It might not be the first room you think of when you daydream about your future Ibiza home, but your bathroom deserves just as much planning, Pinterest-ing and indeed, as much love as any other space in your home. Obviously, bathrooms need to be efficient, but modern design has proven they don’t need to be all about functionality. Bathing in a beautifully designed, bespoke bathroom space is a pure delight, so adding touches of indulgence are encouraged, be it a plush armchair, an ornate mirror or top-spec, high-tech tapware.
Inspiration may come from your favourite spa experiences, the pages of a magazine or even your childhood fantasy of an enormous bubble bath. The architectural form of the room dictates the layout, while the style of the house should also influences the outcome. A farmhouse vibe might best suit terracotta tiles and Victorian-style tapware. A minimalist villa overlooking the sea would do well with stone flooring and Philippe Starck fixtures. Whichever way you go, keep in mind that the bathroom is one room where you can really, truly play with design.
When it comes to conceiving of your bathroom, take a moment to think about all the times in your life where personal care and beauty play a role. If space allows, definitely create his and hers (or his and his, hers and hers, theirs and yours) bathrooms or at the least, double basins – many a marriage has been saved that way. Are you a daytime soaker? Then make sure your bathtub is placed near a window so you can gaze out to a beautiful view. Do you like to have access to running water while you do your make-up? A vanity or dressing table alongside the sink is key. Do your feet get cold in the winter? Lay down a rug or invest in underfloor heating. Once you know how you use your bathroom, then the fun can begin.
Wallpaper is one way to bring a creative edge to the bathroom, adding warmth, depth and texture to what is often a monochrome space. New technology in printing and materials means there is an incredible array of water-resistant papers on the market. Our interior designers recommend choosing your paper first – it makes it easier to design other elements around it. Tiling is the other area where creativity can really let loose. Lay down bold patterns, mosaic, stripes or even polka dots. Penny tiles, subway tiles, Moroccan, zellige, travertine or traditional Talavera – the options are endless.
Here in Ibiza where most villas have either sea views or forest views – or even both if you’re lucky – a tub with a view is the epitome of luxury. The tub itself is, of course, a key component to your enjoyment. The first bathtubs were made of zinc and then copper, both of which look beautiful but are challenging to keep clean. Back then (before bathrooms became the norm), the tub was a portable accessory moved about the house or yard when needed. Cast iron came next and with it the beloved claw foot tub. By the 1890s, British designers started to manufacture solid porcelain baths, allowing the bather a smooth surface and the cleaner a stress-free job. These days bathtubs come in all shapes and sizes and a vast number of materials, from the traditional porcelain to hand-cut stone, poured concrete, marble or even back to the old days of copper.
The shower was first conceptualised as a medical treatment for any number of complaints from kidney issues to skin disease and sporting injuries. The shower has replaced the bath in popularity for its efficiency but even so, there’s no need to shirk on luxury. Again, tiles are the go-to material and there is plenty to play with but don’t overlook the possibilities of stone wall panels, marble or glass. The showerhead is no doubt one of the most important elements and its design will depend on the overall ambience of the house. French Provençal, contemporary steel, rain, dual, handheld – the choices again, are limitless.
The bathroom is not the first place one expects to see art but placing a few key pieces in the WC can truly personalise the space. Hang a multitude of paintings, lean a special image against the splashback or scatter some favourite framed kids’ drawings across the walls to really make the bathroom your own. Individualised accessories can also lift the design with quirky vintage finds, family heirlooms or high-end sculptures. And finally, don’t forget the beauty of green. A well-placed pot plant or small tree is an excellent way to freshen up a space that in years gone by was all about practicalities. Today’s bathrooms prove function, form and fun can be incorporated into the design to create a room you love spending time in.