Beyond bathrooms


From a quick three-minute scrub under the shower while brushing your teeth before you dash off to work, to taking a leisurely soak at the end of a hard day’s work, the bathroom is where you start and end your day. The modern-day bathroom has evolved from a tiny cubicle into a luxuriant spa, where you can indulge yourself and wash away accumulated aches and worries. Today’s bathrooms can be as sensuous as a boudoir, as intimate as a bedroom, as social as a living room, even as lusciously green as a garden.

Is your bathroom smaller than your cupboard? Why settle for the impersonal claustrophobia of traditional water-closet when bathing should really be a relaxing ritual. The best way to unwind at the end of a day is to soak in a tub filled with warm water, and some scented aroma oils. Designer bathrooms offer a getaway kind of experience, especially if you turn it into a home retreat by adding whirlpools, spa gadgets and decorative fixtures.
The important thing to remember: Fix your budget, the style or theme you want, and then go looking for accessories, instead of the other way around.
The Fixtures

While choosing the tiles, do not get stuck with the clichéd old ceramic version. There are so many materials available, like the handmade ceramic tiles, which could be the cheapest option. Then there are tiles in natural stone, bisazza and glass mosaic tiles, which give the bathroom a certain luminescence.If you want a very formal looking bathroom, you could also opt for Italian marble for the walls.

Similarly, there are a plethora of materials for basins. You could choose from stone, glass, marble, handmade ceramic basins, to imported ones made out of acrylic. You get tubs with a vanity top that is embedded with glass mosaic chips, accented by transparent glass inserts. A glass bowl with a chrome pedestal looks chic, while a traditional South Indian metal basin bowl set in a brass ring looks ethnic. Even the fixtures can be customised according to you preference. Choose from copper, steel or silver.

The shower panels, too, have gone chic. You have shower panels which spoil you with an overhead shower, hand shower and adjustable body showers that come pre-assembled for quick installation. There are showers that provide you with rain, massage and mist combination, for a sensual bathing experience. The Design

Bathroom design trends range from the bold and colourful, to the simple and elegant. You can create almost any kind of look — Japanese Zen, country style, Edwardian or Santa Fe by choosing the right fixtures, furniture, tiles and flooring. Personalise the space. Put up a painting, an artefact, a poem, experiment with different kinds of tiles, mix and match, pick up porcelain or stainless steel soap dispensers and other bathroom paraphernalia. A bathroom ensemble should typically include a waste can, boutique tissue holder, tumbler, toothbrush holder, soap dish, soap dispenser and jar for incidental items. These could be in interesting materials and designs. The bathroom is the likeliest space in your home that a guest will visit, besides the living room, and must be designed as a reflection of the owner’s sense of aesthetics.