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Bathroom accessories to inject a little spa style without an expensive revamp

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 May 2016

Dark wood furniture makes a statement in a room decorated in neutral shades, and John Lewis’ free-standing Bali range is brilliant value and good-looking: Tallboy, £195, and Mirrored Double Wall Cabinet, £95. Its roomy Two Tone Laundry Basket, £69, could be perfect for towels or laundry. PA Photo/Handout

Dark wood furniture makes a statement in a room decorated in neutral shades, and John Lewis’ free-standing Bali range is brilliant value and good-looking: Tallboy, £195, and Mirrored Double Wall Cabinet, £95. Its roomy Two Tone Laundry Basket, £69, could be perfect for towels or laundry. PA Photo/Handout

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Are you living the bathroom dream? The ultimate space for a wash-and-brush-up should also double up as a spoiling home-spa for relaxing – and your room is sadly lacking if it’s not offering both.

Accessorise with Butterfly Home Matthew Williamson Aqua Tropical Print Towels, currently reduced from £10-£30 to £8-£24 each, Debenhams. PA Photo/HandoutAccessorise with Butterfly Home Matthew Williamson Aqua Tropical Print Towels, currently reduced from £10-£30 to £8-£24 each, Debenhams. PA Photo/Handout

Before you take the plunge on a revamp though, it’s wise to consider the look you wish to create. I t’s all too easy to get submerged in the diverse range of styles available, from traditional to chic contemporary, and a whole lot in-between.

“In general, UK bathrooms are small and getting smaller, so it’s vital to make use of every inch of space,” says Robin Levien, international designer at Ideal Standard.

“One of the most popular contemporary looks is modern and minimal, but not clinical. We’re seeing a desire for a clutter-free room, where storage solutions keep everything, from towels to toothbrushes, out of sight until they’re needed. This helps make the area a peaceful sanctuary.”

Luxury touches – underfloor heating, LED lighting and anti-steam mirrors – are rapidly becoming must-haves, and technology is increasingly playing a role, enabling lighting, sound and water systems to be programmed and controlled remotely.

Supermarket chain George Home makes it easy to work a nautical look. Its range, mostly available in stores only (with some items online) features a new blue and white Tattoo collection (think anchors, sailing ships and seabirds), which includes a shower curtain, £8; bath towel, £6; striped hand towel, £4; soap dispenser, £5, and tumbler, £3. For more ‘ship ahoy’ touches, pile up a trolley with their porthole mirror, £7; chevron print baskets, £7 for set of two, and sailing boat ornament, £15. PA Photo/HandoutSupermarket chain George Home makes it easy to work a nautical look. Its range, mostly available in stores only (with some items online) features a new blue and white Tattoo collection (think anchors, sailing ships and seabirds), which includes a shower curtain, £8; bath towel, £6; striped hand towel, £4; soap dispenser, £5, and tumbler, £3. For more ‘ship ahoy’ touches, pile up a trolley with their porthole mirror, £7; chevron print baskets, £7 for set of two, and sailing boat ornament, £15. PA Photo/Handout

Choose from one of three looks, for a bathroom to boast about...

Tropical zone

Create your own little bathing paradise with sultry, exotic decor...

Matthew Williamson Butterfly home Aqua Tropical print towel, from £8 to £24, available from Debenhams. PA Photo/HandoutMatthew Williamson Butterfly home Aqua Tropical print towel, from £8 to £24, available from Debenhams. PA Photo/Handout

“The bathroom continues to be a key element in homes, playing a multi-purpose, multi-function role. It’s an oasis of escapism and relaxation, a place for reinvigoration, transformation, and even somewhere to pose, ponder and play,” says Levien.

“Increasingly, this room’s borrowing decorative elements more traditionally found in the rest of the home, and picking up influences from the catwalk. There’s a current trend for dramatic dark colours and pattern on walls and floors, which with good lighting, can actually make a space seem bigger, as well as delivering that boutique-hotel feel.”

Floral patterns and bright botanical colours, like dark purple, rouge and matte greens, are soon set to feature strongly, as a Seventies-vibe makes its mark in bathrooms. But avoid going too retro – an avocado green suite is never a good look!

Nordal marble chips soap dispenser, £30, available from Amara. PA Photo/HandoutNordal marble chips soap dispenser, £30, available from Amara. PA Photo/Handout

Safe harbour

Blue and white’s a classic and timeless choice for bathrooms, because it’s fresh, crisp and evokes a relaxing coastal retreat...

“It’s the subtle finishing touches which make a big difference, so consider taps and fixtures and fittings as the perfect way to refresh an existing sink or bath, and think about these carefully when choosing a new bathroom style,” says Chris Taylor, design expert at tap and shower specialists, Bristan.

“Metallic finishes – gold, brass and and copper, through to brushed steel – are popular this year. For a classic look, use a chunky mixer spout to create sleek elegance combined with traditional style. Add contrasting blue nautical-style accessories for a striking, stylish scheme.”

Theres an informal elegance about ladder storage, and Red Candys Umbra Hub ladder starts from £100. PA Photo/HandoutTheres an informal elegance about ladder storage, and Red Candys Umbra Hub ladder starts from £100. PA Photo/Handout

Hotels treat furniture as interchangeable for the sleeping, living and bathing areas of a room. Keep that aesthetic with pieces which don’t shout ‘bathroom’, whether it’s a rug, dressing table or bathroom chandelier.

You can also refresh a bathroom by updating taps – far cheaper than a full refit.

New wave

Natural, organic materials are up-and-coming stars in the bathroom...

“Today’s best looking bathrooms feature luxurious natural materials and finishes,” says James Lentaigne, Drummonds’ sales and marketing director.

“Cast iron and crisp white enamel, substantial brassware, artisan tiles, wood and wood veneers, beautifully figured marbles and plenty of glass,” he suggests. “Trends are moving away from fitted furniture towards individual free-standing pieces. For a contemporary feel, choose simple and streamlined pieces.

“There’s a new focus on lighting – the best schemes incorporate a variety of light sources, all controlled individually to suit mood.”

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