Our modern lives are more hectic than ever, so it’s only natural that we need to take some time out once in a while. As part of our year-long celebration of The Great British Bathroom, we’ll show you how to create the ultimate space in which to unwind and relax.
During the summer, we all tend to spend more time outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Yet, as the days grow shorter, it’s our home interiors that start to get all the attention.
With the advent of wearable tech and all manner of devices that allow us to monitor our wellbeing, tending to both our physical and mental health has become increasingly important, and is especially significant when we begin to plan for autumn and winter.
The bathroom has always played a key role in allowing us to find a private space in which to unwind and relax, away from the general hustle and bustle of everyday life. The benefits of relaxation are obvious: It brings down our blood pressure, allows us to reflect, think rationally and heightens our mood. A bathroom that is designed to be a stress-free environment is the key to maintaining wellness.
With that in mind, our latest “Get the Look” article will show you how to create a bathroom that promotes relaxation, no matter how large or small it may be. We’re calling it “Pure Harmony”.
Pure Harmony inspiration
As with any type of home interiors project, the best way to set out on your design journey is to create a mood board, using elements you’ve spotted from various different sources such as magazines, websites (Pinterest is particularly good for this purpose). You can even take inspiration from bathrooms you’ve seen elsewhere, like a friend’s house or that hotel you stayed in during the summer.
To help set the tone for your Pure Harmony bathroom, our stylist Nicky has put in the hard work for you and created her own mood board below, demonstrating the different colours, textures, products and accessories you can use to get the style just right.
Planning your Pure Harmony bathroom
So you’ve created your mood board, but what now?
The next step on the journey is to apply all those colours, materials and products to your own bathroom layout. Spa-like serenity can be achieved through the right combination of all these things, so you’ll need to think about the size of your room and what you can fit into that space.
The main aim is to create an environment which focuses the mind. A cluttered bathroom = a cluttered mind, so if you have toiletries, towels, lotions and ornaments all over the place, you will never feel truly relaxed. Your décor needs to be clean, minimalist, light and bright.
It should draw on the Japanese art of Zen, to create a space that is perfect for mindfulness and deep thinking. Indeed, there are many aspects of Japanese culture you can incorporate into your Pure Harmony bathroom design, which we’ll touch upon later. So, without further ado, let us show you how to create your very own Pure Harmony bathroom.
Creating your Pure Harmony bathroom
Whilst you may not quite have the same amount of space as we did in our Pure Harmony room set above, you can still clearly spot some of the elements that can turn a busy and functional bathroom, into one that helps you chill out and unwind.
Key elements for your Pure Harmony bathroom:
- A clean, minimalist approach—no ornate designs, complex patterns or bold colours
- Thin lines—Handles, taps, showers should all be slender. No chunky or overbearing elements
- Single light shades for your walls and floors—white, light grey, sand and beige all work well
- Reflective or polishes surfaces—help to enhance both natural and artificial light
- Washed out woods—add a natural element without being overly dark
- Ample storage—store clutter away out of sight and out of mind
- Rounded shapes—softens the look
- Focus on the bath—the centrepiece for any relaxing space
Pure Harmony bathroom products
The bath is THE place to spend time relaxing, so it makes sense for it to be the item you take most time in choosing. A contemporary freestanding bath with a simple shape, accompanied by a slender freestanding bath filler tap is the ideal choice, but if you don’t have the room to spare, look for space-saving back to wall designs or double ended baths.
Keeping your bathroom feeling light and bright is a key consideration, and this can be achieved by choosing either a walk in or frameless shower enclosure. Some of your best thinking can be had in a shower, so why not opt for a dual shower with an overhead outlet allowing rainfall style water cascade from directly above you, plus the option to switch to a handheld shower, providing a more invigorating experience.
The golden rule is that less is more when it comes to storage. A vanity unit and a wall hung unit should discreetly conceal everything you need to keep in your bathroom. Choose light wood colours to fit with your overall décor. Make sure surfaces are kept clear.
A contemporary back to wall toilet with a light coloured unit that matches the rest of your furniture helps to enhance the clean, light and bright feel.
Natural light (and lots of it!) is a great way to keep your Pure Harmony bathroom feeling bright and airy. Make optimum use of any windows you may have. For those darker evenings, downlights and even task lighting can help to set the right mood.
Tiles and flooring
By tiling your room, you can maintain that fresh feel with the minimum of effort. Look out for light coloured stone or wood effect tiles. Don’t be tempted by fussy mosaics or bright colours.
Keep accessories to a minimum and choose carefully. A wooden bath board can be both functional and highly attractive, whilst a simple bath mat will keep your feet nice and warm when you get out of the bath.
Pure Harmony in an average-sized bathroom
Having a bathroom that's the size of the one pictured above is all well and good, but the average UK bathroom size is much smaller.
So, to help you plan your Pure Harmony bathroom, we've created the following room set, which shows exactly how much you can fit in an average-sized space.
As you can see, the focus is still firmly on the freestanding bath. However, we've also cleverly incorporated a washstand and countertop basin installation, along with the back to wall toilet, for a clean and uncluttered look.
How to relax in your Pure Harmony bathroom
So, you’ve got the bathroom but what more can you do to achieve a zen-like state? Here are some great tips to achieve complete relaxation:
Observe your breathing
Breathing is something we do without thinking, so by taking time to focus on your breathing, you can learn to relax and unwind. An activity best saved for the bath or shower, clear your mind of thoughts and focus on your breathing for around a minute, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. It should reduce your heart rate and calm you down.
Be aware of your stream of conscious thoughts and allow them to appear and dissolve without any other distractions coming into play. This will help you filter out any worries or doubts you may have.
Create a cleaning ritual
One of the influences from Japanese bathing is the ritualistic way in which it’s done. Ensure your bathroom is clutter-free before you begin (especially if your children or partner have used it beforehand). Store all your bath time essentials, such as sponges, brushes and soaps, in a wooden bucket, which can be stored elsewhere. Work from top to bottom and take your time, being mindful of every part of the cleansing ritual.
Make use of your view
Whilst privacy is a key consideration, if you are lucky enough to have a pleasant view out of a window and you’re not overlooked by other properties, why not make use of that view and open your windows to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature? It’s a great way to bring serenity to proceedings.
Do as the Japanese do
If you have separate shower and bath installations, why not follow the Japanese method of washing? Add a shower stool to your shower area and begin, in a seated position, by scrubbing and rinsing off the grime and dirt of the day, before you finally descend into your nice hot steamy bath.
Get the Look
Not quite the style you’re searching for? Discover loads more inspirational “Get the Look” style guides for your bathroom by clicking on the image below.
The Great British Bathroom
All throughout 2019, we’re celebrating The Great British Bathroom, with fresh inspiration for the nation. Keep an eye out for our next big bathroom idea or click on the image below to see all our previous blog posts.