Bathroom options

Bathroom options

Steve Kaye, Marketing Director at HiB, discusses some of the ways housebuilders can add the ‘wow’ factor to one of the most important interior areas in any new home – the bathroom.

The bathroom in a home is used on a regular and daily basis and is seen and accessed by just about anyone who enters the home. It is therefore somewhat surprising that it used to be a low priority on the design chain – due to the fact that it was primarily seen as a practical room used for purely for personal hygiene activities.

hib-1However, that is certainly not the case today. Now the bathroom has been elevated to one of the most important design considerations of all, rivalling even that of the kitchen.

Amongst the reasons for this shift of emphasis is the fact that the bathroom has become one of those rare places of refuge, either at the end of the day or a long week, where people are able to seek solace and switch off from the increasingly hectic – and connected – world.

To place this into context, one recent report indicates the scale of the UK’s addiction to the Internet and technology with the average Brit now spending 10.5 hours a day on the web – two hours longer than the average eight hours a night’s sleep. Unfortunately, as a result of living life in the fast digital lane, people are increasingly finding it impossible to switch off. The average person gets less than 38 minutes of downtime a day.


Cue the bathroom boom, with 3.7 million of us viewing the bathroom as one of the only places we can be at home with our thought s in a world which is ‘always on’.

Design has, therefore, taken precedence, with an onus on looks which allow for quiet contemplation. As such, a stylish, well-thought out bathroom design can make all the difference when it comes to selling a house quickly – according to property guru, Phil Spencer – a new bathroom can add 2.88% on to the house value.

Cool & calm

But, with so many designs out there where should the developer begin? In terms of what to recommend the dominant trend of 2016 is ‘cool and calm contemporary’ shown in soft, subtle hues such as greys, beiges and creams, paired with crisp whites and touches of wood for a fresh, light and tranquil feel.

This sentiment can be echoed with the choice of furniture. For a more delicate modernity, the new Duet furniture range from HiB Novum, for example, comprises a unique matt finish in light grey, lending a more tactile feel to the bathroom. Conversely, many ranges combine sharp styling and simple detailing for a minimalistic look guaranteed to ensure broad appeal.

Form and function

Equally, functionality must come first with spatial planning being a key focus for today’s designers. In this way, form should follow function as more potential buyers seek to bypass clutter and overdone design in favour of a clean and streamlined look.

With this in mind, many bathroom furniture ranges offer a vast choice of units for real flexibility; from wall hung and floor standing, through to one drawer and three drawer designs, and more – enabling a suitable solution whatever the size of bathroom. At HiB, we even include a clever 8-way internal storage divider which can easily be positioned into any configuration, allowing the homeowner to create a bespoke storage solution to their exact needs – and it’s free of charge.

However, it isn’t just about the big ticket items; the good news for the budget-conscious developer is that small details can have a big impact too.

“an illuminated bathroom mirror or cabinet is a natural lure for buyers seeking a contemporary, luxury-look bathroom.”

Mirror, mirror

glyde-60-oyster-roomsetTake the bathroom mirror, for instance, which, when done right, will naturally draw the eye and create the central focus piece which can bring the entire design together – and the choice of styles is vast. Aligned to modern minimalistic trends, an illuminated bathroom mirror or cabinet is a natural lure for buyers seeking a contemporary, luxury-look bathroom. For the real trendsetters, a slim-line design with a framed glow gives a tapered and elegant feel, while studded lighting bursts offer a Hollywood glamour.

Innovation is accounted for too. One huge trend at the moment, for example, is mirrors with music.  Some designs now include a Bluetooth function to play music via integrated stereo speakers within the mirror unit. This enables would-be-buyers to really set the tone of their bathroom through the form of sound – whether looking to create a relaxing setting for some ‘me-time’ or an energising morning wake up call.

Lighting options

Finally, the choice of lighting is one area not to be overlooked, working to instantly change the ambience of the room. Cool white, for example, is ideal for creating a slick appeal and making sanitaryware look sharper, while warmer hues are perfect for creating a cosy, homely feel.

While there are, of course, endless considerations for the property developer, the bathroom is certainly one not to be overlooked. Get it right and it will not only attract and entice buyers but add incremental value.

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