With a modern minimal look, this spacious family bathroom has been designed to ensure easy use and maintenance for its Antrim homeowners
Having renovated the rest of the house in 2019, this was the final room to be completed and Ciaran Loughran from Bathshack in Ballymena was happy to take on the project.
“This specific bathroom project really began with the shower,” he says. “The clients needed a low-level tray for easy access but they wanted it to look modern without being clinical, so it was all about blending these two requirements together. They didn’t want anything overtly standard but the room had to have practicality and easy use as well as being ultra-modern and trendy.”
Wet-room vibes for shower
With the level access shower tray therefore the first key element in the redesign, the couple opted for dark solid slate in the form of the Poalgi Slate Wet-room Tray, which is anti-slip and also has an anti-bacterial coating.
“We based everything around the tray and worked out from there,” says Ciaran. “They loved it as a feature. It’s very trendy and because it’s such a dark tray we chose lighter coloured wall and floor tiles to contrast with that. We actually had the tiles they chose already displayed with the tray in our showroom. They liked those, so that’s what they went for.”
The large corner shower is fitted with an easy to clean glass wet-room panel, which has no hinges or seal, thereby fulfilling the brief of ‘easy to clean’ furniture and functionality. It adds an elegant, seamless finish to the shower, without detracting attention from that distinctive black slate tray, which remains the focal point.
It’s very trendy and because it’s such a dark tray we chose lighter coloured wall and floor tiles to contrast with that.
Further practicality comes in the form of a sizeable square cut-out shelf for storing bathroom products, which features in the wall adjacent to the glass panel. This comes complete with LED strip lighting, for added atmosphere. Meanwhile, the electric shower with chrome fittings is the client’s own. Down the right side of the shower a thin strip of dark mosaic tiles adds another border to the shower, defining its outline along with the glass panel.
Stylish Spanish tiles
Complementing the darker tone of the shower tray, the large, rectangular floor and wall tiles in the bathroom are from the Chrono White Porcelain Tile range, a high-quality Spanish brand with an authentic concrete effect. Hardwearing, these tiles are both practical and stylish and further increase the spacious feel of this already sizeable room.
“Because it’s a high-grade tile it can be used for both the walls and floor, creating a seamless look,” says Ciaran. “The tiles in the shower are the same as the rest of the wall tiles but are the more decorative version, with raised ridges. This gives a raw look and works very well in the space.”
Practical vanity area
Moving on to the bathroom cabinetry, this is also rendered in white, with a wall-hung vanity unit and basin located to the right-hand side of the shower area and the toilet situated behind this. An overhead window above the toilet lets in ample natural light to the room.
“The vanity unit is from the Happi range,” says Ciaran. “The clients wanted both this and the toilet to be in white for a cleaner look and again, they wanted easy use and practicality in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Having the furniture off the floor makes cleaning much easier. The vanity unit also has two drawers and everything is at hand level for ease of use.”
Above the vanity unit hangs a rectangular rimless mirror – the Eliseo Ricci Jasmine LED Mirror – which fuses style and functionality with its heated glass and de-mister feature, along with shaving socket and LED illumination. It’s also touch-sensitive and brings a very modern feel to the room, while retaining the overall minimal style.
Having the furniture off the floor makes cleaning much easier.
To the right of the vanity unit and basin, which has two roomy drawers beneath, is a slim shelf tiled in the same ridged tiles as the interior of the shower. A strip of black and white mosaic tiling also extends down the side of this, mirroring the same strip of tiles which run floor to ceiling along the right side of the shower.
The practicality continues with the Marbella Fully Back to Wall Rimless Toilet, which facilitates cleaning with its ‘back to wall’ design. Meanwhile, to the right of this – on the bathroom’s back wall – is a bespoke unit which adds additional storage to the room.
“Basically, we realised we had quite a bit of space left at the right-hand side of the bathroom, so we made bespoke units to fill that space,” says Ciaran.
“We do our own bespoke furniture at Bathshack – the Josef Martin range – so we made a Josef Martin worktop in a slate colour to match the slate shower tray, which ties the colour-scheme together. It’s hinged and lifts up to reveal storage underneath, which comes from two freestanding Happi units without basins. The drawers also match those on the vanity unit.”
As one of the clients previously built kitchens for a living, he was keen to install the units himself and indeed, fitted the entire bathroom, once everything was chosen for the renovation.
“It was a real project of love,” says Ciaran. “He tiled it all and did the ceiling too. He had quite a lot of input in the project.”
The ceiling is Silver Embedded PVC which helps to reflect light and doesn’t need to be painted, again, fulfilling the brief of practicality and style. Rendered in a light gloss white it also carries a ‘clean’, minimal look and the PVC is a more resilient material, adds Ciaran, as well as being good with condensation.
“The ceiling style replicates the old-style tongue and groove look,” he says. “We used spotlights on the ceiling and elsewhere in the bathroom, while there’s LED strip lighting under the vanity unit and inside the shower wall recess.”
With the project completed last autumn, the clients were absolutely delighted with the end result, which delivers the perfect blend of modern style and functionality that they wanted. “They really love the bathroom,” says Ciaran, “which is what you always want to hear!”