Recently we’ve had a few questions sent to us about bathroom design and layout, asking for some tips and thoughts on planning a bathroom renovation. Over the next few weeks, we thought we’d share some or our experience when designing a bathroom. 

On The Block, bathrooms are completed, including waterproofing, in just 6 days. Impossible, right? Well, no, in those circumstances it can be done, but it takes a lot of trades and having everything onsite asap or supplied at lightning pace. It can be done, but it’s not a realistic expectation for a normal renovation. 

Bathrooms renovations are quite technical, and there’s a lot of work to be done before any of those wonderful finishes can be completed. This is the reason that having your plan in place is so important. 

To begin planning your bathroom start with considering function. Who is going to use this room? Is it a family bathroom, a couples ensuite or, as is the new trend, is it an ensuite for a guest bedroom? Each of these options could lead you to different inclusion, like bathtubs, double vanities, twin showers, or walk-in showers, and even in apartment living whether you can get a European laundry included in your bathroom.  

After this think about the space you realistically must work in. It can be easy to want all the wonderful inclusions you see in bathrooms featured in magazines, but you simply may not have the space for it. The space you have may mean you need to be creative in design and finishes to optimize the room.  

At a minimum you need to accommodate a single shower, a single vanity, a toilet, some storage space, and space to hang towels. How you do this will depend upon the space available, the position of windows and doors, and whether you have existing plumbing or you’re starting with a clean slate. 

When considering your layout, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. Where you have existing plumbing, aim to keep everything in the same place, as this will save time and money in having plumbing changed or moved. 
  2. If you have a toilet in your bathroom, it’s preferable that you cannot see the toilet from the door. Plan to have it either behind the door (using a floor doorstop to prevent people smashing the toilet when they open the door!), or next to the vanity where it will be obscured by the cabinetry. 
  3. Increase your storage by using mirrored shaving cabinets above your vanity, and it also makes access so much easier. There are lots of decorative options, but you can save money by sticking with the stock-standard shaving cabinets and let your other bathroom finishes do the talking. It’s ideal if you can have a 3-door or 4-door cabinet, as you can then use the mirrored doors to check your hair from the back – it’s always a good thing to check yourself in the mirror before your leave the house! 
  4. Balance and symmetry are king. Depending upon the type of mirrors you will be using above your vanity, ensure they all balance, and that the mirrors don’t extend beyond the ends of the vanity. If they, do it will look ‘top heavy’. Check the dimensions of both your vanity and mirrors.
  5. In a bathroom the position of your vanity unit, basins, tapware, mirrors, and over-head lighting is crucial. We’ve seen lots of bathrooms where this doesn’t line up and therefore it looks out of balance. Ensure that your overhead light, centre of your mirror, the tap, and the waste in the vanity/base all line up. In our first bathroom on The Bloc 2021 we made and error and had to fix it. It just looked terrible. It’s one of those things you won’t notice if it’s right, but you can’t help but notice if it’s not. 
  6. As part of your design, draw a lighting plan and an electricity plan. You need to work out where you want power, so your electrical can tell you where you can have power. As this is a wet area there are strict guidelines for safety, so you might not be able to have that wonderful chandelier hanging directly over the bathtub! However, you will need to think about where you want light. Good light overhead at the vanity is a must, as you need to see yourself clearly in the mirror. We’ve seen lots of interiors done by talented designers which fail on this one thing. They either have the light out of symmetry with the vanity and/or positioned behind your head when you stand at the vanity. Makes no sense to us. Ensure your overhead lighting is placed in front of where you will stand to look in the mirror. 
  7. We often plan to have PowerPoints hidden inside shaving cabinets to give a cleaner look to a bathroom. If you plan to do this, make sure the vanity shelves are adjustable so you can keep your electric toothbrush or hairdryer out of sight! 

These are a few things to think about when you are at the planning stage of your bathroom renovation. 

There is a lot to consider, so over the coming weeks we will have a look at ways to create space in a bathroom, some ways we’ve used mirrors, tiles choice and styling tips to create a gorgeous space. 

July 01, 2022 — Mark McKie

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.