Homes & Gardens
KEEP ORDER WITH SMART FURNISHINGS
SIZE The starting point when choosing furniture is to consider how much you need to store and the size of your bathroom. You may want drawers with compartments for make-up and small toiletries and larger storage for towels, toilet rolls and cleaning products, and perhaps somewhere to tuck away children’s bath toys or extra shampoo and soap.
‘The core of any bathroom furniture range is the vanity that houses the basin with storage below,’ says Margaret Talbot, European marketing manager, Vitra. ‘Vanities start at around 500mm wide for a compact cloakroom design with a single basin and up to 1,000mm or more for two basins.’ Some units have single, two or more drawers, so you can choose a configuration that suits your needs, and extra-deep drawers or cupboards are handy for keeping bottles upright. Most ranges include additional items, such as tall and slimline wall units for versatile storage.
WALL-HUNG OR FREESTANDING? ‘Wall-hung furniture creates a clean, clutter-free bathroom, especially combined with wall-hung sanitaryware,’ says Margaret. ‘Leaving the floor clear gives the illusion of more space and makes cleaning easier.’ If you prefer a more classic look, floorstanding furniture may be the way to go, and offers the potential for a larger amount of storage space.
Wall-hung mirrored cabinets are useful above the vanity for applying make-up or shaving, especially if they have built-in lighting and internal shelves. HIB and Origins Living both offer impressive selections of designs, including some with de-mist mirrors, sensor-operated lighting and integrated sockets for electric toothbrushes and shavers. Some models can be recessed into the wall, which is practical as well as streamlined and discreet.
MATERIALS Today’s bathroom furniture is designed to be hard-wearing, waterproof (or water resistant) and easy to clean and is available in a wide variety of finishes. ‘We are seeing a continued trend for natural materials, particularly wood and stone, in textured finishes,’ says Yousef Mansuri, director of design, C.P. Hart. ‘Fluted surfaces are also popular, and even rattan on furniture door fronts.’
BESPOKE ‘A good bathroom design should emphasise the unique qualities of the space,’ says interior designer Emma Merry. ‘This often means we commission bespoke furniture to maximise every inch of storage potential.’ Rooms with unusual shapes may make a custom solution the only option, or you may want a design with detailing tailored to suit your scheme. Identify your storage needs, research pictures of styles and obtain quotes from a shortlist of joiners. And don’t forget the handles: ‘They will sit close to your brassware so you may want a matching finish or a contrasting one.’
VINTAGE FINDS ‘Repurposing a vintage piece is a great way to add character to a bathroom,’ says interior designer Rebecca Hughes. Antique cupboards and washstands can be transformed into basin vanity units, while vintage armoires can provide elegant storage for towels and robes. ‘If you’re adding a basin to a vintage piece, remember that you will need to work out a way of providing drainage and concealing the pipework.’
SMALL FIXES One of the neatest ways to store shampoo in the shower is to create a wall niche at about chest height, deep and tall enough to fit your largest bottles. This is usually built at the time of constructing the shower, using the void created by concealing pipework behind the wall. To make the process simpler, ‘ready-made’ wall niches are available, such as Hansgrohe’s Xtrastoris design.
‘Bathroom design specialists offer a wide range of accessories that provide extra storage in creative ways,’ says Margaret. Look for floating glass shelves, metal baskets and wall-mounted trays, in finishes designed to complement your brassware.
“DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE HANDLES – THEY’LL SIT NEAR THE BRASSWARE SO YOU MAY WANT A MATCHING FINISH OR A CONTRASTING ONE”
EMMA MERRY, interior designer
FULL OF GRACE
Traditional styling is combined with current accents in this decorative scheme designed by Cameron Ruppert Interiors. Fitted furniture, built with a neat step in heights and topped with elegant marble, forms a basin vanity and dressing table, while a wide mirror accentuates the feeling of space. A pretty yellow painted armoire stands out against elaborately patterned walls and completes the storage offering in the room.
1. BRIGHT & JOYFUL
This poolhouse shower room by interior designer Georgie Wykeham mixes cheerful colours and clashing patterns with a traditional-style vanity skirt that conceals items beneath the basin. Festive Ribbon hand-painted tiles, £527.46sq m, Claybrook. Simla linen fabric, £200.20m, Penny Morrison.
2. COMPACT CLASSIC
‘Storage is essential for an elegant bathroom, helping to keep surfaces clutter-free and the mood serene,’ says Bryony Harris, creative designer, Catchpole & Rye. The Pyrford single vanity with Arabescato marble with brass inlay and Aged Brass fittings, £8,700, Catchpole & Rye.
3. BESPOKE APPROACH
A bespoke wide vanity, painted in Farrow & Ball’s De Nimes, keeps order in this bathroom by M Projects. It is finished with Samuel Heath Style Moderne taps in a bespoke Matt Black Chrome finish, from £1,412 a set, resulting in a refined understated scheme with individual flair.
4. ANTIQUE APPEAL
‘Mixing antiques in a bathroom scheme creates a warmth and charm that you don’t get with a more predictable built-in cabinet,’ says interior designer Amy Morris. Here, she opted for a glazed dark wood armoire, teaming it
with a Candide freestanding cast iron bath, £9,108, Waterworks.
1. TACTILE TEXTURE
‘Woven rattan brings a lightness of look and a natural feel,’ says Yousef Mansuri, director of design, C.P. Hart. It is used here on Cielo Marcel vanity units with matt ceramic basins, £4,880 each, and mirror cabinets, £3,258 each, with gently curved Black Stained Ash frames, all C.P. Hart.
2. HIDDEN DEPTHS
‘With its mix of contemporary design and classic materials, this bathroom is quietly luxurious – and also eminently practical, thanks to plenty of discreet storage,’ says Lisa Persse, director, Porter. Bespoke Carrara marble vanity unit; Arc tall cabinets, from £829.20 each, both Porter.
3. CUSTOM FIT
‘This neoclassical-inspired furniture piece was created by customising each element to fit perfectly into the master bathroom of a splendid villa on Lake Orta in northern Italy, balancing elegance with contemporary comfort,’ says Sara Ramundo, product design manager, Devon&devon.
4. WITH THE GRAIN
‘The look of wood never fails to add natural warmth and create an inviting contrast to all the shiny surfaces that come as standard in the bathroom,’ says Natalie Bird, brand manager, Roca. Tenet Walnut wall-hung vanity unit
with integrated basin, £688; Extra Walnut column unit, £403, both Roca.