I’ve talked lots about my kitchen, living room and bedroom makeovers here on the blog, but not much about bathrooms yet. Bathrooms can often suffer from being a bit of an after thought while time, energy and budgets are spent on the larger rooms in a house, and that’s certainly true in our case. Ours is desperately in need of some TLC (I’m not even going to show you, I’m a bit embarrassed…) and it will get its own overhaul in time, once we’ve saved up some pennies, but for the moment a girl can dream. When Villeroy & Boch got in touch and asked me to try out their online bathroom planning tool, I was intrigued to test out some ideas I’d had brewing for a while and design my own dream bathroom that could see the light of day in the near future.
A bathroom renovation is a real investment project, something you’ll no doubt spend hours, if not months or years, dreaming about – it’s a room that wants to be both beautiful and functional, but it also needs to last. You can quickly change up the feel of a living room with new artwork or accessories, but a bathroom has to have sticking power to see you through the years. You want to get it absolutely spot on to avoid any regrets later down the line. Villeroy & Boch’s bathroom planner lets you easily plan and create a virtual view of your bathroom in a few, simple steps. You can move things around, try out different designs in the space, then go away, think about it and come back to it and edit it anytime. It’s a great tool for visualising your renovation project, getting a better feel of the space you have to play with, or just as a way to gather ideas.
Here’s how to get the best out of it:
Identify the problems with your current bathroom and make a list of the key things you want with your new one
The main problem with our bathroom is that it’s on the ground floor, in a small, badly built and terribly insulated extension at the back of the house. We would ideally move the bathroom upstairs to be on the same floor as the two bedrooms when we get a rear extension put on. Aside from the positioning, it’s essentially a bog-standard bathroom using the cheapest of the cheap, which we inherited from the previous owner. It’s not somewhere you particularly want to spend time in, and as someone who loves the occasional bath, I’m getting increasingly frustrated with it’s cold, unwelcoming feel.
So I’m dreaming of a pared-back but luxurious bathroom, a calm, quiet retreat to escape to, relax and recharge the batteries everyday. It would be classic, timeless and designed to last. Oh how lovely that would be!
Optimise the floor plan and visualise yourself using the space
The bathroom looks onto the garden so there would be a big horizontal window with a view of the greenery outside. It’s quite a small space (we would also want to fit another small bedroom upstairs in the extension), so a lovely, big bath and shower head could fit along one wall, with a toilet opposite and a freestanding washbasin in front of the window. That way you could look out while you’re washing your hands or getting ready, but retain a feeling of privacy from the houses directly opposite when you’re in the bath.
I always find it helpful to draft up a little mood board when I’m creating a scheme, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you could just rip some pages you like out of a magazine or spend a morning visiting some bathroom showrooms. Here I’ve gathered some inspiration for my dream minimal bathroom:
Think about the little details and how you want the space to feel
To give the illusion of space I’d use minimal, compact, wall-mounted bathroom furniture – being able to see the floor underneath the washbasin and toilet gives the illusion of depth. I also think a wall-mounted washbasin with a cupboard underneath looks contemporary, less bathroom-y and more like a stylish piece of furniture. The dream would be to have a concrete top and a sculptural free-standing bowl with smart chrome taps. I’d soften the look of with lots of natural materials, plants, hammam towels and luxury spa-inspired details, you’ve got to have good hand soap after all!
The flooring would be dark, such as Villeroy & Boch’s matt, dark grey Aspen tiles, to create a smart finish. I’d choose bigger tiles rather than lots of smaller, fussy ones, to make the space feel bigger. The wall tiles would be light to keep the space light and airy.
Now bring your ideas to life in the bathroom planning tool…
Here’s a step by step guide to creating a design in the planning tool, from creating a floor plan and inserting walls and doors to choosing products from 15 of Villeroy & Boch’s collections (that’s more than 800 products!) and positioning them. The plan will show you the dimensions while the 3D view will give you a better idea of the space. Once you’ve finalised your design a PDF version is then sent to you and you can seek advice from a dealer in your local area to help with the next steps.
And there we have it. A quick bathroom plan drawn up in an instant. It probably took me all of half an hour to create my design, it was so quick and intuitive to use. You can turn the 3D model around to see it from different angles, and make sure your measurements are right and everything fits in in the plan view.
It’s quite a simple design, but the most important thing for me would be the high quality of the fixtures and fittings, I don’t think you need a lot of fussy features if that shines through.
I also tried another option with a free-standing bath under the window, which would be lovely and allow a mirror over the washbasin, but it doesn’t leave much room for the rest of the bathroom furniture. And not sure how the neighbours opposite would like peering in! But the great thing about the Villeroy & Boch planner is that it’s so quick to move around pieces and drop in new items until you find the solution that fits you. It helps you gain a new perspective. Now if only it could somehow magically make my rooms bigger!
As I launch my own interior design services (you can find out more here!) this is definitely something I’d use with clients to quickly sketch out schemes and visualise them. Re-designing a bathroom or creating one from scratch doesn’t have to be something daunting or left to a professional designer either, I think this tool shows how easy it is to bring your ideas to life and make your dream bathroom a reality. Even if you have the smallest space, like mine, you can make your bathroom a place of calm and relaxation to enjoy everyday, whether it’s indulging in some new scents and treating yourself to new towels, using mirrors to transform a space and make it feel bigger, updating with new tiles or going the whole hog and investing in new bathroom furniture for a complete overhaul.
Try the planning tool out for yourself here.
This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch
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