The lap of luxury

Paul Bailey of Grohe UK offers tips to self-builders on how to add a luxurious feel to your bathroom, whether you’re working to a tight budget, or you are ready to ‘splash some cash’

The term ‘luxury bathroom’ is no longer just a bathroom that offers premium fittings and expensive taste, but has become a trend in itself. Typically, the luxury bathrooms of today have evolved to become personal sanctuaries and havens of wellness, taking inspiration from extravagant hotels and spas. Often utilising materials synonymous with decadence such as marble and gold, a luxury bathroom is about much more than the aesthetic but also the ambience and environment that the space creates for the owner.

In recent years, lifestyle changes such as greater demands from our jobs and an imbalanced work life routine, plus the omnipresence of social media causing an inability to fully ‘switch off’ has seen the bathroom become much more than just a functional space we visit in order to keep clean. Therefore, when planning your main bathroom, be sure to take into consideration what you want back in return from your newly designed space.

The focus for luxury bathrooms is very much integrated into the concept of wellness and personal care, but it is important to tailor this to your individual needs and lifestyle to make sure you get the right fit. Is a roll top bath a must-have feature or does your lifestyle require something as indulgent but a lot quicker? Do you want to recreate your own at- home spa, or is it more important to have a visually calming space you can retreat to when you need five minutes’ peace?

While there is a premium attached to specifying luxury high performance fittings such as toilets and showers in your new bathroom, even those working to financial limitations can create a ‘luxury’ aesthetic. Here are our top tips on how you can do so, no matter how big or small your budget.

Luxury bathrooms on a shoestring

Luxury bathrooms aren’t out of reach if you’re working to a small budget; it simply requires you to be more creative in order to achieve the look you want. If the finances aren’t there to support the luxury bathroom of your dreams just yet, focus on the aesthetic as the fittings can always be upgraded at a later date if you wish. Seeing is believing, so getting the ambience right is a crucial thing you need to spend time on in terms of planning.

Colour scheme is key; the aim should be to create a calming, neutral space that you can supplement with touches of colour in your accessories. Don’t just settle for white, but consider greys, warm neutrals and pastels too.

To complement your bathroom landscape, consider an alternative to chrome when it comes to specifying brassware. Metallic finishes such as brass and copper are a great way of adding colour in a subtle way, and will add warmth to the space too – important when creating a luxury space. If you’re working to a more industrial or monochromatic colour scheme throughout your home, explore graphite options or nickel for something a little more understated.

You can now find brands on the market who offer such finishes across the entire range of brassware; from taps and bath fillers through to showers, flush plates and accessories. This will create a look of consistency and a quality finish to your space. However, if you are committed to the timeless aesthetic of chrome, then be sure to shop around and buy from a premium brand that will deliver a higher quality of material, guaranteeing years of endless sparkle and shine.

Opulence with your future in mind

The idea of future-proofing your home is an appealing concept for most, and a digital bathroom will provide more convenience and comfort both now and in future years, when you or your family members might be older and less mobile.

Shower toilets are the perfect investment for instilling a sense of luxury and future-proofing in your new bathroom. They are now the norm in Asia, and there is an increasing demand for these hygienic toilet systems in Europe too. Shower toilets feature an integrated bidet system and use advanced technology to deliver ultimate hygiene and personalised comfort for washing, through a gentle and natural cleansing process. Shower toilet systems offer excellent eco-credentials with the added benefit that the need for toilet paper is eliminated, so they provide a great solution for those working on sustainable projects too.

The real luxurious element of these systems is their smart technology offering, which enables users to personalise their cleaning routine, allowing them to adjust the water pressure and position of the spray, as well as choosing their preferred spray pattern, cleansing cycle and temperature for both water and air. In some models, the individual settings can even be controlled and stored via an app on your phone.

An added benefit to some of the more premium models of shower toilet is their practically self-cleaning function, meaning minimal maintenance and manual cleaning is required. Digital products such as shower toilets can also really help create value on your property, which is worth bearing in mind if you have plans in the future to put your house on the market.

Going for indulgence

For that once in a lifetime dream bathroom where you can afford to ‘splash the cash,’ it is worth investing in a state- of-the-art shower system that will create the centrepiece of your new space. These shower systems typically feature oversized ‘statement’ shower heads which are installed into the ceiling and can often be accompanied by body jets fitted into the walls, making them perfect for a walk- in shower enclosure set up.

In addition to delivering full body coverage from directly overhead, designed to emulate the sensation of showering in a natural waterfall, you will also have multiple choices of spray patterns, from invigorating to soothing, depending on your mood. Some products even offer oscillating patterns, bringing you a unique head and shoulder massage!

You’ll also experience the benefits of Bluetooth-operated sound, lighting and steam features, creating your very own personalised and private at-home spa that will provide the perfect escape from the outside world. If a spa-inspired shower is top of your priority list for your new bathroom, don’t forget to leave space for a seat or bench within the enclosure, and make sure to add this into your project plan!

Paul Bailey is senior category manager at Grohe UK