What’s the first thing you evaluate after checking into a hotel room? Nope, it’s not how soft the bed is or how fluffy the pillows are. Neither is it the fabulous view! You always check if the bathroom looks good and whether it is clean! For almost all of us, a bathroom is more than just a functional area meant for personal hygiene - it’s also a zone that we like to retire to occasionally for some privacy from the outside world. And wouldn’t it help if this sanctuary is beautiful and well-designed?
So, how can you get a bathroom that’s as beautiful as it is practical? All you have to do is hire the services of an expert! No, we are not talking about a contractor - but an interior designer! An interior designer brings both, functionality and aesthetics to the table, unlike a contractor. In fact, there are a few secrets to great bathroom design that your contractor will not tell you. Let’s take a look at some of them.
6 Things about Getting Beautiful Bathrooms Your Contractor Wouldn't Tell You
A good design, for any room in the house, depends mainly on the smart utilization of available space. Here are some of the things you need to consider for a beautiful bathroom.... In a rush? You can download the visual guide at the end of this post!
1. Bathroom Size and Layout:
Unlike kitchen design which ideally revolved around the kitchen ‘work triangle’, there is no such defined prescription for a bathroom layout. The bathroom can be planned based on your lifestyle needs, and the way you intend to use the space. The size and layout of the bathroom play an important role in determining how the ‘functional zones’ need to be arranged. These functional zones include:
Vanity: The vanity area usually has a countertop, a sink, a mirror and some storage area (usually a cabinet or two).
Toilet: It is ideal to have a separate dedicated room for the toilet. However, in case of a toilet inside the bathroom, you must make sure that it is either hidden behind the door or placed beside a vanity alongside a wall and partially hidden. It is better to opt for wall-hung commodes instead of floor-mounted ones, since these make the bathroom look far more spacious. However, it is important to have a ‘P-trap outlet’* for wall-mounted commodes.
It’s also important to consider the number of people who will be using the bathroom on a regular basis, before going ahead with the design. A bathroom needs to be functional AND appealing.
*In plumbing, a trap refers to a device which has a shape that uses a bending path to capture water to prevent sewer gases from entering while allowing waste to pass through. A P-trap outlet is the addition of a 90 degree fitting on the outlet side of a U-bend (U-shaped trap), thereby creating a P-like shape.
2. Fittings And Fixtures:
The functionality of a bathroom is defined by the fittings and fixtures that it can efficiently accommodate. The optimum utilization of fittings and fixtures also depends a lot on the plumbing elements like hookups, drains, traps, etc. Usually, a bathroom will contain faucets, shower systems and water saving fittings (flow regulators, water-efficient shower heads, etc).
Faucets: A faucet is a device for controlling the flow of water from a tank, such as a drum or a pipe. It is important to pay attention to the ergonomics of this feature - if it is easy to use and provides a comfortable grip, for all users, regardless of age. Also, it is ideal to choose a material that doesn’t corrode and looks aesthetically pleasing. While faucets are normally made of brass, the external finishes can be chrome, steel, gold, or even ceramic shrouds.
Shower Systems: Shower systems have now evolved from simple structures to complex systems, including feature showers (enclosed shower areas available in a variety of designs.
Washbasins/Sinks: While it might appear to be inconsequential, a sink is one of the most important elements of the bathroom, and is available in a variety of designs namely, top-mount, undermount, wall-mounted, pedestal, semi-recessed, washplane and vessel. The materials used vary from simple porcelain to luxurious glass.
There are countless variations of each fixture and fitting. Choose those that suit the dimensions of your space. Also, focus on the weight of the fittings - the heavier, the better.
3. Colours And Lighting:
For bathrooms that are attached to the bedroom, it is essential to have a colour scheme that either matches or complements the colour scheme of the bedroom. For stand-alone bathrooms, choose calming and cheerful colours - shades of blue, pink, orange work well for a bathroom, along with more subtle shades like white and beige. Make sure that the furniture and fittings complement the colour scheme.
When choosing lighting fixtures for your bathroom, it is important to take into account both ambient lighting as well as task lighting. Ambient lighting illuminates the entire area and can be used to determine the overall mood. The colour temperature is also important while choosing lighting fixtures - cooler colours mimic what the world sees in daylight, while warmer colours hide flaws. Choose a color temperature bright enough to compensate for dark tiling whether on the walls or the floors. Task lighting generally frames a mirror and offers the proper lighting for routine activities like brushing, shaving, applying make-up, etc. Pick fixtures that will provide the most natural light available.
4. Bathroom Flooring And Walls:
Bathrooms are naturally wet spaces. It is important to ensure that the water does not seep through the walls and floor, causing mold, mildew or other damage. Tiling the walls and the floor is the best bet to waterproof your bathroom. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and textures, porcelain tiles work best for bathrooms and toilets.
It is ideal to opt for matte-finish tiles that don’t get slippery, especially if you have children or aged people at home. Though, anti-skid or anti-slip tiles are also available. Using larger and diagonally laid tiles, not only adds a vibrancy to the bathroom, but also create an illusion of space in smaller bathrooms.
5. Bathroom Furniture And Storage:
Space utilization in a bathroom is important. A bathroom can often look cluttered due to the lack of adequate storage for toiletries, towels and cleaning products. Recessed mirror cabinets are efficient for storing smaller items and keeping them safely out of the reach of children.
Small pockets of spaces, based on the size and layout of the bathroom, can be used for cabinets. It is ideal to use marine ply for bathroom furniture.
The bathroom always needs to air out - owing to the continuous exposure to water. You could either have a window or opt for other venting options like fans. Other than ushering out odors, vents serve the critical function of lifting damp air out of the room. Here are a few venting options:
Ceiling mount fans: This metal box, or housing, is recessed into the ceiling. A vent duct allows the musty air to escape outside.
In-line fans: The advantage of in-line fans is that they are less noisy than ceiling mount fans, and are installing between the ducting.
Wall-mount fans: If there is living space above the bathroom, this unit is a solution. It mounts on an exterior wall and the motor is located right at the vent’s exit point.
Vent switches: Specialty switches include humidity sensors that turn on the fan when the air becomes moist and timer switches that turn off the fan after a preset amount of time.
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A beautiful and practical bathroom is within your reach. All you need to do is hire the services of one of Hipcouch’s experts!
And here's a quick, downloadable visual guide if you are in a rush!