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  • James Treble

Bathroom Design


The bathroom has evolved from a sterile, dull and basically functional room to a beautiful one where we enjoy spending longer time. Its looks are very important and it has become one of the rooms to greatly affect the overall value of the entire house. It is natural that the bathroom and it looks are nowadays at the centre of lots of attention and specific trends.

image from edenbraehomes.com.au

Because of its large surfaces being tiled, it’s obvious that one of the strongest elements when choosing to upgrade or build a brand-new bathroom, are the tiles! We’ve seen the trend of pattern within the bathroom going from the walls down onto the floor, with the latest trends taking us towards very strong geometric and contrasting patterns. Thanks to the wide variety of renovation shows on TV we’re also training our taste into bolder choices, which is great because it allows us to make our interior design very personal. Strong contrasting pattern on the floor is very effective and works best when it’s paired with a plain tiled wall. For a contemporary look, I also suggest to use matte instead of gloss surfaces, which also lends itself to easier maintenance. Tactile finishes are also on trend, being picked up in the popular concrete look as well as with handmade tiles, appreciated for their irregularity and non-identical quality, which adds a warm touch to this often sterile room. Keeping an eye on the budget I suggest using more expensive tiles for the floor where the surface area is smaller than the bathroom walls, or add a striking feature wall and leave the other walls in standard format and colour.

image from florim.com

The tap ware we choose in our bathrooms is also very important decision as it’s a detail that can really lift the appearance and appeal of our bathrooms. If you imagine the tapware as the earrings on a lady’s outfit, it’s easy to understand that by changing the tapware (the earrings) we also can successfully change the entire look. Chrome has been used for decades and it’s still very popular, however black is on the rise offering edgy contrast and cool modern looks. Also popular, but quite elegant in choice are metallic finishes in aged-gold and rose-gold tap-ware. First rule when choosing new tap-ware is to also choose all the accessories in the room [the toilet roll holder, the towel rails, etc] as these should relate to each other in finish and design.

If you’re dreaming to renovate your bathroom, but are worried about your budget, I’ll suggest firstly to ascertain if the existing tiling is good enough to stay, as this will save you the costs of removal, waterproofing and re-tiling, which also adds weeks to the renovation. A quick and effective way to renovate this room comes with simply updating and changing the existing vanity. Adding a contemporary looking one with storage and drawers underneath is an affordable and quick way to update and change the appearance of a bathroom. Choosing a timber grain for the cabinetry is also a grea­­t way to add warmth to a room, which is otherwise composed of hard and clean lined surfaces.

image from edenbraehomes.com.au

But, if your budget is really tight, then the most convenient way to update your bathroom is to simply change the tap-ware and accessories. Also, adding a new mirror above the vanity will also immediately lift the appearance of the room, and after many years of non-framed bevelled edge mirrors stuck on the wall, we see a return to framed mirrors in round tablet and square shapes, adding drama and interest to a room. Based on the overall style you’re after, you could choose a golden baroque frame for a WOW effect, or an elegant streamlined and modern mirror depending upon the overall style of your room. Back-lit mirrors are also a great choice as well as a very practical one.

image from florim.com

Recap: If you’re on a budget don’t remove the tiles off walls or flooring, but if you have to, spend your money wisely and choose amazing tiles for the floor, which is has the smallest surface compared to the walls, saving you money. Keep your accessories and tap-ware the same style, and soften the overall feel of the room by adding timber surfaces, round shapes and always add my favourite detail: plants!! whenever you can.

Remember trends come and go, and it’s important you choose the finishes for your bathroom carefully; it must last you a long time as both building or renovation can be quite costly, and you want to get it right first time. So, do your homework, as I always say, ask, research and shop around.

I’ve helped build and renovate hundreds of bathrooms in my career, and have accumulated lots of practical knowledge in how-to and budget saving tricks, which I continuously share with my clients. If you’re interested in learning and knowing more about Bathroom Design and Styling then you may want to join one of my workshops with the International School of Design. The next one in Melbourne is on the 18th July 2018 and again in Sydney the 16th October 2018.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.

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