Living bathrooms: decorating ideas for a stylish scheme

With the help of KBB journo Yvette Filer, we discover how colours, textures, furniture and accessories can play an important part in making your bathroom a relaxing and enjoyable space to spend time in…

Colourful bathrooms

We love seeing bold colours and patterns in the bathroom. And there are so many options to inject vibrant shades and statement prints – from colourful sanitaryware and striking wallpaper to decorated basins and funky soft furnishings.

Embrace the living bathroom look and move away from neutrals with the help of brightly-coloured sanitaryware. Wall art is a finishing touch that’s often overlooked when planning such a functional space. However, it can totally elevate your scheme. Consider adding one or two prints that will help bring your overall look together.

Complete the scheme with accessories such as quirky rugs and house plants, just as you would elsewhere in the home.

Victorian style bathroom with coloured bath and fabric shower curtain.
Wall paint in Paris Grey, £55.95 for 2.5 litres; Chalk Paint in Old Violet, from £7.95 for 120ml; Linen Union fabric in Antoinette and Old White, £39.95 per m, Annie Sloan.
Bold cloakroom with green wall panelling and coloured wallpaper.
Vinyl shutters, price on application, Thomas Sanderson.
Minimalist cosy bathroom with coloured furniture and funky bath mat.
Catino Ovale in Anemone with drawer in Rovere Sbiancato, £4402, and Enjoy WC in Anemone with soft close seat, £1143, West One Bathrooms.

See the light

Where possible, create a layout with a view of your garden as it will strengthen the connection to nature. Look at different window dressings and how they complement your space – blinds, shutters or statement curtains are all great choices.

When it comes to lighting, you don’t have to stick with clinical spotlights either – try some fun lighting options such as chandeliers, table lamps or wall lights. For safety, make sure your lighting is IP44 rated. If you are confused about the lighting zones, we have a great guideclick here.

Large bathroom with huge window and chandelier above the free standing bath.
We love this bathroom with a view by Graff.
Freestanding pink bath by a large window.
EasyClean yarn rug in Onyx, £61.20 per sq m, Fibre Flooring.

Dressing areas

Living bathrooms can include comfortable furniture such as chairs, armchairs or stools. Having a chair in the bathroom can be especially handy if you have little ones. This way, you can sit somewhere comfortably while the kids are in the bath instead of kneeling by the side of the tub.

If you are designing an ensuite, think of the bathroom as an extension of the dressing area. Add in wardrobes or chest of drawers to gain extra storage while achieving that chic lived-in look. Just ensure the furniture you choose is suitable in such a humid environment.

Bath mats, decorative towels and even little bits such as soap holders, can be another fun way to tie the look together. But before you go overboard on the styling, make sure your choices are practical as the space is going to be damp and in frequent use. Good ventilation is essential.

Luxurious cosy bathroom with large seating and freestanding bath.
Tay bath with a painted finish, from £4770; Bestwood lever three-hole basin mixer, from £1536, and three-bar wall-mounted towel rail, from £2670, Drummonds.
Dressing room that leads into an ensuite bathroom
Day True designed this stylish ensuite as an extension of the master bedroom.
Green and blue bathroom with chair and freestanding bath.
Boat bath, £2060, BC Designs.

Fancy some more? Click here for bathroom accessories to add a luxurious spa-like feel

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