By Claudia Simone Hoff
All-round talents: baths and rain showers
Need lots of space for a bath you can sink into? Not necessarily! Bette shows how this can be achieved with products such as BetteSelect, a hip bath or BetteBambino, which are space-saving and yet entirely comfortable.
They also transform into a refreshing rain shower in moments if they are also fitted with overhead showers such as the Raindance by Hansgrohe or any of the luxurious designs by Dornbracht and Axor. A transparent glass dividing wall makes sure there are no splashes and that the bath and shower are perceived as part of the room.
Out of the way! Compact sanitary objects
As well as space-saving baths, almost every sanitaryware manufacturer also offers washbasins, shower trays and WCs that are specially designed for small bathrooms. Thus, for instance, you will find washbasins that double as towel holders and storage surfaces, as can be seen at Ex.t, Duravit or Villeroy & Boch. If the room is very small, as is often the case with spare bathrooms, then rectangular basins are a good choice with the fitting positioned on the side.
Multifunctional (bathroom) furniture
Even the smallest corner should be used in a small bathroom – and yet without making the room look overwhelming. Of course, you can get a carpenter to make the furniture to your specifications. Or you can opt for classic, functionally sophisticated bathroom furniture made by a single manufacturer. The advantage: it is designed to suit the sanitaryware and provide visual uniformity, which creates a calm atmosphere in the room. However, a more exciting solution is the combination with vintage items and (small) furniture from other labels that, in the ideal case, is multifunctional. For instance, the Alvar Aalto stool by Artek is a design classic for the bathroom that also acts as a seat and storage surface. Other Scandinavian labels also have some lovely items: String has introduced a new bathroom cabinet, while Montana has a small medicine cabinet that goes on the wall.
Materials, colours & textiles
The basic elements of the room – walls, ceiling, floors – should all be the same, as this brings calm into the interior. Solutions include a floor-level shower tray, or else a shower tray tiled to match the floor. Floors with pretty tiles or a single wall in a contrasting colour catch the eye, and distract from the (lack of) size of the room. As a general rule: never use too many colours, and always stay in the same colour family. Transparencies in the form of glass shower partitions or Plexiglas furniture create smooth transitions. Exclusive materials such as wood and natural stone, and above all metals such as brass and copper, bring a touch of luxury in to the bathroom. Just as textiles – towels, bath mats, curtains – add structure and depth.
Mix & match: accessories
Accessories should be functional and aesthetic, especially if the bathroom is small. But there’s always room for a touch of lavishness, and certainly when it comes to the materials. They add warmth and tactical experiences to the bathroom – like the accessories that Studiopepe has developed for the Italian label Agape. Table mirrors, containers and storage surfaces are made of black or white natural stone that is combined with brass elements and bring glamour into the bathroom. The German manufacturer Alape opts for walnut for its Assist storage system, which comes in a number of designs to cover any spatial requirements. Boxes and perforated blocks create stylish order, and can be added to at any time. It’s also good to experiment with accessories – after all, they’re easier to replace than flooring, sanitaryware or fittings.
Admittedly, there’s no such thing as a magic mirror. But there is one that cleverly makes a small room look bigger. Or one with integrated lighting that always shows you at your best. And one with a luxurious frame that attracts admiring looks. Or one with additional functions such as hidden storage and towel holders. A good mirror, like the matching lighting, is essential in a bathroom.
As in the rest of the home, the bathroom can also be the stage on which you present your taste, as well as somewhere to experiment with style – no matter how big or small it is. After all, it’s often the personal things that turn a house into a home. Or an unloved wet room into somewhere you like to be. So get on with the decorating and moving around: with paints, plants, holiday souvenirs, scented candles, picture galleries, curtains and carpets!