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Ask the architect If you’re planning to update your kitchen or bathroom, why not consult our interiors expert Margaret Brewczynska first for some valuable design advice?
Dear Utopia… We are planning to redo our only bathroom that is situated on the first floor. Ours is an old house and has a high ceiling. Despite the radiator, it gets very cold. We’d like to include a WC, shower, bath and sink. Stylewise, we’d like the room to have a natural feel inspired by some of the luxury styles we have seen in Asian hotels. We’d like accessories in a lime colour, mood lighting, storage facilities and wooden panelling. Please can you help. Jitka Kavanagh, Herts
The unusual proportions of the room with its relatively small floor space and high sloping ceiling are the main difficulties to overcome here. To avoid over-filling the room, I’d suggest installing a large bathtub with shower screen, instead of a separate cubicle and bath. This will give you both facilities, but helps to make the room feel larger. The large showerhead will give a luxurious soak and the frameless glass screen is virtually invisible. The shower area is of course where the taller part of the room is, allowing plenty of headroom when you’re standing up to wash.
The bathtub becomes a beautiful feature thanks to the decorative wooden panelling with its Asian vibe. It is glamorous yet homely and really makes a statement. I used Glamwood tiles by Rex Ceramiche Art on the floor. These are wood-effect porcelain tiles, which will add further warmth and texture to the room. The timber window blinds and chair pick up on the organic theme, while zesty lime accessories add a lovely sharp contrast. I have limited the use of other colours to strengthen this effect.
I suggest a pebble-shaped basin that complements the scheme’s use of natural materials. Below this, drawers for towels and other essentials should take care of
Margaret is an architect and interior designer. www. inventive-interiors.com Send your room layout and question to: Utopia, The Old School, Colchester Rd, Wakes Colne, CO6 2BY or email@example.com your storage needs. An extra-large mirror on one wall gives the room visual width to counterbalance the height of the ceiling – I think you will find that a full-length mirror in a bathroom is a very handy facility to have. For the vanity mirror above the basin, choose something bold and decorative to make it a focus of the room and to echo the delicate patterns of the panelling. I also added a fitted mirror above the wall-hung WC to further enhance the spacious feel of the room.
To help keep the room warm and dry, a tall radiator or heated towel rail is a must. Make sure you choose an efficient model that has a high enough heat output to keep your bathroom toasty. Your supplier should be able to help you calculate the BTU required, or check out the online tool at www.bisque.co.uk. There are hundreds of designs on the market that will heat your bathroom adequately, and look good at the same time. You could also supplement the towel rail with underfloor heating.
It is possible to use different light sources to enable a variety of effects within the room. LEDs hidden behind the bath panel highlight the fretwork design and also allow for relaxing low-level lighting. Pretty crystal wall-lights give a glamorous effect and offer sparkling light and scattered illumination. And of course, you can’t beat a few candles for adding some soothing ambience! •••
Small but glam bathrooms tips: • A natural, Asian style gives a sophisticated and individual effect. • Incorporate a shower over your bath if there isn’t enough room for a separate shower area and a bathtub.