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Empty (or not-so-empty) nesters… It’s all about you
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Empty (or not-so-empty) nesters… It’s all about you

Posted by Ruth Foster in Style guides | 1 year ago 12 min read

Whether your adult children have flown the nest or still live with you, it’s time to reclaim your space. This bathroom style guide is all about you.

Bringing up a family is massively rewarding, wouldn’t you agree? From nurturing and caring for them in their younger years, and having gone through all those awkward teenage years, your children are now fully grown and have flown the nest…or perhaps not? These days, with house prices and even rent often unaffordable, many young adults are remaining in the family home for longer. Add in an uncertain job market, cost of living crisis and other factors, and you can see why this is a trend.

According to a recent Guardian article, this is known as the “boomerang” effect, where young adults return to their parents’ homes well into their 20s and 30s. Indeed, according to research, almost 66% of single adults (with no children of their own) in the 20 to 34 age bracket, have returned to the family home.

Whatever your situation, now’s the time to reclaim your bathroom after years of soggy towels abandoned on the floor, toilet seats left up and all those things teenagers don’t necessarily take into consideration!

In this guide, I aim to show you how to achieve a stylish and sophisticated bathroom that’ll reflect your own more mature tastes and eye for detail.

Mature family bathroom from above

An average family bathroom layout, as viewed from above

General guidelines for your family bathroom

As we head into our more senior years, the need for a relaxing bathroom is more vital than ever. On an evening, there’s nothing better to soothe those aches and pains away than a nice hot bath in relaxing surroundings.

Whilst the family bathroom still needs to serve a function—often catering for multiple household occupants—you can start shaping it and influencing it in a way you’ve always wanted to.

Whatever style of house you live in, from a suburban semi to a cute Edwardian home, your bathroom probably won’t be any bigger than the UK average. However, this certainly needn’t mean limiting your imagination when it comes to styling.

One of the main things you’ll need to think about is your layout. A multi-functional shower bath may be the best option, especially if you still have adult children living with you. This will certainly cover all bases and can still fit neatly with your chosen theme.

If you’re looking for a bathroom that will last for a long time to come, a traditional style is certainly something worth considering. Unlike contemporary bathrooms, vintage-inspired products are timeless—tried and tested designs which never go out of fashion. Indeed, in her recent interview, property expert and presenter Sarah Beeny explains how she prefers traditional style bathrooms for this very reason.

Storage is also a keen consideration in any suburban home. So, you’ll want to ensure you have sufficient cabinets and shelf space for all your bath time essentials.

For traditional products, I would recommend Orchard Bathrooms—especially if you’re searching for great value at a great price—and The Bath Co. for those more luxurious additions. Both brands are available at Victoria Plum and contain a wide variety of products from bathroom suites to taps and accessories.

So, where to begin? Well, falling back on my interior design skills, one of the easiest ways to visualise the look and feel of your new bathroom is to create a mood board. This can be done online (Pinterest is perfect for this purpose) or the old-fashioned way, by cutting out pictures from home interest magazines and applying them to a large piece of cardboard, along with favourite colours, textures and materials. Here’s one I created earlier…

Mature family bathroom ideas mood board

Gather all your favourite colours, materials and products together in a mood board

If you’re comfortable using a computer to design your bathroom, you may want to try our 3D bathroom planner. Free to use, you can quickly and easily mock up your own bathroom layout, swap products in and out and even test different colours and patterns.

Use our 3D bathroom planner now

Next, I’ll share with you some of my top tips for a mature family bathroom like yours.

5 top tips for a fab family bathroom

To restore your bathroom to a scene of peace and harmony, follow these top 5 tips:

  1. For long-lasting style that’ll never go out of fashion, choose a traditional suite and storage (think roll top baths, handle flush toilets and panelled furniture)
  2. Add in some luxurious elements, like an LED mirror or concealed shower—after all, you deserve them!
  3. Black accents, picked out in taps, heating and accessories, will bring a contemporary edge to proceedings
  4. Consider extra storage space with a vanity unit and floorstanding cabinet
  5. A neutral colour scheme with organic touches will help create a truly relaxing setting

Victoria Plum mature family bathroom ideas

Timeless, traditional, yet with a contemporary edge. Turn on the style in your family bathroom

Now, let’s discover which products I used to create our mature family bathroom.

Create the perfect bathroom for your mature family

Freestanding shower bath with traditional shower

One of the reasons why contemporary bathrooms prove more popular than traditional designs is the fact that modern conveniences, like showers and enclosures are seen as modern inventions. Whilst this may be true, you can still enjoy a contemporary lifestyle, with a traditional twist.

The Dulwich freestanding shower bath from Orchard Bathrooms is a great example of classic design meeting modern convenience. The roll top design, complete with ornate chrome feet, flows seamlessly with any luxurious, traditional bathroom. However, the square ended design fits neatly into a corner, allowing for a direct replacement of an existing straight bath. Meanwhile, the black framed shower screen is very much on-trend, bringing a contemporary addition to an otherwise vintage design.

Orchard Dulwich freestanding shower bath with 8mm black framed shower screen 1710 x 780

Enjoy vintage style and modern convenience with the Dulwich freestanding shower bath from Orchard Bathrooms

And what better way to complement your vintage bath than a classic shower? From The Bath Co., the luxurious Traditional wall arm and Camberley shower head make the perfect pairing. And, here’s the twist (quite literally), set into the wall is the Harrison exposed thermostatic shower valve—a fusion of contemporary and traditional styles, complete with lever operation and circular design.

Vanity unit and additional storage

One of the most challenging aspects of any family home, let alone the bathroom, is providing enough storage space for your needs. In a typical suburban house, this can mean using rooms and places that you hadn’t previously considered. That’s why many homeowners now swap their basin for a vanity unit, which uses the under-sink space more efficiently. In our mature family bathroom, I’ve gone with the Camberley white floorstanding vanity unit and ceramic basin from The Bath Co., a popular choice with a traditional Shaker style design. The panel detail and nickel coated handles fit neatly with the vintage suite, whilst, at 600mm wide with an adjustable shelf, there’s plenty of space for all those bathroom essentials.

The Bath Co. Camberley white floorstanding vanity unit and ceramic basin 600mm

Elegance and tradition combine to create the perfect storage solution

For those of you with children still living at home, you may need to up your storage game. I can easily imagine all the different lotions, potions, soaps and shampoos that you and your loved ones possess. To account for this additional need, we’ve included the Dulwich matt white storage unit from Orchard Bathrooms. This inexpensive cabinet is just 800mm (H) x 400mm (W) in size and, at a depth of just 330mm, it can be squeezed into even the tightest of spaces. I simply adore some of the traditional features, including the gorgeous drawer handle and tongue and groove detail. Complete with a drawer and large shelf, it’s a great way to keep your family bathroom clutter-free.


For a high quality finish to the basin, I’ve chosen to accessorise with the luxurious Beaumont lever basin mixer tap from The Bath Co. With its statement Art Deco-inspired design, the black handles provide easy operation (even for those with restricted mobility).

Traditional taps

Getting a handle on it… Turn on the style with traditional bathroom taps

Turning to the bath, with room for a deck mounted tap, I’ve opted for the Winchester shower mixer from Orchard Bathrooms. Complete with black handles, which adds to the contemporary black elements around the bathroom, this is a design classic, featuring a telephone style shower handset and easy handle operation.


As part of a traditional bathroom suite, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a toilet. From high and low level cistern designs to conventional close coupled toilets, there are plenty of ways to bring timeless style to your space. In our family bathroom, I’ve picked out the Winchester close coupled toilet from Orchard Bathrooms. With bevelled edges, traditional handle flush and easy-to-clean ceramic, it’s a great choice for your family bathroom.

To save a little on budget, I’ve opted for a standard close plastic seat, which may be a better option when your bathroom is shared by multiple occupants. However, you will find several different options, including wooden, soft close seats, if you have a bit more cash to splash.

Orchard Winchester close coupled toilet with standard close plastic seat

Upgrade your toilet with this close coupled design from Orchard Bathrooms

Walls and floors

Typically, your colour palette is the one thing you can keep changing over the years, so why not consider an on-trend scheme? A safe bet is a neutral base, with whites and greys dominating. However, you might wish to add in a subtle hint of the season’s favourite shades, like a green or blue.

For a little textural intrigue, why not consider laying metro tiles in an unusual pattern like herringbone? You’ll find plenty of ideas for metro tile patterns in our inspirational blog post. To save a bit of cash, choose larger Maxi Metro tiles, limit this to halfway up your walls and stick to specific areas away from splash zones. Speaking of which, to bring a touch of elegance, why not add shower wall panels around your bath and shower? They’re quicker to fit than tiles, more cost-effective and easier to clean. I’ve gone for a marble-effect design from Showerwall which brings a touch of added luxury. In fact, there are many ways you can add marble to your bathroom décor without breaking the bank.

Wall coverings and flooring for a mature family bathroom

Our selected wall and floor coverings

But what about flooring, I hear you ask? Well, I’d highly recommend laminate or vinyl flooring for your family bathroom, as it’s durable, hard-wearing and easy to clean. What’s more, it comes in a variety of beautiful designs which replicate other materials, like wood, stone or tiles. I’ve picked out the Wheatley ash laminate flooring, offering a light and bright surface with a natural appearance.

Heating and accessories

Now comes the really fun part! Accessorising…

One of the first things to consider in any family bathroom is heating. In the depths of winter, you’ll be glad you paid extra special attention to this! A single radiator should be sufficient to warm your whole room, as long as you calculate your BTU accurately. For our mature family bathroom, I’ve picked out the Vibrance black vertical panel radiator from The Tap Factory. This designer radiator comes in a wide selection of sizes and colours to ensure your bathroom remains both toasty and tasteful. I’ve opted for the powder coated vanto black finish to complement the other on-trend black accents throughout the room.

In any bathroom, one minor irritation—and I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this—is having to wipe condensation off your mirror, straight after a hot shower or bath. Instead of smears and smudges, why not push the boat out a little with a stylish LED mirror, complete with handy demister? The Vignelli round black LED mirror from Mode Bathrooms is highly contemporary, complete with a ring of cleverly diffused, cool white LEDs and on-trend “floating” black frame.

Mode Vignelli round black LED illuminated mirror 600mm with demister

Looking good… The Vignelli round black LED mirror features an infrared sensor, for hands-free use

To add to those on-trend black accents, I’ve accessorised with a matching towel rail and toilet roll holder from the contemporary Spencer range. And, for a more organic feel, I’ve brought in some freestanding items from the Bora Bora accessory range from Accents, with a soap dispenser, tumbler, plus toilet brush and holder. Featuring a velvety grey colour with decorative grooves, they’ll provide the perfect finishing touches to your mature family bathroom.

In conclusion

Whether your adult children have flown the nest or are still living at home, there’s no better time to reclaim your bathroom. With my tips and advice, I hope I’ve inspired you to reimagine your space, so you create an elegant and sophisticated style that reflects your outlook on life.

Your bathroom: professionally designed for free

If planning your bathroom seems like hard work, let us lighten the load. With the Victoria Plum Bathroom Design Service, we’ll carefully consider your unique needs and tastes to create a no-obligation 3D design and 2D floorplan, free of charge, complete with personalised product list. To enquire today, click on the image below.

Enquire about our Bathroom Design Service

Shop The Bath Co.

Established in 2003, The Bath Co. is the home of traditional, timeless bathrooms, with a wide range of luxury products for modern lifestyles. Inspired by classic designs, each and every product is made using high quality materials, fully tested and checked before being delivered direct to your home. The Bath Co. is exclusively available at Victoria Plum and you can begin browsing by clicking on the image below.

Shop The Bath Co.

It's all about you...

At Victoria Plum, we've a style guide for every situation. From fledgling families, just starting out on the first rung of the property ladder, to busy family households with multiple children running around, there's plenty of inspiration for your bathroom refresh.

And if you're a countryside dweller or perhaps you're dreaming of your very own home spa, well, there's a guide for that too!

Author, Ruth Foster

Posted by Ruth Foster in Style guides | 1 year ago

As our resident Interior Designer, Ruth is passionate about home-related trends and loves light, airy interiors shaped by organic forms and colours. With a background in textiles for interiors, she is studying for a masters in interior design.

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