It may be the littlest room in the house, but your bathroom shouldn’t draw the short straw when it comes to design and renovation. For a bathroom that says ‘you,’ think through some ideas and create your own bathroom design, or call on the expertise of a professional bathroom designer. For effective bathroom design, follow these simple guidelines:

1. Think about your household’s bathroom habits
Consider how many people have to use the bathroom? How much storage will be needed? What kind of shower and basin would suit everyone?

2. Set a bathroom budget
The cost will be split evenly between labour and materials. If you use the services of a team of New Zealand bathroom designers you’ll need to give them an indication of your budget. Remember, prices vary between showers, vanities and bathroom fixtures, but the installation cost will be the same for all models. Shop around and find quality New Zealand bathroom fittings.

3. Be prepared for a complete overhaul
The process of installing your new bathroom can be a lengthy one, as the entire room is usually stripped bare to allow the plumber and electrician to rewire and refit pipes in all the necessary places. As well as relining the walls, the ceiling will be relined and any floor coverings will be lifted. Skirtings, tiles and fittings will all need to be replaced. Be sure to have backup plans in place, as you may find yourself without a shower for 4 or 5 days!

4. Ensure your bathroom is easy to use
Good bathroom design rests on functionality and usability to make sure you pay attention to the bathroom’s details: Will taps be easy to turn on and off? Is the room well ventilated to prevent the bathroom getting damp? Is there enough storage space? Will the basin be at the right height for everyone in the household?

5. Sort your style
Your bathroom doesn’t have to be stylistically identical to the rest of your home, but it should be a comfortable fit. At an early stage in the bathroom design process, take a wander through your local bathroom fittings retailer. With a wide variety of showers, toilets and bathroom fixtures, and display bathrooms in a range of styles, you’ll be able to see what your options are. Think about style, colour and size of units. Before going, it’s a good idea to get hold of some interior design magazines and catalogues.

6. Create a good bathroom design
If you’re going to spend money renovating your bathroom, it’s best to think through all aspects of your sparkling new bathroom space:

  • Use of space: most bathrooms are reasonably small, so make effective use of the space. Try out different layouts (don’t feel restricted by what was there previously if you’re revamping an existing bathroom). Consider: how doors will open; the amount of room available when stepping out of the shower; the size of the bathroom vanity and so on. You can create the illusion of space with an uncluttered space and clean lines which draw the eye upwards. Make sure you take accurate measurements so you can select bathroom fixtures to suit the space.
  • Colour: stick to light colours if your space is small. Cream, white or a neutral colour is a good base. For some flair, add accessories or feature tiles with some bolder colour.
  • Lighting and heating: consider this at an early stage, as wiring will need to be done before the walls, ceiling and floor are relined. You might want to think about underfloor heating, heated towel rails, lighting above the vanity, extraction fans and heated elements to prevent mirrors from steaming up. Lighting should be functional (it’s good to be able to see what you’re doing when preening and cleaning!) and make good use of any natural light sources.
  • Ventilation: the bathroom can be a source of major dampness in your house, so make sure it’s well-ventilated to prevent mould and mildew. Ask your building team about a water resistant lining material, which reduces the amount of moisture absorbed by the lining and prevents it from being absorbed into the structural materials.
  • Storage: look for a basin or vanity with adequate storage cupboards and/or drawers. You might want to supplement this with exposed shelves, recessed cabinets or floating cabinets.
  • Flooring: tiles are the most durable and easy to clean floor surface in the bathroom. Tiling can be extended up the wall to a height of 1.2 metres (above which the wall is painted).

Whether you’re designing your own bathroom or thinking a bathroom design through before approaching a bathroom design expert, make sure you create a space that is both useable and welcoming.