Splash out: eight new ideas for bathrooms

Best in class: big bathroom buys

1 A hotel finish bathroom is the last word in luxury and art deco styling is the latest trend in the industry. Big up your bathroom with C.P. Hart's new Plissé collection, from innovative Italian manufacturer Artelinea.

It features free-standing units made entirely from glass that offer a smoky sense of elegance. Available in cream and bronze, the glass sink is set on a glass plinth and costs from about €3,478. Also pictured is Gessi Incisso antique look brassware. The wall-mounted shower head is €1,114; the matching slider rail and hand shower is about €1,475; the three-piece wall-mounted mixer €1,561, the three-piece thermostatic shower valve, €3,528.

The matching water tumbler costs about €475 while the soap dispenser costs about €867. The Frahm shower door and inline panel that make up the bespoke enclosure is by Drench. Prices start from about €1,823. all ex delivery cphart.co.uk

2 Pattern is in – so embrace it in one of the easiest places to add a pop of colour – a washroom. Ballymount-based Tilestyle has invested in a patented design to make its new Lily Pad encaustic tile available in porcelain too.


From its it is inspired by nature and offers oodles of eye-catching shades including bubblegum, eucalyptus, custard and peacock (see photo).

You can use either finish in a bathroom setting but porcelain tiles require no sealing and are therefore lower maintenance. “That said, many of our customers prefer natural materials and the uniqueness of encaustics,” says Anne Mac Elmeel, senior marketing executive. “Each piece is handmade and consequently each one is slightly different.”

The tiles cost €3.43 per piece. tilestyle.ie

3 A swish shower can turn a bathroom into an architectural space. Italian firm Duka creates custom shower enclosures that includes a mirror-effect chromed glass that can help to reflect light or outdoor scenery into the room. The two-way glass is reflective only on the outside. Transparent to the person showering it feels like you're not enclosed at all. The material is toughened and treated to minimise watermarks and limescale. Prices start from about €2,400, ex VAT and delivery. duka.it

4 A statement sink is one of the easiest ways to add personality. You can go for a small Belfast-scullery style, a slick wall-hung sink hewn from a single piece of marble – Miller Brothers in Co Wicklow has done this for several private clients – or you could choose to go with an interesting form in an eye-catching colour, like these sinks and washstands in the Gran Hotel Ingles, designed by the Rockwell Group who commissioned Seville-based lifestyle Guadarte to fabricate these slick designs.

You could also talk to bathroom showrooms about special orders that would deliver a similar look. Some may even have edgy showroom models that you could buy when the showroom is being upgraded. The hotel, once a favourite of Henri Matisse and Virginia Wolf, is drawing Madrileños back to its soaring public spaces. rockwellgroup.com; guadarte.com

5 A heated towel rack that doubles as a radiator has transformed the Irish bathroom from a cold damp space into a warm, luxurious environment.

In this compact apartment by Polish architect Grzegorz Layer the designer has eschewed a dividing wall between the bedroom and its ensuite in favour of a curtain to screen it off from the bedroom.

It’s a smart, small space idea, for the w.c is screened off from the shower by a half vertical wall, affording you some privacy too. What makes the design eye-catching is the juxtaposition of natural stone in a large format slab, try Project Tiles for something similar, and the use of tonal colour.

The cornflower blue radiator, Italian firm Irsap's It Is square-shaped bar style is similar, is a tone lighter than the colour of the painted wall, which in effect frames it and turns a functional part of the set-up into a work of art. grzegorz.layer.com.pl; project.ie;irsap.it; irsap.co.uk;

6 All bathrooms need as much storage as you can install. In the guest w.c of this Ranelagh mews house Philippa Buckley of Studio 44 Design installed a Scarabeo basin with Bellosta taps and set on a smart plinth, complete with drawer underneath to house extra toilet paper. Fabricated to her design by Ballymount-based joiners DH Kidd it is painted a luminous red, the colour is Ral 3024, and is set against a floral Brian Yates patterned wallpaper. scarabeoceramica.com;

7 A bathroom isn't just a bathroom anymore. It's become a space where clients can express their personal style, integrate new materials or try bold colours, says London-based interior designer Roselind Wilson.

The walls of this master bathroom in a north-west London property are covered in velvet finish Amaya limestone. The vanity counter top and bespoke basin feature silver honed travertine from Salvatori while the textured sable wood unit by Oberflex has a matt finish.

The steel frame vanity mirror shows off the suspended, tubular, brushed brass light fixtures. The aged-brass, Brooklyn, deck-mounted taps are from the Watermark Collection. This ultra high-end bathroom will cost about €52,400.salvatori.it; oberflex.com; thewatermarkcollection.eu

8 Some people believe baths have gone out of fashion. Blame rising concerns about water conservation and general time poverty – but it remains one of the most affordable ways to de-stress. The shape you buy is up to you but the natural womb-like form of the egg bath, as pictured here at the Monteverdi, a luxury hotel perched atop a Tuscan medieval village, helped it to make it into the pages of Mr & Mrs Smith's book, World Sexiest Bedrooms, a gorgeous gift to give a loved one.

Agape's edgeless Spoon bath is similar in style. Made from Cristalplant, a material similar to Corian, its smooth form comes in two sizes; about €9,000 for the larger for the large and about €8,000 for the small, ex VAT, and can be ordered one through Dublin-based Realm Concepts, at Bulthaup Hanover Quay. mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/; hanoverquay.bulthaup.com

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors