Discover top tips and ideas on how to create the perfect luxury bathroom, plus Susan Quirke from Quirke McNamara Consultancy and Hilary Fielding from Hilary’s Estate Agents share their expert advice on whether they think luxury bathrooms are really worth all the expense and effort.
With close attention to detail and careful planning, a luxury bathroom can be created in any home. Whether your tastes are contemporary or traditional, luxury bathrooms are all about creating a space where you can truly relax and unwind at the end of a long stressful day, as well as a place where you can get ready with ease on those busy weekday mornings.
When designing a luxury bathroom that meets your every requirement, luxurious materials are essential. It’s definitely worth investing in materials such as stone and solid wood to add a smart, sophisticated look and feel to the room. Because of the quality, marble, limestone and travertine are very popular choices in luxury bathrooms. For a seamless finish use the same material such as stone on the floors and walls.
Stylish bathroom furniture
Storage is an important element of any bathroom design to ensure complete functionality. When choosing bathroom furniture opt for wood or white gloss finishes that have timeless appeal. You may even want to consider bespoke solutions that make the best possible use of every last inch of available space. Rather than fit freestanding furniture, choose fitted items for a unified look. If you have a small bathroom, wall-mounted furniture provides the best way to create the illusion of more floor space.
When selecting the fittings for a luxury bathroom, performance is everything. If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of space include a separate bath and shower enclosure. For a small bathroom fit a stylish shower over the bath, and install a hinged bath screen to create a showering space.
For the ideal showering solution opt for a shower system that includes a large fixed shower head, which provides a refreshing rainfall style effect to awaken the senses, as well as a shower handset for easier rinsing and cleaning. You may even want to add an extra element to your shower with body jets, which are perfect for massaging away aches and pains. Concealed thermostatic shower valves are a popular option for creating a neat, streamlined finish, and there are many styles available to suit every taste.
Or you could opt for a thermostatic shower tower for the ultimate showering experience. Easy to install, a shower tower incorporates all the functions you could possibly need on a single panel including a large shower head, some of which include a waterfall function, body jets, and shower handset, plus they provide smooth and accurate control over the flow and temperature of the water.
If you have a generous sized bathroom, put all the focus on a statement freestanding bath, ideally positioned in the centre of the room, so it’s the first thing you notice when you walk in. Contemporary freestanding baths work well in a luxury bathroom, but choose a classically designed bath shower mixer for a timeless elegance.
Walk in showers and wetroom glass panels are ideal for creating a sleek, streamlined bathroom. For a neat, minimal finish install a shower tray inset into the floor, or do away with the shower tray completely if you’d prefer a wetroom style showering area.
Sanitaryware is another key element in luxury bathrooms. Wall-hung toilets, where the cistern is concealed in the wall behind, maximise floor space and allow for easier cleaning, as well as provide a more contemporary look, while close coupled toilets with a fully flush to wall design are a popular option for achieving a neater finish. For a ‘his and hers’ look install two basins side-by-side, this is also a very practical solution for easing the morning rush.
It’s all in the detail
To maximise the levels of comfort and well-being in your luxury bathroom, you’ll need to consider the design of the space right down to the smallest of detail.
Underfloor heating keeps the bathroom at a comfortable temperature, and it’ll make a stone floor feel warm underfoot. You may also want to install a heated towel rail in addition to the underfloor heating so you have somewhere to keep towels warm and dry.
The lighting needs to be planned thoroughly too, and it should be versatile. Dimmer switches allow you to alter the ambiance of the bathroom, for an indulgent bath in the evening after work dim the lights low for a feeling of calm and relaxation. Illuminated mirrored cabinets and mirrors create task lighting for when you’re applying make-up or shaving. Lighting can also be used to highlight certain features in the bathroom, for example lights could be fitted into the floor around the bath or underneath a vanity unit to create a stunning focal point.
Even details such as soft close options on toilet seats, drawers and cabinet doors make every task in the bathroom as easy as it can be.
Incorporating technology into the bathroom is becoming more and more popular. Waterproof TV’s ensure that you don’t miss a minute of your favourite soaps, while mirrors now feature demist pads, shaver sockets, LED lighting, sensor operated controls and even Bluetooth and concealed speakers so you can listen to your favourite music or catch up with the latest news.
The interior designer’s opinion
Luxury bathroom design is becoming more popular as tastes evolve. A couple of years ago people were happy with a standard clean-lined bathroom with a nice feature wall in the shower or over the bath.
Now the request for more luxurious fittings and fixtures, as well as luxury materials and lighting has never been greater. More and more people realise the bathroom isn’t just a functional room, it’s a space to unwind and ease the tensions of the day, and clients want large shower spaces and luxury whirlpool baths, as well as inset TV’s and speakers.
Mood lighting again is requested much more now as clients see how effective it is to relax, and bathrooms have become more of a romantic spa like experience. It doesn’t cost miles more to add feature lighting, large scale mirrors and whirlpool systems, and in the long run the client definitely gets their money’s worth. Many clients say it’s their favourite room and the minute they step inside the worries of the day melt away.
I always design bathrooms as both a day and night space using the lighting element to change the feel of the space and how the light works with the materials can move from practical morning space to spa-style relaxation in the evening. Clients really appreciate their bathroom spaces and by adding some music and soft lighting as well as a step up double ended bath or Jacuzzi style bath it’s defiantly a space they spend quality time in.
Susan Quirke, Managing Director, Quirke McNamara Consultancy.
The estate agent’s opinion
Bathrooms definitely help sell houses, every bit as much as kitchens these days as people feel they need or deserve somewhere to unwind at the end of a stressful day and a gorgeous bathroom helps with that!
A bathroom with a spa or hotel feel to it seems to give homes the wow-factor and help them stand out from the crowd, especially on large estates where many properties would otherwise be the same.
New buyers are also put off by old bathrooms as they don’t want the hassle, fuss and added expense of having to redo a bathroom once they move in. A glossy and high end bathroom leads a viewer of a property to believe that every item of work carried out in the house will be to the same standard too.
Hilary Fielding, Hilary’s Estate Agents.
Luxury bathrooms – top tips
Finally, don’t forget those all-important finishing touches such as quality towels and luxurious toiletries. Opt for neutral coloured towels for a chic and sophisticated look, and for the ultimate pampering treat indulge yourself with the luxurious bathing and showering products.
Key design points & bathroom planning tips:
- Invest in luxury materials that will stand the test of time.
- If you have the space install a separate bath and shower enclosure.
- Prioritise comfort and functionality.
- Carefully consider each and every last detail.
- Prioritise your needs and decide if you can work with the current layout or if it needs reworking so you can make the best use of available space.
- Research and decide on the look you want, also check out hotel websites, as bathrooms in boutique hotels are a great source of inspiration.
- Plan who’ll do the work and choose the level of service you require.
- Be super organised; pick a fitter and get recommendations, also ask for quotes from at least three different fitters and look at their references carefully. Plus, remember to check if you need Building Regulations approval if you’re doing any structural work.
Hi, I’m Liz, an interiors blogger. My main focus area is the bathroom, where I aim to inspire anyone who’s planning and designing a new bathroom – you’ll find plenty of tips, how-to guides and a wealth of ideas!