Mix and match fittings and simple-to-use online tools now make it easier than ever for you to create a space that’s tailored to the way you live.
Personalising every room in the house to reflect our tastes has been the norm for years. However, up until now, the bathroom has often been left out, limited by matching suites or units chosen to suit the surroundings rather than the people who use the space. Mixing and matching sanitaryware, brassware, materials and furniture is the latest way to achieve a bespoke feel that also fits your lifestyle. This allows you to select practical pieces for the way you and your family use the bathroom, rather than ending up with a space-hogging bath you’ll barely use, or a vanity that skimps on storage.
Planning the space needn’t be daunting either. There are a range of handy online tools available, and the newest pieces make designing your scheme more straightforward.With a variety of sizes, shapes and complementary finishes on offer, it’s easy to combine contemporary versions of traditional fittings. There’s more opportunity to include pattern and colour in a design, too, with a greater choice of real stone, composite materials and ceramic tiles, as well as suitable soft furnishings, wallpaper and fabrics.
Simple, timeless pieces work well in any style of home and can blend with both patterned tiles and more traditional flooring.
Cypress basin in porcelain (H81xW50xD40.5cm)
WC in porcelain (H80x W36.5xD65cm)
Cascade bath in white acrylic (H40xW170xD70cm)
Ora mixer tap in chrome (H27xReach13cm)
Hollywood mirror (H75x W60xD4cm)
Serpentine collection, total from £1,039 based on a guide layout, Betta Living
While blending pieces is great, it’s best to avoid an overload of influences in order to maintain a sleek look. A good rule of thumb is to choose no more than three styles, with two of those featuring a similar amount of detail, and the third one being plain. ‘Traditionally, a bathroom suite would be composed of a set of co-ordinating fittings to give a homogeneous look,’ says Leanne Martin, Category Manager for Bathing and Wellness at Sottini. ‘Without this, there needs to be a link that pulls the individual elements together, otherwise the scheme may not work.’ Before you start, try creating a bathroom moodboard or go window-shopping. The key to the process is choosing appropriate products and making sure your design reflects your lifestyle.
Whether your space is large or small, a frameless shower enclosure can make it feel calm and uncluttered.
EauZone Plus Hinged from Wall with Inline panel enclosure in 10mm safety glass and chrome (H202xW100xD100cm), £1,396.80, Matki
Before you buy
Selecting bathroom fittings from a range of sources rather than choosing a suite means there are a few more practical elements to consider when you’re shopping around. The first is to make sure they’re compatible with your home and each other. Taps, for example, will need to be suitable for the water pressure in your property, as well as size-wise for the basin or bath. You’ll also need to make sure that ceramic or composite items match; white isn’t just white and may vary in tone and finish from different suppliers.
Similarly, if the style of the brassware is different from bath to basin, keep the tap, handle and towel rail finish the same; for example, shiny chrome throughout, rather than some in a brushed look. If you’re sourcing furniture from abroad, check that it meets UK standards and EU regulations. ‘Be careful with quality – there are a great deal of fittings that come from areas such as the Far East that don’t always have the same quality control as European brands,’ advises interior designer Celia Sawyer. ‘It’s always worth finding out where taps were made and researching the manufacturer.’ Also, remember that different suppliers will work to different lead times, especially if any pieces are made to order, so be sure to buy these first.