Homes & Gardens

EVA SONAIKE Exciting ways to use colour and pattern in your bathroom



WHEN I was growing up in the 1970s, bathrooms were filled with colour and pattern, before times moved on in favour of plain white sanctuarie­s. But I want us to look at colour and pattern again. They are essential ingredient­s in bathroom design: they can lift our mood and enhance the experience of downtime.

This is something I believe strongly; I have a Nigerian heritage and colourful expression is part of Yoruba culture. I grew up in Germany, then moved to London, where I studied fashion before setting up my company specialisi­ng in African-inspired textiles and wallpaper. We can all benefit from colour, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also for emotional ones: soft blues can make us feel calmer, greens can be fresh and restorativ­e, and pinks and reds can be invigorati­ng.

I recommend starting your bathroom scheme by simply choosing your favourite colour, preferably one that reflects the way you want to feel. Use it as your base and build from it, combining different shades and bringing in other colours and textures. Create a mood board of swatches and images. Be as experiment­al as you like and trust your instincts: you will quickly be able to see the combinatio­ns that speak to you.

The easiest way to introduce splashes of colour and texture is to accessoris­e with towels, bath mats, baskets and plants that thrive in a humid environmen­t, but I would go further – tiles, walls in bathroom-specific paint, a blind and pouffe in outdoor (water-resistant) fabric. I also love some of the coloured sanitarywa­re available, such as a pink basin in a dressing area or a colourful bath as a focal point. Together they will help a bathroom feel less clinical and more like a living space.

When it comes to pattern, I like to keep things simple but bold, as this creates a more contempora­ry look than a busy mix. Pick a genre of pattern and stick to it, combining perhaps two graphic patterns, for example, rather than mixing in a floral as well.

Finally, ensure the bathroom is well lit, making the most of natural light during the day and installing good-quality fixtures for evening. Lights need warmcolour­ed bulbs that enhance the colours and patterns in the room. Make sure they are dimmable or installed on a choice of circuits so you can adjust the mood.


WHAT INSPIRES YOUR BATHROOM DESIGNS? I often think of Morocco for its uplifting colours, patterned tiles and sense of opulence.


The rejuvenati­ng combinatio­n of purple and green. A PRODUCT YOU LOVE? The Cielo Delfo vanity unit, for its ribbed texture, green oval countertop and round basin. It is more interestin­g than something with a strictly linear shape.

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