British homes are shrinking! While new homes in the UK are affording us the luxury of more than one bathroom, the overall size of these rooms is smaller than ever. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects, new homes are almost half the size they were back in 1924, with your typical three bedroom dwelling measuring in at a pretty cramped 925 square feet. With very little room to work in, decorating your bathroom and making the most of the space you have becomes somewhat difficult; but don’t worry, the Savisto team is on the case – here are 10 tips to help maximise your surroundings.
1. Use calming colours
In a small space you need to be sensible with colour, opting for something calm. White is an obvious choice, making a room appear larger than it is; but with white ceramics and probably a white ceiling you can afford to breathe more life into your walls. Consider pastel colours – greens and blues being the shades of choice.
2. Install LED lighting
Bathrooms are never great for allowing in natural light and for a smaller room brightness is going to be even more of a problem. Lighting the bathroom requires different types of bulbs for tasks, decoration and ambience. You should look to avoid florescent lighting altogether – this doesn’t give out great light.
For daily vanity tasks such as brushing teeth, applying makeup and shaving, wall scones either side are the best choice. Don’t install any lighting directly above the mirror as this casts a shadow over the face, making grooming that little bit more difficult.
When it comes to decoration, recessed spotlights directed towards a bathroom centrepiece are the ideal solution, while ambience can come from a central ceiling light or pendant lamp combined with a dimmer switch. In terms of bulbs, use white light, low-energy LED bulbs – these provide a better quality of light and last up to 50 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
While it is rather larger than the space your working with, this bathroom is a good example of how to use different types of lighting to great effect.
3. Be transparent
With space at a premium, you need to avoid using anything that is going to make the room appear smaller or cut off. Clear glass shower screens help bring sophistication to the bathroom, while maximising visual space.
4. Free up floor space
A cluttered floor can make a small room look even smaller, so free up some precious space by fitting wall-mounted ceramics. A floating toilet and basin looks stylish and helps create that all-important illusion of space.
5. Add colour with accessories
We've already discussed using calming colours, but if you’d like to indulge in a bit more colour, do it with accessories. Plants, soap and toothbrush holders, and bright artwork are perfect for adding a personal touch without demanding too much space.
6. Reflection perfection
It’s a well-known fact that mirrors help increase the sense of space, so the more mirror you have the better it’s going to be. A large mirror, or even a full wall mirror (if you’re not too bothered about immediately seeing a reflection of yourself every time you walk in the bathroom), is a must.
7. Go for a freestanding bath
To save space in a bathroom, it makes more sense to have a shower rather than a bath, but if you must have a tub to take a dip in, go for a freestanding bath. Now, while many freestanding baths are rather large, there are a number of more compact options – designed to suit the modern British home. This Victoria Traditional Roll Top tub is a perfect example, combining practicality with timeless aesthetics.
8. Create a focal point
A lack of space will be less noticeable if attention is directed elsewhere, which can be achieved by establishing a focal point. This can be created with some of the things we’ve already mentioned – lighting, mirror, freestanding bath – or by hanging some bold artwork.
9. Consider a wet room
If your bathroom is particularly on the small side, a fixed shower enclosure, and certainly a bath, will be too demanding on space. The ideal solution for this could be to create a wet room. A wet room boasts a seamless floor, with a shower tray installed beneath the floor, and walls that are sealed to prevent leaks using a process called tanking. With wall-mounted ceramics and a clear, hinged shower door and floating storage, you can make the most of what little space you have.
10. Be savvy with storage
Storage is a tricky problem in a petit bathroom so you’ll have to think creatively, relying more on wall space than floor. Floating storage shelves on walls and shelving on the back of the bathroom door will be perfect for towels and vanity products, while an under-basin unit can provide a great home for cleaning products without taking up precious real estate. Built-in recessed storage is also a great idea, especially in shower areas.