Is your bathroom looking a bit jaded and in need of an uplift?
Here are some ideas to consider when thinking about bathroom improvements:
Firstly, does your bathroom need replacing fully, or would it benefit from attention to specific areas such as: a new suite, re-tiling, adding a shower or even under floor heating? Sometimes, a few changes can make a big difference to the look or functionality of your bathroom. For example, if the bathroom suite is neutral in appearance and still serviceable, you could change the feel of the room by replacing tiles, flooring and accessories such as shower curtains, and towel rails.
When deciding which improvements to incorporate, you may need to balance the benefits against the available budget. It is a good idea to set the budget beforehand; otherwise it is easy to be tempted by the range of expensive, stylish bathrooms on offer.
DIY or Bathroom Fitter?
Your available budget can affect the decision as to whether to take on the job yourself or whether to employ the services of professional bathroom fitters, who will also help you to choose the design. Some stores offer a design service with no obligation to purchase, so if you are taking the DIY route, it may be wise to take up whatever free help is available. You might also find cheaper ways of improving your bathroom, for example, could the tiles be painted instead of replaced, or perhaps they just need re-grouting?
If you decide to give your bathroom a complete overhaul and opt for a plan and design service, then you need to think about the positioning of items in relation to their purpose and practicality; plumbing considerations will dictate the positioning of showers, toilets and basins, for example.
Have you allowed yourself enough space next to the bath for drying yourself?
Is there room to place a hand towel next to the wash basin?
Do you have any room for towel storage?
Contemporary, Classic or Traditional?
Another consideration is the overall look that you are aiming for. This could be contemporary, classic, or a country bathroom. You could also look at colour schemes. Which colours would suit your chosen style? Should the colours match, or would contrasting colours colours work better? There are lots of online tools available to help with this difficult decision, Dulux offer a colour scheming advice whilst Crown offer sample colour schemes from their range.
Contemporary bathrooms are minimalist in appearance. They are sleek and clutter free, with disguised storage areas, and use materials such as chrome, glass, and plastic.
On the other hand, classic bathrooms are formal with attention to detail. They utilise classic shapes such as urns, columns and arches. Colours are bold or basic, but usually monochrome or duo-chrome rather than patterned.
A country bathroom is defined by the use of oak, pine, and natural fabrics, for example, wicker baskets, and braided rugs. The overall feel is casual and comfortable.
Some people prefer not to opt for a particular style, instead employing an eclectic mix of designs, which is dictated by whatever appeals to their senses.
The types of materials and lighting are important when choosing a bathroom, both in terms of visual appeal and utility. As the bathroom is a frequently used area of the home, materials need to be hard wearing. Lighting can help to capture a particular mood, but it should also be adequate to light areas such as mirrors.
Whichever type of bathroom you opt for, one thing you will need to be aware of is Part P of the building regulations. This covers the safety requirements relating to all electrical installations in the home. If you employ an electrician, he should be registered and qualified to carry out the work. You can find out more about building regulations at the government’s planning website: www.planningportal.gov.uk.