Deciding on your bathroom style can be great fun, there are limitless options and with a plain suite it’s possible to completely change the bathroom design with just a splash of paint, new taps and co-ordinated accessories. Or you can go the whole hog and refit the whole bathroom in a new design and style, new suite, the lot. Some bathroom design ideas won’t work in certain rooms through.
The first step in bathroom design is to try and look at the bathroom and isolate the room from the furnishings or decoration to get an idea of the scale of the bathroom and the amount of light it gets. A small bathroom would be able to take the smooth, clean lines of a contemporary style better than the frills and finery of a Victorian or Edwardian style, for example.
A larger, lighter bathroom would be able to take those fussier styles, particularly if the house itself is a period piece. A minimalist bathroom would also work in a large, light room as the scale would emphasise the stark beauty of an uncompromising contemporary design. And if you're lucky enough not to be overlooked, you don’t need to dress the window either, just make sure it has obscured glass.
If you aren't willing or able to replace the bathroom suite then its style will, of necessity, dictate the bathroom design. As previously mentioned, if the suite is a plain style then you can achieve quite a lot simply by changing the taps and toilet handle. This can work very well if, for example, you have a nondescript white suite with older, basic taps. Replacing these with a matching set of contemporary taps can transform the look and feel of a bathroom.
If the bathroom suite is a fussier, curlier style, perhaps with flutes and scallops, then that's not necessarily bad but the contemporary bathroom look is not going to work. It would be better to go with the style of the suite and try for a Victorian, Edwardian or country style.
Tiles are often used in bathrooms but changing them is hard and expensive, so see what you can do to work with them instead. Tile paint is available but it often looks like painted-over tiles rather than the original coloured tiles so take great care over the preparation and application to make them look as good as possible.
You can also change the look of a tiled bathroom by adding to it. For example, if you have plain pale tiles in a half-tiled bathroom, adding a top row of round profiled border tiles, in a contrasting colour such as blue or black, can change the look to an Edwardian feel for a very small financial layout.
The country look can be achieved by using tongue and groove wooden panelling in the walls rather than tiles and curtains rather than blinds. Use floral fabrics if the window is large enough to take them but this can look far too fussy with a small window. Plants work well in a country style or period bathroom design too, and they love the moist atmosphere.
Finally, if you have the money, and the bathroom is on a scale that can take it, there are some stunning contemporary basin and bath designs. Materials such as slate, glass, stone, wood, and many others have been fashioned into the most amazing and sometimes startling designs.