The word ‘luxury’ means very different things to different people. For some, it conjures up images of a sleek, minimalistic room decorated only with a smattering of simple, state-of-the-art furnishings and fixtures. For others, luxury design means carved oak furniture adorned with lashings of golden gilding and velvet interiors.
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These two looks are worlds apart so if you’re hiring an interior designer it’s important to give them a little more direction than simply, “I want it luxurious”. Be specific with your ideas or you will end up disappointed! For those of you who love a bit of DIY (or are just on a budget) here are my top tips to achieve your perfect luxury bathroom at home, whatever style you’re after...
For truly stylish modern decor it’s imperative to keep things simple – filling your bathroom with an assortment of rails, units and shampoo bottles will do nothing to help you achieve that level of luxury you are looking for.
Start by picking a colour scheme – a simple, bright white is perfect here and also has the added benefit of making the room appear bigger. Try to stick to a classic palette, so if white’s not your thing consider opting for black, grey or light cream.
You’ll want a stand-out centrepiece for the room – if you’re on a tight budget, splash out as much as you can afford on one key piece and then buy cheaper items to complement it. It will look much more luxurious than a room full of mid-priced, mid-quality items, and the cheaper furnishings can always be replaced one at a time further down the line when you have more money.
A freestanding bathtub makes the perfect luxury centrepiece. For a truly modern appeal, look for a tub with a unique but simple shape, such as this gorgeous tub from Homebase. Keep faucets simple – a single mixer tap in gleaming chrome is a great choice!
Now add those simple, well-chosen finishing touches to complete the look. A chrome thermostatic shower is practical but stylish, and it’s a good idea to invest in a handful of sleek and stylish pump-action containers for your shampoo and shower gel, to avoid having a mess of toiletries bottles covering the surfaces.
A super-sized mirror will cover a plain-looking wall without making the room look cramped (actually, it will make it look bigger), just remember to opt for a frame-free version. Oh, and bath towels should match the colour scheme and each other too, keep garish beach towels for your holidays!
Prefer the opulent decadence of a Baroque-inspired bathroom? Marble or wooden furnishings are the key to nailing this look, so invest in a high quality vanity unit that will be the main focus of the room. If you can’t afford a solid oak or mahogany unit, you can still fake it by using a rich hazelnut or cherry-brown stain to colour a cheaper wood.
Can’t find one you like for the bathroom? A bedroom vanity works just as well – you simply need to cut the right sized holes in the top for a sink basin or two (and in the back for the pipe-work), and don’t forget to give wood a good two or three coats of waterproof sealant!
Matching shelves are a great, low-cost way to add some storage space, or you can opt for a wall unit to keep your lotions and potions hidden away out of sight. Look for one with a fancy carved edging, or jazz up a boring unit with some stylish gold handles.
For a truly opulent, over-the-top luxury appeal, that same gold should be dotted around the room wherever possible. Of course, it doesn’t need to be real gold! Find a gorgeous traditional styled gold mixer tap that will take any bath tub from boring to beautiful, and if it’s a freestanding tub with Victorian-style clawed feet then all the better.
Finish off with a soft, shag-pile bath mat and a set of oversized towels in a rich hue such as plum or burgundy. Of course, you’ll need to add a few modern trimmings such as fire alarm systems to keep the whole place safe, but you can still lie back in the tub with a glass of bubbly and imagine you’re back in the decadent 1920’s!
Estelle Page is an interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one room at a time!
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