By Jan Dowling August 8th, 2013. Comments Off on Bathroom Essentials: Tips and trends for a dream bathroom – PART ONE

Designing a bathroom used to mean choosing the right sized three-piece suite and tiles to fit the space. Oh, how the times have changed!

Whether you are renovating a guest bathroom, wet room, powder room, or master bath, the evolution of products on the market means you have the opportunity to create a space that exudes function and form.

Quite simply, you can have style on tap.

In part one of our Bathroom Essentials series, we look at some of the most on-trend showers, baths, basins and toilets to help you start the bathroom of your dreams.

home extensions by Dowling Homes at Unley

Freestanding Baths

A dream bathroom isn’t complete without somewhere to truly relax and indulge. For a real ‘wow’ factor, you can’t go past the freestanding bath. In the past, freestanding baths had a tendency to appear old-fashioned, yet elegant. Now you can embrace the freestanding bath in a range of different styles, from contemporary clean lines to black tubs and metal baths.

The likes of Parisi are proving that bold is beautiful with freestanding baths in innovative shapes. Or if you want to marry the classic and modern look, you can relax into more traditional curves of a classic claw-foot bath from makers such as Sink and Tap or a stone bathtub from Apaiser. For something truly special, we can’t go past the new Anahita bath from the Italians at Mastella Design. Made from a composite of resins and aluminium materials that have been shaped into a swirling architectural shape, it is truly a masterpiece.

Pure Vanity

Bathroom furniture has evolved beyond an undersink cabinet to gorgeous standalone feature pieces. Designers are choosing bathroom furniture that provides both function and form, and today’s vanity units are the best way to achieve this. No matter the size of your bathroom, there is a vanity unit to help you maximise space, minimize clutter and add style. Showerama and BIGA+ have joined forces to launch the simple yet elegant Quad vanity cabinet, which is designed especially for bathrooms where space is at a premium, such as powder rooms and guest bathrooms. It comes with legs or wall-hung, and for en suites, you can place two side by side to create a ‘his and hers’ space.

Like the Quad unit, vanity cabinets often come with lots of practical design features such as soft close drawers and doors, sleek handles and complementary mirrors. You can also choose from a range of benchtops to integrate with the rest of your bathroom, such as Caesarstone, Polymarble or glass, with a range of basins to suit.

home additions at Millswood by Dowling Homes

More than a basic basin

These days, basins offer so much more than a ceramic sink with a chrome mixer tap. From marble to neon colours, your sink area can become the centrepiece of your bathroom. The Loto marble basin from Enzo Berti at Kreoo is turning heads in European bathrooms, with its fluid shape and surprising wooden support structure. Here in Australia, we’re extending our love of all things freestanding to the basin; Dado Australia’s Annelie basin is a stylish solution for tighter spaces and is taking bathrooms by storm. Glass basins are also growing in popularity, with their ability to add a showpiece of light, shadow and reflection. Kohler has a wide range to suit all budgets, such as the Lavinia spun glass basin.

Rain Showers

Rain showers have come a long way since they first entered the bathroom scene. Now, whether you prefer a quick morning splash or want to feel like you are standing under a waterfall, there is a shower for you. Increasingly, we are seeing architecturally designed showers such as the Gessi Tremillimetri showerhead. Perfect for the minimalist space, this stunning style-piece is only 3mm thick and can still deliver rain-shower quality. Alternatively, the PuraVida overhead shower from Hansgrohe uses ‘Airpower’ technology that reduces the water use by using air to make each droplet feel softer and more voluminous.

The pinnacle of shower experiences has to be Kohler’s DTV customised showering system. It includes a combination of wall-mounted and hand-held shower heads that can be programmed through the DTV control pad to deliver each family member’s preferred temperature, water spray, massage therapy and duration. Simply bliss.

home extensions by Dowling Homes at Semaphore

Designer Toilets

There’s no reason why your bathroom’s style needs to stop at the toilet. There is a whole world of feature-packed toilets that can be, dare we say it, beautiful to look at. For a conversation starter, Parisi’s OH toilet and bidet provides a modern cube design with a four-star WELS rating to help save water. A little more conservative yet still exuding elegance, the Perrin & Rowe Art Deco toilet is packed with style and water-saving features. Alternatively, Laufen’s Alessi One wall-hung toilet is a space saver with a difference – it’s egg shaped!

Dowling Homes helps create unique bathrooms to suit every home, individual style and budget. Contact us to discuss your building needs. Email  or phone 0409 829 871.

Stay tuned for part two of our Bathrooms Essentials series where we’ll be looking at the style trends and products to help you get the look.