Shower time

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus and Orbit shower heads | H is for Home

We’ve had our current electric shower unit for some time now – it must be nearly 15 years, come to think of it. We’re probably due an upgrade, but our list of items that need some money spending on them is pretty long at the moment – exterior walls need pointing, the roof needs repair, the boiler is playing up etc… and that’s not to mention the camper van fund which has stalled a bit this year. The actual shower unit still works, so we’re not at the urgent stage, but the water flow certainly isn’t anything to write home about.

Our old shower head | H is for Home Our old shower head | H is for Home

Perhaps we could improve that for the time being, we decided. And then the lovely people at Ecocamel came to the rescue, sending us two new shower heads to try out – the Jetstorm Plus and Orbit models.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home

They’re both ideal for electric showers and incorporate the Ecocamel ‘Aircore Technology’ which injects air directly into the water stream, so you get a powerful shower whilst actually using less hot water as an additional benefit. The Jetstorm Plus head has three adjustable spray settings allowing you to achieve the ideal shower flow for you – the Orbit has clusters of nodules for a powerful and even spray.

Ecocamel Orbit shower head turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Orbit shower head turned on | H is for Home

They both look good and have wipe clean rubber nodules to prevent the build up of lime scale if you live in a hard water area.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home

We’ve been trying them out this week and we’re delighted with the results.We’ve really noticed a difference when showering.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head | H is for Home Ecocamel Orbit shower head | H is for Home

Perhaps your shower flow is poor, or your shower head is old and tatty, or you’re interested in the eco-friendly energy and water savings they offer. Whatever the reason, they’re very easy to replace – universal fittings mean that you simply screw off your old shower head and screw the new one on – two minutes, and you’re done!

[disclosure*]

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.

[disclosure*]

Is a wet room right for you?

'Is a wet room right for you?' blog post banner

Aquadart wet room walk through from the Bella Bathrooms website

So – is a wet room right for you? There’s certainly no shortage of reasons to consider installing one. For starters they look great! The selection of photos we’ve chosen to accompany this post testify to that. A well-designed wet room should be clean and minimalist. You can luxe it up with added extras – glass panels, power showers, underfloor heating, anti-fog mirrors, heated towel rails and sun tunnels. Bella Bathrooms has a huge selection of quality bathroom, wet room and shower accessories.

Wet room leading out onto a patio areaimage credit: Skona Hem

They’re easy to clean & very hygienic. Consider installing downstairs off the rear entrance or in a garage/boot room for washing dirty people and dogs before entering the house! Having said that, wet room technology has moved on tremendously and they’re certainly not limited to the ground floor.

Black and white tiled wet roomimage credit: Terry’s Blinds

Wet rooms are ideal for people with mobility or accessibility problems – no climbing in & out of baths or fighting with conventional shower cubicles.

Minimalist wet roomimage credit: Remodelista

They add value to your property – installation can be from as little as £1,500 but can add £10,000 upwards to the value of your house…

Wet room installed into a loft spaceimage credit: House to Home

… and they’re a great option for an awkward/restricted shaped or sized room – suitable for studio flats, loft conversions… even the space under the stairs!

Wet room in Dairy Cottage in the New Forestimage credit: Dairy Cottage

Having listed all the potential benefits, it can all be undone by poor execution. Install with care & caution. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Great haste makes great waste”. Preparatory planning & works are essential in installing a wet room. Properly waterproof the space, provide adequate ventilation, install non-slip flooring such as rubber or natural stone tile and you don’t need to be reminded about the dangers of mixing water and electricity! If you follow a few simple rules then there’s great scope for design expression. You’ll be left with a beautiful space that will enhance the quality of your life & home.

[disclosure*]

2014 Bathroom Design Trends

'2014 Bathroom Design' blog post banner

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!

[disclosure*]

Bathroom Inspiration

'Bathroom Inspiration' blog post banner

our bathroom

We’ve been doing lots of of home improvements this year. Much of it was forced upon us by last year’s flood, but we’ve also taken the opportunity to do bits & pieces on the upper floors too. The room that really needs a spruce up now is the bathroom. It’s pictured here a few years ago, but has had no redecoration for ten years and is definitely looking a bit tired.

our bathroom window sill

We like the look of natural materials in the bathroom. It suits our house with its exposed stone walls and old wooden window sills. Also, we like adding found objects such as shells, pebbles and sponges which look good with a rustic back drop. The combination of real stone, some clean lines provided by plasterwork or tiles – and quality fittings is perfection for us.

Bathroom with a stone wall. image © Frederic Vasseur

We’re going to re-tile the bath surround and shower area with stone tiles – and replace the bath which got cracked when Justin managed to fall off a ladder one day! But perhaps the most urgent attention is required in the shower area.

Mira Agile Sense ERD+ shower

We found this Mira Showers shower online. It’s got not one but TWO separate shower heads – what a great idea! A gorgeous wide rose and another hand-held one on a flexible hose that makes cleaning down post-shower a much easier job. You can even have both showers going simultaneously – just like the ones you get in those swanky spas! It may have a very classic, simple look but don’t let that deceive you; it’s very high tech indeed. It has a time and temperature display, so you can set it to just how you like it… and let’s you know if you’re dawdling and need to get a move on! 🙂

bathroom with glass shower enclosure

Our shower cubicle needs replacing. The one pictured above is gorgeous – sleek & unfussy. It has floor to ceiling glass and no door is needed in this setting.

Wood-panelled bathroom in the Skirt + Rock House in New South Wales, Australia. © Richard Glover

We’d also love a wet room where the fixed cubicle is removed completely. There’s no containment or movement restriction at all – perfect for Adelle’s hair washing & brushing sessions!

yellow studded rubber bathroom flooring

As for flooring – we don’t have underfloor heating, so we’re not keen on cold stone, tiles or slate. Painted floorboards are a possibility. We’re also not averse to a more modern solution such as this stud rubber – warm, durable and waterproof.

Scirocco Graffe towel heater

And finally – there’s nothing worse than getting out of the shower or bath on a cold winter’s day only to find your towel has morphed into a cold, bedraggled rag. This beautiful, minimalist paper clip-shaped towel warmer would be perfect.