Renovating a bathroom can be a stressful operation if you don’t know where to start and what to expect. In this post we’ll try to outline the first steps to take and how to create the perfect bathroom for you.
Often when we start furnishing our homes we have a general idea about the style we prefer for our interiors and about individual pieces of furniture, but that should not be the starting point.
1. Consult an expert
If you decide to appoint an architect or designer, which is a wise move, you will see that before talking about what you like, they will ask some very generic questions about what you envisage doing with the area involved, your lifestyle and that of your family, your habits and other aspects. You may consider these merely theoretical or having little to do with your aims, but not so, they are the starting points for reconsidering a room (the bathroom in this case) tailored as closely as possible to your needs.
In the case of bathrooms, there’s a need to know about lifestyles and personal habits in order to understand which materials to use (and which not to, above all), how much storage space is required, or how to re-position furniture and fixtures. You may have to decide priorities if there are children involved (lots of drawers, easy to clean materials?) or there is only one bathroom in the house, for example.
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2. Why are you renovating your bathroom?
Do you want to refresh its style maintaining the same layout, or do you want to change the arrangement of space and replace or eliminate something (the bath tub, for example)? Do you need to integrate a laundry area in the bathroom? Would you like to replace your old freestanding washbasin with a convenient capacious vanity unit? Do you dream of a modern free-standing bath tub in which to relax and pamper yourself, or would you prefer to replace it with a maxi shower enclosure?
Has the family grown and its needs changed? Will two washbasins now be better than one?
In other words, what has led you to face renovating your bathroom?
It could be useful to write down your motivations, together with a list of things you like and don’t like in your current bathroom, concentrating on functionality (you’ll think about style later) and the way you will want to use the room (is it a guest bathroom or a place to relax in?)
Get a deeper perspective by reading these posts:
- The essential accessories for organising laundry space in the bathroom
- Double washbasins and other solutions avoid arguments
3. Start with priorities
Renovating the bathroom can generate perplexity and a host of doubts, so you should start from what is making you do it: focus on functional priorities. On the basis of these, the look of the future bathroom will become clearer with new areas designed to meet needs and requirements that have changed.
If space is at a premium, you will have to decide whether a large shower is more important than a spacious cabinet, and in the former case you will have to decide what material to use for the shower tray; whether to fit a washing machine in the bathroom or provide a laundry area elsewhere, in a corridor or other service area of the house. Slowly but surely all these decisions (difficult, we know) will bring your dream bathroom into focus.
- Framed vs frameless shower enclosures?
- Where to fit a washing machine in a small bathroom
- Choosing the ideal shower tray
4. Aesthetics or functionality?
Both, if possible. However, at times we must choose. In particular we are talking about materials, but also of future needs for maintenance and cleaning.
- How much time do you want to dedicate to looking after your bathroom? Are you willing to occasionally use industrial products to treat certain surfaces?
- Would you be ready to include technical or synthetic materials for a washbasin, or do you feel more at home with classic ceramic fixtures? Today the world of bathroom decor offers a vast choice of products, but often those we like the most are not suitable for our lifestyle.
- Wood in the bathroom? Fabulous, but remember we need to be that little bit more careful.
- Transparent maxi shower? You could opt for treating the glass so that water drops are less evident.
- Free-standing bath tub? Make sure it’s not too difficult to clean (if it’s placed too near the wall, for example).
An expert in the trade will be able to illustrate all the most modern décor solutions, with the pros and cons for each one.
Look for other ideas in these posts:
5. That’s it: now draw the conclusions!
We have finally come to the most enjoyable part, from which you would probably have started. Styles, wall colours and tiles, finishes on bathroom cabinets, wood species, decorations and shapes. Contemporary bathroom décor offers a host of opportunities, at times so many that we lose our way. Before seeking individual elements, a professional usually makes up one (or more) moodboards. Different from a simple collage of images, this is a real design tool for the purpose of collecting ideas about possible combinations of finishes, textures and colours that will establish the style of the bathroom. Samples of materials are matched on the computer, or by hand, to see how they look together. When the moodboard has been made, it will be much easier to furnish the bathroom and you will have fewer doubts because the different options are restricted.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for your bathroom renovation, go to our Pininterest profile!
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- Choosing colour in the bathroom
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6. Which decor item to choose first?
Granted that priority can be given to one element rather than another, without any specific rule (if, for example, you just love that fantastic cabinet, it could be the main item around which to build the decor), if there are no other considerations or preferences, the walls should be thestarting point.
They will influence later decisions about colour scheme and style. The functional areas of the bathroom (sanitary fixtures, washbasin, shower or bath tub, and possibly a laundry) are established and the idea is to define them with differently shaped tiles (nowadays it’s not just ceramics: bathroom walls can be papered or covered in other materials). Samples of wall coverings to hand, try to choose cabinets and their finishes, without neglecting other important decisions, such as the washbasin or cabinet height.
Need other tips and advice for renovating your bathroom? Take a look at these posts:
- Suspended or floor-standing cabinets?
- Semi-inset, integrated, freestanding or countertop: which washbasin to choose?
7. Don’t forget the accessories
Last but not least is definition of accessories, that is to say all those items that make the bathroom more functional (towel rails, lamps, baskets or deep drawers) or that help you take advantage of every centimetre of a long, narrow bathroom. Now you can coordinate the metallic finishes on accessories with the rest of the decor, which is one of the most fashionable trends right now!
Want to know more?
What do you think? Have we managed to clear some of your doubts about renovating the bathroom? Remember it’s always better to face such a project together with an expert in the trade, so call on one of our dealers closest to you to get hands-on experience of some decor ideas.