LUXURY FAMILY BATHROOM
As parents, we’ve all experienced an element of bonding at bath time with our baby or toddler, watching their expressions as they splash and experiment with water and their fascination with bubbles.
Like me, many of you would have also experienced the challenges that sometimes arise at the end of a long day when the bath time ritual is looming and you have to use your best tackling skills to get your children into the bathroom.
Then toddlers become teenagers and the grunts, acts of annoyance and blatant ignoring when the need “to wash” is mentioned, adds a new layer of bliss!
Some children continue with their love of bath time while for others it comes to trigger full on bath time tantrum mode.
This feature really does come from the horse’s mouth as they say.
Living the dream everyday (!) with 4 kids and 2 adults trying to get ready for work, nursery and school means military coordination and teamwork.
When I hear my voice with a slightly raised edge to it or feel my teeth gritting tighter than usual, I consider how stressful it would be without our beautifully effective luxury family bathroom, and the solutions we incorporated into its design to reduce the everyday dramas!
Don’t misunderstand, I still have my share of bath time tantrums but having put solutions in place (including a snorkel and flippers) has definitely made the whole experience more enjoyable for the whole family!
We all know that a good bath time can lead to a smooth bedtime as the children are already nice and warm and relaxed but what does a bad bath time lead to? Yes often utter chaos!!!
Many children embrace bath time, but if just the mention of it sends them running in the opposite direction then there are things that you may want to consider incorporating into the design of the bathroom which in the long run will motivate the kids and positively benefit the whole family.
Some children for example have issues with acclimatising to the temperature of the water, while others may suffer with auditory sensitivities where the noisy roar of the running of water may be an overwhelming or intense experience for them.
There are solutions to help alleviate some of these bath time insecurities from temperature adjustable taps, music audio systems & waterproof speakers to aid relaxation (which will be appreciated by babies, teens and adults), lighting to create a calmer environment…. which may go some way to helping reduce stress levels at bath time!
Another issue that may raise stress levels is children not wanting to get out of the bath.
To reduce dramas try having a soft warm fluffy towel waiting on a towel warmer. Sit them on a bench rather than the floor for comfort and to save yourself another back-numbing experience.
The need to have everything on hand within grabbing distance is an important consideration.
Ensuring there’s no reason to have to bundle up the child to leave the room to find something, only to then return with a screaming child who no longer wants to go back in the water! Just when things were going so well….
Soapy eye experiences often lead to upsets but try having a bath towel on cue to dab those sore eyes and all will soon be forgotten! Having a bath with a stylish towel rail running around it is one easy solution and will be used by children and adults alike (especially if you enjoy relaxing with a book in the bath).
DESIGNING YOUR OWN LUXURY FAMILY BATHROOM
There really is no such thing as an easy and idyllic life with young children (in my experience) but making the whole bath time ritual more enjoyable and less stressful was definitely on my radar when I designed my own luxury family bathroom, and when I help other families design their bathrooms. Parents have often told me how bath time helps to put their children in bedtime mode, helps them simmer down and essentially wind down after a fun filled day of excitement (kids not parents).
A mother with 3 children once asked me to help design a luxury family bathroom where she could comfortably keep her other kids contained.
Like all children they failed to be able to stay still or in the same place for more than 20 seconds and she didn’t want to be chasing them around and tackling them into the bathroom when it was their turn.
In their large family bathroom, incorporating specific seating areas, calm lighting, audio, television, book space into the design went some way to keeping the kids occupied and more relaxed and was in turn appreciated by the whole family.
DEFINE YOUR NEEDS
Each family works differently and what works for one may not work for another.
With that in mind each luxury family bathroom design needs to be personalised.
Understanding how families plan to use the space and more about their lifestyle, style preferences, individual needs (functional) and bucket list (desired) helps develop a design that works just perfectly for every member of the family.
This in-depth research of our client’s passions can then be translated into a creative design with smart solutions that will make them feel perfect in their new luxury family bathroom. The most important experience should be walking into your bathroom and feeling relaxed. Do you?
Having 4 children of my own, I really do get the challenges involved and the decisions involved in getting the design right for your family. Small family or growing family, lets face it, the bathroom is going to get plenty of use, and with some smart planning can really take the edge off!
Our luxury family bathroom design briefs often have the requirement of weaving luxury and function.
Clients are searching for unique designs and experiences to benefit their lifestyles. Maintaining a space to use for private retreat, wellness (and sanity) as well as incorporating a balance of functionality, useability and a touch of luxury glamour that will grow with you as your family grows.
Can all these elements work together I hear you ask? My answer to you is yes with the right level of space planning, advice and product selection, not to mention use of sophisticated materials, finishes and lighting. Yes it’s a job that is well worth getting professionals in to do, ensuring the result is bang on.
I focus on designing each detail in a meticulous way ensuring the project has its integrity and that the design spirit is shown even in the smallest detail. When the design is based on the harmony of shapes, colours and proportions it always feels right due to the synergy of the senses – sight, touch and sound.
LUXURY FAMILY BATHROOM DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
In order to create a bathroom that works for the whole family, there are a number of considerations to be made from products, materials and finishes, layout and storage options. Ensure you get the best advice to create the best luxury family bathroom in your home.
There is nothing in the building regulations to say how big your bathroom must be; however, if it is to be used by the whole family, begin with the idea that 4.5m² provides a minimum comfortable space and build on it.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The most important tip I can share with you is to keep it simple and resist cramming too much in.
It’s really important to think about the space. Many people seem to imagine that they can fill a tiny room with twin basins, WC, bath and shower, etc. leaving no space to even turn around, let alone dry your children.
Avoid any 45˚ angles. Corner basins, WCs and baths may seem like a good idea on paper, but they never give a pleasing result in the long run.
My tip for simplicity is to think about your bathroom design as a series of simple rectangular planes.
Instead of a mean little patch of splash-back tiles, consider tiling the width of the wall. Instead of a shower screen that stops a foot short of the ceiling, take it all the way up, giving a cleaner and simpler look that will maximise the sense of space.
WORK WITH A BATHROOM DESIGNER
The overall style that you want to achieve will dictate many of the choices in terms of products, material use and finish.
An established bathroom designer should be able to guide you towards products which fit your brief and not just try and push the small number of manufacturers they represent.
A completely independent bathroom designer with a large database of manufacturers will present you with an unbiased choice of products based solely on your individual requirements and style desire.
They should also be able to introduce you to products that you otherwise would not have discovered or had direct access to.
This knowledge can prove to be invaluable in achieving a truly bespoke and luxury family bathroom.
You may have some idea of the style that you are looking to achieve. A bathroom with a soft industrial edge may have furniture with rounded edges. Materials such as wood, copper piping and concrete may be supplemented by limestone and a brighter colour palette to tone the raw industrial look down to one that is softer and suitable for the whole family.
Tips for designing an industrial style bathroom can be found in the article ‘How to design a loft style bathroom in a converted industrial building’.
For a bathroom with a contemporary edge you may want to consider a semi bespoke modular system of furniture which allows you to personalise and arrange your own furniture composition by selecting different sized, shaped cabinets, washbasins in a wide range of materials and contemporary finishes to fit your bathroom space and interior décor.
For a timeless classic look you may want to consider incorporating ceramic freestanding vanities and a softer play on a roll top cast iron bath.
If it’s a bathroom with organic elements that you crave then experimenting with woods including reclaimed wood for your vanity design, flooring or wall panels can add creative and historical value to a design.
The aesthetic and functional simplicity of the guesthouse in the feature ‘Atelier Pierre Thibault completes shed-like guesthouse in Quebec gardens’ is beautifully reinforced with the use of exposed wood for the structure and furnishings.
Wood is captivating for its imperfections and is an environmentally sustainable resource as well as working wonderfully with other natural materials such as marble, granite and glass.
A recent article suggested that an interior space using wood can evoke a calming and positive effect on us and can ultimately foster a sense of well being.
Walking into a luxury family bathroom and feeling comfortable and relaxed is something that we all aspire to. Happy minds and healthy lifestyles for all the family.
For further information on the wellness factors associated with using wood in interior design see ‘A supermaterial: how wood anxiety and drepression’.
Another biophilic design element you may want to consider is incorporating a living plant wall into your bathroom design which the wilderness can add tranquility and serenity. For further design advice, read our article about creating a biophilic inspired bathroom.
In terms of style using timbers in a bathroom design is equally as effective in recreating an atmosphere in a Nordic style or an industrial look.
Whatever your design style, a good bathroom designer should be able to listen to your ideas, guide you and translate it into the perfect bathroom design for you and your family.
FLEXIBILITY IN DESIGN
It can take careful planning to design a bathroom that works hard for all family members.
The space needs an element of flexibility, especially with young children, and needs to offer a safe and relaxing environment.
Here are some design tips that you may want to consider for aspects of your bathroom design
A luxury family bathroom has to house not only those toiletries you want on show, but also hide medicines, bath toys, lotions and potions for the whole household.
Incorporating the right storage solutions into the design of a luxury family bathroom will help towards creating a sense of calm and functional flow.
Consider building in plenty of shelving and recessed spaces, providing storage space underneath or at the end of the bathtub and creating alcoves within the walls of shower enclosures.
You may wish to consider creating stylish lidded window seats. Ensuring bath surrounds and window sills are deep enough to take the inevitable clutter they will collect is another simple but effective design tip.
Various bath options can be incorporated beautifully into a luxury family bathroom, with the right element of space planning and consideration of material use and storage integration.
Think carefully about the bath design as hauling young children out of certain bath types can prove a little tiresome.
You may consider opting for a bath with a resting shelf, an adjoined toweling rail which runs around part of the bath, a bath with plenty of built in shelving as a side or corner unit, or with a wooden bench attached to the bath.
These options offer sophisticated and integrated storage solutions which keep necessities within reach yet help to provide a clutter-free space.
Another way to help maintain a clutter-free bathroom is by ensuring bath surrounds are deep enough to take the inevitable clutter they will collect. This may not sound glamorous but believe me this can be achieved in a stylish and sleek way with the right products!
Consider incorporating a hand-held shower around the bath area to hose down and wash off suds and bubbles from children. Think about opting for a thermostatic shower to reduce the risk of scalding. Temperature regulators can also be fitted to the taps.
If you have a young child and are tempted to skip a bath due to space constraints think again!
Small children need a bath and many people in the market love to have the option.
A standard rectangular bath measures 170 x 70cm but if you want to save on space without compromising on bathing area consider a compact bath which measures around 140cm x 80cm or a stylish corner model which your bathroom designer should be able to advise on.
Note that you do need a minimum of 100cm in front of a bath. Dependant on ages and ability you may want to consider no-slip strips or some other kind of traction on the bottom of the bath to prevent slipping.
DOUBLE WASHBASIN VANITIES
Luxury family bathrooms should serve two functions: be practical and indulgent. On a practical level, if space allows, it’s useful to have two washbasins as kids tend to want to use the bathroom at the same time.
They can also prove to be a godsend in a family bathroom on those busy morning rushes, allowing for two lots of teeth to be brushed or two dirty faces to be washed. Twin showers and double-ended baths come in useful, too.
Having lots of surface space next to the basin is essential. A vanity unit with a inset basins and a stone surround is an effective solution or large wall mounted washbasins with built in space between, above and below in a beautiful wood finish.
Avoid clutter in the bathroom by choosing a vanity unit with lots of storage space, soft-close doors, and some open shelving. An illuminated mirror is useful and a sensor on/off switch offers easy control for all ages.
Consider incorporating a shower with a large drench shower head above as well as an additional and separate handheld shower at a lower level for convenience, making it easier for the hosing down of children.
Wall recesses for shampoo, shower gel, etc. are an ideal and practical idea for shower storage. Recess storage helps ensure that bottles don’t end up sitting around the shower tray making the bathroom look untidy or that little fingers don’t squeeze all the contents away!
Avoid a tight shower enclosure in a family bathroom.
It’s far better to either have a wet room style set-up, or a single screen to divide the showering area. A shower screen with curved edges may be an option to avoid nasty scrapes or bumps.
You may wish to consider making the shower area easy access with a floor-level shower tray to avoid trip hazards. Including a product with anti-slip coating is a safe option for young children removing the risk of falls.
Shower trays come in various colours so you may want to choose a colour which blends with the floor tiles. This will help make the room appear more spacious and create that wet room look.
Always go for a thermostatic shower to reduce the risk of scalding. Temperature regulators can also be fitted to the taps.
Brassware choice can really influence the look of the bathroom. Whether your preference is contemporary sleek or classic elegance it’s well worth getting the selection right.
There are some beautiful metallic finishes out there and a good bathroom designer should be able to advise you on these as well as guide you on style.
Think about the positioning of the taps and opt for the non-jutting kind! You may want to fit temperature regulators to the taps to reduce the risks of scalding.
Depending on the size of your bathroom, incorporating a separate toilet enclosure is proving to be an increasingly popular feature.
You may choose to opt for a rimless WC for easy cleaning, with a soft-close lid and an efficient 4.5 litre flush. Bear in mind too that a wall-hung toilet makes cleaning the bathroom floor a little easier!
Getting the lighting concept right in a family bathroom is paramount.
A family bathroom should be a flexible space, where the mood can be easily changed dependant on the user. Lighting is the best way to achieve this.
A well-planned lighting scheme should be versatile enough to create a spa-like ambience should you wish as well as allow for makeup application and of course children’s bath time! A low-level light that comes on with a movement sensor can give the room a soft glow which encourages calm in children and adults alike!
Other design considerations include choosing accessories and floor tiles for which the choice is endless from non-slip textured tiles to timber porcelain plank tiles.
EXTO is a bathroom design consultancy with an experienced team of design and technical professionals. We can assist you with the planning, design, product fulfilment, sourcing, bespoke manufacture, project management and installation of a residential or hospitality bathroom project.
If you wish to discuss a bathroom project or require further information about any of the products in this article then please contact us.
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