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Designing a Small Bathroom: Creating a Functional and Stylish Space with Cate St Hill

Designing a Small Bathroom: Creating a Functional and Stylish Space with Cate St Hill (Part One) 


Designing a small bathroom can be a challenging yet rewarding task. It requires careful consideration of layout, functionality, and aesthetics to make the most of the limited space available. In our two-part series of ‘Designing a Small Bathroom, Shahnee Taylor-Brown, Specification Executive at VitrA, explores the process of designing a compact bathroom, taking inspiration from a recent project with interiors writer, stylist and designer, Cate St Hill, who also serves as a VitrA Ambassador.  


VitrA has long admired Cate's minimalist approach to design and her use of muted colours in her own home, making her mention of extending her home an opportunity too good to miss. Cate was already a fan of VitrA's design collaborations, commitment to sustainability, and product ranges, as well as the ability to purchase everything in one place. With Cate's understanding of the restraints of designing in a small space, and the synergy between VitrA's and Cate's aesthetics, this collaboration was truly an exceptional project. 


As lead on the design of Cate’s bathroom – from initial planning to overcoming obstacles – Shahnee takes us through the design process and provides valuable insights into how she worked with Cate to create a beautiful and practical small bathroom. 













Starting Point and Planning Process: 


When it comes to designing a small bathroom, I believe in making it a truly personal experience. Understanding the unique needs and preferences of the individuals who will be using the space is at the heart of my approach to crafting a well thought out space. By taking the time to delve into Cate’s specific requirements, I was able to ensure that every fixture and fitting was carefully positioned to maximise functionality within the limited space, also paying keen attention to essential factors like natural light, entrance points, and structural constraints.  


My first encounter with Cate was when she paid a visit to VitrA’s London Clerkenwell showroom. Spread over two floors, the showroom houses a variety of ranges including basins, bathroom furniture, fittings, accessories and tiles. It was in this creative space that we first drew inspiration for her project – from the collating of tiles and drawing up a series of mood boards together to physically testing out baths; Cate's personal touch involved climbing in herself to experience the cocooning effect of the Istanbul bath, ultimately informing her decision on bath style.  


As the initial planning phase unfolded, the foundation for a successful design was laid.  













“I must say it's helped to have an expert like VitrA Bathrooms on hand. Through several meetings with VitrA's specification executive, Shahnee Taylor-Brown, we've developed a cohesive bathroom design that combines my design DNA with VitrA's technical know-how.” Cate St Hill 


The Benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) Experience: 

One of the most valuable tools available to us is virtual reality (VR) experience. Cate found this particularly exciting – by utilising VR technology, she was able to gain a realistic and immersive preview of her future bathroom before it was even built, further exploring our product range and interacting with different fixtures, fittings, and finishes. From turning taps and viewing tile details to even opening and closing drawers, this tactile experience empowered her to make informed decisions about the usability and functionality of the products as well as layout and design.



Cate and I were able to discuss potential issues within the virtual space, leading to collaborative problem-solving and more precise design solutions. Moreover, VR brought her reassurance and instilled a sense of fun into what can initially seem a bit of an overwhelming process. 


This is it for Part One of our ‘Designing a Small Bathroom’ series. Don’t miss Part Two, which is coming soon...where Shahnee shares her tips on working within a small footprint, plus some of the challenges along the way and not least, the final reveal of Cate’s finished bathroom.  


Have any questions or interested in finding out more about our design service? Email or call 0203 687 3150.