A large bathroom, or one which is an odd shape, offers almost unlimited scope for creating an unusual atmosphere. But even a small, rectangular bathroom can, with a little ingenuity, be turned into something out of the ordinary. And an unexciting bathroom suite can be totally transformed if it is imaginatively combined with out-of-the-ordinary patterns and materials.
The fittings, too, can transform a bathroom. The traditional materials for baths – cast iron and steel – are rigid, stable and durable as well as cold to the touch and extremely heavy. Modern materials are not only lighter in weight and warmer to the touch, they are also easily moulded – making it possible to incorporate backrests, seats and even inset soap trays. Hence the modern generation of baths, many of which are a far cry from standard traditional rectangular shapes.
Corner baths, round baths, and sit-in baths all look, and feel, distinctive. Whirlpool baths have the added bonus of providing gentle underwater massage in addition to a warm soak. Baths which reproduce the elegance of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are increasingly widely available.
Finally, of course, you may want to choose a non-standard bath for practical as well as decorative reasons – to fit into a small space or make use of an odd angle, perhaps.
Attention to detail is the hallmark of this traditionally-styled bathroom. While they are in keeping with the overall style, the accessories also incorporate modern conveniences such as a shower attachment and a heated towel rail.
Not all baths are rectangular – many interesting shapes and sizes are available as part of manufacturers’ standard ranges. So finding a bath which meets your special requirements should pose no problems.
The simplest variations differ little from the common rectangular shape. Shorter-than-usual baths are available to fit into smaller-than-usual rooms – and there are also extra-long baths for tall people. Contoured baths which are wasted in the middle, tracing the outline of the human body, are both comfortable and economical on water.
Corner baths not only look different, they can also be extremely practical. Many have a built-in shelf or ledge – ideal for sitting children on or resting your novel or magazine safely out of the wet. Since the sides of the smallest corner bath are 1200mm in length (considerably shorter than the conventional 1600/1700mm), they are particularly suited to small en suite or irregularly-shaped bathrooms.
Round baths provide a taste of ‘Hollywood-style’ bathing, but also require a ‘Hollywood-sized’ bathroom to create the desired effect!
Whirlpool baths are also known as spa baths or Jacuzzis. Nozzles in the sides of the bath pump out pressurised streams of water to massage as well as cleanse.
Sit-in baths are square and squat in shape, ideal where space really is in short supply.
Period baths incorporate the elegant details of Victorian and Edwardian designs – fluted or scalloped edges, decorative patterns, brass taps and accessories. They also take advantage of up-to-date materials and technology. Modern conveniences such as bidets as well as baths and basins are available.
Some period baths are freestanding with ball and claw legs; others are elegantly enclosed in wooden panelling. Basins are frequently inset into wooden washstands or vanity units. WCs usually have wooden seats.
A touch of flamboyance To locate a really special bath, consult one of the growing number of bathroom specialists, where you might find a striking heart-shaped or hexagonal bath – or even a bath for two!