Skip to content
The bathroom might be the smallest room in the house, but it can really pack a punch when it comes to interior design. There are fabulous sanitaryware ranges to choose from, whether you prefer your fittings sleek and modern, classic and traditional or anything anywhere in between. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest cloakroom at one end, through to the en suite, shower room and wet room, and out to the full-sized and glorious family bathroom at the other.  More
But whatever the size of your bathroom, you are likely to have to plan and budget for the same basics: bath (roll top, freestanding, shower or slipper!), basin/s, WC, shower, tiles, flooring, lighting, storage, heating and venting.

Choose your bathroom style and materials

The interior design style that you decide on for your bathroom will often dictate the materials you are likely to use. A modern bathroom is likely to feature stone floor and wall tiles (marble, slate or limestone), while a more traditional or country-style bathroom is more likely to include tongue-and-groove painted wall panelling and stripped wood or wood laminate floors, with tiles restricted to basin splashbacks and shower areas. The bath will always take centre stage and, whether freestanding or wall-fitted, it can be a thing of beauty. Original Victorian roll-top baths tend to be heavy cast-iron brutes that, if using, you will need to factor in when fitting in an upstairs bathroom. Modern versions of the roll-top and freestanding bath, however, can be made from lighter steel or from layers of acrylic bonded together with stone resin. Wash basins come in all shapes, sizes and materials, from ceramic and stone to stainless steel and copper and beyond. If you have space, double up for his-and-hers versions and house in a neat vanity unit for a tidy storage solution. Tiles are the obvious choice for bathrooms. Large profile designs are great choices for easy cleaning (particularly behind showers), while mosaic tiles remain ever popular, even in the face of the newly resurrected metro tile. As with a kitchen, a bathroom is an expensive room to refit. A bathroom design therefore needs to have longevity. While some of the more recent interior design trends for bathrooms have included hotel and spa styles, nautical looks and nostalgic retro designs, going for broad modern, traditional or country styles may be better longer-term solutions.

Organise your bathroom storage

As bathrooms tend to be small, it’s all the more important to design and organise your storage space well. When planning a bathroom makeover, make an inventory of the items you will need to store and work out where you will house them, plus add in a little extra on top. Think about including a vanity unit to give you instant cupboards. Fit a mirrored corner unit, hang rails over the back of the bathroom door, fix peg rails on a wall and never under-estimate the usefulness of an old-fashioned bath rack. Picture rail shelving is ideal for storing toiletries out of the reach of little hands, while shower caddies will keep toiletries where they are needed, freeing up space elsewhere. Don’t let window sills go to waste. Line up a row of baskets on them and fit blinds inside rather than above the window alcove so they are accessible even when the blinds are down. If you have a panelled bath, don’t forget to make use of the hidden space beneath and at either end of the tub – fit a bath panel with doors so you can access the space.

Find interior design solutions for cloakrooms

Cloakrooms are always a decorating challenge. If they’re not tucked away under the stairs where light is at a premium, they’re squeezed between more important rooms with no external walls and no windows. But it is just these apparent obstacles that make the cloakroom such a delight to plan, design and decorate. These days there are lots of fabulous cloakroom suites to choose from, each designed to fit the tiniest and most awkward of spaces. You’re sure to find something to suit no matter how quirky the dimensions of your own room. And while cloakrooms may lack light, this gives you the best of excuses for adding brightness and character through your decorating scheme. Go for fabulously bold wallpaper designs and eye-popping paint colours that really make a statement – combinations that you just wouldn’t have the guts to try elsewhere. And when budgeting, think about the benefits of this tiny room: with its minimal square-footage more expensive materials, such as hand-painted tiles, designer taps and wallpapers or premium flooring, may well be affordable in ways they never would be if fitting and decorating a full-sized bathroom.