The designer on latest trends
Ask Celia Visser, who studied through the US arm of the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bathroom Association), how many bathrooms and kitchens she’s designed in her time and she’ll respond, “It’s in the hundreds!” But, she says, she’s always learning and researching. “Although homeowners can find out a lot from the internet, we have to keep ahead of the game so we can do what’s right for the client.”
10 TIPS FROM CELIA VISSER OF CELIA VISSER DESIGN
1 Well-designed task lighting is vital in a bathroom: the last thing you want when putting on make-up or shaving is shadowing on the face. That’s why Hollywood-style lights either side were so great. Ideally, you need cross-lighting. Cool white LED light is too harsh-looking on the skin so opt for a warm, yellow tone.
2 Avoid too many downlights in a bathroom. Instead, position them for a specific purpose – you can even put one above the shower (helpful for those who usually wear glasses) but make sure it has the correct IP rating.
3 Underfloor heating on a timer not only keeps your toes warm first thing on a winter’s morning but also helps to dry out the bathroom, particularly the grout between tiles that can be damaged by water over time (heating will also help prevent the growth of mould). In cold climates, says Celia, clients often install in-wall heating too, which works well in place of a heated towel rail if you have limited space.
4 Uplights set into the floor that shine onto the bath are a very effective option to create ambience and are a good solution if you had imagined a pendant over the bath but it can’t be safely done within the electrical regulations.
5 Heater lights are plain ugly, says Celia, so avoid them. They’re a good idea in principle but don’t yet cut the mustard design-wise.
6 Always make sure bathroom and kitchen lights are on dimmers so you can create a restful ambience. And don’t forget to incorporate spaces such as alcoves or shelving where candles can safely be placed.
7 Use lights to accentuate texture – for example, a directional LED angled onto tiles.
8 Technology coming soon to a showroom near you includes mirrors that contain a touch screen so you can check the weather or the traffic while brushing your teeth. Already there are waterproof TVs so homeowners can luxuriate in the bath while watching their favourite show. Smart fridges with built-in screens will act as noticeboards, read the use-by labels and order more groceries as you need them. A tap on the glass front will turn it transparent so the contents will be visible without even opening the door.
9 Rangehoods with built-in lighting (that look like lights so you’d never guess their function) are growing in popularity. They’re mounted into the ceiling so there’s no visual clutter at eye level. They are so powerful that they can be three metres from your hob and operate quietly and efficiently.
10 Use lighting to emphasise your works of art – collections and prized objects can be displayed on shelving and lit from below. >
THIS PAGE As well as task and ambient light, your lighting can accentuate the design of your room, says designer Celia Visser; here it highlights the textured tile. OPPOSITE Well designed task lighting is vital in a bathroom, as designed by Celia.