Many of us consider the bedroom, its decor, and interior, furniture pieces including king size bed, sealy thurloe plush, mirror, commode etc., to be the first things in a home to be updated and renovated. But it is recommended to consider the bathrooms to be of major importance. Updating it is an investment – so don’t skimp on quality.
Even though we only spend about an hour in the bathroom every day, this room still has a huge impact on increasing the value of your property. Homes with just one bathroom no longer appeal to buyers, so adding a second bathroom is a wise investment. Second, to the kitchen, it’s the most expensive room in the house to kit out – which is why it’s so important you plan properly before ripping out bathtubs and toilets.
Where do I start?
It is the era of the spa and ultra luxurious boutique hotels, and many of us wish to recreate that atmosphere at home. To do so, first determine what your needs are and what you cannot go without; not every bathroom needs a washbasin, shower, bath, and toilet. If a full-strength power shower in a luxury corner suits you best, forego the bathtub and use the extra space for storage. If your budget is limited, stick to the existing water points; if the pipes are already in place you should just connect a new bath, washbasin, and toilet. But if you’d like to improve an inappropriately planned bathroom, extra pipes and water points need to be installed. The toilet is usually the most expensive item to move, as it has to be connected with a 110mm pipe; always seek expert advice when it comes to plumbing or large scale structural changes and electrical work before any decisions are made. Also, bear in mind that to get a new look for your bathroom you don’t have to redo the entire space – the most budget-friendly way is to replace old taps with new modern ones, or get rid of the shower curtain and install a frameless shower.
The rediscovery of all things pretty.
The eco-friendly modern bathroom with water-saving showerheads and accessories, such as organic towels made from bamboo.
Smoked glass, particularly with black tiles and damask motives, adding a touch of modern luxury and creating contrast with modern baths, taps, and basins. Fixed modern bathroom cabinets covered with mirrors.
Linear lines on glass and mirrors softened with various tattoo-like sandblasted techniques.
Classic marble, as well as glitzy mosaic tiles.
Organic forms – from egg-shaped tubs to round bathroom accessories.
The finer details
Even bathrooms need beautiful architectural details, and finishes can be spruced up to change the style by using a few loose items, color and strong patterns – the quickest way to change a look. Add fragrant bath products, candles, and fresh flowers and your bathroom will instantly become a relaxation zone to tantalize all your senses.
Create a hotel appearance with a luxury washbasin: basins with holders have a classic look, while wall-mounted washbasins neatly conceal water works behind the wall and the standing piece doesn’t take up floor space. A countertop washbasin adds extra storage space, as the cupboard below can be utilized for packing – create a luxurious feel by covering the cupboard with mirrors or choose wood finishes if you like the look of a spa. Twin washbasins are very practical for couples and especially handy for families; more than one child can brush their teeth in the frantic morning rush.
Baths are available in acrylic, steel or cast iron and come in a variety of shapes and sizes – from conventional baths to corner and freestanding baths. Acrylic is light and feels warm to the touch; cast iron baths are heavy, so your floor will have to be reinforced; steel baths have a solid feel, like that of cast iron, but are not as heavy. They do however have an enamel finish that can splinter. Thanks to the versatility of acrylic, freestanding bathtubs are not unattainable; if you’re still longing for a Victorian bath with dainty gold feet, keep an eye on the shops for sales where you could easily pick up a freestanding bath for under R3 000. A tiny bathroom doesn’t necessarily mean you should forget about a classic bath – opt for a shorter tub or a stylish sitting bath. Keep the rest of the look simple by, for instance, choosing a plug that is released when applying pressure, or one that has a small handle to pull – it’s much neater than a plug on a chain.
The city slickers’ move to nature has inspired taps that offer a waterfall-like effect (pictured right) and its ‘gear lever’ appearance fuses nature and flashy sports car design. Taps should complement basins and baths, and traditional copper taps with modern basins are also experiencing a revival as more people opt for an eclectic style. When looking at taps, choose something that goes with your bathroom’s style; conventional designs generally go with any style. Install the taps in the wall next to the bath – that way two people could comfortably share the bath. If you are only replacing taps, make sure they are compatible with your existing waterworks. Waterfall taps are available at Hansgrohe.
Just like washbasins, wall-mounted toilets are best suited to small bathrooms, as there’s no foot piece that takes up floor space. These days the most common toilet comprises of the bowl and cistern as one unit. Separate units look the same but cost less, while old fashioned toilets with a low or high bowl are still available – and perfect for a Victorian bathroom. If you’d rather not buy a new toilet, give the old one a fresh look by adding a new seat and lid – there’s a wide variety to choose from. Modern bathroom ideas you can find here.
A shower is more economical than a bath as it uses two-thirds less water. It’s also the ideal space saver, especially in a second bathroom or townhouse. Shower units are usually in four shapes: square, right-angled, corner unit and corner units with a concave front. When shopping for one, consider the space around the shower, and whether it is large enough for a door to open. If not, go for doors that slide or fold inward. Also ensure you choose the correct shower accessories: showerheads that release water like rain or a waterfall are obviously popular, albeit a bit more expensive; power showers are also a good option – it’s a mixer shower, fitted with a pump and therefore operates faster, and is great for a fast refreshing cleanse. But do also consider the environment and consider installing a low-flow showerhead to ensure you use less hot water. And don’t forget the outside shower, perfect for our climate – especially if you can screen it off for privacy. It’s very popular at beach houses and farms so why not try it at home – there’s nothing more thrilling than taking a shower under the stars after a long day at the office.
Wet rooms are the ideal solution to a small en suite bathroom or any other space where an uncomplicated shower area is required. Space is usually sealed and tiled from floor to ceiling, to help handle moisture, and the drainage system is usually at an angle in the floor. Do keep in mind though that it can be expensive to waterproof a whole room and you will probably have to lift the floor to ensure a proper drainage system is installed – consult with your builder and plumber.
Play with color
White is still seen as the best color for sanitaryware. It’s clean, classic and is regarded as the most natural color for bathtubs, washbasins, and toilets. It never dates and you will be able to sell your home faster with white fixtures. So, if you want to bring color into the bathroom it’s best to do so with accessories.
Even though ocean blue and turquoise are popular bathroom colors, don’t make the mistake of decorating the whole room in a seaside theme.
Lighter shades are always a good idea, particularly in small bathrooms – but steer clear of bright white, which often looks too clinical.
Rich, creamy-white walls or tiles look elegant and will break the stark whiteness of the sanitaryware.
Deeper contemporary neutral shades such as stone and taupe will create a Zen-like natural calm, while cool blue-greens and mauves bring it all together with the reflecting water. Blog furniture that will never go out of trends you can find here.
Soft pinks give the room a warmer feel and give you the opportunity to create a luxury boudoir atmosphere, especially if you’ve had enough of the ‘less is more’ trend.
Create a personality
When it comes to decorating, the bathroom should be treated like any other room in the house: create personality by adding surprising elements. For example, place an antique chair in a modern bathroom or hang an original work of art in a frame (but speak to an art dealer to make sure the painting is treated and is mold-resistant). A chandelier will make any bathroom feel like a palace, and it needn’t be wired (which can be a problem in a bathroom); hang it under a spotlight so that the crystals can reflect the light. Remember, if you’ve already spent a small fortune on the bathroom of your dreams, don’t skimp on anything: buy large luxurious bath sheets, quality soap, and aromatic candles.