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When we design our homes we generally concentrate our efforts on the more public areas such as the living and dining halls and we often put less effort into the other areas which we tend to use quite often. Design should always be considered in every corner of the home, especially in the way we set out our furniture and in the way we move around them, as this affects how we feel within the home. Take for example the one area we usually don’t put much thought into: the Bathroom.
While the Bathroom is an area we would not place in a sector deemed auspicious, there is no reason for us to use a bathroom that literally may look like a store room. After all, this is the area we use to freshen ourselves up to prepare for the day, or the area where we come to unwind after a long day at work.
Arrangement of the Space
The bath area usually has space limitations, so the way we arrange the facilities is vital as to how we can create a sense of style and space. For example, if we place the WC directly opposite the basin, it constricts the circulation space and also creates an unsightly element that is open to the entire area. As a result, the bath area would have a direct view of the WC which is not the ideal setting when one is taking a bath.
The use of materials is equally important. Avoid having to use the same wall material throughout, as this creates a monotonous theme void of any inspiration, and simply results in a very bland finish. If you do have a single tone for the wall colour, don’t match it with a similar tone for the flooring, as this would further accent the dullness of the space.
Even if you have ample space to play with, avoid creating a space where the facilities do not have any connection to one another. In the example in the picture on the bottom left, we have conflict between the bathtub and the WC, but more so since the space is so open, which only serves to highlight the oddity of the arrangement. Although the materials are mixed to give a sense of variety, the combination of the wall and floor patterns do not seem to fit together, and ultimately this creates a haphazard visual impression.
However, if we arrange the facilities whereby we segregate the bathtub wash area with the use of floor design, it allows us to open up the space and separate the functions of the bathroom. In this case, the use of materials helps to break up the monotony of the bathroom by accenting the marble wall pattern with a timber effect tile feature wall. The feature wall plays a vital role as it helps to identify the wash area as well as offer trimmings throughout the room for display. Similarly, the flooring is dual tone to whereby the darker tone tile, although different in design, carries the theme of the timber tone accents through but more so, the white tiles affirm the feature wall and wash area location, thereby creating a symmetry that ties all the facilities together nicely.
Other designs look into a sculptural placement where the signature bathtub is highlighted within the bathing zone. The use of glass mosaic helps to define the space, while the walls are painted in a combination of white and brown tones to accent the effect of the tiles and the bathtub. The use of rugs offers a simple solution to break up the flooring pattern but by standing alone in the space, the flooring itself highlights the rug to become a feature piece within the space.
If we have the luxury to allocate the facilities how we like, a symmetrical design offers many opportunities. In this scenario, we are able to separate all the 4 main bathing routines from each other whereby the basin serves as the entry hall, flanked by large mirrors to expand the space even more. The bathtub serves as a central circulation node where it centers itself within the whole area allowing the ritual of bathing to adopt a holistic effect. The shower and WC areas may be placed at one side to separate it from the dressing zone, thereby creating dry and wet zones. Similarly, the use of colours and timber accents help to break up the white wash walls and furniture colours. But at the same time, it creates a sophisticated and classy look. Likewise, the use of glass mosaic on the floor serves a dual purpose where it not only breaks up the marble but allows a rougher walking surface for safety.
The Dressing Room
The adjacent dressing room is equally important. Some of us may be so used to concealing our clothes in cabinets and drawers that it transforms into a habit of hiding away our things, which then leads to clutter being accumulated within our home.
If we design our dressing area similar to a clothing boutique concept, we display our clothing and accessories in open view, thereby forcing ourselves not to accumulate clutter. At the same time, it creates a new way of living. By being able to view all your clothes in a single glance, it makes it easier for you to dress and prepare for each day.
By introducing the showcase concept into the dressing area, this also allows you to organize your clothes in a neatly arranged manner, whereby every item of clothing is placed in its proper location, allowing the user to become more effective and decisive.
Therefore, when we design these ancillary spaces around the home, it is important to think of how we want to live, and consider the effect of the design on the way we live, think and organize our lives. Look at the function of the space, identify how best to make that function fit, and think outside the box using materials, design, colours and space to create the lifestyle you want.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World ( July/August 2011)". To subscribe, please click here.