When renovating a resale home, the bathrooms are usually number one on the list, if not two after the kitchen. Having seen many kitchens and bathrooms in the Sotogrande villas and apartments I sell, I feel slightly qualified to provide a few tips and pointers when designing a bathroom.
1.- A bathroom is not just a shower, bath, sink and toilet. The bathroom should be designed with the same care as the entire home. When renovating your bathroom don’t leave the design to the contractor, who may do no more than fit the bathroom around the drainpipes. Make sure you design it around your personal preferences and lifestyle.
2.- Bathtub: A subject that concerned me when renovating my bathroom. Opting for a freestanding bath; it looks very stylish, of course, but it is not necessarily very practical. The taps in the bathtub should be placed so that it can be operated easily from both sides.
I also recommend building a step to the tub to make getting in and out easier, especially as you get older!! You should have shelves within “arm’s reach” to for example have scented candles and which contribute to relaxation. A removable wooden shelf on the bathtub for the champagne glass not only looks chic, but it also actually contributes to the spa experience!
3.- Shower: Here, too, there are a few important points to bear in mind.
Have more than one shelf built into the wall; and most importantly, the shelf should be high enough for your shampoo bottle, and roomy enough for your favourite shower soaps and gels. The shower head can’t be big enough, it is best when it feels like you’re standing in warm rain. In addition to the rain shower, you also need a hand shower, preferably with a flexible holder so that you can fix the hand shower at about stomach/chest height if you want to have both hands free. A bench or seat in the shower is very convenient for cleaning and caring for feet. When building this bench, make sure it is high enough, so you are not crouching. Most importantly the shower floor must be carefully chosen, non-slip, and equipped with a removable drain for regular cleaning. A large marble slab may look great and very elegant, but it’s impossible clean accumulating hairs underneath.
4.- Washbasins: All master bathroom should have his and her sinks; and essential to pay attention to the height that is suitable for you. Many bathroom designs look beautiful in catalogue as you only see the sink and counter. If you want your bathroom to look clean and tidy storage must not be forgotten and should be practical. Very quickly hair dryers, cosmetics, hairbrushes, etc. take up all the countertop and should be hidden away to give your bathroom a tidy look.
5.- Toilets: As far as the loo is concerned, pay attention to the height; here in Spain the standard height is often too low, especially if you are tall. You can also double up with a shower head fitted next to the loo saving space and not requiring a bidet.
6.- Mirrors: The larger the mirrors the better. The entire space will look larger if you have wall to wall mirrors. Also, from a practical point of view, try to install anti steam mirrors. Save on wiping down after a hot shower or bath.
7.- Bathroom lighting: The lighting of all room should be considered very carefully. In the bathroom you want a lot of light, particularly around the mirrors. Having the ability to dim the light is also good, especially if you want to take a relaxing bath. Indirect lighting is highly recommended, behind mirrors, below shelves or the washbasin…
8.- Flooring: A luxurious bathroom must have underfloor heating! If it powered electrically, it reaches the desired temperature faster. For obvious reasons beware the floor material is not slippery.