Back for another Wednesday Ad Break and this was such a fun job styling a bathroom with our former podcast sponsor Geberit. It had to be done completely in lockdown too with lots of messages and product links going back and forth and neither Sophie nor I got to see the finished rooms until we turned up (on separate days) on set – fully masked and distanced.
Geberit asked us to style the same room using the same bathroom range (Acanto, which comes in black, white, sand and lava with either a shiny glass or matt or finish) as part of their inspiring interiors campaign and you can see – and you won’t be surprised – how different the rooms look although we both, independently of each other chose to use pink and yellow in varying shades and degrees.
It goes to show you how different bathrooms can look even when they all pretty much have to have the same furniture in the same basic colours – mostly white, sometimes black. And this comes back to the key point I always make about designing a bathroom; it is part of the rest of the house and you should treat it as such. Make sure the overall look fits with your home and isn’t like stepping into a different building just because it’s a functional space.
I think both these rooms look like they could be in our houses – I mean I know I don’t have yellow (yet) but regular readers will know I have been returning to it again and again in posts and Sophie’s set looks exactly like her house.
So that’s the first point to note when designing a bathroom. The second is storage, and the point to note here is that you will always need more than you think. The Acanto range, which also comes in white, has deep drawers under the basins for tall things and piles of towels but also a shallow drawer at the top which is really handy for the things you reach for all the time but might not want on show.
The tall cabinet at the back is less than 18cm deep which means it will store single rows of bottles – better so you can see everything at once – and won’t protrude into the room too much, which is key when you consider that in Britain we have the smallest bathrooms in Europe (average 2.4m x 1.8m which is barely bigger than a king size mattress). Of course this was a set so it had to be a certain size to be able to photograph it and get the crew in but most of us would have room for a narrow cupboard like this even if it was only half the height and sat above the loo. It also comes with two doors instead of the single version.
Talking of the loo – and let’s do that before we get to the decorative stuff. The other key point in bathroom design – as well as storage – is that wall mounted furniture (as the Acanto range is) means you see more floor so the room looks bigger. And that goes for toilets as well as it’s much easier to clean around them when they float off the floor. This is the Aquaclean Mera comfort shower toilet which has a proximity sensor which you can programme so the lid lifts automatically as your approach (so no touching the seat – and isn’t that a good idea?) as well as an ambient light so that if you have to go in the night you don’t have to turn the big light on and wake yourself up.
Now to the rest of the room. When Geberit asked us to design a bathroom for them the fixed point, as I mentioned, was the black cabinetry. This led me immediately to the wonderful fabrics and wallpaper of Ottoline Devries, and her scallop design. I have had my eye on her website for months and haven’t yet found the opportunity to bring anything into my own house (mainly because I haven’t persuaded The Mad Husband to let me have another extravagant ceiling yet – we have one silver tin and one gold paint and he’s sticking with those for the time being). So the Scallops in pink was an immediate choice with its subtle black line adding a but of punch to the pink and yellow.
That tied the black in and from there it was an easy step to the wall colour – pink slip and yellow pink by Little Greene. And once I remembered the Syren tiles by Topps (which is, of course, their tile of the year albeit in a different colour) it was an easy decision to wrap the scallop design round the whole room. As an aside the Sigma 21 wall mounted flush plate, which comes in a variety of colours) also continued the circular theme. And, as bathroom are often full of hard surfaces and straight lines it’s great to bring in some softer shapes where you can.
Walls and tiles sorted I carried on the circular theme with the round mirrors from Perch and Parrow which contrasted perfected with the square basin units and look at these pretty quilted black taps from Gessi.
Now when it comes to bathroom lighting, of course you will want spotlights as they are practical – bear in mind this is a set so it didn’t actually have a ceiling never mind spot lights – that’s a bit of photo-trickery for you, but when you install your make sure they are on a dimmer so you can have a bright morning for getting in the shower and going to work and then dim them for ambient light and a more relaxing spa feel at night.
But the bathroom will look more complete if you can add wall lights, which make it more like a room and less just a functional space, not forgetting that light coming from the side is more flattering than from overhead. These are the pillar lights from Original BTC which are curved but the reeded glass diffuses the light beautifully. They come in different sizes from extra narrow to wide.
Two more elements to consider when designing the perfect bathroom. Pictures on the walls and something vintage. For the latter I brought in this stool from Design Vintage. Again, all those hard surfaces and modern shiny materials really benefit from a bit of worn wood or an antique to bring character and soften the space. Plus a good place to rest a glass of wine or a towel while you soak.
As for the art, well in a well ventilated room there’s no reason why you can’t hang a picture on the wall. I mean I wouldn’t put the family Picasso in there, but a selection of prints will add personality and, in this case, the black frame, brought the black of the furniture over to the other side of the room. This is the Audrey print by Flo Lee & Co available from Oneffto25.
Add a couple of plants (fake if you have no natural light) and a radio (I brought mine from home here and it’s a vintage Roberts wooden one) and there you have it.
What do you think? Any ideas for inspiring your own interiors?
If you want to see a video I made to get more of a sense of the 3D then it’s here: