BATHROOM IDEAS

SPACE
Space is generally is important, mainly because it will affect the selection of the bathroom's wall, floor tiles and overall design. It's safe to say that the type of house you acquire(public housing or private properties) will affect the final look, feel and vibe of the bathroom that comes along with it.

Maximize floor space with minimal obstructions. In small bathrooms, scales, trash cans, and laundry hampers utilize valuable floor space that could be used for moving around your bathroom. The key to this is housing these items in another location. If your trashcan is small enough to fit next to the toilet this may solve your issue. While scales and laundry hampers may need to go in a bedroom or adjacent hallway closet.

Consider using a recessed toilet paper holder, and create niches in the wall for holding towels, toiletries and display items. Niches in the wall will create visual interest and will help avoid objects protruding into valuable floor area. Use this same trick in showers and bathtubs to hold soap and bath accessories. If you’re renovating your bathroom, create niches in the shower wall and use tile inside the niches for a custom look.

Ensure floor space is kept clear and uncluttered. If you choose to use a rug, use 1 large one as opposed to several small ones. The more separate pieces you have, the more the floor space is broken up visually.  One rug will unify the floor as one large whole and maximize your bathroom area.

A tub/shower combination is a good choice for many baths, especially a space that may be used by children as well as adults. The tub's end wall and the way the door opens is a way to help keep the toilet separate from the rest of the space. Often a full bath has space for a roomy vanity or double vanity.

COLOURS
Depending on the colour you choose and how much natural light illuminates your space, one colour can make your bathroom feel larger. Remember one colour doesn’t mean you can’t use hues of one colour. A bathroom with varying shades of one colour will accomplish the same goal. Soft, neutral tones are perfect for this eye fooling trick. If you are able to keep it clean, white will make your bathroom feel the largest - given that in Singapore all HDB BTO flats are adequately sized, complying to the above mentioned will give you positive results.

STORAGE
Use space above the doorway for storage. The next time you are in your bathroom observe how much vertical space in your bathroom isn’t being used.  Typically, the space above a doorway is vacant.  Especially, if you have higher ceilings than the minimum clearance you can install decorative storage shelves to house bath tub salts, scrubs etc… in a decorative basket. If you aren’t concerned about décor, use the shelf for storing extra toilet paper and cleaners to free up valuable storage area below the sink!

Storage under the sink is a plus and if it has open storage it can serve decorative purposes at the same time. Open storage shelves allow towels, baskets and other decorative items to be stored without using up room in a closet.  If you decide on open storage for your bathroom be mindful of clutter and adding too many items on the shelves.

LIGHTING
Adjustable lighting will create a multifunctional bathroom when space is limited to only one function it can feel smaller than it is.  For example, if you only have one overhead light in the bathroom you will find only utilitarian tasks to occupy your time and then leave. Add a dimmer switch to that same lighting fixture and now you can get ready for work in the morning, and in the evening relax in the tub or shower.  Your small bathroom just got a lot larger!

SHOWER AREA
Use a glass enclosure at bathtub/shower area. Shower curtains can be used at your bathroom/shower but will separate your bathroom visually. Opt for a glass enclosure that creates a subtle and visual divider between your main area and your shower/tub.  For added privacy, many glass enclosures either comes with a frosted pattern applied to them to give privacy and not get in the way of your illusion of space.

VANITY TOP
Choosing the perfect material for your bathroom's vanity tops can be a bit of a brain teaser, that's thanks to the wide array of attractive options available at nearly every price level. It's also because typically, bathroom vanity's surfaces don’t face the same abuse as those in the kitchen (such as hot frying pans, sharp carving knives etc.) the decisions most buyers wrestle with are usually more about style and cost than Herculean strength. Fortunately, the top bathroom vanity top materials on the market combine beauty and brawn with equal measure. Here’s a closer look at some of the most sought-after bathroom surfaces amongst today's' buyers.

GRANITE
If your heart is set on Granite, count yourself among an enduring majority. Despite encroaching competition from quartz, granite remains the premier choice among the varieties of natural stone, due to its dramatic beauty and seemingly endless variety of colours and patterns.

PROS:

  • A profusion of option, with patterns from subtle to bold and a plethora of hues, you’re sure to find a slab that speaks your language.
  • Granite is hard, scratch resistant and requires minimal upkeep when properly sealed.
  • It’s impervious to humidity or damage from a hot curling iron.
  • It lasts just about forever.
  • Because granite is so desirable, it’s likely to add resale value to your home.

CONS:

  • Granite is still one of the most expensive vanity top choices.
  • Because there’s a real chance of damaging the slab if it isn’t handled properly, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job.
  • Though granite is recyclable, its transport and mining require extensive energy resources.

QUARTZ
Quartz is one of nature’s hardest and most abundant minerals. In fact, nearly every type of stone contains some percentage of this ubiquitous material. Manufacturers of quartz vanity tops (familiar brand names include Caesarstone, Cambria, Zodiaq and Silestone) add pigments, resins and, occasionally, recycled content, to a base that is about 95 percent natural stone. 

PROS:

  • Quartz is tougher than granite and doesn’t require sealing.
  • It’s naturally resistant to moisture, stains and bacteria.
  • It has a variety of edge treatments and installation options

CONS:

  • Quartz can rival high-end granite and marble in cost.
  • Honed and textured finishes will show fingerprints and smudges, so frequent wipe-downs may be necessary.

SOLID-SURFACE
Solid-surface materials are made of acrylic resin and crushed stone. Top brands include Corian, Gibraltar, Formica Solid Surfacing and Staron. You’ll find a wide range of solid colours and subtle patterns that pair especially gel well with contemporary decor.

PROS:

  • Extremely durable and naturally resistant to water, bacteria and stains.
  • Realistic flecked or streaked styles can rival natural stone.
  • Virtually seamless.
  • Minor damage can be buffed out.
  • Available with integral sink and backsplash options, as well as custom colour inlays and lighting effects.

CONS:

  • Requires professional installation.
  • Wear and scratches are more visible on darker colours.
  • Can be damaged by intense heat or dropped objects.

MARBLE
For centuries marble’s cool elegance has been synonymous with wealth and privilege. But thanks to improvements in its production, this rare beauty has become a bit more affordable. A hard, crystalline form of limestone, marble is often white with streaks of greys, although there are many colour variations.

PROS:

  • Long lasting and strong enough to resist most chips or dents.
  • Can be polished to a high shine or honed for a casual, matte finish.
  • Adaptable to nearly every style.

CONS:

  • It’s expensive.
  • Marble’s porous nature makes it prone to stains, scratches and etching from acidic substances.
  • Requires periodic sealing to maintain the finish.

CONCRETE
No longer exclusively an industrial material, concrete has miraculous shape-shifting abilities that allow an endless array of looks. Most concrete countertops are manufactured offsite for maximum quality control.

PROS:

  • It’s an appealing organic material that can mimic the look of natural stone.
  • Vast range of customized colours, textures and decorative inlays.
  • Can be cast in the exact shape, dimensions and edge style desired.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Reasonably eco-friendly, especially when recycled content is added.

CONS:

  • Professional design and installation are recommended.
  • Because concrete is naturally porous, countertops need to be waxed and sealed regularly.
  • Visible seam lines, although their appearance can be minimized with a coloured filler.

LAMINATE
Laminate has come a long way since the garish pastels and visible seams many of us remember from the ’60s and ’70s. Most commonly known as Formica, this easy-care product is composed of a thin plastic surface that’s pressure bonded to a particleboard or plywood base. The latest printing technologies are used for modern laminates to produce amazingly realistic stone- and wood-like finishes, as well as a plethora of solid and graphic patterns.

PROS:

  • One of the most affordable countertop surfaces.
  • Durable, water resistant and easy to clean.
  • Warm to the touch.
  • Presized products are widely available at home supply stores.
  • Relatively easy to install without a professional.

CONS:

  • Laminate tends to thin or dull over time.
  • Damages can’t be repaired; the entire counter usually needs to be replaced.

TILES
Ceramic tile can be a charming and informal surface material, especially in a Spanish colonial– or beach cottage–style bath. Boldly patterned tiles also make wonderful backsplashes and tub surrounds.

PROS:

  • Glazed ceramic tiles are resistant to heat, stains, scratches and moisture.
  • Tile is affordable, and individual tiles can be replaced if damaged.
  • The installation and pattern can be customized.

CONS:

  • Grout can attract stains and mildew and may be difficult to keep clean.
  • Tiles can crack or chip.

MIRRORS
Use mirrors to reflect light and add space. Vanity mirrors can take up the entire wall or hang in decorative frames to resemble artwork. When using mirrors in bathrooms, consider the subject that will be reflected. Mirrors across from a window will reflect light and sometimes, scenery, while a mirror across from a bathroom linen closet may not give you the impact you were looking for. Mirrors also come in etched versions to add visual interest.

MODERN FIXTURES
Even though your bathroom is small it can still look like a bigger than life space.  Bathrooms have huge resale value when selling your home and updating your fixtures is a worthy investment.  If your bathroom feels small due to out-of-date and boring fixtures, opt for brushed chrome, bronze or copper fixtures. For a wow factor, consider vessel sinks placed on top of granite countertops. You will love to spend time in your small bathroom when it feels luxurious!

CEILING
Don’t forget the about the ceiling. Many bathrooms have gorgeous tray or vaulted ceilings that add volume and depth to a small bathroom. If you are one of these fortunate people, add lighting above to bring emphasis to this architectural feature.  If your ceiling is low, you still have great colour options.  Consider painting it a light complimentary colour to the rest of the bathroom to bring the walls visually higher.  Are you talented with a painting a mural? A light blue background and subtle clouds will give the illusion that the sky is above… very serene when executed properly. There isn’t any bathroom that will feel small when the sky is open above them!

SINK
Use lighter wood colour for cabinetry. If your bathroom has under counter cabinetry at the sink, consider using lighter woods as opposed to dark coloured woods.  A light coloured wood will allow for more light to reflect off of surfaces and will not make the eye stop abruptly at the dark cabinetry. If you are renovating, consider using a light coloured sink to coordinate with the lighter wood.

DOOR
Change the swing of your door. If your current door swings into your bathroom consider flipping the door around so it swings out of the bathroom. When doing this, ensure that the door is not swinging into a heavily trafficked hallway or space. If you can, consider installing a pocket door that slides into the wall, and doesn’t require a door swing. Pocket doors are also visually appealing because they “hide” inside the wall.

 

UNORTHODOX TILE SETTING

WALL TILES
Wall tiles are more often than not laid in a traditional manner - however, for this instance, the wall tiles are laid in a diagonal manner which not many people understand the complexity of the process. It is of course, unconventional and not as pocket-friendly because it requires more work to pull this off as compared to the conventional mundane way of tile setting.

FLOOR TILES
Hexagon tiles are often used for laying on bathroom floors because these tiles are very durable, water-resistant and hex tiles can easily make a cool statement. As of late, the trend is to decorate a bathroom in neutral colours and add a contrasting hex tile floor in navy, black, dark grey, white or any other neutral colours, and contrasting grout can help you to highlight the tiles. Tiles can be small or large, and the colour can highlight the colours of the rest of the bathroom or bring out the contrast with against them.

LIGHTS
This recessed tin can light fixture - dubbed as the Milo tin can light by clients - its actually a diamond in the rough! It breaks away from the conventional ordinary bathroom lights whereby most Singaporeans would prefer to stick to their comfort zone and not pick something wild and outrageous, out of the box. We dare you to be bold, different and go against the grain.

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