Wanda Michelle Hadlow: Renovating for Return Bathrooms
In this instalment of Renovating for Return, Wanda Michelle Interiors will show you how to make the most of your bathroom makeover. Bathrooms are tricky to renovate for various reasons and we’ll look at some of the challenges and how to overcome them.
Very often when renovating homes, the size and relative location of the bathrooms make it difficult to achieve the effects we want. If it’s impossible to increase the volume of the bathroom, we need to be creative in the way we utilise the space that is available.
One way we’ve done this is to use large mirrors and windows. This optical illusion makes the room seem more spacious than it might be and, naturally, also makes it easy to apply makeup, shave and generally pamper oneself.
To use the space even more efficiently, you can clad bathroom cabinets with mirrors as we’ve done here. Really large cupboards can hold extra towels and cleaning products along with the usual paraphernalia.
Of course, bathing and showering causes steam condensation which somewhat diminishes these effects and your ability to use the mirrors. So, if you have the means then invest in a mirror heating system or simply try shaving cream, vinegar, anti-fog or other DIY solutions to keep your mirrors clear.
What we’ve also done for clients where space is an absolute premium is to combine bedroom and bathroom – not so much en suite as ‘in suite’. This saves a lot of space that would be taken up by separating walls.
It can, in fact, exude a certain level of luxury too as seen in this Hyde Park renovation. The open space which contains bedroom, bathroom and walk-in cupboard is functional, beautiful and convenient.
Another benefit to having large windows and mirrors is to increase the quality of light. You don’t want your bathroom to be a dark, dank recess at the back of the house. Of course, you may be constrained by things like available plumbing points or the fact that the bathroom has no wall that can open to the outside, but, if possible, go for lots of natural light. It just feels better to bath or shower with a view of nature’s fresh beauty than staring at a row of tiles.
If you have privacy concerns, you may have the option to build your windows high up on the walls or use skylights, as we did here. You could also use frosted glass, especially if the view outside is your neighbour’s 8-foot wall, or worse.
If you don’t have enough external light, try using lots of concealed or spot lighting, more mirrors and mirror-lighting to enhance what is available to you.
Another challenge is balancing design with practicality. The bathroom can be a watery place, after all. Besides steamy showers and splashes from basins and baths they require constant cleaning for hygiene purposes.
Simple, moisture-resistant materials and clean lines don’t necessarily mean sterile and boring though. Granite counters and wooden blinds, for instance, are easy to wipe down but can look really special, as seen in our Morningside project.
You also don’t need to rule out using plush rugs or even carpeting. Just remember that rugs can be taken out and thoroughly cleaned and dried, carpets may need more intense maintenance such as regular steam cleaning to keep them hygienic. As seen below, also ensure there are tiled areas to dry off in after washing – and make sure there are extra towels or anti-slip mats to prevent accidents.
Finally, there is no reason not to exclude the character of your home from the bathroom. While using sensible materials, you can still allow for great design features in tiles, textured walls and accessories.
Concentrating on the above three elements can help you renovate bathrooms in style. If you need more assistance with these types of projects, do not hesitate to get in touch!