Eight ways to reboot your bathroom
Best in Class: Lights, mirrors, plants and bookshelves will give a new feel
Style statement: India Mahadavi’s latest collection has colours most people had relegated to the past
1. MAKE A STYLE STATEMENT
Tehran-born India Mahadavi’s work includes several Laduree cafes and the Gallery at Sketch in London, a pleasure palace of pale sugary pink that was a sweet success both in real life and on social media. The architect and designer’s latest project is a collaboration with luxury Italian tile house Bisazza and shows her continuing confidence with colours most people have relegated to the past. Pictured is a coral pink that hasn’t been an interior hit since about 1983. This strong style statement includes a curvaceous fibreglass bath, €10,052; a round lacquered wood mirror, €1,006; and a two-piece sink, the ceramic washbowl, €1,277, and the lacquered wood vanity unit underneath, €2,225. The Pinstripe mosaic tiles, which come in green, lime or pink, pictured, cost about €294 per sq m. The collection launches next month and can be ordered through its London showroom. bisazza.com; india-mahdavi.com
2. SOFTEN A SANITISED LOOK
You can soften the sanitised look of a bathroom with a few choice accents, greenery in the form of plants, a statement mirror, like this circular and textured Merlin by Roche Bobois, which comes in three different designs. You can choose blue colour panels, with Canaletto walnut detailing, pictured, €2,110, an all-silver option, €2,330 or a bronze and blue mash-up, €2,510.
The addition of an occasional swivel chair gives you somewhere to relax as you disrobe. Dolphine is a swivel chair. Pictured in leather, from €2,930, it also comes in fabric options that might work better in a damp environment. Prices for it start from €2,650. roche-bobois.com
3. CREATE A FEMININE SPACE
You can also turn the bathroom into a feminine space with a clever mix of candy pinks and neon. London-based architecture and luxury interior design practice Boundary Space used Dulux’s Candy Love 3 to paint the walls, adding a hand-applied gloss glaze to deliver the high shine walls.
The vanity was custom-designed by the firm with a vertical half wall to the rear also covered in the same finish to knit them together. A dark blue Vola mixer tap adds a colourful contrast while the Soho bath, by Dutch firm Jee-O, was bespoke finished to a marshmallow pink and costs from about €5,744. But it’s the geometric neon pendant light that takes centre stage here. The piece, designed by the practice, costs about €14,000. boundaryspace.com; jee-o.com; en.vola.com
4. GO MUSICAL
If music is your first real love then you could create a DJ booth feel in your washroom with Olympica Ceramica’s Vinyl, the latest creation by the firm’s artistic director, Gianluca Paludi, which debuted at Milan earlier this year.
The recessed basin has been reimagined as a turntable while the mixer tap is the record player’s arm and stylus. Regulators of water pressure and temperature taps replace volume controls.
The sink console, complete with storage drawer, hosts a music amplifier linked by Bluetooth, with the small holes on the front indicating the speaker location. The LED lights in the mirror replicate music equaliser image. The basic sink design costs from about €1,840, ex VAT. olympiaceramica.it/en
5. STOCK UP ON READING MATERIAL
Any bathroom worth its salt has a home for good reading material. It may be today’s paper, Phoenix magazine or the latest best-seller but the key is that you make a feature out of it. Smith & Vansant Architects, a practice located on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, specialises in one-off housing projects that manage to look stylish and homely at the same time. This is due, in part, to the great consideration given by the firm to the storage needs of each client.
In the guest wc of this 1800s built classic country cape house in Vermont, space within a cavity wall has been carved out to give the owners valuable shelving that they have chosen to stack with books rather than toilet rolls, affording any visitors plenty of reading material during their stay. The space has been photographed by New Hampshire-based Rob Karosis. smithandvansant.com; robkarosis.com
6. MAKE YOUR LIGHTING STAND OUT
Bathroom lighting is tricky. In an ideal world you need natural light so that you can shave or apply make-up properly. You also need task lighting for all the things we do in such a space from waxing to tweezing, to examining skin for further ravages of time to dying hair, moustaches or indeed eliminating them. You also want to include a flattering light setting mode so that when visitors use the facilities they see one of the best versions of themselves. You can buy incandescent bulbs in all sizes with the small standard sized ones costing from about €3, depending on where you buy them.
The oversized designs can be as much as €30. But if money is no object, an entirely more novel way to illuminate the space is to invest in the Luminist collection by Toto, the Japanese firm best-known for its shower toilets that dispense with the need for toilet paper.
It features a sink, from about €3,812 and matching bath, from about €11,225, from UK-based West One Bathrooms that both feature an integrated LED lighting that emits a soft, white glow. No more need for overhead lighting. The range is also available to order from Versatile Bathrooms. westonebathrooms.com; versatilebathrooms.ie; toto.com
7. GIVE THE FLOOR A MAKEOVER
If you’d like a refresh underfoot but are bored with the wooden floor look and don’t want to install anything that feels as hard underfoot as tiles then Tarkett’s Starfloor in Blue Pine, pictured, is a really smart way to stay on trend without spending a fortune. The luxury vinyl tile is ideal for wet spaces and each of its “planks” clicks together to give a seamless finish. The flooring also has an embossed surface that mimics the grain and knots of natural wood. The deep indigo blue colour delivers a rich background on which to build a dark bathroom, and an intimate space.
The flooring, which also works with under-floor heating, costs about €34.50 per sq m and can be ordered from Carpetright in the Royal Liver Retail Park on the Naas Road in Dublin 12. If searching online it’s worth noting that the design isn’t listed on the Irish Carpetright url but is listed on the UK website but you can’t order it online from it because the UK site doesn’t deliver to Ireland. carpetright.ie
8. GIVE YOUR WALLS SOME WOW FACTOR
Wallpaper can completely change the mood of a bathroom. In some homes, families have had their favourite photos turned into a custom wallpaper that fits the bathroom specifications perfectly. In others, motifs take central stage. Popular ones include bees with Timorous Beasties Napoleon bee, about €110 per roll.
Still giving the wash room wow factor but for sheer versatility, Wall & Deco’s Wet range offers beautiful abstract images that are custom-printed to fit your bathroom’s dimensions. This art deco-inspired Ora design by Debora Demeo beautifully frames the sink and vanity unit. It costs €175 per sq metre from Italian Tile & Stone shops in Terenure and Swords. tiles.ie; wallanddeco.com