing a shower curtain? If so, this you chance to inject a little flair into the room. The same goes for curtains or blinds, and any (minimal) upholstery you’ll need. Finally, turn your attention to the practical aesthetic details like mirrors, soap dispensers and plants. The more thought you put into these things, the more cohesive the whole look will be.