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Bathrooms are an integral part of home decor, but we seldom pay attention to their design. As we strive to make the most of precious downtime, the importance of bathrooms takes on even greater importance. No longer is the bathroom a left-over space that we need to ‘deal’ with. In fact, bathroom interior design, in modern homes, is one of the most fun and challenging aspects of designing a home. Since the bathroom is such a personal space for each of us, it can present wonderful design opportunities. Infuse your bathrooms and powder rooms with your personal sense of style and charm with these useful design tips and ideas.
Layout is a key factor in your bathroom interior design. Before you even start thinking about stylistic ideas for your bathroom, you need to think about the layout.
Who will use the bathroom? Does your bathroom have a view to the outside that you should capitalize on? Are you going to use your bathroom to apply make-up? Do you envision the bathroom as somewhere to relax or as a place where you can re-energize yourself? A lot of questions to answer, but these answers will help you decide what you need in your bathroom and where you should place them.
A good place to start is by thinking about who will use the bathroom and how it is to be used. A bathroom designed for adults will be very different from one designed for children. If there are two adults using the bathroom or it is a family bathroom, you might need double basins, a tub and a separate shower area with tons of storage. Also, don’t forget about powder rooms and guest bathrooms. These are often used by guests who visit or when you’re having a party, so you definitely need to think about how to make them look attractive. They might have simpler design requirements in terms of layout as they are typically smaller. If cost is a factor, think about your layout in terms of piping and plumbing. Organize bathroom fixtures and fittings to reduce the number of wet walls that you will need to house pipes, drains and vents. This will make for more cost-effective design but might limit where you can put your tubs, WCs and basins.
A well-planned bathroom is a creative combination of materials, finishes, colors and accessories. Your bathroom is your personal space, so don’t hesitate to include items or colors that make a statement about your individual style. Below, we look at the many aspects of bathroom interior design that you need to think about when designing any bathroom in your home.
Once you have decided on the layout of your bathroom, you can then start thinking about its style. What do you want it to look like? Do you want your bathroom to have a spa-like vibe or are you thinking of a more Zen-like feel? There are three broad looks to think about: a period or traditional style, a modern design or a spa-like vibe that will make you feel like you’re in a resort.
A period-style bathroom is one which takes its inspiration from a historical movement. The defining characteristics for this style of bathroom will depend on the era that you are taking inspiration from. For example, an Art-deco bathroom might feature highly polished, mirrored surfaces, bright-colored wall tiles, a sparkling glass or crystal chandelier, and shiny steel or chrome faucets.
Alternately, a Victorian-style bathroom might feature white or pastel-colored wall tiles, an ornate clawfoot pedestal tub with ‘telephone’ style faucets or a shower area with exposed chrome pipes and a rain shower head above.
These bathrooms are fun to design and modern interpretation of these styles can inspire many creative solutions. However, they are best suited within homes that are designed in the same style and would look out of place in a contemporary or modern house.
Spa-inspired bathrooms are designed to melt away the scars of a busy life and hectic schedule. They offer the ultimate in luxury and are designed for soothing relaxation. Hence, spa-inspired bathrooms feature calming neutral wall and flooring colors, soft lighting and candles to indulge and pamper the senses. They achieve a delicate balance between beauty and utility through the use of luxurious tubs, jacuzzis with massaging jets and technology-driven items such as massage mats.
Mix and match cool metals and new age porcelain tiles with natural materials such as wood and stone for a warm, indulgent feeling. Use dimmable lighting to create a soft, warm glow that adds to the relaxing atmosphere.
To add to the ambiance, you could incorporate vertical walls with live or artificial plants to create an outdoor vibe. You could even design a focus water wall, adjacent to the jacuzzi or bathtub, with water gently cascading down. Candles and incense can add to the mood. The idea is to recreate the luxury of a hotel resort in your very own bathroom at home.
Wall and Flooring Options
The materials you choose for your bathroom surfaces can make or break the design. For a minimal, modern look, go for large format porcelain tiles in neutral colors. Combine light brown, beige, off-white, white and black to make a design statement, while offering a neutral background for an accent color.
Bathroom flooring needs to be water and slip-resistant, yet attractive to look at. Consider the size of your bathroom, especially if you are going the color route. Too many colorful tiles in a small bathroom can make it look too busy. Ceramic, porcelain and stone are popular choices for luxurious bathrooms. Large format porcelain tiles are available in a variety of colors and textures from RAK Ceramics. Furthermore, these are also available in thin 1m x 3m sizes for wall cladding to give your bathroom a homogenous look. Check out RAK Ceramics’ mega slabs for a range of floor and wall coverings. The reduced grout joints make cleaning easier and also gives the bathroom a neat, modern look.
For a vintage-chic vibe or just something different, you can also opt for wallpaper. Wallpapers are a fantastic way of adding a splash of color to a bathroom and come in a huge variety of styles and textures. Opt for splash-proof wallpapers that are specifically designed for humid spaces. These are less likely to peel and bubble and are also easier to keep clean.
Don’t overlook artworks in the bathroom. Adding a large painting to an accent wall is a great way of elevating an ordinary bathroom interior design to one that has character and style.
Today, we are lucky to have an endless variety of bathroom accessories to match every imaginable design aesthetic. With the abundance of luxury homes in Dubai, there are many brands to choose from. Some of our favourite bathroom accessory brands are Grohe, Kohler and Kludi, to name a few.
Bathroom fittings can make a big statement in your bathroom. Washbasins come in a variety of styles, fitting options and colors. Where previously ceramic basins were the most common type available, today you can choose from metal, copper, vitreous china, fireclay and stone basins to match the style of your bathroom. Opt for a unique shape to give your bathroom an elegant look.
Don’t overlook faucets and mixers. Although small, these can complement the overall look of your bathroom. Faucets and mixers are available in black, chrome, bronze, copper, chrome, silver and different shades of gold. They can suit a bathroom that is modern, traditional or a combination of the two styles.
A tub is a fairly large component in the bathroom. These are available in a variety of shapes and styles. A clean, rectangular tub is more suited to a modern look, whereas a vintage clawfoot tub would work better in a traditionally styled bathroom. Tubs can be built-in or free-standing. Continue floor tiles up to clad the side of the tub for a seamless look. Or opt for colorful mosaic tiling to make a bold, playful statement.
The color theme you choose will depend on the look you are going for and your personal preference. Using shades of the base color in your bathroom can give it depth. The golden rule is to use lighter colors for small bathrooms such as powder rooms, to make them visually look more spacious.
If you are lucky enough to have a large bathroom, you can opt for bold colors for tiles or a darker flooring color. Use color to highlight a focal point such as an accent wall or a colorfully tiled backsplash behind the vanity. Choose your accent wall wisely; the wall opposite the door is an ideal choice as it makes for a pleasing visual as soon as you enter the bathroom.
If you are hesitant to experiment with permanent color solutions such as wall tiles and flooring, you can always accessorize with your chosen accent color. Bath mats, rugs and wall art can add a splash of color to your bathroom and are easy enough to swap out if you want a change or don’t like the result. Similarly, colorful linen is another way of achieving flexibility with color in your bathroom interior design.
We often don’t give much thought to lighting in bathrooms. Most of the times, a single ceiling light is the only source of light in the bathroom. Using just one overhead light source can be very unflattering, creating sharp shadows and harsh light. Go for layered lighting with multiple light sources to create a soft, inviting mood for your bathroom.
Concealed LED and spotlights are great for task lighting to provide adequate light for functions such as applying make-up or shaving. Mirrors above vanities should ideally be lit with wall sconces on either side. This directs light evenly onto the face, eliminating sharp angular light spots. If your mirror spans between walls, then you could mount a fixture above the mirror.
Ambient lighting is great for setting the mood in your bathroom. Cove lighting, with lights hidden in the recess between the wall and ceiling, can add a soft glow to the bathroom. A central bathroom fixture can also enhance the style of your bathroom and add to the warm ambiance. A vintage chandelier would make a lovely accent piece in a classical bathroom. Conversely, a more geometric ceiling fixture would highlight the clean lines in a modern bathroom.
Use recessed accent lighting to draw attention to artworks or niche displays. Similarly, use recessed downlights to highlight a wall texture or a special wallpaper pattern.
Also consider dimmers in your bathroom, especially for creating ambiance in smaller spaces such as powder rooms. Dimmers give you total control over the lighting in the bathroom and can be adjusted to serve a variety of functions. They are also energy-saving, which is an added bonus.
Nothing makes a bathroom look more untidy and disorganized than clutter. Clutter can ruin the chosen style of your bathroom by focussing attention in the wrong places. Creative storage solutions can help solve this problem. Design a balance of concealed and open storage to store items you’d like to hide as well as those you’d like to display. A linen cabinet is useful for storing towels, soaps and other sundries such as cleaning aids. You can also put your laundry basket in it so that dirty laundry is hidden away from view. Shampoos and toiletries, which rarely look presentable, can be hidden away in cabinets. Open shelving can be used for displaying hand and face towels, candles or other adornments such as bathroom-friendly plants.
Mirrored cabinets are also great for making your bathroom look bigger and can double-up as storage.
Rustic movable storage baskets and bins are a good counterfoil to more sleek built-in storage units, so don’t shy away from combining both for a chic vibe. Mix and match your storage units to express to add character to the bathroom and express your stylistic preferences.
Large bathrooms today have excellent ventilation and good suction, so many people opt for a dresser within the bathroom as moisture is not an issue. The look of your dresser can follow the decor of your bathroom and provides invaluable storage for items such as hair dryers, brushes and makeup accessories.
Modern bathrooms feature clean lines, neutral colors and ordered geometric forms for an overall look that is crisp, fresh and organized. Simplicity is a key factor in modern bathrooms. Modern bathrooms use the latest technology for a luxuriously relaxing experience. They might use concealed LED lighting for vanities and surfaces that will eliminate harsh lighting and dark spots. Faucets might have built-in sensors that will automatically shut off the water supply when not in use. Glass-enclosed shower cubicles or deep free-standing tubs are popular accessories in modern bathrooms. Vanities, storage cabinets or wall niches will have straight, clean edge profiles. You might even feature music in a modern bathroom, with speakers that tie into the home audio system.
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