Published in Utopia Kitchen and Bathroom magazine
I’m in the middle of a barn conversion project, and one of the most exciting things about the property’s layout is a very spacious bathroom at the back of the house. I’m intending it to be a place not only for the family to wash daily, but also where my wife and I can soak away the stresses and strains of our working lives. I know this is a real chance to create something with an amazing wow factor, but at the same time I’m concerned that it could risk seeming more like a gym’s changing room than a luxury bathroom. Is there such a thing as a space that’s too big? Roger Chapman, Wisbech
There is no such a thing as a room that is too large, but just as with a very compact area, it’s what you do with the layout that counts. This spacious bathroom has great potential but it needs to be designed properly so as not to swamp its users with empty space. There is one tactic that you should apply from the outset: if you have a great expanse of floor area, try to split it in to two zones – bathing and toilet – rather than spreading the pieces of sanitary ware around the room. This will help you to think about the space in more manageable chunks, too.
With the blessing of a large room, you can really go to town and create a bathing haven in which you can relax and unwind after even the hardest day. Think big – you need to make sure the dimensions of each element are suitably grand, so that they suit the proportions of the room and don’t seem ‘lost’ in the corner. No need for space saving sanitary ware here, so make the most of it!
To the left of the door I have positioned a sizeable freestanding walk-in shower cubicle, but of course there’s also a bath for longer relaxation. The tub, which is located in the left-hand corner, features hydro-massage and Chroma therapy lights to stimulate or relax the senses. I have specified two wash basins, which not only taps into the ‘his and hers’ trend popularised by hotel en suites, but will also benefit a large family’s use of the space too. The bathing area (shower, bathtub and sinks) is kept separate from the toilet and bidet using a partition. This wall literally splits the space, and makes for a more private and hygienic feel.
The use of colour plays a huge role in enhancing the mood of relaxation. Calm and restrained grey and black undertones play against the pale-gloss tiles, which feature a subtle white-on-white decorative design. This monochrome scheme allows you to change the style of your accessories whenever you like. Depending on either the latest fashion or your particular mood, the addition of colourful towels, soap dishes or toothbrush holders can create instant change through altering the smallest of details. You can even add bright flowers to give the space a lift just as you would any other room.
Lighting, too, is important for creating the right ambience. With just a few different independent fitting options you can create the exact atmosphere that you require at the flick of a switch or two. You can also save energy by switching on those lights that you need. In this room I’ve also used light to create visual interest. For example, the recess above the toilet and bidet – used as a storage shelf for small things – has LED lights set into it for a more dramatic effect.
Bathroom design ideas and tips:
- If you have a spacious bathroom, try splitting it into two zones to create a more private and luxurious ambience.
- Remember that any ‘spare’ space, however small, can be used for built-in storage. Hiding any clutter out of sight makes a room appear larger.