When decorating the modern bathroom, many opt for simplicity choosing basic neutral shades (usually white) rather than anything bold, and with a minimum of decoration, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The average person spends more than a year and a half of their lifetime in the bathroom, so why not be a little creative in your choices?
When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for the bathroom, there are already some firm favourites. Blues and pale greens are always an option, suggesting a subaquatic world fit for a mermaid, or the simple charm of a summer beach house, but other colours can help brighten the bathroom just as successfully. A completely white bathroom can look a little sterile and cold, but if you have the space a red and white striped rug or a wicker chair with red cushions can bring a little added warmth.
It’s a truism worth repeating that you should never skimp on bathroom fittings. That doesn’t mean you should pay over the odds, but it does mean you should choose carefully when buying showers, taps etc., as these are the things that will get a lot of use, and should last you a long time. Cutting corners with fittings will only cost you more money in the long run.
That said, a good quality vintage iron or zinc-lined bathtub can give your bathroom a great deal of old world charm, and besides, if it’s in good condition after 100 years of use, there’s no reason to doubt it’s good to last another 100! Antique dressers and chests of draws make another excellent addition to a traditional style bathroom, as well as functioning as a place to store towels and toiletries.
The bathroom is known traditionally as the “smallest room in the house”, and this is even truer today, with architects and property developers cramming a whole lot of bathroom into the tiniest of spaces. Many modern apartments don’t even come with a bathtub, opting instead for a “wet-room” style space, with shower, basin and toilet only. Rooms like this can feel a little claustrophobic, so how do you make them feel more spacious?
Large mirrors are great for creating an illusion of space, and doubling the natural light in a room, but it’s worth considering where to place your mirror very carefully. There’s nothing worse than catching sight of you from an unflattering angle, or in an unflattering light!
Many people choose to tile their bathroom walls, as tiles are waterproof and, obviously, wipe clean, but even the humble tile comes with its own drawbacks. For one thing, the grouting between tiles is an active breeding ground for bacteria (eg. the pinkish-orange serratia marcescens residue you get in areas with a high mineral content in water). Many wallpapers are also wipe-clean, and more versatile than tiles when it comes to the choice of patterns. For instance, a horizontal stripe wallpaper is excellent for accentuating the sense of space in a room.
David Llewellyn is an expert in creating welcoming designs for new builds and older homes alike. He writes for Graham & Brown who specialise in stylish and hard-wearing wallpapers.