A bathroom has its obvious practical purposes, but it is also a place to relax, contemplate and generally recharge so the world feels bright and shiny again.
So why do we so often fill our bathrooms with cold, hard surfaces, paint them starkly white and light them with the harshest of beams?
Leading interior design house Neptune advocates a softer, gentler approach to bathroom decorating that will help you create a space that is always warm and inviting.
Tiles have their uses, but paint and timber create a warmer atmosphere. Limit tiles to the walls immediately surrounding your shower and opt for a hardwearing and wipeable painted finish elsewhere, such as timber panelling.
If you stop the panelling part-way up, it can incorporate a small shelf on which to lean pieces of art or something uniquely stylish, like Neptune’s Corinium Jugs.
If you are using tiles on the floor, see if the budget will stretch to accommodate natural stone and underfloor heating as it will make all the difference on winter mornings.
All of Neptune’s bathroom sinks are part of washstands and vanities built with the same level of craftsmanship as their tables or kitchen cabinets.
If you want just a hint of natural timber in your bathroom the Chichester Countertop or the Edinburgh washstand are ideal choices.
Larger bathrooms are a good place to have a linen cupboard to store bedding towels, face cloths and toiletries. The Chawton cabinet has the advantage of being modular so you can make it as big or small as you need.
Speaking of furniture, who said you can’t have feature pieces in the bathroom? Something small and sweet like the Matilda chair or the Madeleine scroll-backed slipper chair introduce the softness of fabric. They also make a nice spot for someone to perch and chat to you while you’re in the bath.
A little stool – like Northwich or Beswick – takes up less space in a smaller bathroom and it could also serve as a spot to rest a book, place a candle or keep the soap close to hand.
Lighting a bathroom successfully, like any other room, is all about layers. Quite simply, you will want to incorporate some recessed, overhead lights and directional wall lights such as those from Neptune’s Byron, Foster or Brompton range.
These can be placed on either side of your mirror to shine an even light on your face, and they can also be a softer way to light the room when you are relaxing in the bath.
Make sure your bathroom lighting has an IP44 rating, which means it is suitable for using near a water source, such as Neptune’s Brunswick in chrome.
Finally, when it comes to accessories, think outside the box with framed pictures, proper rugs, as opposed to bathmats, and fabric blinds or curtains.
Add a touch of personality to your bathroom and your space will always be a cosy sanctuary.