10 Do’s and Do not’s
1) Don’t line your shower with travertine or any other similar pitted tile. Mould will grow rampantly in the small pit holes and, try as you may, it soon becomes irremovable because of the porous nature of the material. Maybe a dentist’s drilling tool might work but most of us don’t have access to one of those.
2) Heated towel rails mean you don’t have to wash your towels every time you use them because the quick drying of your towel means it stays relatively bacteria free. If you are worried about the cost of having a towel rail heated 24/7, you can install a small gadget which turns it off every four hours for four hours and that saves half the bill.
3) A good extraction fan is worth its weight in gold. It keeps the moisture levels low so less slimy growths can take hold and so you can see yourself in the mirror when applying makeup. It’s better to notice you have a mascara smudge on your nose while still in the bathroom.
4) Shiny floor tiles are a death-wish. Add even a teaspoon of water and you might as well put your skates on and do pirouettes - they may save you from falling flat on your back and cracking something on the way. Not a good look, especially if you have just stepped out of the shower.
5) A good sized mirror is great when you are young and firm but the mirror should get smaller and smaller as you get older until you can see just your face. And do steer away from magnifying mirrors if you want to keep your self-esteem intact. Just saying. And on the note of mirrors, heated wiring behind it will stop it getting fogged up, which will prevent you seeing yourself altogether.
6) Avoid at all costs those bathrooms with the shower as part of the main area – in other words no curtain, shower door or restraint of any kind. Only an architect can love those and he doesn’t have to use it. Keep the water where it should be – behind a well-sealed door or at the very least a full-length shower curtain. There’s nothing like sitting on a wet toilet seat to spoil your day.
7) Adequate and convenient storage is a must. Free-standing designer basins are all very well but where do all your bits and bobs get put. They have to be close at hand and that means under the basin or right next door. A cupboard which slides out of the wall next to the basin or vanity works very well and can hold everything you need and more. Drawer organisers come in handy so that the tweezers you need urgently don’t slide to the back among the clips and cotton buds that inhabit the dark corners of bathroom storage. If you want to keep a clean-looking environment, then keep only your most-used creams etc. on view. Perhaps keep them on a silver tray or other beautiful dish, which is easy to lift so that the surface below can be cleaned.
8) Good, flattering lighting is essential. Ban all of those down-lights which cast shadows onto the face and age you by a decade or more. Who could have dreamed up a worse soul-destroyer? Lighting beside the mirror is ideal and make sure it is bright enough to find an irritating lash in your eye, if necessary.
9) Underfloor heating, while not obligatory, is certainly a bonus. Cold tiles underfoot on a cold morning start the day off on the wrong foot – so to speak. Together with a heated towel rail, this may be enough heating for the bathroom even if you don’t have central heating.
10) Make sure your windows are not see-through. Even if frosted or textured, most glass becomes at least partially see-through when the lights are on at night. Even if only a shadow can be seen, it is fairly easy to interpret what it is doing and that’s not really what you want in a bathroom. If your bathroom is overlooked by other houses, install an easily-cleanable blind of some sort which can be closed at night. Curtains are probably not a great idea because of the moisture which swirls about a bathroom – they will become mouldy in no time. And while we are speaking of what you are doing in a bathroom, it’s best to place the toilet out of sight of an opening door, just in case someone barges in. And it’s not a good look anyway to have a toilet the first thing you see when you enter – that’s just bad design.
Other than that, your imagination is your only limitation in creating your dream bathroom.