The most efficient way to begin the planning bathroom furniture process is to define the role of your new bathroom. Will it be an en suite or family bathroom? Is it likely to be used by more than one person at a time? Will any of those using the bathroom be very young or old and infirm? Do you want it to double as a dressing room? Do you like to bathe quickly or in a leisurely way? Do you need storage only for toiletries or for towels and cleaning products as well? Think about style, too. Do you favour a contemporary or traditional look? Does the design need to integrate with an adjoining room? The answers to these questions and others like them will help you to decide your priorities.
The basic fixtures for a conventional bathroom are a basin, lavatory and bath, but there are many variations, and your choice will depend on the style you want, your budget and the size of your room. In a small bathroom the tub could be exchanged for a shower enclosure to save space or, for a feeling of openness, the room could be designed as a fully waterproofed wet-room. If you want both a bath and shower, the choice is between separate fittings or an overbath shower. In some countries, every well-appointed bathroom contains a bidet, while in others it is an optional extra. Generally, top-quality fittings with designer labels are expensive, but there are plenty of good-looking alternatives in affordable ranges.
To see whether your fixtures will fit into the available space, draw a scale floor plan of the room and elevations of each wall on graph paper, then cut out cardboard shapes representing the fixtures to the same scale (manufacturers’ brochures give exact sizes). On the floor plan and elevations, mark all permanent features.