Working out the layout of your bathroom

Vintage-decorated bathroomcredit

If you’re planning to revamp your bathroom, it’s a good opportunity for you to consider reconfiguring the space. Doing so could help you to make more of the room, save you money and add value to your home.

Here’s a guide to help you to choose the right layout:

Compact bathroom with marble-clad walls

Functionality

Your primary consideration should always be functionality. There’s no point in spending a fortune on a new bathroom suite, only to discover that your shower cabinet is so small that you end up banging into the taps while showering and being blasted with water that’s too hot or too cold. Therefore, thinking about the practicality of each item of the suite is a vital step in the design process.

Compact bathroom with corner shower cubicle

Fill the space

You need to make the most of the often limited space you have. That could mean fitting things like your shower into the corner of your room. You’ll want to avoid expanses of space being left unused.

For example, a 7-inch gap between your bath and bathroom cabinet is just wasted space. Potentially, a better option would be to choose a cupboard that fits flush with the end of the bath. That way, those 7 inches becomes usable space. You can find a fantastic selection of bathroom cabinets on www.betterbathrooms.com. The fact they sell such a wide range in so many different sizes means none of your precious space needs to be wasted.

Compact hand basincredit

The right size suite

It’s especially important to buy the right size suite for your home. As well as making sure that everything is big enough or small enough for family members to use. If everyone in the family is tall, you’ll want to avoid compact suites which will be too impractical and uncomfortable to use.

Compact loft bathroom

Make your bathroom appear bigger

If you have a small bathroom, chances are you’ll want it to look as big as possible. You can do this by using a few clever decorating tips. For example, adding a large mirror to the far wall to draw the eye, as well as one above the sink, or using light colours instead of dark tones to finish the walls and floor give the impression of space.

Panelled bathroom with roll-top bathroomcredit

Factor in the extra cost of your new layout

If you’re planning to move key elements such as your bath, shower, toilet or sink, it’s important to factor in the additional cost of moving the pipe work. It’s usually wise to employ a plumber to carry out this work. They’ll give you a quote and confirm that the bathroom suite you’re planning to fit will work with the layout of your pipework. There’s no point in buying a new bathroom suite because you like its shape or design, if you’re going to have to spend too much money to have the soil pipe moved.

All-white bathroomcredit

Where to find layout ideas

If you need more information, this page is just what you need. There you will find several bathroom layout plans that you can use to help get your bathroom redesign started.

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A candle with a difference

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Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender

Have you noticed a change in me? Have you seen how calm & serene I’ve become recently? No? Well, just take my word for it. It’s all down to my new night-time regime.

Imperial Candles package arrived

Six weeks ago, a package arrived from Imperial Candles containing one of their 100% soy wax candles in Calm Lavender.

Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender

That evening, my bath-time routine took a turn for the better. Bath run, bubble bath poured, lights off, radio on, candle lit and (the occasional) glass of red wine.

Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender with a bubble bath

I haven’t looked back, this has my daily wind-down routine ever since! The fragrance is amazing, I close my eyes and breathe deeply, the day’s stresses melting away. But wait, there’s more, the candle contains a little extra. Each candle is made with a beautiful ring (or earrings or necklace) wrapped up in foil and suspended within it.

Ring suspended within my Imperial Candles Calm Lavender candle

It may be worth £10, it may be worth £2,000 – you won’t know until you’ve burned your candle to about a third of the way down and extracted the little package with tweezers. It took me 6 weeks of baths to get to this stage! As the saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait’. Isn’t it beautiful?

Wearing the ring from my Imperial Candles Calm Lavender candle

Imperial Candles have very kindly agreed to offer two items from their range to H is for Home readers. A melon cucumber ring candle and a piña colada bath bomb.

Imperial Candles Melon Cucumber ring candle and Piña Colada bath bomb offered as prizes in our giveaway

For your chance to win one of these goodies, tell us what fragrance ring candle you would invent. Best of luck!

Imperial Candles giveaway

Creating a vintage-feel bathroom

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Grey, vintage-inspired bathroomimage credit

No matter how many modern bathroom designs and features we’re exposed to now and in years to come, there’ll always be a special affection for traditional, vintage-feel bathrooms. These designs were, of course, modern once upon a time, so here are some products and styles that The Bath House Online believe to be key in helping create a real vintage-inspired bathroom.

roll-top bathtub in a vintage-inspired bathroomimage credit

Free-standing roll-top bath

The focal point of any traditional bathroom suite is more often than not the bathtub, and what could provide a more period look than a shiny free-standing bath with feet and a roll-top edge. With the bath interior extending out and overlapping the exterior before rolling back on itself to create a smooth, rounded edge, you know you have a bathtub worthy of any vintage bathroom. The addition of feet elevates the bathtub slightly off the ground as well and adds to the already traditional design, especially when matched with the taps.

pedestal basin in a vintage-inspired bathroomimage credit

Pedestal basin

There was a time when bathroom basins weren’t settled on a counter top with storage space underneath or hanging from a wall with no additional support. This was the time of pedestal basins; free-standing from the ground with all pipework hidden by a hollow yet solid looking plinth. These plinths, or pedestals, provide the same effect on basins as feet on bathtubs – not always a necessity but add a unique element of style that was so popular in years gone by. For that even more vintage feel, fit separate taps for hot and cold rather than one single mixer tap.

high-level cistern in a vintage-inspired bathroomimage credit

High-level cistern

Sometimes, practicality in the bathroom is key and a toilet that’s compact enough to almost be hidden away and blended into the background is the best option. Going back half a century, however, there must have been quite a different mentality when you consider the high-level cistern. The toilet bowl and seat are the same, but the actual cistern stands tall above the rest, connected by a thin pipe and a pull-chain dangling down. If a traditional wc is what you’re after for a vintage bathroom, they don’t come much more traditional than a high level cistern.

wooden floor & panelling in a vintage-inspired bathroomimage credit

Wood

Adding not just a vintage feel to your bathroom, but a warm, homely one too, wood remains a popular material choice for everything from floor to ceiling. Start with specially glazed wooden floorboards and match this particular tone of wood with other objects that eyes will be drawn to such as storage cabinets, intricately carved mirror frames and toilet seats. Right down to the finer details, wood maintains that effect; door handles and shelves may go unnoticed, but go a long way in contributing to the picture as a whole.

The Bath House Online has a fantastic range of affordable bathroom products perfect for creating your very own vintage bathroom. They house collections from many leading bathroom brands to cater for all sizes, styles and budgets.

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Turn your bathroom into a spa

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rose petals floating on bath water and feet with red-painted toe nails poking above the waterImage credit: Dennis Wong

As everyday life gets more and more stressful, and pockets get pinched ever tighter thanks the recent economic downturn, we’re all looking for ways to de-stress and bring some tranquillity back into our lives. Spa treatments are a great way of easing the knots out of tense muscles, but visits to a spa can be a bit on the expensive side. The next best thing is to create your own spa at home in your bathroom, and it’s easier to do than you might think.

bath with lotions and rolled up towels beside itImage credit: Anna

Setting the scene

If you’re ready for a little redecoration in the quest for tranquillity, doing a makeover in the bathroom will help create that all-important spa atmosphere. Choose soft blues and greens to recreate a beach atmosphere, or if you don’t like those colours, go for gentle, natural colours that are calming rather than bright colours designed to wake up the mind.

Bathroom furniture can help you set the scene in own home spa. Vanity units are great places to keep lotions and potions. To give a really authentic look, why not keep rolled up towels in there too? We tend to fold towels at home, but most of the towels in spas are rolled. They take up less space that way and look quite exotic too. Stick to white for a real spa look, or mix up the colours for something a little brighter, especially if seeing colour cheers you up and lifts your spirits. That’s part of what spas are about, as well as helping you to relax physically.

Vanity units come in all sizes and shapes, with both open shelving and closed cupboards, and they don’t cost a fortune to fit. Having all the bathroom bits & bobs neatly tucked away helps to keep the surfaces clean and clear, and this too is important when creating a spa atmosphere because clutter befuddles the mind and prevents relaxation. Online stores such as www.bellabathrooms.co.uk have a great selection that can give you some idea of what’s out there and give you inspiration.

lit tea lightsImage credit: Thomas Wanhoff

Adding accessories

Soaking in the bath is relaxing by itself, but adding a few extras can really make the spa experience come alive and relax the senses as well as the body.

Soft music, preferably instrumental without lyrics or nature soundtracks such as lapping waves, can all help you let your mind wander and stop thinking over the day’s troubles. Light a few candles, placing them out of harm’s way so they don’t fall in the water (another great use for vanity units), and remember to incorporate scent as well. Our sense of smell is a powerful mood enhancer, so choose something such as lavender, which has a well-known relaxing scent. You could burn incense or use a reed diffuser for a more subtle smell. Scented bath oils are a good idea too, since they also soften the skin.

While you’re relaxing in the warm scented water, it’s a good time to use a face mask or an eye treatment. Lie back, let your mind wander and feel the stress of the day melt away.

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2014 Bathroom Design Trends

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Blue Mira bathroom

Is 2014 the year you’ll finally chip off those flower petal tiles, rip up the maroon carpet and tear out that hideous avocado suite? OK, so maybe your bathroom isn’t that bad, but if it’s time for an up-to-the-minute style revamp, then read on. With a strong focus on natural materials, soft and fluid edges and a touch of drama and the unpredictable, now’s the time to transform your bathroom into a strikingly beautiful and practical space.

living wall in a bathroomimage credit: Siol Studios

As Nature Intended

The interior design world is moving steadily towards the creation of greener, more eco indoor environments and bathrooms are no different. Exposed wood, slate and marble all feature heavily, with some designers going as far as dividing spaces with breath-taking living walls. Dark wood flooring or beams will bring rustic warmth that will stand the test of time.

Mira Coda Pro Diverter shower

Causing a Scene

Injecting a sense of drama can help liven up any wc. In 2014, we’ll see many spectacular shower experiences created with the growing use of gravity-defying floating vanities and dramatic lighting, as well as the increasing use of mixer showers. Theatrical and stunning fixtures such as those featured on some of the best mixer showers from Mira will give your bathroom an appeal usually only associated with garden fountains and waterfalls.

Mira shower room with blue feature wall

Keeping it Smooth

Moving away from harsh angular edges in favour of soft arcs and fluid shapes is set to make a noticeable appearance in 2014. Think curved and roll-top baths sitting on seamless flooring accompanied by frameless showers and walk-in wet rooms. This sense of softness will be compounded by the increasing use of pastels, pale blues and pinks, which bring an uplifting spirit without the use of bold, sharp colours.

Mira Agile Adept wet room

Every day is Spa Day

2014 will see normal bathrooms become luxury retreats from the rest of the house and the stresses of everyday life. Subtle touches like comfortable seating to dry yourself on and beautifully designed spaces with ultra high tech shower and bath technology will create a sense of relaxation that encourages the individual to take all the time in the world.

black & white monochrome bathroom

image credit: Aspirational Interiors

Monochrome not Monotonous

Introduced by fashion houses in 2012, monochrome is fast becoming a mainstream interior look. Simple variations of the same colour throughout a bathroom create a clinical and timeless look, and one that will also suit all budgets and can be adapted to a variety of tastes. Creative storage and the clever use of ledges will eliminate clutter, while natural wood can be introduced to add warmth to the sometimes cold feeling theme. Monochrome can also lend itself to infusions of colour with yellow and mustard, which are very in vogue this year.

With a range of inspiring trends, 2014 is the year to get your bathroom revamp up and running. No longer will you point disconcertedly up the stairs when visitor asks to use the facilities. On the contrary, guests will be shepherded directly from the doorstep for a tour of the most chic, striking and elegant room in your home – the bathroom!

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Tuesday Huesday: Homemade bathsalts

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Home made bathsalts 'how to' from the Martha Stewart website | H is for Homecredit

Who’d have thought homemade bathsalts would be so easy to make? 6 parts coarse sea salt, 3 parts Epsom salts, 1 part baking soda and then a few drops each of natural essential oils and food colouring – that’s it!

Perfect as diy presents decanted into pretty bottles and finished with hand-made labels and ribbons.