Build a better bathroom
We’re considering a bathroom renovation but we’re stuck on how best to plan it. Is there a logic to bathroom design? Sometimes planning a bathroom can be more about fitting all the essentials in rather than how to make it work best for you. But award-winning bathroom designer Darren Genner (pictured) from Minosa Design says function should always be the first consideration.
“A lot of people overcomplicate spatial planning in a bathroom,” Darren says. “A bathroom generally has four corners so people think it needs to be the toilet on one wall and shower on the other but we try to think more about functions rather than the room.”
Giving thought to the way your day unfolds and what activities you do regularly in the bathroom is key to working out an ideal layout, says Darren.
“Bathrooms are where you can wash away a bad day or start fresh with a new day,” he says. “You don’t want the toilet placed at the back of the bathroom because you have to walk through the whole space to get there. Generally, it’s bathing at one end, the basin at the other and the toilet in the middle.”
Double showers are proving popular these days and Darren says that makes a lot of sense during the busy morning rush. However, he says, a double basin isn’t always so necessary. “If the clash is because of two people coming into the bathroom at the same time, the basin is not the problem, it’s the mirror,” Darren says.
“Electricals and water sources are not a great combination so you’re better off with a benchtop with a big mirror and a single basin.”
But if there’s one bathroom essential no one wants to see, it’s the toilet. Darren says it’s worth thinking a little creatively about where to place the most important seat in the house.
“No one wants to see the toilet in an open-plan bedroom suite,” he says. “If the space is big enough you can put a wall in the middle of the room with the basin on one side and the shower or toilet behind it so that you can have two people in there at once without impinging on their privacy.”
Beyond the basics, most of us are looking for a sense of comfort and even luxury in our bathrooms. This has led to the rising popularity of freestanding baths. But Darren says that they’re not for everyone. “Australians have a real affection for freestanding baths but if you can’t clean around it, it’s not the best idea because the dust that collects goes to mould fairly quickly,” he says.
Large format tiles are popular with clients looking to minimise grout lines, although mosaic tiles still feature heavily, especially as a focal point on walls.
On the other hand, he says, underfloor heating has practically become a standard inclusion for many people looking for a little warmth underfoot. “It’s almost preprinted into the contract,” he says. “People also want silent extractor fans – we want everything calm and serene.”