How to decorate your dream bathroom: ideas and advice
How to design and decorate your dream bathroom
The bathroom is no longer the poor relation in a home, and the interior design market has exploded over recent years with innovative and stylish ideas and products. A simple glance at Pinterest is enough to show just how this room that was once perceived as purely functional has caught the imagination and inspired makeovers and renovations.
While it’s great to have so many sources of inspiration, the flip side is that you can become carried away and end up with a bathroom that is gorgeous to look at and very Instagrammable, but isn’t practical. So, what do you need to remember when you’re planning a bathroom makeover? What type of material is best on bathroom walls and floors? How do you create a look that’s easy to look after?
Let’s take a look at all you need to know about designing and decorating the perfect bathroom.
The first thing to think about when it comes to bathroom décor is what type of material to use on the floor and walls.
Here, whatever you choose, it should be:
- Ideally natural
- Pleasing on the eye
At the risk of stating the obvious, water-resistance is the top priority as the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about every little drop or splash of water that ends up on the floor or walls, so you need something that is not going to mind getting wet.
A bathroom also represents a kind of sanctuary where you can wash away the stress of everyday life, both literally and figuratively, and in recent times it has come to be seen as a space that nurtures the wellbeing.
Sinking into a lovely hot bathtub or stepping under an invigorating shower can take on almost ritualistic properties, and make you feel at one with nature. You’ve got the water, so the other element that helps create that experience is, undoubtably, a natural material.
It’s hard to argue about stone’s credentials here, as it really does deliver on all three criteria. It is extremely hard wearing, absolutely natural and truly elegant, with many different tones and patterns to choose from.
Another natural and beautiful material is, of course, wood, however it has a lower resistance coefficient, making it less robust in a bathroom environment.
Salvatori has found a way round this by developing textures in stone that evoke that wonderful warmth that is such an inherent quality of wood. Stone Parquet, Raw and Stone Tatami combine the look and soul of wood with the unflinching toughness of stone to deliver that elusive double of practicality and style in a single solution.
As we have already said, when done well, a bathroom can become a form of mini-spa, fostering relaxation and tranquillity.
Key to achieving that kind of environment is your choice of items such as basin, vanity unit and bathtub which need to be:
First and foremost, when it comes to bathroom design, you want practicality, and this also means it should work whether you’re in a rush in the morning or seeking some time out to relax on an evening or during the weekend.
You need to be able to move around it with ease, without risking bumping into obstructions or worry about ducking your head, for example, which is why careful planning of the layout is something you shouldn’t underestimate.
At the same time, given the amount of time we spend in our bathrooms, you want it to have an aesthetic harmony, which is where choosing pieces from the same collection can make life easy, taking the stress out of your decision making, and certainly saving time.
Another element that is extremely important when thinking about your bathroom design is lighting and here, more than any other room in the house, you need to choose wisely, not only thinking about aesthetics, but also the amount of light required to perform basic rituals.
If a general lighting solution is always advisable, in a windowless bathroom, where you want to recreate the effect of a room flooded with natural light, it is absolutely fundamental.
In addition to general lighting, you will also need to install functional lights around the mirror and basin area to help carry out those essential daily tasks such as shaving or applying make up. One of the most useful bathroom lighting solutions when it comes to illuminating your face is a backlit mirror such as our Mirari.
Then, leaving practical issues aside and thinking about how to create a more soothing environment for those evenings when you want to perhaps sink into a hot bubble bath and simply relax, you definitely need mood lighting. Our Urano lamp, carved from a single piece of gorgeous white marble, fits the bill perfectly, casting a soft, elegant light to create a truly special atmosphere.
As always, it’s the little touches and details that make a difference and luckily, there is plenty of choice of elegant, innovative bathroom accessories, but again, given that often space can be limited, you need to find pieces that are both practical and stylish.
With this in mind, we have designed accessories such as the Anima towel rack, Fontane Bianche toothbrush holder and Ellipse soap dish with the aim of adding a touch of Made in Italy flair to any bathroom.
You can even take aesthetics a step further and install art, making use of all that free wall space to transform your bathroom into something unconventional and original.
Because of the dampness and condensation you inevitably get in a bathroom, obviously not all types of artwork are going to be suitable, but the Intarsi collection of bold geometric panels in natural stone is the perfect solution. Whether you want to hang just one or create your own composition by mixing two or more different designs and sizes, you can release your inner creative and design a truly unique bathroom wall.
Now that we’ve gone through some of the ways we can transform a bathroom into a stylish and practical space, let’s take a look at one large and one small bathroom to see how to put it into practice.
Designing and decorating a large bathroom may sound easy, but that’s not always the case as you can risk ending up with a haphazard, randomly put together result with no sense of cohesion.
If you have plenty of natural light, why not be daring and experiment with dark colours, as this can create a sense of cosiness and understated luxury, as in this bathroom where Pietra d’Avola limestone has been used throughout.
The walls and floor are in our Lost Stones texture, where gold-coloured seams elegantly hold together irregularly-shaped offcuts of stone, while the simple honed version accentuates the soft curves of the Anima pieces that furnish the space.
From the mirror to the freestanding basin and modular drawers right through to accessories such as the selection of pots and soap dish, each piece contributes to the overall sense of harmony in this decidedly elegant modern bathroom.
If it’s not easy to design a large bathroom, smaller ones can be even more challenging.
For small or windowless bathrooms, it’s generally best to go for lighter colours, which will have the effect of amplifying the space and counteracting the lack of natural light.
You’ll also have to be a little more strategic in terms of the accessories and furnishings you choose, as obviously they need to take up as little room as possible.
This bathroom uses our ever popular Crema d’Orcia and, as always, it immediately adds warmth and light. In its honed version on the walls and floor, it also works beautifully in the compact Stiletto basin and TABL-EAU towel rail, while the Pietra L soap dish and PLAT-EAU Bath toothbrush holder in dark brown Pietra d’Avola add a touch of stylish contrast.
Beyond its primary function, the large Quadro mirror creates a sense of more space, and has yet another surprising and welcome advantage, as its 7-cm deep brass frame serves as a handy ledge for holding items that you want close at hand, such as perfume or make up.
Through clever design and the choice of light-coloured stone, the room is transformed from what could have felt a cramped, compromised space into an elegant high-end bathroom.