With a sophisticated take on traditional, country-inspired style, guest designer Helen Skelton shows you how to “Get the Look” in your bathroom.
When she’s not spending precious time with her 3 children or presenting her radio or TV shows, Helen can be found outdoors, out in the countryside or, often, down on the farm. And it’s this affinity for the great outdoors that Helen has brought into her own passion for home interiors.
So, of course, it was only natural that we asked Helen to help us out with our latest “Get the Look” style guide.
As with any bathroom project, a mood board is a great starting point, to gather all those ideas and inspiration, from colours and materials to products and textures. To quote a phrase Helen is more than familiar with, “here’s one we made earlier”…
With our mood board in place, it’s time to move on to the bathroom design itself.
Helen’s country style bathroom
To achieve a contemporary style, with elements of traditional design, Helen opted for hints of rich colour, combined with natural, raw materials like exposed stonework. The main idea was to give this loft conversion bathroom, with its sloped roof, a spacious and opulent feel.
We could easily imagine this bathroom as part of a cosy country cottage and, to maintain that general ambience, elements of traditional architecture have been included. The fireplace is designed to bring seasonal warmth to proceedings—a real treat, during those winter months.
One of the big things Helen wanted to express with this bathroom design was her love of the outdoors and country lifestyle. So, to create an organic feel, we included plenty of greenery in the form of plants, providing the perfect escape and solitude—a real return to nature.
As a busy mum of 3, Helen also wanted a bathroom that was suitable for working parents. By incorporating easy-to-clean surfaces, plus a freestanding bath and walk in shower, the design is ideal for on-the-go families, whilst still providing mum or dad with somewhere to spend some well-earned “me time”.
The colour palette is very much inspired by the natural world, with warm, earthy greens and cool, stone neutrals combining to great effect. And, whilst the look is designed to be luxurious and opulent, you’d be amazed at just how budget-friendly many of the selected products are.
With a loft space, we’ve been able to do a little more with the layout than, say, a conventional bathroom. We’ve added some false walls, which serve to add more storage space, whilst allowing us to expand our organic theme with natural materials.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of these individual elements which make up Helen’s country style bathroom.
Which products did we use?
Colourful countertop basin
Bringing depth to the overall colour palette, the Orion pink countertop basin was one of Helen’s first choices. With a real movement towards coloured ceramics, this pink basin is bang on-trend, reflecting Helen’s own fashionable style. The colour also serves to ensure a balanced mix of warm and cool tones throughout the bathroom.
Helen complemented the basin with antique bronze finish wall mounted taps from our Dalston collection, which bring a traditional elegance to proceedings, creating an eclectic blend of styles that’s certainly pleasing on the eye.
Storage is a major consideration in a family bathroom like this. That’s why Helen opted for a large storage unit for all those toiletries, toys and towels. The Newbury dusk grey storage unit (pictured above) can be used as part of a fitted furniture solution, but works perfectly well as an individual unit. A white marble effect countertop offers the perfect contrast.
- Mode Orion pink coloured countertop basin
- The Bath Co. Dalston antique bronze wall mounted basin mixer tap
- Reeves Newbury dusk grey storage unit 720 x 500mm
- Reeves Newbury white marble laminate worktop 353 x 1500mm
Back to wall freestanding bath
For a busy working parent like Helen, the bathroom should offer an escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. A freestanding bath will certainly tick all of these boxes and more, however, not every bathroom is suited to a gigantic tub. This is where a back to wall design, like the Dalston (pictured below), comes into its own.
Sitting flush against the false wall, much like a conventional straight bath, the back to wall tub comes complete with all the decorative elements you’d expect from a freestanding bath, like ball and claw feet and a roll top rim. In this loft bathroom, it sits neatly beneath the sloping roof, giving ample room for bathing, where a combined shower bath simply wouldn’t fit.
As with the basin, Helen has complemented with an antique bronze wall mounted bath mixer tap, which also matches the bath feet for a coordinated appearance.
- The Bath Co. Dalston province blue back to wall freestanding bath with antique bronze ball and claw feet
- The Bath Co. Dalston antique bronze wall mounted bath mixer tap
Back to wall toilet
For space-saving style, a back to wall toilet is a great choice for any bathroom. With the cistern neatly concealed behind our false wall, it is discreet whilst serving a vital function. A dual eco flush reduces water wastage whilst the soft close seat will help the little ones avoid painful trapped fingers!
Safe and stylish showering
Being able to choose between a bath or shower is vital for any busy family bathroom. And, in a loft conversion like this, separate units may work better than a single, combined shower bath.
To keep things light, airy and easily accessible, Helen has opted for a wet room style walk in shower area. A simple glass panel protects the rest of the room from splashes, whilst a luxurious traditional mixer shower reflects Helen’s love of classic design.
Thermostatic showers, like the Dulwich riser shower system pictured below, are an important element in family bathrooms, especially for those with young children. Maintaining a consistent temperature, and with an anti-scald cut out feature, it’ll guarantee safe, secure showering for all the family.
Heating, storage and accessories
Clutter is the bane of any busy family bathroom, which is why additional storage space can come in very handy. As with the countertop basin, Helen picked out storage units from our Reeves Newbury range for this very purpose. The design sits midway between traditional and modern, whilst the grey colour scheme sits perfectly with our palette. The units are great for concealing all those essential items, no matter how big or small they may be.
Whilst this bathroom does have a fireplace, it’s highly likely your bathroom won’t! So, keeping your space warm and cosy is another major consideration. Helen wanted to make optimum use of wall space, choosing a vertical radiator. The grey colour, yet again, works well with our chosen scheme, whilst the modern, designer look simply adds to the eclectic style.
Another ultra-modern touch, which serves a very real function, is the LED mirror. Complete with a hanging strap design for that designer look, the built-in demister means you can use it straight after your bath or shower. No wasting time. No smears or grubby handprints!
And the finishing touches? Plants, plants and more plants! To really bring the outdoors indoors, we chose a range of plants suitable for bathrooms.
- Reeves Newbury dusk grey tall storage unit 1990 x 300mm
- Reeves Newbury dusk grey wall hung cabinet 720 x 300mm
- The Heating Co. Salvador anthracite grey double vertical radiator
- Mode Mandrelli round black LED illuminated mirror with demister & leather strap
Floors and walls
While the painted walls do a lot of the talking in this stylish bathroom, you will need to protect your floors and certain surfaces, especially around splash zones.
In the shower area, Helen picked out some gorgeous marble-effect shower wall panels. Made from hardwearing MDF, they are quicker to fit and more cost-effective than tiles, which is ideal for a busy working mum!
For the floors, Helen went with beautiful black stone effect tiles, whilst grey marble-effect wall tiles add a touch of elegance and glamour. Our final top tip is to try and use original elements where possible to promote that authentic look.
- Showerwall MDF tacoma marble proclick
- Calcolo Amadeus black stone effect matt wall and floor tile 600mm x 600mm
- Calcolo Fusion silver marble effect matt wall and floor tile 300mm x 600mm
You can find out more about Helen Skelton and her new role with Victoria Plum in our latest blog post.
Get the Look in a small bathroom
Of course, not every bathroom is as large as the one featured in this style guide, and it is our firm belief that even the smallest of bathrooms can make a big impact. Which is why we’ve also applied Helen’s country style to an ensuite and cloakroom.
Starting off with the ensuite, as you can see, we’ve maintained the same organic colour palette, the rustic wooden features and grey stone-effect tiles. As we don’t have room for a bath, we’ve included a luxurious wet room style shower, complete with level access. Traditional elements include the shower and taps, while the toilet, basin, mirror, radiator and shower screen are very much contemporary in style. The skylight allows light to flood in, giving an airy, spacious feel to this ensuite. The light colours also help ensure this space doesn’t feel dark or oppressive. With easy-clean surfaces, it can be maintained quickly and efficiently—a real bonus for busy parents!
With the cloakroom (which could easily be a space off the hallway or kitchen or even an extension to the side or rear of your home), the false half-height wall and wall hung toilet are luxurious additions, providing additional storage space and giving the cloakroom a cleaner, less cluttered feel. As the space is smaller, you shouldn’t need an overly large radiator to heat it, meaning more space for wall art or other personal touches. It’s certainly a space that’ll impress friends and family alike!
Get the Look
We’ve loved working with Helen to create a stylish bathroom that reflects her own personal tastes and family situation. If you'd like to see more, why not discover Helen's Oasis of Calm? A relaxing retreat for hardworking parents. Or, for true multi-functional use, without compromising on style, discover Helen's Less Mess, No Stress family bathroom.
However, if these bathrooms aren’t quite what you’re after, we have plenty more style guides to choose from. Whether you’re seeking an industrial edge to your interiors or are venturing on a bold, maximalist approach to your bathroom, you’re bound to find a guide that works for you. Simply click on the image below to begin browsing.