Toilets – A designer’s guide!
Why are toilets always so drab and boring? Why do we uplift the entire house but neglect our washrooms? In this age, toilets are not just for bathing and relieving, but also for deep thought and answering life’s toughest questions while on the throne!! Fancy mirrors, decorative lights, stone finished tiles, good sanitary fittings and some decor can totally transform your bathroom from a stinky, dull place to a space where genius ideas are born!! Let’s take a look at the designer’s guide to toilets, to inspire you!
1 . SIMPLE LIVING – HIGH THINKING
Simplicity goes a long way. It’s timeless, eternal and functional, with minimum hassles. Go for dark floor and wall tiles, in the same pattern or shade, or just similar looking, and add some contrast with bathroom fittings. You can choose the classic all white/ivory for your WC, basin and shower fittings with warm white lighting. Add a wall to wall mirror, for visually enlarging your space. Simple vanity cabinet, either open or with shutters, will make life so much simpler for everyday use and storing additional cleaning items. Add a pop of green, with a small planter (low maintenance) or simply a vase with flowers.
2. THE CLASSIC BLACK
Dark colors are grossly underrated when it comes to washrooms. Use similar textured/patterned dark tiles or stone, and break the monotony with a light colored vanity, mirror and lights. You can also contrast the shower area with a lighter hue, and add elements to compliment the dark shade like photo frames, lamps, rugs or glass partition. Be careful while choosing tiles, you don’t want to select dark (black) tiles for a very small bathroom, it might make it look even tinier. Rich browns, greys, and shades of black with grains are the best bets.
3. FANCY IS THE NEW SUBTLE
Fancy, literally is the new subtle! Hexagon tiles, spanish printed tiles, 3D tiles, are all the rage with bathrooms this season. The variety of products you get in just one category is baffling! Take care to go wild with one element in your bathroom. You can pick fancy tiles, or go for a colorful vanity, highlight one feature wall, or opt for interesting light fixtures. These bathrooms are perfect for kids, and guest bathrooms or for public loos in restaurants or cafes.
4. ON A THEMED NOTE
Themed interiors and spaces are big this season. Hotels, residences, retail outlets or eateries, every design follows a theme. Why exclude your bathroom from that language? Incorporate the same tone in your washroom, to deliver an outstanding design experience to everyone visiting your space. For residences and hotels, you can fuse the outdoors and indoors, not just in your dining room, but also your bathroom, with an outdoor shower or bathtub surrounded by greenery, a wooden deck, or shaded by trees.
For an industrial theme, you can use brass (coated) fittings, or pipes with industrial lights and basin to enhance the look in the washroom as well. A fun, splashy theme, can be introduced in the bathroom with a pop-art wall, or simply a black wall with innovative motifs, design, lights or your chosen elements. Be creative and original and the design is surely going to get noticed.
5. SMALL, BUT EFFICIENT
My bathroom is way too small to try these ideas, you may lament. More often than not, bathrooms are pretty small, especially in the Indian contexts. If you have an apartment, chances are the bathroom sizes will be limited. But, fret not. The purpose of design is to make a small space, look bigger, and function efficiently.
TIPS FOR A SMALL BATHROOM:
a. Try to segregate dry and wet areas.
b. Try and keep the basin, WC and shower panel on the same wall, (This will ensure that all services function smoothly, cost of piping and plumbing is reduced, and the bathroom looks bigger than it is)
c. Do NOT go for darker shades for the walls. You can use dark flooring, go for printed spanish tiles, patterned tiles, or textured tiles, even stone will work wonders. But, keep the walls light colored, beige, creme, light grey, are the best options.
d. Squeeze space out, in the vanity, in the mirror, in the shower area, by creating niches in the wall, or providing storage under the shower bench, etc. to keep your utilities, cleaning items, toiletries and cosmetics in place and avoid your bathroom looking cluttered with items everywhere.
e. A single huge mirror, on the basin wall, reflecting the opposite wall enlarges any bathroom.
6. NO MONEY, NO WORRIES
Looking for a simple, easy fix and no major renovation? How can you easily reinvent your space while going easy on your pockets? Well, dont worry. Here are some tips you can follow:
a. Prioritise. Are your fittings old and dirty? Dirty bathrooms always look the worst. Invest a little to change the fittings and you will notice that your bathroom instantly looks 10 times better. Are the tiles old fashioned, stained or just boring? There are several ranges of tiles available in the market starting from Rs. 30 – Rs. 250 / sqft. Change your tiles, for a completely new look, without draining your money. Basically, chose one element in your bathroom, and replace it.
b. Add a vanity. Vanity cabinets are so underrated in India. With shampoo bottles lying everywhere, cleaning items stashed in a corner, mops and buckets lying around, even an expensive bathroom will look like a mess. A well designed vanity, puts all your things in place, and makes the bathroom more organized and functional.
c. Good lighting. We all get dressed in our bathrooms, and still have just one bulb or a tubelight to help us do it. Bathrooms, should be well lit, with nice interesting light fixtures, warm lighting which will not only enhance the interiors, but make the process of getting ready a fun and lively one.
d. Add decor. How is it that we decorate our living rooms, bedrooms, study rooms, offices, kitchens and everywhere else, but neglect our bathrooms? Add a picture frame, a glamorous vase or a nice soft rug in the dry area, to feel like a star every time you visit the toilet.
e. New technologies are coming up in every field and they are even revolutionising the way we clean ourselves. Invest in a rainshower, introduce a steam and sauna system, go for automated lighting solutions or blinds, new age exhaust systems or just conceal the services. For example, that huge geyser on the wall, can be concealed in a false ceiling, which will make the bathroom look so much neater.
f. Proper electrical switches. The amount of gadgets we use to get ready need to be properly accounted for and should be easily usable in the bathroom. There should be proper electrical points, located strategically around the toilet for easy access. Minimum switches required are: 1. Two sockets and a light switch near the basin, for hair dryers, shavers, straighteners etc. 2. One socket near the shower for geyser. 3. One socket near the window for exhaust fan 4. Light points, and their switches located strategically.
Follow this guide to ensure your bathroom looks as great as the rest of your house, office, restaurant, show etc. Make every natural call seem like a well deserved break in your beautiful bathrooms, and incorporate design in every aspect of your life!
Author: Jamila Sidhpurwala
Jamila is one part artist, two parts foodie, and all parts traveler. She is a patron of good art and design and loves to immerse herself in books and music. Simplicity and minimalism is her motto as an architect. A writing enthusiast, she surrounds herself with all things creative. She actively shuns all “ists” and “isms” and firmly believes in a “no – label” world! She isn’t afraid to take risks, speak her mind, push forward and challenge preconceptions. She is currently pursuing Masters in Architecture at the University of Liechtenstein.