It’s a fact: The world is getting smaller. Not in a literal sense of course, but these days jumping on a plane and arriving in some far-flung, exotic destination is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Whether we’re young or old, most of us enjoy broadening our horizons by heading off to experience new cultures, cuisine and landscapes. The increasing ease in which we can travel has had a direct influence on our interior designs, with the things we see and do in other countries inevitably rubbing off on our homes.

The bathroom is no different to any other part of the home when it comes to these cultural influences. For example, we recently explored a trend in Arabian style bathrooms, with genuine patterns and influences blended into a contemporary design. In fact, this global focus on our home interiors has become so popular, it's even spawned a whole new look.

In this style guide, we’ll explain more about this look and how you can achieve it in your own bathroom.


What is the look?

This look, which we've called Objects of Desire, is all about telling a story that is unique to you and your family, reflecting and incorporating your own experiences when travelling. Picking up locally sourced items, like rugs, ceramics, glassware, or even knick-knacks, is one of the joys of travelling, and all of these things will have great personal meaning to you. They can be incorporated into your home décor, weaving a narrative that speaks of the things you have seen and done.

The bathroom is the perfect place for this look. As a space, it lends itself well to relaxation and mindfulness, meaning you can really appreciate and think about your travels, without the distraction of the TV, electronic devices or even other members of your family.

Objects of Desire

The Bohemian influence comes through in some of the crafted products you may have collected on your travels, such as authentic rugs, throws with culturally-significant patterns or statues, carvings and traditional items, that embody a particular time and place.


Inspiration for your Objects of Desire

This is a great look to try, as it all starts with the things that are personal to you, leaving you to build around, and accentuate, the items that tell a story and remind you of a happy memory or a sun-filled time in your life.

So, start with all those things you’ve collected and begin working outwards. Look for patterns, materials and colours that closely match your mementoes and start to build a mood board with inspiration from home interior magazines and Pinterest.

As always, our stylist Nicky has created her very own mood board using some of the objects she has collected over the years, like a rug from Morocco, a tribal mask and an ammonite.

Objects of Desire mood board

Planning your Objects of Desire bathroom

A mood board is all well and good, but the next step on the journey is to start planning out exactly how you’ll achieve your desired look. Will you be able to fit all these items into your bathroom layout?

Take a long hard look at the space you have available. Will you be adding a bath, shower or both? How about furniture?

Once you have a better idea of the type of elements your bathroom will contain, you can start working out where best to display your mementoes and objects d’art. Plus, you can also start planning on how best to complement these items with colours, patterns and materials.


Creating your Objects of Desire bathroom

Objects of Desire bathroom

To help provide some further inspiration, our stylist Nicky has created a room set that perfectly captures the Objects of Desire look, telling a story about the unique items that have been gathered from travels around the globe.

Key elements for your Objects of Desire bathroom:

  • A modernised interior that still holds onto the history and heritage of the space
  • Bohemian influences through crafted products, materials and authentic patterns
  • Vintage or modern styles—elements that represent a particular time period
  • Upcycled surfaces or materials for a more weathered and worn-in look
  • Plenty of shelving—perfect for housing your knick-knacks
  • Surfaces that surround your bath & basin providing more space for personal items

Choosing the right bathroom products

Bath

One of the key choices for your Objects of Desire bathroom, an inset bath is perfect for achieving this look. Whilst a regular straight bath or a freestanding bath can provide relaxation, an inset bath allows you to both display objects and be creative with your colours and patterns. Tiling can be used right around the bath to evoke a certain style that complements your items.

Create an inset bath

Basin & Toilet

Again, much like with your bath, choose a vanity unit or countertop option, rather than a pedestal basin, giving you much-needed space to show off your items. This also gives you the added option of introducing a wood finish to your overall décor, which should fit with the general colours and textures.

For that extra special touch, a high level toilet helps create a genuine vintage look and feel.

Choose a beautiful basin and toilet

Shower

A walk in shower enclosure will keep your bathroom feeling light and spacious. A frameless design is discreet and unobtrusive, meaning it won’t detract from the more personal elements of your room. Of course, there’s no harm in treating yourself to a multi-functional thermostatic shower!

Keep things feeling light with a walk in shower enclosure

Furniture

Fitted bathroom furniture, or at least furniture that gives off the appearance of fitted units, is the ideal way to create more surface space. Not only will it give you more storage space, but you can also choose from a variety of different wood finishes.


Telling your story

Once you’ve chosen your bathroom products, you’ll want to incorporate all those global elements that tell the story of your travels. Follow these top tips and you won’t go far wrong:

Careful placement

One of the first things to do is to consider exactly which positions you’ll most likely find yourself in the bathroom. That way, you can put your objects in the most prominent places. It could be the view from your favoured end of the bath or the panorama as observed from the shower or basin.

Handy hint: Find out more about the dos and don’ts when creating thoughtful displays.

Complementary cultural references

Whilst your objects may be from diverse regions of the world, you can still set the scene by adding a surround that perfectly complements them. You can achieve this through careful selection of patterns, colours or materials.

Don’t go overboard

Whilst there is always the temptation to drown your bathroom in rugs, statues, ceramics and glassware, try and choose your most cherished items to display. It's not called Objects of Desire for nothing!


Upcycling adds to the look

Upcycling is something you may have heard of, but not necessarily attempted. It is the process by which you can take old items, including furniture, and turn them into something useful and infinitely more attractive.

To add a slight Bohemian touch, why not consider adding an upcycled item to your bathroom? You can incorporate brand new elements into the design, such as a countertop basin or taps, and create a truly unique piece of furniture. Here are some great designs we found on Pinterest...

Upcycling mood board


Go global in your bathroom

If you’ve been inspired to create a bathroom that tells a story about your personal travels, we’d love to see it! Send some pics of your completed VictoriaPlum.com bathroom to ShareYourStyle@VictoriaPlum.com and who knows, you could even win our monthly Share your Style competition, with a top prize of a £200 Amazon gift certificate!

Enter our Share your Style competition