INTERIORS: Bathroom fixtures and fittings

Bathroom baubles

Interior design
Niamh Tuohy

Bathroom redesign – Part 2
Two weeks ago, we delved into the world of bathrooms and what to consider when re-designing one. There are a multitude of things to think about. We’ve already discussed budget, style, shopping around, bathroom furniture, wet rooms, centre pieces, shelving, built-in storage and materials. Now we turn to ideas and thoughts on fixtures and fittings.

All too often people go with the easier option as opposed to the right option. Look at all choices available to you and consider what’s best to compliment the rest of your bathroom. Spot lights give a very clean finish, but as mentioned in previous articles, don’t go overkill on them. If you’re working with a fairly big space you can indulge and fit a small chandelier style fitting to add that wow factor.

Mirrors are fantastic for opening up a small area and giving the illusion of both light and space. Don’t be shy. Play with them and put them in places you might not normally. Getting your mirrors cut into different shapes is a fun way to add a bit of funkiness to the room too. Again though, don’t lose the run of yourself!

Bath and sinks
There are a multitude of bathroom suites out there. All shapes, colours and styles. Take your time in choosing what you like. Once picked and fitted, they’re not as easy to change as blinds for example, or lighting.

Again, there are a huge number of mixers out there to choose from. A ridiculous amount in fact. You’ll be like a kid in a sweet shop trying to make your choice. But take your time on this one as, although you might not think it, a tap can completely change the look of your bath or sink. They’re like handles on a kitchen door. One fitting can make the look. Another can kill it completely.

If you’re not in a position to install false walls as discussed in Bathrooms Part 1, don’t panic. There is a huge array of storage solutions out there. Baskets and wicker are particularly suitable to a bathroom. Make ample use of wall
space that otherwise be redundant by installing shelving.

Trying to choose tiling can be a tricky one. The vast choice out there is enough to daunt even an experienced designer. It’s obviously completely down to personal taste, but try to stay away from strong colours or tiles with designs etched into them (fish and seashells is a common one!). Instead choose something simple that will last the test of time. And remember, it’s a good idea to purchase both floor and wall tiles in the same place, as matching tones and shades will be easier.

Glass and chrome
For the spacially challenged bathrooms, glass can be the answer. Use it in accessories like shelving and light fittings.

Double showers
The standard shower door is 800mm. You can go smaller than this if space dictates, but going less than 760mm can be very tight. On the other hand, if your bathroom is big enough, double showers can give a plush finish and allow you to shower without banging one limb or another off walls and doors!

As mentioned in previous articles, accessories are the easiest way to change the look of any room. Bathrooms are no different. You can introduce new colours and textures very simply and with relatively little expense. Don’t be afraid to play with different materials and remember, given you working with a limited floor space, this in one area you can go a little mad with colour.
Paints and wallpapers
Ninety nine percent of bathrooms are painted/tiled in either white or blue, so I beg of you, choose something different. Introduce textured wallpaper onto one wall to add a rich depth to the room. Use complimentary shades of the same colour and play around with paint samples to find what works for you.