‘Spa’, ‘pam­per zone’, ‘sanc­tu­ary’ — we’ve gone bath­room mad, so it pays to spend on get­ting your space right be­fore you put your house on the mar­ket, says Fran Power

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

WHEN Jamie Dou­glas of Hunters estate agents pre­pared his D4 home for sale last year, top of his agenda was to redo his bath­room. “I’d say I spent €7,000 and it prob­a­bly added €30,000 to €40,000 to the value of my house in par­tic­u­lar,” he says.

The Ir­ish bath­room has come a long way from the chilly, func­tional space of many of our child­hoods. Now, it is ‘a sanc­tu­ary’, ‘pam­per­zone’ or ‘spa’ and just as im­por­tant a fac­tor in swing­ing a de­ci­sion to buy as the kitchen. And post-pur­chase, it sits high on the builder’s to-do list.

“It’s of­ten the case,” says Jamie, “that if the bath­rooms aren’t up to scratch, view­ers say, ‘I’m not go­ing to shower or bath in that’. Prob­a­bly more so than the kitchen, buy­ers will look to do the bath­rooms up first when they move in, or at least one of the bath­rooms. If they’re not up to scratch, it will be fac­tored in as a cost.”

In­te­rior de­signer Suzie MacA­dam agrees that bath­rooms have be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant spa­ces in our houses. “Peo­ple re­ally care about the de­tails now — be­fore they were happy to get a suite and taps all from the same brand. Now they want at­ten­tion to de­tail so they source par­tic­u­lar taps from a cer­tain brand, a suite from an­other — it cre­ates a more tex­tured ap­proach to the bath­room.”

A few con­stants crop up on her clients’ wish-lists — an op­u­lent mas­ter bath­room, a show-stopping guest loo down­stairs — “I like to add a vin­tage light or chan­de­lier and print wall­pa­per for fun” — and then a good work­ing fam­ily bath­room.

What’s the big­gest trend? “Dare I say it, colour is com­ing back in,” says Suzie. “It’s more sub­tle than the avocado suite — it might be a coloured enamel un­der-counter basin but with a white stone top.” She is also us­ing a lot of dig­i­tal prints blown up on to ce­ramic tiles to run su­per-sized on walls.

Walk-in show­ers, dou­ble van­ity units, tex­tured fin­ishes and green­ery are all be­com­ing bath­room sta­ples. But if you are plan­ning to sell, Jamie has a word of ad­vice. “It’s lovely to have a very snazzy walk-in dou­ble shower and I would have far pre­ferred that to a bath in my house, but you have to make sure that you’re ap­peal­ing to as many pos­si­ble buy­ers as pos­si­ble.

“The prac­ti­cal­ity of hav­ing a fam­ily means you need a bath if you’ve got small kids. You will alien­ate buy­ers or your buy­ers will have to cost in the price of a new bath­room if you don’t have one. If you’re do­ing up a bath­room to sell, it’s not about your needs, it’s about the buyer’s needs.”

1 TEX­TURE AND TOUCH As the trend in bath­rooms moves from clean white box spa­ces into more pur­pose­ful en­vi­ron­ments, touch-me tex­tures and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als are com­ing more and more to the fore, for floors and walls as well as fur­ni­ture. The Dome mo­saics from Palio Lime­stone at Fired Earth, pic­tured above, will cre­ate a gor­geous tac­tile wall treat­ment per­fect for a neu­tral scheme — from €250 per sqm;


Bring­ing all things na­ture cen­trestage again, Pan­tone’s Colour of the Year, Green­ery, is the big in­te­ri­ors news story for 2017. When trans­ferred to bath­rooms, it’s a trend that can be re­worked into some flo­ral or jun­gle flavoured wall­pa­per — or for a quick fix, you could make a bee-line for your lo­cal gar­den cen­tre to stock up on all things fern-like and leafy. Ac­ces­sories, pic­tured left, from soa­pand­


The mood is turn­ing, and it’s time to get brave with colour again, with darker san­i­tary-ware a big trend. This dou­ble-ended cast-iron bath, pic­tured left, is just the right mod­ern up­date, Madeira, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, avail­able at


Em­brace free-flow­ing Scandi vibes with soft ar­chi­tec­tural shapes and ma­te­ri­als such as tex­tured wood­grains, bam­boo and wood. You can then bring in ex­tra tex­tu­ral el­e­ments with nat­u­ral rugs and tow­els in neu­tral, sooth­ing colours to cre­ate a warm and invit­ing space. Pic­tured be­low left, Amalfi ham­mam tow­els from €9.50, Savoy tow­els in white and navy from €17, wooden tooth­brush holder €17 and soap dish €12, the­white­com­


As we look to more eth­nic styles, bath­rooms are also be­com­ing more and more hip­pie-luxe, with a laid­back 1970s West Coast Amer­i­can feel — think sink-in bath­tubs, crys­tals and lots of trop­i­cal plan­tage. This is a huge trend on In­sta­gram, and you will get heaps more in­spi­ra­tion on ac­counts such as @the­jun­ga­low if you click and fol­low. In the mean­time, check out the look, pic­tured above, at zara­


Whether you want to make a state­ment with a curved and sculp­tured tub, basin or shower unit, or just go for more rounded shapes in cab­i­netry or ac­ces­sories such as mir­rors, the look for fu­ture bath­rooms now is all about curved de­sign el­e­ments. Mix­ing squares with curves looks great, too — so if you al­ready have slick and an­gu­lar shapes in your space, try adding some new rounded black tap­ware or even a round mir­ror to up­date the look. Fresh from the new de­sign pre­sen­ta­tions in Mi­lan, the look, pic­tured be­low, is by Cielo Ceram­ica. Or­der at ce­ram­i­ca­cielo. com;


Clean colours such as nudes, pas­tels and matte pinks will bring a chic, fresh and con­tem­po­rary feel to your scheme and is a look achiev­able with a sim­ple lick of paint, although for a luxe high-end scheme, brass­ware is key. We love these dou­ble shower mix­ers and shower heads, with hand show­ers in chrome, pic­tured right, by Zuc­chetti.Kos, from €150, bath­


Vic­to­rian and Ed­war­dian-era brass fix­tures and fit­tings, stand-alone tubs and che­quered floor tiles are right back on our radar now, and we’ve also seen Art Deco re­turn to the mix. This her­itage-style bath­room, pic­tured above, from Tilestyle, ticks many of the boxes, with tra­di­tional fit­tings and a free­stand­ing bath­tub, but up­dated in slate grey. Bath €2,659 (in­cludes pan­elling, but ex­cludes taps), van­ity unit €4,062 (ex­cludes taps), shower €1,186, mir­ror lights €258 each, Tus­cany honed nat­u­ral stone tiles re­duced from €141 to €97 per sqm; all at


A proper ar­chi­tec­tural favourite and a con­trast to the more or­nate de­signs com­ing through now, bare con­crete is an es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive ma­te­rial in the bath­room. Pair a full in­dus­trial fit-out with white ce­ramic san­i­tary-ware for a cool and con­tem­po­rary look, us­ing smooth ce­ram­ics from Du­ravit, pic­tured right (from beg­gsand­part­ Or em­ploy hard-work­ing slate for your shower tray. Not only does it come in shades such as an­thracite, white or taupe, but it has anti-slip prop­er­ties. Opt for a dou­ble shower to give the im­pres­sion of a wet­room. From €499, from stock­ists of Kristal Shower Doors or the SONAS Bath­room Col­lec­tion, sonas­bath­


Go for tra­di­tional coun­try style at home, with a farm­house feel in the bath­room. Shaker-style cab­i­nets are never go­ing to go out of fash­ion, and these ones from the Chich­ester col­lec­tion at Nep­tune will stay high in the style stakes. Large open-top wash­stand, avail­able in 28 colours, from €1,240, nep­

Putting on the glitz with in­dus­trial-style Lor­raine Mir­ror Bath at

Plants can add a wel­come splash of green to a bath­room 2

3 Darker items such as this bath are on trend

Her­itage-style bath­room fit­tings are back in fash­ion 8

Trop­i­cal fo­liage adds a 1970s West Coast Amer­i­can vibe 5

Nudes and matte pinks cre­ate a con­tem­po­rary look 7

10 Free-stand­ing cab­i­nets are a timeless and classy touch

These tex­tured tiles are per­fect for a neu­tral room 1

Tow­els can add tex­ture to your bath­room 4

9 Con­crete can be a strik­ing ma­te­rial to use in a bath­room

Curved de­signs are a key trend for the fu­ture 6

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