How to Curate Ideas for Your Bathroom Project
Do your research and make use of a moodboard to get your revamp off to the best start
Narrowing the options down what appeals to you and what’s likely to work in your space is the first step. So spend some time collating images and put together a wish list for each part of the bathroom. Compiling a moodboard of images or an ideabook on Houzz is a great way to keep all your ideas together, and a visual brief of what you’re aiming for can be really helpful for explaining what you want to a bathroom designer.
As part of our Bathroom Planning guide, here are a few tips to help you build a picture of your ideal bathroom design.
Starting your bathroom project? Read How to Plan for a Bathroom Renovation
It’s easy to build up a large amount of images very quickly, which can be confusing – especially if you’re trying to communicate your ideas to a supplier or designer. Try to edit your images as best you can. What you’re aiming for is one ‘hero’ image that really captures what you’d like achieve.
For example, this bathroom mixes contemporary sanitaryware with more traditional panelling and patterned tiles, making it a great example of an eclectic-style bathroom.
Ready to revamp your space? Find bathroom designers in your area and read reviews from previous clients.
The devil really is in the detail. When saving photos you like, pay attention to the smaller elements, such as the way certain things are set out. Shower mixers, hand showers and fittings such as radiators can make or break a beautiful space.
Here, the mixer and diverter for the shower are centred on the bath and positioned so you can turn on the shower without getting wet. The shower head is also set into the ceiling, maximising the height for the water flow.
More: How to Pick the Perfect Shower Head
When planning a bathroom, make storage a priority. The more you can hide away, the better. There are many ways to incorporate it; collecting images of ideas you like is a good way to start narrowing down the myriad options into solutions that will work in your space.
Again, cast your net wide, picking out ideas at first simply because they appeal to you. Do also have a list of all the stuff your household needs to store in the bathroom and tailor your search to solutions that will accommodate those things.
Then go through and refine, with your own space clearly in mind. Look, for example, for unused spaces in your bathroom/potential bathroom, such as a gap at the end of the bath that could simply be boxed out, fitted with a hinged lid and used as a laundry box. Here, the space at the end of the bath has been built out up to the ceiling to create a larder-style, pull-out storage unit.
One such storage idea to consider is an under-cabinet vanity unit, and there are several ways to achieve this.
Many of the sanitaryware companies now sell complementary storage solutions that work with their ceramics. Flick through their catalogues or online photos and collect examples you like. Alternatively, opt for bespoke joinery or recycle a vintage piece of furniture and design it to accommodate your specific requirements.
This is, of course, a decision you’ll need to firm up early on and one that may have quite a knock-on effect on the rest of your design. Once you’ve got a rough edit of your favourite photos, and if you still can’t decide, you could try counting how many schemes do and how many don’t have vanity units as a sort of visual pros and cons list, and let that shape your choice.
More: How to Choose a Bathroom Vanity Unit
Don’t let your moodboard curation be held back by worries that everything you like seems to be outside your budget. It’s often the case that you can achieve a high-end look without blowing your budget. If you love the look of marble, for example, but your budget doesn’t stretch that far, there are some wonderful porcelain and ceramic marble-effect tiles that will create the same look at a lower cost.
If budget is a real concern, cut back on the amount of tiling you have in your bathroom. You can save money by only covering the areas that need to be watertight, such as in a shower enclosure, around a bath or behind a basin. Where there’s no risk of direct contact with water, simply paint instead. The right choice of paint colour can be just as striking as a stone or mosaic finish – for a fraction of the cost.
This bathroom is an example of one way that could work and, as you’ll see as you start to collate your ideas, reducing tiling by no means has to look as if you’re scrimping.
Look for novel ways to finish your room. Here, timber panelling makes a real feature out of an otherwise ordinary space, while concealed lighting behind the mirror adds another layer of luxury. The panelling is simply flooring that’s been fitted to the wall and sealed with a matt lacquer.
More: Five Ways Ideabooks Can Help to Bring Your Project Together
Wall-hung sanitaryware is a great choice if you want a contemporary look. If this is what you’re going for, however, be aware that this is only the start of the decision-making process.
One benefit of wall-hung pieces – and of any sanitaryware with concealed pipework – is that, because the wall will need to be boxed out to conceal the services, you can use the space behind the boxing to create a recessed storage cupboard. Here, roomy mirrored cabinets are recessed above a wall-hung basin and toilet.
Look out for other examples of bathrooms with sanitaryware requiring a boxed-out wall and familiarise yourself with the many options there are to make the best use of it. The niche/shelf with a mirror cabinet above is a classic, but do you prefer it to be a feature, as here, with a frame around the whole space, or something more streamlined? Or would a simple ledge, and one that doesn’t stretch the width of the room, be more useful?
Cast your ideas net wide and then start filtering.
Check out more photos of contemporary bathroom ideas
Browsing images of other people’s bathrooms is also fantastic for offering creative solutions to problems you might be facing. So if you find a clever idea, save it, possibly in a separate file for now, and come back to it if it’s not immediately obvious how it could help in your bathroom.
Here, for example, the homeowners have managed to fit a bath and shower into this room by creating a raised section for the tub that doubles as a wet room-style shower.
Are you about to do up a bathroom? Tell us about the process you used to help you finalise details and make key decisions in the Comments.