ARTICLE Anya Kussler
There’s something truly exhilarating about revamping your bathroom and trading that leaky faucet and annoying one-drop-at-a-time shower head for a spunky new model with pressure to burn.
The result: a relaxation station where you can invigorate your body at the start of your day, and wash off life’s stresses at the end of it. What’s more, upgrading your bathroom – and shower – can add significant value to your property, should you decide to sell up one day.
This year has seen a host of innovative shower design trends take the world by storm:
What a genius innovation – especially when you’re elderly, a typical ‘non-morning person’ stepping into the shower half asleep, or just generally a slip-prone clutz. Plus, it’s a safer and more convenient for when you’re shaving your legs, too.
This is another popular safety feature – again, a godsend for seniors, physically disabled people or accident-prone folks.
Square showerheads are currently all the rage, especially in the US. Their angular shape is versatile, and works well with most contemporary designs.
Water-efficient showerheads and faucets.
Especially popular amongst eco-conscious consumers and in drought-stricken parts of the world, where water restrictions are enforced.
Image credit: OneShot/Living4media
High-tech showers and heads.
Forget smartphones and smart cars – think water-saving ‘smart’ showers that are bluetooth enabled and connect to the Internet, so you can sing along to your favourite tunes during your cleansing ritual.
Mosaic tiles add a rich look and Mediterranean-inspired feel to a shower space and you only need to add a few ‘accents’ to make a big statement.
Classic whites are currently very en vogue in home design, in and out of the shower. You can mix and match them with almost any look, whether it’s to act as a base for an industrial design, or in a bathroom space dressed up with dark timber furniture and fixtures for a timeless feel.
A more contemporary alternative to shower curtains, shower screens (either framed, semi-framed or frameless) create the illusion of space in small bathrooms and narrow shower areas. Engineered to have the functional benefit of keeping your bathroom dry and slip-proof, as they prevent the water splatter from flooding the floor.
Which shower type is best for me?
- Cubicle (fully enclosed)
The pros: A fully enclosed shower is a great indoors option as it allows you to lather up in privacy without having to compromise on style. Depending on the level of privacy required, you may use tiled shower walls to create your ‘me space’ away from prying eyes, or choose from etched glass, semi or fully transparent screens for a more liberating feel.
Enclosed showers are a great multifunctional choice for guest bathrooms and master bedroom ensuites as multiple persons can utilise the room without infringing on each other’s personal space.
Enclosed showers are versatile in that they are suited to both larger spaces, where you have a separate bathtub and shower, as well smaller ones with a shower only.
The cons: The large sheets of glass, and especially fully transparent ones, tend to be high maintenance, as you have to clean them or at least wipe them dry after each usage.
- Open (walk in)
The pros: Open or walk-in showers are the business in outdoor areas, such as around swimming pools or a private outdoor shower. They open up small spaces and make them appear infinitely larger (and luxurious!), plus they allow ease of access, which is paramount for people with mobility problems.
The cons: The only real downside is the lack of privacy.
- Shower over bath
The pros: The conventional shower-bathtub combination, either with the shower sitting over the bath and/or a hand-held shower attached to the tap, is ideal for small spaces, and for a household with young children. Shower curtains can be used to add a spot of colour to your bathroom whilst keeping water spillage at bay, while shower screens make for a more modern look and create the illusion of ample space at the same time.
The cons: When a bathtub is part of the equation, it means you have to step over the side in order to reach the shower – this can be a problem for people with physical disabilities or seniors. This combo is also trickier to install, and pricier when a custom fit is required. In addition, these units aren’t as easy to clean as a freestanding shower as you’ll have to step into the tub or reach across it to clean the wall surfaces. If using curtains, these are prone to developing mildew and so will need to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
If you are looking for inspiration for your new bathroom that you are renovating, why not talk to our guys at Refresh to get your copy of the Bathroom Ideas brochure 2015 from Robertson.
#### You might want to read about Improve your bathroom on a budget.
This article by Anya Kussler featured on page 42 in Issue 021 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.
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