Choose a footed rather than a built-in bath, as it creates extra floor space which, in turn, can make a small space seem larger. You can also light the back side of the underneath of the bath, which forms a nice pool of light on the floor and is also practical, as if you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, you can switch this light on to protect your eyes from harsh light.
The basin is the most important part of the bathroom, but to make your bathroom look more like an additional room and less like a hotel bathroom, it’s nice either to set your basin into marble or place it on top of a specially adapted piece of furniture. Housing a basin in a piece of furniture also works well, as drawers and cupboards will provide added storage. You can complete this by hanging a pretty mirror above the basin, with lighting around it, to show you at your best and make traditional bathroom elements more of a feature.
A bathroom needs to be practical, comfortable and stylish. It has to be clean at all times, so you can’t use carpet – although it used to be considered luxurious. Bathroom carpet was fine in the days of massive houses and huge rooms, where carpet was for warmth, but can easily look worn and discoloured. In modern bathrooms, use wood, tiles or marble to keep the room clean – tiles are also a great way to add colour, pattern or texture.
As you’d expect, lighting is incredibly important but what people often don’t consider is storage. It’s essential to have enough space to store bottles and accessories. I like to keep my dressing-table in my bathroom as I do all my grooming there, so I always incorporate lots of places to put everything, as a bathroom must be organised.
Lighting is especially key at the dressing-table/basin area, for make-up and grooming purposes. You can create two levels of lighting there for different purposes and times of day. You can fit a light in the bathroom that comes on automatically when you enter and turns off when you leave, so you don’t need to fumble around for the switch in the dark. I would also install a dimmer switch so you could have low-level lighting when in a bath with scented candles (fragrance in important in a bathroom) to help you relax.
The most typical colours for a bathroom are cream, white and black – black-and-white marble is a lovely combination in particular. Marble tiles, glass and mirror are all good materials, while fabric is bad unless used at the window. Mirrored doors are a great way to make a space look bigger and make an en-suite a continuation of the bedroom.
Guest bathrooms are often significantly smaller than master en-suites. In a small space, it’s always better to fit a generously sized shower, rather than an undersized bath. The latter will only make your bathroom seem cramped and it won’t be anywhere near as comfortable.