All I know about designing a bathroom that is on trend yet stands the test of time.
This is how bathroom shopping went for us:
Me: "I want a room with a bath and toilet etc in it but I don't want it to feel like a bathroom"
Husband: rolls eyes to heaven!
So can we chat about trends for a second. I feel sometimes people are afraid to buy into trends when it comes to bathrooms, for fear that they'll date. There's nothing wrong with trends - fresh ideas inspire people, and we would get bored if everything stayed the same. The 'holy grail' is finding a timeless trend - one that excites and captivates you, yet stands the test of time - it can be done!
I've broken down how I went about designing a bathroom that is classic, warm, fun and timeless, but is also on trend. I've thrown in some cheeky before and afters too... just for the craic!
Tiles - Colour, shape, pattern, and texture are all things to consider when choosing tiles. Our bathroom was very safe, beige and boring before... a common mistake to make is to play it safe, leaning to the greys and beige tiles to prevent the bathroom dating too quickly. The problem with that is, they're already a little dated. I've always been a fan of at least one colourful tile in a bathroom, so the vibrant patterns and colours of Encaustic tiles had me at hello! Ok ok, I agree they're everywhere right now but don't let that put you off. They've been around for a thousand years in Spain and Morocco, so I can't see them dating any time soon. I've paired them with a simple white arabesque wall tile which adds a little more luxury to the shower area. Choose either a colourful or unique shaped tile for the floor and go for a simpler option for the walls. My top tip for tiling in your bathroom would be to avoid wall to wall tiling if it's possible. Only tile the areas that will be splashed i.e. showers and baths, and the floor... obvs! This will save you money and help the bathroom feel warmer and less echoey. Get a good quality bathroom paint - we used Dulux Signature Collection - for the remaining walls and you're laughin'!
The marble lining around the shower opening meant that we could avoid using standard tile trims - which I have an allergic reaction to! (But, we have used trims in the other bathrooms, mainly because we blew the entire house budget on this bathroom!). The braver you are with your tiles the less likely they are to date.
I have shamelessly stolen these gorgeous tile boards from Claybrook Studio who have a fabulous collection of encaustic tiles along side many other styles and designs. These boards give you an idea of how to complement pattern, texture, and shape.
Furniture - By furniture, I'm talking vanity units. I wanted a vanity that looks free standing and more like a piece of furniture than a functional bathroom product, so I put pen to paper and designed my own. Working out the size it needed to be, height, width and very importantly the depth. Our toilet is close to the vanity (that was the original location of the loo and it would have been too complicated to move given the UFH) so by having the vanity custom made we were able to specify the two lower drawers on one side to be shallower in depth so they didn't hit the toilet once open. Drawers are a more practical option than doors, you'll avoid loosing your spare shampoo in the black hole of doom! We sourced the sinks through Ideal Bathrooms, making sure we had a good balance between sink and counter space, then picked the marble at Miller Brothers Stone. I sourced the pull handles online through Armac Martin. The beauty of a hand painted vanity is that you can go to town on colour... or at least I would!
Brassware - I'll keep this one brief: this really comes down to budget but if you can (excuse the pun) splash out anywhere, it should be on the brassware. Also, it's kind of a minefield as there are so many variants due to water pressure etc. so go to a quality showroom and get some expert advice. I would always measure the spout of the tap to make sure it reaches far enough into the sink, this goes for either deck or wall mounted mixers. Also, whilst were on the measuring chat, make sure you measure the depth between the back of the sink and the wall, you need to have enough space for the taps to sit comfortably without knocking your knuckles the wall. All of the brassware in this bathroom is from Samuel Heath which we sourced through Ideal Bathrooms.
Lighting - This is where it's easy to go wrong, and I see why as bathroom lights are so difficult to get right - especially in Ireland as choice isn't really on your side due to regulations. Bathroom lights have to have a high IP rating (usually an IP65 rating but ask your electrician before you buy anything); so when you see all these fabulous bathrooms on Pinterest with super cool bathroom lights remember... it's AMERICA! My top tip for bathroom lights is to look at outdoor lighting, they have a high IP rating - because, well they're outside! However if you do manage to find lights you love, don't be afraid of a pendant. It can add drama and height to a space, especially over the bath. Now, I know I've said it before but I'll say it again; hang wall lights at eye level (roughly). This lights up your face (as oppose to casting a shadow over it if they're hung too high) which makes doing makeup a lot easier! The pendants and wall lights are from Jim Lawrence.
Styling - Last but by no means least, don't forget to style your gorgeous new bathroom. I'm not just talking about the usual suspects of candles and potpourri (do people still have potpourri?!). Add natural tones and textures through, plants, baskets, flowers, or a wooden milking stool. Layering further with towels and blankets on a leaning ladder, clustering ceramics and candles, and don't forget to hang paintings and prints... bathrooms are where you can be playful with these things!
So, there's really no way to avoid trends, we've all seen the blue sweater scene in A Devil Wears Prada. You may think you're avoiding but - just like in fashion - they get into your head subliminally. So just go for it, indulge in the 'now' and most importantly create a space that you love and that will ensure it's longevity!