Function and style are two very different concepts. A car provides a function; what type you buy into shows your sense of style and says something about you. The same goes for your clothes, your home or any room in it. If you live alone you have free choice to be as reserved or creative as you like however most of us live within a family setup and have to reach a satisfactory agreement that keeps all parties happy.
Firstly there is the question of function. When considering revamping your bathroom apart from the obvious need for the basics, have you considered who would be using the facilities? Do you need special customised solutions for a member of your family, for instance, walk in baths or showers, low handrail or grab bars, easy seating at basins or safety toilet seats? What about non slip floor tiles for elderly people or easy reach lighting switches? Then of course there may be a need for easy flush buttons or arm adjustable tap leavers for people with arthritis.
Even if everyone is able bodied, do you have a baby that is going to need a secure changing surface or young children that can’t reach the sink and, more importantly, shouldn’t be able to reach the medicine cabinet?
So what about style? Are you short but your partner is tall, who chooses the height of the mirror, do cupboards slide open or swing and catch your knees? Do you want a fancy slow lowering toilet seat, a shower that folds back against the wall or movement activated lighting that does not leave you in the dark before you have finished?
Remember that you have to live with your choices for a long time and what is the latest fashion today could look rather silly in a year or so. It may be an idea to do a makeover first before ripping everything out and starting again. Sometimes a lick of paint and a few adjustments in the way things are arranged can revitalise a tired bathroom and save you a lot of money in the process.
Colour has a psychological effect and can make such a difference to a room; brighten it up, cool it down, make it look bigger. Put a warm tinted mirror in and it will make you look better in the morning when you stagger to the bathroom. Have subtle lighting, accessories that aren’t just functional but add to the ambience. Put in an automatic aroma spray so even the smallest room feels fresh.
If you decide to go for customised solutions remember what looks good in a catalogue may not work in your space as you may have to cut a few bits out to get it in or it might not match other rooms in the house. Try and see examples on the company website or at a showroom to get an idea of how units will look in the flesh before fitting them in your home.