Tips and tricks
Here, you will find news from the world of interior design, useful tips and tricks for those furnishing their flats and homes. Feel free to send you very own ideas of interior décor. Best ones will be published on our website.
Planning the ideal bathroom
The bathroom is perhaps the most important room in your apartment. Careful planning will help you adapt it to your needs.
Setting up a new bathroom is only possible after establishing your needs. Think about its users and its facilities. Would you rather have a shower cabin or a bathtub? Do you enjoy long baths? Do you want your shower fixed over the bath, or do you prefer having those two separated? Do you need a lot of space for your cosmetics? Will the bathroom be used by adults, children or the elderly?
DRAWING A PLAN
Measure the interior of the bathroom and take into account the doors, windows, heaters and any other architectural elements, such as bezels and coves. Draw a fine plan using plotting paper and mark all water and electricity points. Making changes can be expensive. When in doubt, consult a qualified plumber.
Don’t forget about: The doors, their position and opening method The windows, their position and how you open them Heating and ventilation- especially if the bathroom is small or windowless Storage space ? proper furniture will make the bathroom look elegant and tidy Safety ? consider safety railing and anti-skidding surfaces if you have elderly family members.
CHOOSING THE STYLE
Choose the style you like. It may be elegant and refined, classical and contemporary, modern and innovative, or retro. Think and plan ahead.
STARTING THE WORK
After the work starts, supervise the renovation workers. Make sure they follow your plans.
12 rules for bathroom planning
1. Necessary dimensions Allow for proper access to the sanitary facilities. Bidet requires at least 70 x 100 cm of space, and a lavatory – 80 x 85 cm. A bathtub requires at least 70 x 100 cm of space in front of it, and a sink – 65 x 100cm.
2. Two in one Instead of installing traditional rib frame heaters, we recommend pipe heaters. They will warm up the room and serve as a towel dryer as well.
3. Washing machine It is a good idea to set in in a niche and build a cabinet for cleaning supplies over it. You an even use small doors or a shutter to hide it all.
4. Some wood Wood is a welcomed material in the otherwise cold and sterile bathroom. Remember to use proper types of wood, as not all of them are water-resistant.
5. Make it bigger It is not easy to fully utilise a small bathroom. If possible, add some space, even at the expense of the next room ? you can use it to e.g. set a bathtub.
6.Make it seem bigger Large mirrors and bright lights are proven methods of making the bathroom seem larger than it really is.
7. The rule of three Use not more than three colours for interior design. It will help to avoid colour chaos and make it easier to relax.
8. Size and colour Small bathrooms like bright tiles. Use the same tiles on both walls and floor, it will blur the borders and make the interior seem larger.
9.Cabinets or?? Open shelves will seem less intimidating than closed cabinets. But remember, keep them tidy!
10. Window alternatives If there is no window in your bathroom, a glass wall will do just fine. Luxfer bricks will allow for some natural light to enter the room.
11. Proper lightning Best if there is a choice o light ? cozy lamps for bathing and spot or central lights for specific purposes such as shaving or make-up.
12. Shower cabin or a bathtub? If there is little space in our bathroom, it is best to choose a shower cabin. We can use the room left for shelves or cabinets.
Are you eco friendly?
You chose shower over bath? It means you are eco friendly. If you also decide to change your shower set or only the showerhead for one that allows for water conservation, you will find yourself surprised by the next water bill. We often shower, sometimes even several times a day (gym, jogging, eating out – showering is a key to an active lifestyle) and even though we already use less water than while bathing, we can conserve water even more. How do you tone down the costs and not the experience of showering? There are several methods to this, some less others more radical. When furnishing new bathroom or renovating our old one, we should ask for a shower set that promotes water conservation. These are getting more popular and the companies gladly point out how eco-friendly their products are. If our bathroom needs only facelifting, we could change the traditional showerhead with a termostatic model. We can change the arm any time. Many models have flow limiters and spray regulations, allowing for conserving water (e.g. using ‚mist’ or’economical’ settings). We will greatly reduce water usage this way. People who have high water heating costs will surely be interested in thermostatic faucets, keeping the water temperature stable ? we do not waste our time setting the flow temperature and we do not waste our money on exceedingly hot water. Most of such faucets block the temperature at around 38°C. This also protects us from scalding. Even if we used to bathe in hotter water, we will get used to the constant temperature quite fast. If we shower often, the cost reduction will be significant.
Stable temperature Thermostatic showerheads allow for easy and precise water temperaturę regulations. Such solution offers several benefits. No wasting time setting the temperaturę and no scalding by hot water. Such faucets often have 38°C temperaturę limit ? optimal for bour body. Some models have a special system that protects the showerhead from getting hot, so you can touch it safely ? especially important when there are children using the bathroom.
Doors instead of a cabin
Too little space in your bathroom? Slanted ceiling does not allow for a shower cabin? Shower doors will be perfect for you. Now, you can set the shower anywhere, in any spot, even in an attic bathroom.
Sliding, step-less doors are a convenient choice for a showering niche. Setting up and arranging is especially problematic in small bathrooms. If the room does not allow for a typical shower cabin, a plasterboard walls can be raised and furnished with tiles or mosaics. This screen will separate the sanitary area from the bathing area, also providing discretion and privacy allowing two persons to use the bathroom at the same time. Such niche can be closed off with doors and use as a shower cabin. Our recent offer includes special cut doors for slanted spaces. Same as for cabins, one can choose profiled doors (framed doors, usually silver coloured) and glass ones with chrome hinges only. Shower doors ? just as cabin doors ? can be mounted on the shower basin or on the very floor. Taking into account the size of the room and the niche we can fit one-, two- or even four-piece doors, swinging, sliding, or folded. The last ones are ideal for a small bathroom; if the space is too limited for a traditional swinging doors, the folded ones will fold one themselves in half. Sliding doors are even more convenient, but only usable in a broader niche (at least 110 cm). There is also a choice of glass. Clear, opaque, fully or partly transparent, plain or with fantastic patterns and motifs, colourful or crystal-clear or even with a décor of your very own design. A special layer (optional or bundled) is an important element protecting the doors from smut and marks.
Good advice If the dimensions of the niche do not allow for a showering basin or we simply do not want one, a line drain with a decorative cover panel (choice of materials) is a good idea.
Frame mounted solutions
Did you know that a toilet mounted on a frame needs less space than a traditional water closet? Deciding on one you will also be able to use the space over it, perfect for a hanging cabinet or a shelf. Moreover, the bathroom will seem larger and the cleaning will be easier.
Fully discrete Wall hung toilet need special wall mounting frames. There are two basic frames available, with different install methods ? dry (e.g. plasterboard) and wet (e.g. brick walls). In Poland, the first method is definitely more popular. Such setup is more expensive than a regular floor mounted toilet. Still, it is worth it! The looks of the bathroom will benefit from it: the toilet will take up less space, the flush mechanism will be discrete and silent, so will be the drain. The room will seem bigger and the floor will be easier to clean. It also allows for an unusual placing of the toilet, in the corner or by the window. There are also special frames for the disabled, allowing to mount the toilet a bit higher than usual. Amongst the pros is the space left in the wall between the proper wall and the cover (usually made of plaster and finished with tiles). Although shallow ( ~ 24cm) it allows for a hidden cabinet for e.g. toilet paper or an illuminated shelf for perfumes or even flowers, not mentioning hiding all the pipes, drains and cables.
Style and comfort Wall hung toilets come in many shapes, classical, fantastic and geometrical. Not only white, some are of more intense colours, even black. If there is to be a bidet in the bathroom, you should buy it with the water closet. For most of the water closet, the seat is sold separately. Worth noticing are the slow fall ones (noiseless) and models with anti-bacterial layers (germ-free). The flush button is also sold separately. The expensive models are made from glass or metal, while the more affordable ones of plastic. To operate the flush, you must usually press its key. The most advanced models are decoratively illuminated (eco-friendly led lights) and some are operate by a wave of hand (motion sensors). Keeping the toilet clean is easier thanks to special layers ? specified models have these. They reduce the build-up made from wastes and tap water on the ceramics.
Water hogs in our bathrooms
Ecology is not only a fashionable lifestyle, but a key idea for a balanced home budget. Home and apartment owners often change old appliances for modern ones. It is not fancy or wasteful spending.
A sign of times Designers of old paid no attention to water conservation. Wells were sources of free water and sewerage systems were present only in urban areas. Now, there are voices calling for not only environment protection but also sustainability when it comes to finances. Clean water and sewage are expensive in many cities. A typical family can pay up to few hundreds PLN for their monthly water and waste. Solutions for cost optimization are sought after.
Key role is played by how we flush our toilets. Best choice is the flexible 3/6 litres system, available in two versions. Either two key system for either 3 or 6 litres flush or a system allowing to stop the flushing when desired. This solution allow for water conservation by controlling the amount we use, hence lowering the final water costs.
Shower instead of bath
If you cannot live with your bathtub, try to limit your bathing times. Make it a once a week pleasure. Choose narrow bathtubs, easier to fill up. Modern shower cabins guarantee relaxation comparable to bathing. They offer water massage functions, discrete lights and even a comfortable place to sit in. There are also spacious cabins for two.
We should not remind you to turn off the running water while brushing your teeth, but do not ignore small failures and defects. Water leakage from the flush may come off as a barely noticeable and easily overlooked problem, but it will cost your home budget dearly. Same goes for broken tap seals. Tapping water is not only annoying for the ear, but also for the water bill.
Eco-friendly style, dominant in modern interior design, emphasises the use of natural materials, toned earthen colours and minimal décor. Many designers introduce wooden elements, previously feared for their limited durability in such environment. Wood means warmness and cozyness, helps us to rest and relax, allows for unlimited interior design ideas. Mind you, it has been used in saunas for years. Just remember to pick the right type of wood, preserve it and care for it.
Wood made for bathrooms
Bathroom is a hot and wet room, yet it does not mean there can be no wood in it ? be it wooden floor boards or parquet, furniture or accessories. High moisture will warp popular types of wood. Low contraction and high firmness are key elements here. Therefore, the most popular wood in bathroom is exotic wood, with firmness over 30% higher than classical oak and very low contraction factor. Shining, beautiful in colour and tone, composed well with stone décor. Teak, irocco, cedarwood, mahogany, merbau and sapele are suggested. They differ in colour ? from mild olive and subtle hazel to deep chocolate brown.
Wooden furniture and accessories are well placed in a bathroom. Their faults of old are now admired. Knags, crafts and other visual deformities are now emphasised and cherished. They make each item unique, defining the interior. Moreover, most of them are handmade.
Style and atmosphere
Now, you do not have to choose between a modern or homely design. Wood, unlike traditional tiles, makes the interior seems cosy. It helps with rest and relaxation. Wooden floors, furniture and accessories appear in interior design projects by top architects, where they seamlessly blend nature, modernity, classics and coziness.
Water closets for your bathroom
When shopping for a seemingly basic appliance such as the water closet, one will be surprised by the multitude of types, shapes, makes and prices. When deciding on one, take into account not only the esthetic and budget reasons, but also the capabilities of the bathroom.
Wall hung or free standing Traditional, free-standing flush toilets are cheap, but still they are being replace by wall hung models. These are a modern solution, allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance. Great looks, original design that compliments the room. Comes with a wall mounted frame hiding the flush system. It is expensive, but elegant. It is worth to choose a frame by a renowned maker, for low failure rate of the mechanism.
Compact water closets
For those who prefer the full package for an affordable price, a compact water closet will be the best, if less stylish, choice. The toilet bowl comes with an integrated flush tank. Often bundled with mounting elements and a seat.
Horizontal or vertical outlet The water closet are differentiated by their outlet system, which must match the drain in your bathroom. If the drain is placed in a wall, it is best to choose a horizontal outlet model (so called ?Poznań? type), and if the drain pipe is in the floor ? pick a vertical outlet toilet (?Warsaw? type).
Seat is a necessary element of the toilet bowl, but not all producers bundle it with their water closet. A slow fall seat is an innovative solution, quiet, subtle and risk-free. Such seats often have a convenient detaching system, allowing for a fast and easy cleaning. The costs are varied. A toilet bowl can cost 100 pln or as much as few thousands pln. Cheapest are traditional water closets with a plastic seat and a flush tank. It is similar with simple compact toilets. These will cost about 100-150 pln. Wall hung toilets cost several hunderd pln. The concealed flush tank frame is more expensive here. Flush tank frame is a long-term investment. Cheapest ones will be available for few hundred pln, but devices from renowned manufacturers cost even 3000 pln. Masters of sanitary design offer their solutions for a high price, among them heated bowls, automatic flush system, hand-painted elements and fanciful designs.
NANO anti-bacterial layer ceramics - worth it?
Before we consider buying sanitary devices equipped with special anti-bacterial layer, it is worth to inspect the term NANO.. The NANO technology is based on polymer covered and protected surfaces. This polymer made stainless and UV resistant layer is transparent and ultrathin, unseen to the naked eye. The particles are so small they do not change the outlook of the surface they cover. In bathrooms, the NANO layer is used on glass and ceramics cabins, toilets, sinks, basins and bidets ? offering long lasting cleanness and glossy finish. When designing a bathroom, we cannot focus on the visuals alone. The space must also be functional and easy to keep clean. Everyday hygiene, warmth and water make it an ideal living place for bacteria and fungi. The NANO layer placed on ceramics will protect it from germs an residue. NANO layers are extremely easy to keep clean – no chemicals needed, pure water will suffice. The layer is also scratch resistant, making our bathroom seem new for many years to come. We will find a broad range of sanitary ware with the NANO layer on the market, be it glass or ceramics. Their cost is higher than standard ware and devices, but their make is superior and the comfort worth it. NANO not only saves our time and money, it is eco-friendly and helps to protect the environment we live in.
Bathroom without bounds
Modern architecture states rather clearly that the house, garden, terrace, each room and space must reflect the way of life and character or its owner. We make our daily lives easier by using latest technologies and gadgets. There is no need to choose between a modern design and a cozy atmosphere, quality and price, beauty and functionality, minimalism and kitsch. Trends and ideas are boundless, they know no limits ? even when it comes to bathrooms.
Windows and wood A bathroom was, up to recently, only to serve its basic functions and not to be a place of rest and relaxation. Today, we pay as much attention to our bathroom as to the living room or bedroom. Old rules and ideas are forgotten. Huge windows, flowers, wooden floors and furniture enter our bathrooms. One must of course pay attention to the type of the wood and choose species of plants suitable for warm and moist interiors.
Elegant and functional
Toilet bowl, once hidden away in the corner or behind a wall, is now a decoration. This is due to the modern design of the bowl – gentle, oval shape and wall mount makes the flush system hidden before our eyes. Wall hung water closets are not only visually attractive, but they allow for easy cleaning, leaving a lot of room. All elements of a modern bathroom complement each other. Precision and attention to detail is visible but, most importantly, modern sanitary devices are durable, sustainable and low maintenance.
Just like in a fairytale Today, a bathrooms often resembles a home spa. There, we seek rest and relaxation, experienves both visual and sensual. Marine style is popular nowadays ? a bathroom dominated by whites, blues and navy colours, with round windows and seafaring décor. Complimentary option is the beach, with sand, shells and other ocean themed decorations. There are no bondaries here. Everyone can have the bathroom of his or hers childhood dreams, no limits to style.
Saving water in the bathroom-step by step
Cabin beats tub Switching from showering to bathing does not have to be painful. Just look at the modern cabin design. You will find hydro massage models of different types ? also eco-friendly models with delicate mist-like shower spray. Modern cabin come into single and double types, some offering also seats. The shower seat can be arranged by ourselves, if we opt for no-cabin shower. What is interesting, some shower cabins offer light therapy functions. Does bathing really use more water than showering? It is easy to check, if you have your shower and bathtub combined. Simply plug the drain and take a normal shower. Afterwards you will see how the water level in the tub probably barely reaches your ankles.
Flush mechanism Let take a look into our water closet, a device we used numerous times a day, flushing each time. Old flushing mechanisms either release all the water at once or require pushing the button continuously with no knowledge of water used. There is no control here or flexibility. The new and modern 3/6 litres flushing system comes in two versions. There can be buttons, for 3 and 6 litres accordingly, or a start-stop system allowing for flushing as long as desired. These solutions promote water conservation through controlling its usage, reducing the bills in the end. Remember that the toilet bowl is not the bin ? do not flush rubbish, you will need large amounts of water to get rid of them. Consider that the sewage rate is often higher than the water rate.
Thermostatic faucets We used various water heating methods. Some of the should be long gone due to how obsolete and costs generating they are. Stable water temperature can be provided by special thermostatic faucets that always provide comfortable water temperature, with no risk of scalding or simply wasting money on excessive water heating.
Minor failures Do not underestimate the leaking tap or a faulty flushing mechanism. It is an appliance just like any other, it needs to function properly. Inspect the washing machine, which needs electricity, water and chemicals to operate properly ? does it?
Eco-shopping Shopping on a budget does not make us a smaller person in the eyes of the shopping assistant. If we can choose a more economical solution, reducing water or electricity bills, why shouldn?t we? Producers of sanitary devices and home appliances eagerly brand their devices as eco-friendly. When shopping for bathroom devices, you can ask the assistant for energy- or water-saving models. This is especially important when choosing the washer, flushing mechanism or showerhead.
NANO layer Cleaning the bathroom not only takes up our time and energy, but chemicals and water as well. The NANO layer is an innovative and eco-friendly solution for a germ-free surface. This invisible to the naked eye layer is placed on glass and ceramics surfaces, such as shower cabins, toilets, sinks, bowls and bidets. It provides long-lasting cleanness and a bright shine. To clean a NANO ceramics you need no chemicals, clear water will do just find and remove all impurities. No more clouts and buckets!
A reasonable ecostyle Ecology is a way of life that, when reasonable and rational, can be passed onto others, especially other householders. It is worth to learn to conserve water at a young age. Just like we teach our children the value of food, so should we teach rational behaviour in bathroom. Remind them to turn of the running water while brushing teeth, to take shower instead of having a bath and to wash hands quickly before eating. Tap water running for 12 seconds amounts to 1 litre. It means that brushing teeth for 3 minutes with the water running wastes as much as 15 litres! It is most important to understand the reasoning behind such activities and find their meaning together.
Planning your bathroom - step by step
Pro or diy Let us start by deciding if we want to do everything ourselves or hire a professional. An interior design architect will come useful when planning a large bathroom, or a complex one. We can be sure that the materials will be enough and the whole picture seamless. An architect also means no technical problems. Such a professional usually charges 70-80 pln for a square meter of interior design. Also, computer savvy investors can try and use free interior design software themselves.
Space planning Using plotting paper will allow us to fine tune the arrangement of not only sanitary devices, but furniture and accessories as well. It will let us see how much space have we got left after placing all elements and allow us to plan the bathroom with safety and comfort in mind. Measure up and mark all necessary sanitary devices. Remember where the pipes and drains go, where the outlets and inlets are! Water toilet, shower basin and the bath needs to be in the vicinity of the main drain, other equipment up to 3 metres away. If you have enough space, you may want to separate the sanitary space from the recreational one, and even mark a niche for the washing machine.
Tips: Sink -leave 30 cm free to either side, optimal height is 80-85 cm, keep at least 20-30 cm distance from other appliances and 100 cm empty space in front of the basin.
Bathtub -a maximum height of 60 cm and 100 cm of empty space in front will offer most conveniant and comfortable us
Shower cabin – 100 cm of empty space in front of it will allow for a convenient access to the shower. Remember to let the doors open fully, they cannot hit any other devices, furniture, décor or other doors.
Toilet bowl – leave an empty space of 20cm on the wall side, optimal height is 40-45 cm and there should be about 80cm of empty space in front of the toilet. Remember to place the bidet nearby, if you plan having one.
Bidet – leave 30cm of empty space on the wall side, make it not higher than 40-45 cm and allow for at least 100 cm of empty space around it.
Bathtub or shower cabin We adjust our sanitary devices to our bathroom?s size. Mores pace means more options. In case of smaller bathrooms, it is better to choose multifunctional devices. A bathtub can be substituted with a shower cabin with a tray. There are different cabins on the market, with water massage and seats, guaranteeing comfort no lesser than in a traditional bathtub. If we really need a tub and at the same time lack space for a traditional one, we can choose a corner bathtub.
Furnishing Choosing the colour for walls, tiles and wood is perhaps the most pleasant stage of designing a bathroom. We can let our imagination run wild and design the perfect bathroom of our dreams and wishes. Traditional tiles are easy to clean and very durable, yet they lack coziness. This is why wood is more and more popular in bathrooms. Exotic wood is the best for this purpose. It is perfect for decorations and furniture, but also for floor and wall panels. Soft colours are most popular, as they help with relaxation. Natural colours ? beige, brown, green and blue ? are the best choice. Bright ones will make the bathroom seem larger, dark ones ? more elegant and tidy. A large mirror also makes the bathroom seems bigger. When choosing a heater, pick a pipe heater, not a rib frame one. A pipe heater will both warm the room and dry your towels.
Lights When choosing lamps, remember about the various functions of the room. A soft light will help to relax while bathing, bright lights will help with everyday hygiene and a more powerful spot light will help with make-up. Remember to have each type of lights.
Furniture and decorations Space in a bathroom is precious. It means we should re-use space that seems already occupied, e.g. we put a cabinet under the sink, place niches in walls and hang shelves over the washer. Try not to place things on the floor, it would compromise the space and tidiness of the bathroom. Do not put too many decorations, they will hinder movement and cleaning. Modern sanitary devices are decorative on their own. Try therefore to make the view from the bathroom doors to include the most visually attractive element, e.g. washing bowl with a decorative mirror overhead or a stylish bathtub.
And? action! Plan your budget, take into account materials, services and labour. If you do not have a trusted renovation crew, request for quotation from several companies. Ask for estimated budget, length of works and a guarantee.