A blank canvas, a plain page, an empty room... everything starts somewhere. If you need a little bit of help choosing your bathroom fixtures, you're in the right place.
Whether you’ve just moved into a new place or have been living in the same spot for a while, chances are the bathroom you currently have is the one that came with the place. Many of us have never really considered the bathroom fittings of our toilet, and have just accepted it for what it is—think mismatched styles and fittings, sub-par furnishings and other components, all the things that look like they were bought cheaply in a car boot sale! If you’re reading this, it's highly likely that you’ve had enough of your below-standard toilet and are looking for an entire bathroom makeover.
There are so many things to consider and possibly replace, it can be difficult and overwhelming to figure out which things to change and what to change them too. With competing styles both on offer and in your own head, building a cohesive, consistent bathroom can pose a challenge to many who aren’t sure where to take things. Our goal here is to give you some guidelines to follow to narrow down your search, choose your style and pick fixtures to fit.
Shower, bathtub or both?
Many people, particularly in urban areas, where space is more and more of a premium, are starting to opt for a contemporary bathroom fixture like showers instead of a bathtub or accessories like a bathroom mirror and even a toilet roll holder. Showers are a great, space-effective option to pursue if you have a small bathroom, as it helps to add a feeling of space to an otherwise cramped bathroom. Pairing it with a large, glass divider will help keep this effect, minimising the stuffy feeling that many of our toilets have.
Though rain showers are extremely popular and are very nice to use (and look at!), opt for a hand shower if you can only have one. This is because a hand shower has flexibility in providing everything, from the massaging feeling of a rain shower to providing the ability to change the water pressure to make yourself feel clean. Get a shower head that offers different settings to fit any occasion you want. Just make sure to get an adjustable height hand shower, as the added customisation allows you to set the height just right for the times that you just want a shower under a fixed showerhead.
Bathtubs are still a very good option—if you’ve got the space for one, though! Bathtubs are great for leisurely winding down at the end of the day, or for providing a fun play space for kids. For tubs, unless you have mobility issues, opt for one that’s over 400mm in height, as it’ll provide enough depth for a full soak and provide an adequate amount of space as an area of play. Material-wise, opt for lighter materials when possible, and try going for a high quality acrylic tub. Fibreglass and porcelain on steel are not as durable as good acrylic, and other strong materials like cast iron and other solid materials can be extremely weighty when it comes to installation. If you’re considering these heavier options, it’s important to ensure that you have both the time and the money to get the floor reinforced to handle the weight of these tubs.
A toilet and toilet seat may be just a toilet for some, but there is a world of difference between a sub-par toilet and a good-quality one. You want to pick a toilet that will just keep running, that won’t break or become brittle over time and will be low maintenance. No one wants a leaky or overflowing toilet.
Look for toilets that offer a powerful yet water-saving flush system, with an excellent reputation for durability. Some manufacturers and brands, like Orchard Bathrooms, Mode Bathrooms and The Bath Co., have invested a fair amount of money into researching and producing toilets that flush better while also using less water. High-quality toilets also offer specialised materials and rimless designs that make dirt and grime less able to stick onto them, meaning that you can have an easier time cleaning.
Ever been to an airport and realised that the toilet you were using has a bidet seat? Remember the wonder you had using it for the first time? You can have that in your home too, and experience true luxury! There are plenty of toilets that come with integrated bidet options, meaning that you don’t have to fit them separately, saving you a ton of space. Bidets are a common feature in many parts of the world, like Asia and South America, and for good reason. They come with so many features, on top of the spray. Auto close and open lid? Heated settings? Temperature control of the bidet water? The bidet toilet (also known as a Japanese toilet) has it all! Not only will you enjoy the experience every time you use it, but others will also be impressed by it and the feeling of complete luxury it gives.
Bathroom taps come in so many different designs, and there is literally a style out there for every bathroom and person out there. You’re bound to find a design you adore. But, if you’re space-constricted, opt for a wall mounted, single hole tap to free up some vanity space and give your room a cleaner feel. If you have enough room, why not make your tap a feature piece of the bathroom and pick something that is bound to draw attention.
To ensure low maintenance, when choosing bathroom fixtures and bathroom hardware, pick finishes that will not stain easily and will hold up over time. Chrome finishes are nice until they stain from water or other contaminants, meaning you’ll have to clean more frequently. Avoid chrome and black finishes if you’re not dedicated to a regular cleaning routine, and copper too (even though it looks cool), as these finishes stain easily. Instead, opt for polished nickel, polished brass or even antique brass if you're going for a traditional look.
The many different things that make up your modern style bathroom design really make the difference in how your bathroom not only looks but feels to use. Consider carefully what bathroom accessories you need and what you don’t. Creating the feeling of a wide, open space is a great way of making a bathroom look and feel great to use, and adding in some quality-of-life amenities will leave you feeling satisfied and happy after every trip to the bathroom. And, if you require more storage space, you can also add more wall or mirror cabinets. As TV architect Laura Jane Clark recommends in our recent interview, don’t be afraid to go for out-there stylings and make the bathroom look and feel like your own unique creation.
More modern bathroom ideas
At Victoria Plum, we’re full of fresh modern bathroom ideas, so why not check out further inspirational bathrooms on our blog? If you’re interested in a specific style, our Get the Look style guides are a great place to start.