Bathrooms have come a long way over the years, with more and more choices available when it comes to creating the perfect relaxing washroom.
As one of the largest online bathroom suppliers in Northern Ireland, Bathshack.com also works across Ireland and the UK, with four showrooms located in Ireland. When a family in Co Kildare wanted a trio of bathrooms for their new-build two-storey home, it was subsequently Bathshack they turned to for assistance.
With three children, the couple required an ensuite for their own master bedroom, along with a main upstairs family bathroom and a smaller downstairs guest bathroom. The brief, says Bathshack sales advisor, Martin Dunlop, was to keep the style modern and contemporary, in keeping with the rest of the interior décor. They were also keen to have a colour scheme of grey tones, along with free-standing bathroom furniture.
“The house itself is very futuristic,” says Martin. “When they came in they had some ideas of what they wanted, but were open to my suggestions.”Martin Dunlop – Bathshack
“The house itself is very futuristic,” says Martin. “When they came in they had some ideas of what they wanted, but were open to my suggestions.
“Nowadays, most people want to get as much time out of their design as possible and I’m a great believer in going for off-whites and greys, as they’re never going to go out of fashion. You can always add a splash of colour with the units. I also recommend painting bathrooms, rather than tiling them, as it’s more costly to replace tiles later on if you want a change.
“The main thing I consider when designing a bathroom is making it something that will last for a long time.”
Bold feature wall for master ensuite
Stylish and sophisticated, the master ensuite bathroom combines a mixture of grey tones, as per the clients’ brief, complemented by a darker, bespoke cabinet which is set against a distinctive feature wall. This wall shows off large Decor Tiles from Bathshack’s La Mas range, with a series of charcoal and grey tones running horizontally across them.
As a result, the overall effect is almost panel-like, as the seams are disguised by the busy design, creating a bold statement wall to which the rest of the room’s tones can be easily matched. These same tiles also appear in the master shower and in a rectangular inset by the bath.
In front of the feature wall is a bespoke vanity unit which Martin designed from scratch. Each side has two deep drawers for storage, with a central drawer located in the middle.
“I always find vanity units are the biggest feature in a bathroom, along with the shower,” he says. “Once we tie down the colour scheme then I would go straight to choosing the units. If they want hand-painted then I recommend going for something more ‘out there’.”
This particular handcrafted unit is Black Ash and is inspired by the Remo model from the Josef Martin range of units at Bathshack.
“We can create the range to suit anyone’s needs,” says Martin. “I have a similar unit to this on display in our showroom. It has a door on the left and in the centre there are two open shelves, with another door on the right. We went for the bespoke unit, however, as they wanted two drawers instead of cabinets.
“We contemplated having open shelves for the towels but I suggested that for practicality the centre drawer was useful for keeping cleaning products separate from beauty items. It keeps everything away from the floor and was a great idea for them. They went for that straight away.”
The vanity unit has his ’n hers wash basins, which are Bathshack’s Bubble Countertop Basins in solid ceramic, with the taps from the L-Series in Extended Mono. Meanwhile, the large rectangular mirror overhead is an eye-catching backlit LED Bluetooth mirror, which also plays music.
“Again, I had this on display in the showroom,” says Martin. “Everyone’s different, but if you like listening to music then it’s a good choice and it’s loud enough to go through the house. Another reason they went with it is because the light shines onto the wall and not the glass. This gives better lighting as a result and it looks a lot nicer against the tiles.”
As the main wall tiles for this room are in a light Piemonte grey, the floor tiles complement these with a more practical darker grey, and are also from the Piemonte range.
Meanwhile, the free-standing bath continues the clean lines of the room and is something the clients were keen to have, says Martin, who advised on the best style and size to suit the room.
“A lot of people go for this style – they like the banana shape look,” he says. “It’s also convenient for supporting the head when you lie down, so is more comfy. It’s very modern, with no grooves, and is handy to clean.
“It’s also convenient for supporting the head when you lie down, so is more comfy. It’s very modern, with no grooves, and is handy to clean.”MARTIN DUNLOP – BATHSHACK
“For the taps, I always recommend free-standing over wall-mounted as they look nicer and are easier to fit than drilling through the wall. They also wanted this style – which is the Eliseo Ricci L-Series Floor-standing Bath Shower Mixer Tap – because it’s very generic.”
Feature inset shelf
While the clients initially thought of creating a second feature wall of Decor Tiles by the bath, they were advised that creating an inset instead would have more impact and better complement the room.
“I suggested just the plain tiles and the inset shelf as it gives more character and actually, more of a feature look,” says Martin. “They agreed with that.”
To the right of the bath is a single wall-mounted Urbano sink with lower drawer by Josef Martin, with the basin unit in the same Black Ash shade as the double vanity unit. Above this hangs a vertical LED backlit mirror, this time without Bluetooth.
Separated by the bathroom door, on the other side of the room sits a fully shrouded toilet from the Citero range, which is fitted right up against the wall, making it much easier to clean. It’s also set at a comfort height, which works well for taller people, says Martin.
On to the shower and this is a large space with glass doors, which almost has the appearance of a wet room. It has its own interior bench on the right, along with two wide cut-outs on either side of the back shower wall for holding toiletries.
“The seat is handy and it also meant they didn’t have to use the tray for the full size of the room,” says Martin. “The shower tray is a Poalgi Black Slate Wet Room Tray and, with the wall around 2m wide, doing a tray for that size would have been very expensive.”
The concealed style of the shower fitting, which is from the Eliseo range, continues the room’s easy maintenance and discreet style. The controls are located in the centre, so it can be turned on without the user getting wet beforehand, while beside the main valve is another control for cleaning the shower.
Mirrored style for family bathroom
The distinctive style of the master ensuite is replicated in the main family bathroom, which continues the grey tones and uses the same core furniture.
“They liked the look of their own bathroom and knew people wouldn’t be in their ensuite, so we used the same tiles again here,” says Martin.
As a result, there is another bespoke double vanity unit in Black Ash, with the same five-cupboard style as before, along with the free-standing Bubble Countertop Basins in solid ceramic. Above, is another large rectangular backlit mirror set against that feature wall of large Decor Tiles.
The toilet is styled as before and this time, sits beneath a window, while the shower is another Eliseo Ricci Shower concealed style, with the same black slate tray.
“People choose this tray for the look but also, from a practical point of view, it’s ultra-slim, so can be run flush with the floor, like a wet room,” says Martin. “It also has an antibacterial coating and allows for easy maintenance.”
“People choose this tray for the look but also, from a practical point of view, it’s ultra-slim, so can be run flush with the floor, like a wet room,”MARTIN DUNLOP – BATHSHACK
Again, the shower has a feature wall of Decor Tiles, as before, while the floor and wall tiles are the same as the ensuite. Both bathrooms also have LED strip lighting on the ceiling, which was supplied by the clients’ electricians.
Elegant end result
“These clients were very well prepared,” says Martin. “The project was completed a year ago and from start to finish took about three months, as they came in at a very early stage.”
With its versatile tones and minimalist style, all of the bathrooms are both elegant and functional and can easily be adapted in the future, should the need arise. Meanwhile, the smaller guest bathroom downstairs (not pictured here as it was completed later) continues the minimalist style and grey, neutral tones from the upstairs rooms, tying the design together.
“The clients were really pleased with the end result,” says Martin. “I think we fulfilled the brief perfectly.”
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