Bathing beauty—the art behind bathroom design - Lifestyle NZ
Bathing beauty—the art behind bathroom design

Bathing beauty—the art behind bathroom design

Careful consideration of space and layout during the design phase—including the placement of feature elements such as free-standing baths—will ensure your bathroom project is the haven of relaxation you envision it to be.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

There is an idiom most of us would be familiar with—measure twice, cut once—which basically means that care taken in preparation of an action will ensure a successful outcome. This can be ascribed to most facets of daily life but it’s particularly pertinent to the design field where a miscalculation could have disastrous results.

Take your bathroom for instance. A properly considered design will ensure that all of the elements work in harmony with each other, while a misstep, no matter how small, could result in a feeling of frustration every time you try to use the space.

“In New Zealand, our bathrooms are smaller, typically, than the ones you see in international magazines or on platforms such as Pinterest, so it’s important to recognise that the sumptuous ensuite you’re wishing to emulate just may not be practical in the space you have available,” says Carl Whiteman, Director at casa|ITALIANA.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t have a spa-like bathroom at home, it just means you need to have a realistic understanding of the amount of space you have to play with and then choose the right fixtures and fittings for that space.

“For example, you wouldn’t place a 1800mm bath in an 1800mm space as it would only end up looking like it has been crammed in and will ultimately make your bathroom appear smaller than it is. Much better to go with a 1600mm bath and create a sense of spaciousness.”

One of the critical factors to consider when designing your bathroom is the placement of the bath. This Perla free-standing bath has been placed directly in the window to make it a feature.

Bath time: to free stand or not to free stand—that is the question

“Planning around the bath is critical, especially if you’re set on incorporating a free-standing model into your design scheme. Along with its placement within the wider space, there are practical considerations, such as being able to clean behind it. As a rule of thumb, you should maintain a 100mm gap between the bath and any walls.

“Also critical to planning for a bathroom in which the bath is going to be a feature element is how the bath is going to be ‘framed’; that is, will it be sitting centred within a window, flanked by windows, or will it have a feature wall behind it, etc. All of these aspects will have a direct influence on the size and style of bath you choose.”

Carl says the style of bath will also play a major role in its placement with the bathroom with some square free-standing baths offering back-to-wall functionality while remaining free-standing.

“These models are particularly suited to smaller bathrooms as they maximise floor space while still allowing for the desired 7-800mm of clear space in front. They also make it easier to team with wall-mounted taps for a more pared-back aesthetic.”

Also worth noting is that not all free-standing baths are available in a full range of sizes, so don’t be tempted to break the rules around retaining adequate space around the bath in favour of a design you ‘simply must have’ as form should always follow function in this case and buyer’s remorse could be costly.

Similarly, the weight of the bath could be a factor, particularly in older homes, so structural issues need to be addressed before installing a free-standing bath, especially if the bathroom is located on an upper floor.

Accessories such as side tables become necessary for a luxury bathing experience, that's why it's important to factor in any other free-standing items into your bathroom design.

casa|ITALIANA: an eye on beauty and performance

“casa|ITALIANA is a leader in lifestyle design in New Zealand, representing some of the best flooring and plumbing manufacturers in the world. We are passionate about the products and designs we carry and travel extensively to Italy and around the world, hand picking the very best products to bring back to New Zealand to our customers.

​“We have a range of free-standing, composite stone baths that offer a variety of benefits including structural strength and integrity, along with stain resistance, scratch resistance and UV resistance.

“From highly contemporary models through to more traditional looking ‘slipper’ baths we have a style to suit any aesthetic, as well as a range of colours and finishes to complement or contrast your bathroom’s design theme.

Learn more about the extensive range of free-standing baths available for your next bathroom project.

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