Can you have the perfect blend of function and flair? You sure can, with these five top bathroom trends that are so sleek and clever you’ll feel like you have your own day spa…
It used to be the kitchen that got all the love and attention when it came to design, but today, the bathroom is just as important, according to Brett Ramsay, Interior Designer, co-founder of The Property Hubb and Grand Designs TV star. “Property is so valuable today, and people are paying a lot more attention to bathrooms than they used to,” explains Brett, who is the father of three boys under eight and has more than 25 years’ experience in housing layout, planning and design. Brett says it’s not just about designing functional bathrooms. “Practical layouts and space efficiency is paramount, but it’s also about hygiene, design and finishes, and creating an inviting space that is welcoming and works with the rest of your home.” Here, Brett shares his top function and flair tips, and the top bathroom trends to turn your private sanctuary into a wow space.
1. Hygiene and cleaning
For Brett, who has three young boys, bathroom hygiene and ease of cleaning is pivotal to good design. “Bathrooms are the most unhygienic room in the house – especially with boys,” he laughs. “So when I design a bathroom, hygiene and cleaning is very important. There are so many great design trends now that are both practical and stylish. Wall hung basins and vanities, and floating cupboards that sit above the floor, are fantastic because you can easily mop underneath them without worrying about water pooling. Another great sleek and minimalistic design trend is toilets with cisterns built in to the wall – you don’t see the cistern or have to worry about cleaning around difficult surfaces.” Products like the Caroma Cleanflush are leading the market by merging the worlds of hygiene and style. The hygienic and unique rimless bowl means no hidden nasties can gather in hard to reach spots.
And while we’re talking ‘toilets’, Brett swears by soft close toilet seats. “They keep germs in the bowl and won’t snap little fingers,” he says. “I’m also a stickler for making sure that toothbrushes are kept inside cabinets. That way they won’t fall onto the floor or be exposed to germs floating around.”
2. Planning and layout
Brett’s specialty is working from pre-renovation stage to help home owners design functional and stylish bathrooms within the space, and within budget. “Achieving design excellence is not just about what it looks like, it’s about how it works,” he says. “It’s really important to get the planning and layout right to use the space efficiently for overall function. Well placed structures result in overall balance and symmetry too. I always suggest getting a 2D floorplan layout if you are renovating, and making sure you hire the best, certified and approved tradespeople. There is no point renovating a bathroom if your plumbing, electrical and waterproofing membranes are not top level – you’ll just end up with water leaking through tiles.”
Brett says wet and dry areas in bathrooms are a big trend in layout design too. “They’re safer and will stop you from slipping over,” he says. “But make sure you choose non-slip flooring or tiles. Keep your wet areas, like the shower and bath, on one side and your dry areas, such as cabinets and toilet, separate – but close enough to be practical. For example, your towel racks should be within reaching distance to the shower or bath so you are not walking across the space dripping. Heated flooring is a big trend for dry areas and doesn’t cost a lot if you are starting from scratch, but it can make a big difference to your bathroom’s feel. Your layout should be functional – you don’t want cupboard doors opening and hitting the toilet. If you have a small space, use a sliding bathroom door rather than one that opens up.”
3. Clever storage
If you’ve ever had a shower and realised you don’t have a towel handy – because it’s in the hallway cupboard – you’ll love these tips.
“All the bathroom essentials should be kept in the bathroom, but out of sight to avoid a cluttered look,” says Brett. “Storage needs to be well thought out before-hand. Deep cupboards built into the wall can store towels, toilet paper, hairdryers and other toiletries that are typically on show and look messy. You can also have power points built into cupboards so you won’t have electrical cords left on basins, and false tiles built into the walls, which act as a hidden storage space for toilet brushes or other items. Minimalistic designs keep the look simple, stylish, practical and prevent clutter from being visible.
4. Design features
Rainwater showerheads, LED lighting, rimless toilets and towel warming racks will add an instant resort-style look to your bathroom.
“Rather than just having an ensuite or family bathroom, people are creating mini day spa bathrooms – a little oasis with luxury features,” says Brett. How? “With vertical standing warming towel racks, large windows that allow for natural lighting and overlook leafy courtyards or vertical gardens, or adding indoor plants,” explains Brett. “LED lighting is huge in bathrooms now, too. You can get a variety of LED lighting styles for floating hand basins, along drain grates and on shower heads. Rainwater shower heads come in changing colours that alter with the temperature and are great for safety if you have young children. They start off blue when the water is cold, then turn purple as the water warms, and glow red when it’s hot. Rainwater showerheads feel just like rainwater trickling down, creating a sense of calm and relaxation, but because they are large, the pressure is never going to be high. So people are investing in a diverter, which includes a handheld shower head with higher pressure options. Linear grates, or strip drains, are another popular design feature. They are long, tiled insert drains in showers with a thin aluminium strip that look smart, are easy to clean and add a sleek design finish. “Even fittings as bland as a toilet are now a focal point for some bathrooms, with products like Caroma Cleanflush being innovative with their rimless toilet.”
5. Showers, Baths & Basins
Showers are increasing in size, much to the excitement of many. “No longer are we seeing the tiny box square showers that used to be popular,” says Brett. “Instead, larger showers with no doors, or alternatively, a frameless piece of glass, are big. This design feature opens up the space, making it appear bigger and minimalistic. Frameless doors are also more hygienic because you don’t have bacteria building up on door frames, and they’re more practical for smaller bathrooms because you don’t have to worry about doors opening up and hitting toilets or cabinets.”
Shower heads built-in to the ceiling are also popular. “They look great if you have low ceilings, are sleek and are better for ventilation,” says Brett. “Seats in showers are a slow emerging trend, too, which makes sense for women who shave their legs in the shower or older people requiring a chair.
Brett says the big trend for ensuites are double showers and double basins, so couples can shower together and brush their teeth together. And for families? “Families are choosing freestanding, modern design baths, which make the whole bathroom look expensive and luxurious,” he says. “Built-in storage alcoves within the shower or bath recess are popular too,” adds Brett. “In the old days, people used to store their shampoo, conditioner and body wash on a piece of glass protruding from the wall, but recesses are much sleeker, safer and easier to clean.”
Caroma are leaders in Australian bathroom design and innovative technology, developing some of the world’s most desirable and inspiring bathrooms. The Caroma Cleanflush® has the latest flush and flow technology, which delivers an incredible, more hygienic optimum clean and superior flush. Coupled with a controlled water flow it also provides optimum water coverage with each flush, so you can spend less time cleaning the toilet and more time with your family.
This is a sponsored post by Caroma Cleanflush. All opinions expressed by the author are authentic and written in their own words.