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BATHING BEAUTIES; HOMES.

Byline: ANDREA MCLEAN

Do you remember that 70s TV advert for Imperial Leather soap where a couple lay there soaking in his and hers baths, attended by a butler? Having a bathroom like that was about as likely as visiting the moon, as most people were limited to beige, avocado or pink plastic.

But I grew up hoping that my bathroom would be something along those lines - vast and luxurious! The good news is that bathroom design has come a long way. Even if you don't have a lot of space, you can do such amazing things with the suites on offer that it really doesn't matter any more.

And it's no longer deemed second best to have a shower room either. Some of the funkiest homes have wet rooms or showers because they can't squeeze in a bath.

With rainforest showerheads, glass panels and fabulous tiling, it's far from being second best.

You just might not have room for the butler, that's all!

Having a loo downstairs is always useful, not only for guests who struggle getting up and down stairs, but also for little ones who may not be able to make it on time! It may not look like there's much space under the stairs but once you've cleared away all the clutter, it's amazing what you can do with that underused room.

Ideal Standard Senses Space 45cm corner one-tap hole basin, PS379, basin mixer with waste, PS129.99, compact close coupled flat to wall toilet, PS849, mirror with anti-steam, PS299, premium toilet brush, PS20.49, waste bin, PS25.49, Globe wall light, PS19.99, Flexxfloors Deluxe Wood Stone Oak flooring, PS39.99/2.08 sq m, all Homebase

A walk-in shower is pure luxury and not much more difficult to install than a normal shower. Go for sheer glass panels for the illusion of space - this will look great in any bathroom.

Mode mixer tap, PS279.98; Senses back-to-wall toilet, PS319; countertop/ wall-hung basin, PS107, all B&Q; Eclipse (W) 1400mm left-handed rectangular shower enclosure and tray pack, PS999.99, Copenhagen mirror with shelf, PS39.98, both Cooke & Lewis @ B&Q

When you've no space for a separate shower, choose a bath with a little more elbow space at one end to kill two birds with one stone. The square design of this tub makes it ultra modern.

Walnut right/ left hand square-shaped shower bath, PS289.95, Better Bathrooms

Rather than an unattractive bottle, I like to have a soap dispenser that matches my bathroom. It may seem like a palaver to decant the liquid, but it doesn't take long and it's worth it.

Grey Salle de Bain soap dispenser, PS8, Marquis & Dawe

Nowadays, most looks for your home are either a click or a trolley dash away. Keep an eye out for this set while you're doing your weekly shop, it covers just about everything you could need in a bathroom in one handy place.

Holborn bathroom accessory set, PS30, Sainsbury's

A tiny space like a downstairs loo can always do with jolly things to brighten it up. After all, natural light is often nowhere to be seen. So pop in a few funky hand towels to raise a smile every time you pay it a visit.

Stripy hand towel, PS8.50, Dunnes Stores

Sometimes you want more from your bath mat than just something to dry off on when you step out of the tub. If you're a fan of the minimalist look, even plain white and fluffy is going to set your teeth on edge, so try something a little funkier, like this heavy woven cotton mat. You'll be able to keep your cool while your puddles are being mopped up nicely at the same time.

Heritage bath rug, PS15, Christy

Always a brilliant staple when it comes to cleverly solving problems to do with lack of space, Ikea can make even the smallest bathroom a fun place to be. Take a tip from them and stick to a shallow basin. Make use of the side of the cabinet as a space to house all those little extras that need a home. You could also try throwing some bright colours around too for extra impact - yellow can be far from mellow!

Lillangen white washbasin cabinet with two doors and two end units, PS180; Rorskar chrome-plated washbasin mixer tap, PS35; Lillangen white mirror, PS30, all Ikea

WHERE TO BUY: betterbathrooms.com, bettaliving.co.uk, christy-towels.com, diy.com, dunnesstores.com, homebase.co.uk, ikea.com, koziol-shop.co.uk, mandco.com, marquis anddawe.co.uk, masonsmortarshop.com, pujbaby.com, sainsburys.co.uk, thegiftoasis.com

CAPTION(S):

Sigma bathroom, from Betta Living; for similar towels and bath mats, try Christy; wall art, Argos
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2014
Words:787
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