5 tips for designing a bathroom - Lifestyle AU
5 tips for designing a bathroom

5 tips for designing a bathroom

From keeping functionality front of mind to choosing fixtures and setting a realistic budget, Studio Bagno reveals its top tips to ensure your bathroom renovation is a smooth process

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

As we spend more time at home, the humble bathroom is becoming so much more than a place to have a shower and brush our teeth. Today’s home builders are treating their bathrooms as personal sanctuaries and giving greater attention given to the lighting, materials, style and overall feel of the space. But when setting out to design a new bathroom, it can be difficult to know where to start. Mitch Cosgriff, National Retail Manager at Studio Bagno tells us his top five tips to help you plan and design the bathroom of your dreams.

1. Functionality comes first

When planning any bathroom it’s important to consider the size of the space you have to work with, and think about the bathroom’s functionality before considering design. In smaller bathrooms, floorspace is valuable real estate while bigger bathrooms have more flexibility to let loose with design.

“In smaller bathroom settings, you want to retain as much floorspace as possible, so limiting the depth – the dimension from the front to the rear of your fixtures – is the best way to achieve this,” says Mitch. “We always recommend wall-hung installations in these spaces as they free up the floor and have plenty of short-depth options available to suit any desired style.”

The Ovo Semi Recessed Basin is ideal for small bathrooms

Mitch recommends limiting the depth of vanities and other bench tops in small bathrooms to a maximum of 450mm, and choosing a toilet with a depth of 530mm or less. “A wall-hung or wall-faced toilet works best here for saving space, but these require in-wall cisterns to function so you’d need to consider if that is the right solution in your situation,” he explains.

Those blessed with big bathroom spaces have more freedom when it comes to fixtures, as well as aesthetic, says Mitch. “In big bathroom spaces, you have the freedom to maximise functionality and comfort so our recommendation is to really create your own place of respite – a personal day spa. We love the his/her style of having twin basins, tapware and showers, a freestanding bath with room for two and even a bidette. Adding natural elements like plants really make a difference, too.”

2. Make it personal

While functionality is always the priority in bathrooms, it’s important to remember that they are also intimate spaces used frequently – so make your bathroom your own. “The biggest mistake people make when designing a bathroom is treating it like a sanitised facility that can be hosed down rather than a furnished room,” explains Mitch. “Be diverse in your material choice, choose colour and materials that are flattering to the skin, put a chair in there; the opportunities for design are endless when you think of the bathroom from this perspective.”

House plants are great for softening and personalising your bathroom

3. Plan to go over budget

Going over budget when renovating or designing a space in the home is often inevitable, according to Mitch, but the stress associated with this trap can be easily avoided by simple planning. “With so many variables, whether you’re renovating or designing a bathroom from scratch, going over budget is almost unavoidable, so our first tip is to plan to go over budget,” he says. “Adding 10% to your final figure and making sure you’re okay with moving forward with that amount is a good start. Our second tip is to invest in an architect or interior designer if you can, to tap into their experience and get a much more accurate quote on final costs.”

The biggest mistake people make when designing a bathroom is treating it like a sanitised facility that can be hosed down, rather than a furnished room.

4. Invest in the best

There are places in the home where it’s acceptable to prioritise budget over quality, but the bathroom is not one of them, according to Mitch. He recommends investing in the best products you can. “We strongly believe in the investment of good quality products and fixtures. A bathroom update doesn’t come around often and can be many years between updates so it’s to your benefit that you select quality bathware that functions well, looks beautiful and, of course, lasts. As Gucci says: “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”

The Studio Bagno Form basin on luxury houseboat Clann

5. Choose a design to stand the test of time

While it might be tempting to choose fixtures, colours or tiling that is particularly unique, eye-catching or on-trend, it’s important to consider the fact that you may only design or renovate your bathroom the once. Therefore, it’s vital to choose a timeless style to ensure your bathroom will be as beautiful in a decade as it is when it’s first completed. 

“We are big believers of the notion that good design is timeless, regardless of the colour palette used, what materials have been selected etcetera, so a well designed bathroom should traverse trends," says Mitch. "In my experience a bathroom is only updated every 10-15 years, so be sure to employ design that lasts that long – and more."

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