Whether you’re renovating an existing bathroom, adding decorating touches to a tired one or building from scratch, here are 10 top tips to get you started
The bathroom is often the smallest room in the home, but it can still be a stylish and practical haven. Whether you’re renovating an existing bathroom or building from scratch, Mitre 10 MEGA has the whole package. Pop into your local branch and chat to the staff who can offer design inspiration and practical tips for whatever size and budget you’re working with.
First, think about your needs, as changing your bathroom in the future can be costly. Who will use the space – should it be child-friendly? What are your must-have features? What’s your budget? Have you decided on your preferred style? With these areas covered you’ll find making further decisions easy.
To get you started, here are our top 10 design basics to inspire your dream bathroom.
Top 10 rules of bathroom design
Sketch out your ideal bathroom layout. Take into account plumbing and wiring, making note of how much space is between the shower, toilet and vanity. Is there space to dry yourself and move around? Do the doors open the correct way without clashing? Is the toilet out of sight when the door is open? Build a partition wall if necessary. Save money by avoiding moving plumbing fixtures if you can. Try using the grid planner on Mitre10.co.nz to map out your bathroom.
Think about what you use and where is easiest to access it. You could use open shelves for folded towels and candles, storing the bulk in a nearby linen cupboard. Keep the items you use on a daily basis in an easy-to-access vanity or wall cabinet. Free-standing cabinets, peg rails and shelving also create storage; as do wrap-around shelves, recesses and slimline cabinets.
Surfaces can set the tone of the room. Ensure the materials are moisture resistant and can withstand high humidity. Tiles are a natural choice for bathroom floors, benchtops and walls, and are available in a range of styles and looks. Marble-look tile gives walls and floors a luxe, streamlined look. Timber floors lend a softness and are timeless, while mosaic tiles in your shower or splashback add texture and colour.
Be consistent with the style and size of fittings. Don’t feel that you have to use small fixtures and fittings – large handles on cabinets are easy to use and can look great. Simply changing your fittings and the handles on your cabinets with modern ones instantly updates your existing bathroom. Choose a vanity with soft-close doors and drawers, and a timer for your heated towel rail to keep costs down.
Large, built-in vanities and baths may reduce cleaning space, but can add heaviness to your room’s aesthetic. A freestanding bath will make the room feel more spacious than a built-in one, as will a floating toilet. Consider a vanity with a large sink that won’t feel cramped when using it. If space is tight and you’re torn between a small bath compared with a large shower, go with the latter.
The most common bathroom hues are white, a soft neutral or monochrome, creating a relaxing setting that never dates. A combination of white and grey tiles will bring a chic, masculine monochrome look to your bathroom. Dark patterned tiles add drama to your bathroom and give it a boutique hotel feel. Soften the look with the modern lines of a freestanding bath. But if colour makes your heart sing, include it. Consider painting the outside of a clawfoot bath or a feature wall in your favourite hue.
Scented candles, sumptuous bath mats and towels in bright colours and patterns, indoor plants, soap canisters – these finishing touches can add even more personality to your bathroom. During summer, bring in fluffy hand towels in bright summery colours or pastels, swapping them for more moody hues in winter.
Bathrooms require a combination of task, accent and ambient lighting. Task lights are necessary either side of your vanity mirror to avoid overhead shadows. Install a dimmer for low-level ambient light at night or when relaxing in the bath. Install accent LED lights at the base of a wall or behind a freestanding bath for visual effect. Bathrooms are often in the coldest part of the house with the least light, so maximise windows and skylights where you can to improve natural light. Install frosted windows
for privacy if neighbouring houses are in view.
9 Ventilation and heating
Opening windows after you’ve had a shower or bath isn’t always sufficient to ventilate your room. Install a fan to help with the process and avoid the build-up of mould. Don’t forget how cold it can get in winter and install some form of heating – a heat and ventilation light will do both of these jobs.
10 Keep it simple
Bathrooms are often squeezed into one of the smallest spaces in the home. So be mindful about what you want to include in the room. Don’t cram in a bath, separate shower, twin basins, toilet and bidet if you don’t have the room. Only go for a separate bath and shower if there’s enough room; otherwise, combine the two. Remember, you want your bathroom to be a calming space, not cluttered and busy.
Get the look with these products from Mitre 10 Mega
1. Floor tiles: Lakestone 600 x 600mm glazed porcelain tiles (SKU 248934)
2. Nouveau Mador freestanding bath (SKU 240156)
3. Fabia Thin Butler 900mm wall-hung vanity (SKU 169383)
4. Methven Waipori basin mixer (SKU 180462)
5. Wall tiles: Graphite 450 x 450mm porcelain tiles (SKU 229692)
6. Vomo Galleria Towel Ring (SKU 175711)
7. Nouveau Bevelled Edge 900 x 750mm vanity mirror (SKU 238005)
Visit Mitre10.co.nz or your local one-stop shop Mitre 10 MEGA to create your dream bathroom.