SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL BATHROOMS
Plan your bathroom so it comes up well in the wash, writes Chelsea Clarke
Your bathroom is one of the most hardworking spaces in your home. And it’s also one of the most difficult — and costly — to renovate thanks to the number of trades required to work in one small space. So it pays to invest a little extra time in the planning stage of any new or renovated bathroom to make sure you get things exactly right.
According to figures from Reece Bathrooms, the total number of bathroom installations in new homes projected for 2016/17 is 345,800 with a total value estimated of $4.55 billion.
And that’s not including the tens of thousands of existing bathroom renovations that will take place over the same period.
Rachel Sequeira from Rawson Homes says home buyers have become more selective and demanding with what they need from a family bathroom over the past 10 years.
“Competition between home builders over this period has increased and this has driven a need to be more creative and push the boundaries — particularly when designing bathrooms,” she says.
“Display homes all around Sydney show off what is possible and clients see these and are inspired by them. As such their expectations are much higher so they look for who will give them the most luxurious finish for their dollar.”
Trends vs tradition
It’s an issue every new home builder or renovator faces: how to design a modern bathroom that looks fresh and current now — and 10 years down track.
Bathrooms are expensive spaces to renovate so you want something that won’t date quickly.
“Everyone wants a modern looking bathroom to show off and be proud of,” says Brooke Sommers from Evoke Kitchens and Bathrooms. “But we always tell our clients to keep the basics simple and then use current trends (in accessories) to decorate.”
Tiles and in-wall plumbing fixtures can’t be changed easily or cheaply so choose these wisely and if unsure stick with simple rather than trend-based products.
“My advice is to stay away from black tapware,” warns Brooke.
“Rose gold is now emerging as the ‘must have’ for tapware but it could be old news in 12 months’ time.
“Use the trends for plants, towels, accessories and light fittings – keep the necessities simple and it won’t date.”
If you’re stuck for inspiration though, Reece business manager Daniela Santilli says trends can be a great place to start.
“When it comes to creating your dream bathroom, trends can offer useful direction in terms of how to tackle the challenge at hand,” she says.
But, Daniella says, if you’re concerned your choices will date, then remembering this rule should help.
“Skip the ‘bling’ of lavish, over-the-top gestures, and go for a more authentic luxury feel with beautiful detailing, refined natural materials and a sense of elegant restraint.”
Well lit spaces
The right lighting plan can transform your bathroom from a dark cave to a light and bright space that’s easy to work in.
“Perhaps more than any other room in the house, the bathroom requires careful consideration,” says Beacon Lighting’s Denise Hammond.
She says bathroom lighting needs to be flexible enough to accommodate shaving and applying make-up, bathing the children and even washing the dog.
“A mix of lighting is necessary to get the right effect,” says Denise.
“Wall lighting above a mirror shines light on your face, which makes shaving and the application of make-up easy.
“Add to this flattering general lighting such as dimmable downlights, flush mounts, wall lights and a combined bathroom light with heater and exhaust fan and you have all levels of light covered for every situation.”
Display homes, like this one by Rawson Homes, have raised the stakes in ensuite style.