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Designer tips for a stylish bathroom

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25 Apr 2013

If you are tired of the stark, hospital look of your bathroom, you don't have to strip the room to change it.

Hand lotion and soap containers should co-ordinate and any décor should be kept to a minimum to give the bathroom a clean, tasteful feel.

Phil Darby, a consultant at PDI design consultants, says your bathroom should be able to blend to your mood. It should be bright and invigorating so that when you use it in the morning, you feel ready for the day ahead.

However, it should also be a place where you can find solitude and relaxation at the end of a bad day. Darby says lighting is key as it allows you to change the mood of the room. He suggests that homeowners use a variety of lighting options in a bathroom.

Down lighters with LED bulbs provide bright light for dark mornings, they last longer than ordinary bulbs and they can save you money on energy costs. Sconce lights are useful when placed on either side of the mirror, but vanity mirrors with lights already fitted to the side are easier to install.

Stick to light natural colours on the walls and add a mosaic or painted design to create a feature wall instead of hanging art.

Darby also suggests homeowners invest in a  curved mirror or one with enlarging glass, as it's more effective for grooming and make-up application. Allow for as much natural light as possible by replacing curtains with blinds so sunlight can filter into the room and open up the space.

Avoid using dark coloursin the bathroom, as this will make the room appear smaller. Darby says the lighter the colour the better. Decorative mosaics or simple designs painted on a feature wall will tie into the lighter colour without overpowering the décor in the room.

If you fear hanging art on the walls, you can  transform your shower door into one by installing a printed glass décor wall panel. These panels are suited to any wet area, easy to install and are available with a variety of prints to choose from.They create a feature in the room if you don't have the wall space to make one yourself.

Tip: If you have tiles on the walls, avoid painting over them yourself, as it tends to look messy. Rather re-tile, remove them completely or hire a professional team to come in and respray.

Use bright accessories to add pops of colour to the room and switch curtains for blinds to allow natural light in to make the space appear bigger.

Bathrooms tend to have less storage space then they need. Darby says homeowners should install built-in cupboards with sliding or hinged doors, as individual cupboards and storage items tend to make the room look cluttered and messy.

Open shelves also look good when paired correctly with make-shift wicker drawers.

Darby suggests using accessories to add strong colours to the room, as fashion changes. Using bright, contrasting coloured towels and bathroom essentials allow you to make easy change to suit your mood. However, too many bright accessories can make the room look clumsy, so try to keep the surfaces clear and minimalistic.

Darby says that a colourful print or quality picture in an attractive frame can add to the overall look. A single pot plant or flower, or even a bowl of assorted hand soaps, will also do the trick.

Co-ordinating bathroom essentials, such as hand soap and lotion containers will add a tasteful note to the room and complete the look. Victoria Taylor

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