Bathroom Feature

All in the Detail

Lucy Baker-Kind finds out how its the details that can bring streamlined structure to the bathroom

Lucy Baker-Kind
27 February 2017

The main functional pieces of the bathroom are in place, and now it’s time to concentrate on the finishing touches. The detail is in the final accessories – should the fittings be chrome or brass, modern or Victorian-style? 

Danny Kelly, Showroom Manager and Designer at Studio Four, Jeremy Wright Ltd, in Churchstow, is seeing a trend towards contemporary, minimalist designs in chrome or brushed stainless steel. “For us, it is modern all the way,” he says. 

Simon Cookson, Sales Advisor at Bathroom Village in Exeter, also finds that his customers look for a set of matching accessories with a modern feel. Squared-off designs are proving popular, such as the Imperial Highgate range. “Nickel is starting to take off, but chrome still outsells everything,” says Simon. 

David Aspinall, Creative Director of Sapphire Spaces, believes that timeless, classic shapes are key, and agrees that matching accessories are a vital part of the design: “It’s the detail that produces a perfect bathroom.”

In previous years, soap used to be a cracked, dry bar perched on the sink, but now, luckily, a lot of households opt for liquid soap. Decanting into a permanent dispenser is a nice touch that can add uniformity to the room scheme, with both wall-mounted and free-standing options available. Wall-mounted ones are the most popular, according to Simon, as they free up space around the sink. Choose a modern ceramic holder with a nod to Art Deco straight lines from the Crosswater Wisp range.   

Wall-mounted is also the holder of choice for Sapphire Spaces’ customers, and advances in design have created retractable fittings, which can disappear from view when not needed.  

Although matching adornments are still important, David is seeing a move towards manufacturers creating built-in storage within their suites: “New suites from the likes of Armani, Falper and Laufen build features such as tissue dispensers, toothbrush holders and dishes into the units so they can be accessed when required. Where possible, our mantra is ‘integrate and disguise it’, which is only possible with a holistic design.” 

To keep those wet towels off the floor, a towel rail is a must. Simon’s customers tend to choose ladder rails, which are practical in terms of the floor space required. Again, the finish of choice is chrome, with anthracite and white also available in ranges such as the Bauhaus. A pop of colour can be introduced on a towel rail, but Simon warns that these are more expensive. 

Sapphire Spaces offers some creative new radiator panels, including a surfboard-inspired style, for those who like to be on, or in, the water, even if it’s just in their bathroom! Again, rails can protrude from the wall, which disappear from view when not in use.  

For those who like warm and dry towels every morning, the Radox fused spur seven-day digital timer radiators from Bathroom Village are technologically advanced. Towel rails can be part of the home’s Hive central electronic system, but David would not always advise this: “For practical purposes, having your own remote is far simpler.” 

Danny always advises a heated and dual-fuel towel rail, or one on its own heating circuit: “All types of heating can now be done on a smart system, enabling remote access if done as part of the heating system.”

He thinks ladder-style rails are the most practical and, interestingly, a coloured finish rather than chrome will also have a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) output, as the paint absorbs and radiates the heat better.

Technology also comes to the fore in the new range of bathroom mirrors – Simon suggests Roper Rhodes mirrors with built-in LED and backlit lighting, with an additional feature of integrated Bluetooth DAB radios, if you fancy some tunes while getting ready. 

David also advocates chromotherapy mood lighting for mirrors, with changing colours to reflect mood and ambience – perfect for a teenager’s bathroom.  

Studio Four has a selection of mirrors with LED lighting, clocks, radios, Bluetooth, speakers and de-mister pads. 

Light-pulls have traditionally been seen in bathrooms, but Danny now opts for external switches in brushed stainless steel, with infrared and touch options. Located outside the bathroom, these are both practical and hygienic. “Everything is important if the client has a need for it, but shaver points for toothbrush-charging is becoming increasingly sought after, and in a minimalist design it’s always nice to try and hide it away somewhere discreet,” he adds. 

The accessories are a personal choice. “The mood can be uplifting, relaxing, serene or energising, therefore the design must be central to the ambience required,” says David.

The main functional pieces of the bathroom are in place, and now it’s time to concentrate on the finishing touches. The detail is in the final accessories – should the fittings be chrome or brass, modern or Victorian-style? 

Danny Kelly, Showroom Manager and Designer at Studio Four, Jeremy Wright Ltd, in Churchstow, is seeing a trend towards contemporary, minimalist designs in chrome or brushed stainless steel. "For us, it is modern all the way," he says. 

Simon Cookson, Sales Advisor at Bathroom Village in Exeter, also finds that his customers look for a set of matching accessories with a modern feel. Squared-off designs are proving popular, such as the Imperial Highgate range. "Nickel is starting to take off, but chrome still outsells everything," says Simon. 

David Aspinall, Creative Director of Sapphire Spaces, believes that timeless, classic shapes are key, and agrees that matching accessories are a vital part of the design: "It’s the detail that produces a perfect bathroom." 

In previous years, soap used to be a cracked, dry bar perched on the sink, but now, luckily, a lot of households opt for liquid soap. Decanting into a permanent dispenser is a nice touch that can add uniformity to the room scheme, with both wall-mounted and free-standing options available. Wall-mounted ones are the most popular, according to Simon, as they free up space around the sink. Choose a modern ceramic holder with a nod to Art Deco straight lines from the Crosswater Wisp range.   

Wall-mounted is also the holder of choice for Sapphire Spaces’ customers, and advances in design have created retractable fittings, which can disappear from view when not needed.  

Although matching adornments are still important, David is seeing a move towards manufacturers creating built-in storage within their suites: "New suites from the likes of Armani, Falper and Laufen build features such as tissue dispensers, toothbrush holders and dishes into the units so they can be accessed when required. Where possible, our mantra is ‘integrate and disguise it’, which is only possible with a holistic design." 

To keep those wet towels off the floor, a towel rail is a must. Simon’s customers tend to choose ladder rails, which are practical in terms of the floor space required. Again, the finish of choice is chrome, with anthracite and white also available in ranges such as the Bauhaus. A pop of colour can be introduced on a towel rail, but Simon warns that these are more expensive. 

Sapphire Spaces offers some creative new radiator panels, including a surfboard-inspired style, for those who like to be on, or in, the water, even if it’s just in their bathroom! Again, rails can protrude from the wall, which disappear from view when not in use.  

For those who like warm and dry towels every morning, the Radox fused spur seven-day digital timer radiators from Bathroom Village are technologically advanced. Towel rails can be part of the home’s Hive central electronic system, but David would not always advise this: "For practical purposes, having your own remote is far simpler." 

Danny always advises a heated and dual-fuel towel rail, or one on its own heating circuit: "All types of heating can now be done on a smart system, enabling remote access if done as part of the heating system."

He thinks ladder-style rails are the most practical and, interestingly, a coloured finish rather than chrome will also have a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) output, as the paint absorbs and radiates the heat better.

Technology also comes to the fore in the new range of bathroom mirrors – Simon suggests Roper Rhodes mirrors with built-in LED and backlit lighting, with an additional feature of integrated Bluetooth DAB radios, if you fancy some tunes while getting ready in the morning. 

David also advocates chromotherapy mood lighting for mirrors, with changing colours to reflect mood and ambience – perfect for a teenager’s bathroom.  

Studio Four has a selection of mirrors with LED lighting, clocks, radios, Bluetooth, speakers and de-mister pads – "Most things you can think of," claims Danny. 

Light-pulls have traditionally been seen in bathrooms, but Danny now opts for external switches in brushed stainless steel, with infrared and touch options. Located outside the bathroom, these are both practical and hygienic. "Everything is important if the client has a need for it, but shaver points for toothbrush-charging is becoming increasingly sought after, and in a minimalist design it’s always nice to try and hide it away somewhere discreet," he adds. 

The accessories are a personal choice and depend on the client’s wishes. "The mood can be uplifting, relaxing, serene or energising, therefore the design must be central to the ambience required," says David. 

”It’s the detail that produces a perfect bathroom”
David Aspinall, Sapphire Spaces
Surfboard-style radiator
Shower recess

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