Our two-part ‘Designing a Small Bathroom’ series continues with Shahnee Taylor-Brown, Specification Executive at VitrA, sharing with us the challenges she encountered – and overcame – when working on the makeover project with VitrA Ambassador and interiors writer, stylist and designer, Cate St Hill.
Missed Part One? Don’t worry, catch up here.
Working Within a Small Footprint:
Designing within a small footprint is a journey filled with unique challenges, but I enjoy diving headfirst into the creative process to find the perfect solutions. In Cate's project, the primary constraint we encountered was incorporating a larger vanity without sacrificing precious space. It was clear that standard-sized vanity units just wouldn't cut it, as they would create awkward, unused areas in the already limited space.
The Voyage washbasin unit by Arik Levy was a game changer. This 100cm wall-hung vanity unit with a short projection not only provided the much-needed functionality but also added a touch of elegance to the overall design. Making this bold choice allowed us to maximise the available space, leaving no room for compromise when it came to aesthetics or practicality.
Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges:
Every design project comes with its share of obstacles, and Cate's bathroom was no exception. Originally planned to be larger in a different area of the house, the bathroom had to be reimagined due to practical difficulties. By working closely with her architect, a solution was found. The new bathroom was placed in an extension directly above the existing bathroom, avoiding complex plumbing issues.
In the process of adapting the design concept to the smaller space, we carefully combined the shower and bath area and handpicked smaller, compact fixtures from the same range. Maintaining continuity was crucial, so we decided to carry over the same tiles from the larger bathroom and repositioned them thoughtfully to accentuate key features, tying the design together in a seamless manner.
Cate was particularly thrilled with the addition of a spacious niche at the end of the bath for storage of shampoo bottles. Not only practical, but it also adds an extra surface and intricate detail to the overall design.
The finished bathroom is not too dissimilar from the renders I initially produced for Cate. With a 160cm long bath from the Neon range, the Voyage vanity unit with countertop basin, and a floor-mounted Sento back-to-wall WC, the space has been maximised without compromising functionality. The balance and harmony in the design are evident, with complementary forms and a cohesive colour palette throughout the space.
Opting for the Plural basin in matt moss green creates a balanced focal point that harmonises with the sage green tiles on the opposite wall. The incorporation of curves softens the clean lines of the bathroom and the elevated design enhances the perception of space and depth.
A large Prime round mirror above the basin enhances the brightness and perception of space – I suggested overlapping this with the tiles to create a grounded and connected design which brought Cate tremendous satisfaction. The bath and shower area features Liquid Line Decor tiles by Tom Dixon in Sage Glossy, which reflect light and focus attention, and when married with the alignment of PRO Color Ultra White Matt tiles, achieves a look that is architecturally sleek.
VitrA's Origin range brassware, with its minimalist design and brushed nickel finish, adds elegant charm. The rain showerhead offers a luxurious experience, and Cate found the separate hose to be essential for cleaning and convenient for washing her child's hair.
Positioning the mixer and diverter in the middle of the wall, as advised to Cate, has in her own words, “transformed her showering experience”. No longer does she endure the discomfort of standing under cold water while waiting for the temperature to adjust. Instead, she can fine-tune the temperature before stepping inside.
This project was among my favourite to work on and demonstrates that size should not limit bathroom design possibilities. With careful planning and consideration of finishes, together, we’ve transformed a compact bathroom into a seamless and functional space that perfectly caters to Cate’s family's needs.
“When we were forced to adapt our design and scale back our plans to include a much smaller bathroom than we first envisioned, I felt a bit disheartened. I thought it would feel like too tight a squeeze. And although I can reach both arms across and touch either side of the room, it doesn’t feel too small at all. It suits our small family and what we need from our bathroom.” Cate St Hill.
Interested in speaking to us about your bathroom and how our design service can help? Email email@example.com or call 0203 687 3150.