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Ensure you're maximising your available bathroom space with these tips.

Bathroom Design &  Layout - How to Get it Right


It’s crucial to get the design and layout of your new bathroom right or you’ll never achieve the functionality and relaxation you’re dreaming of. Many homeowners new to renovating opt for the cheapest option of keeping all the plumbing and electricals in the same position and simply updating the fixtures. While this might provide a new “look” for the space, it won’t address any layout or functionality issues so you’ll still be left with a dysfunctional bathroom.

So, let’s chat to the Brindabella bathroom design experts about some of the things they consider when creating a custom bathroom design for a new client.

First off, as every family and every home is unique, so there are some key questions to ask yourself.

  1. Who will be using this bathroom?

If this is the main bathroom, then it will need to accommodate the whole family and their needs, as well as any guests and visitors.

  1. What do the main occupiers expect of the bathroom?

Depending on who will be using the bathroom, it’s important to consider their needs – for example, young children need a functional area around the bath, teenagers may need extra room for hair/makeup accessories, or a shared bathroom will need carefully-considered storage space.

  1. What did you like and what didn’t you like about your current or past bathrooms?

This is a good question to talk about with the entire family (if it is the main bathroom) or just your partner (if the bathroom is an ensuite) and a great opportunity to rectify any past nuisances (such as space restrictions, dysfunctional storage or exposed toilets), or brainstorm ideas of inclusions that meet the needs of all the family.

Choose your desired style early

It is not imperative to pick your colours and style at the beginning of your process but having a key element to work around can make things a lot easier as the process unfolds. Some styles are defined by the room being open and airy while others call for a dark and sexy vibe. You may want to incorporate a tub for a traditional bathroom, or for your family’s needs, or perhaps you’d rather omit it altogether for a glamourous oversized shower and extra-large vanity.

Stick to your zones

Bathrooms are typically divided into what we call wet and dry zones. The wet zone accommodates all of the water-based activities such as the bath and shower while the dry zone contains the vanity, storage and toilet. Depending on where these items are located, your bathroom may have one, two or three wet walls (a structural wall that houses the plumbing pipes).

Work with the space you have

While a lot of us want it all, the reality is many of us have to work with the size of the bathroom that we have. Moving or removing walls is definitely a possibility to discuss with your builder but if that’s not realistic then here is where your specialist bathroom designer becomes essential. They can advise on how to incorporate those feature items you fell in love with, as well as ensure a functional space. They may even have some suggestions of ideas you may not have considered and can help steer you away from novelty ideas that don’t have any longevity and won’t serve your needs in the long term.

Place the toilet wisely

If many people are using the bathroom, consider concealing the toilet. If you don’t wish to build a dedicated room for the toilet, or space doesn’t allow, there are many options to help conceal the toilet area such as a petition or a low wall.

Light it up

If you or any family members plan on getting ready for the day or a night out, then you’ll want to ensure you have the perfect lighting. Nothing can beat the sun, especially when getting ready in the daytime, but not every bathroom can have large windows or a skylight.

First off, we all know that water and electricity do not mix so light installations can only be performed by a licenced electrician. Australian regulations also have strict rules as to where lighting can be placed and as such, have divided bathroom areas into four zones. Each of these zones will require lighting with different IP (Ingress Protection) ratings. (While we are on the subject of zones, electrical outlets are also only permitted in certain zones and distances).

Lighting has a great effect on moods so consider what feeling or emotion you’d like to portray. The style of your bathroom will also help you decide what lighting you might like and where to put it. For example, a white bathroom with lots of natural light might not benefit from LED strips in the same way a dark bathroom will.

No matter what style your bathroom is, getting the right light around the vanity is something you don’t want to get wrong. Ensure your lighting choice will evenly illuminate the face and won’t cast any shadows. Backlit mirrors are very on trend and create quite the statement trend.

Our experienced team at Brindabella have been designing and installing bathrooms for happy Sydney owners for more than 30 years. We have seen it all and know that together, we can create the bathroom of dreams.