Time for a scrub up
One of the most overlooked - and hardest working - rooms in your house, the bathroom, deserves a little more love and attention, writes Jo Linehan
It is the hardest working room in the house - bar the kitchen - so you might assume the bathroom would be a room kept pristine, and decorated to inspire and delight on every visit. It's also a room seen by every guest who visits, so your bathroom is an obvious place to create a real showpiece.
In reality though, the bathroom so often falls short of its design potential, a tired, overused and under-loved space that is forgotten in the rush of everyday living.
So, if you're looking for a mood-booster this month, look to injecting your bathroom with a little design love and watch how it can help transform your day.
Belfast-based workshop and installation specialists Pure Fitout are the great minds behind the implementation of the design of some of Dublin's coolest spots from Rathmines's Stella Theatre to The Grayson, St Stephen's Green's newest restaurant and bar.
The key to creating an Instagrammable bathroom, says commercial manager Niall McCullough, is the fittings. "Changing the finishes in a bathroom can keep it looking fresh and modern. It could be as simple as changing your tap fixtures to brass or gold to give the entire room a boost."
Tiles too have had a big leap in popularity over the last few years because they are versatile and cost-effective.
Halo Tiles's Patrick Doyle says the options now available are limitless. He recommends 'rugging', a technique that is popular and cost-effective. It involves "using patterned tiles surrounded by a plainer tile or wood to define a particular space as a rug would do. It works wonderfully around a bath or loo".
For anyone wondering where to start when retiling, the key is to find a good tiler and buy extra product, just in case: "Measure the room length and width and then allow an additional 10pc for error and wastage."
Trend-wise, bathrooms have gone from the super-bright, patterned wonderlands of the last few years to a more pared-back look. Brass, gold and silver accessories are big, and so are marble and marbling effects for basins and flooring.
Undoubtedly, one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your bathroom is with a little greenery. And you might just boost your health.
Depending on your space, place a palm tree in the corner, smaller plants on top of the sink or hang plants in the shower. Hanging eucalyptus in the shower has proven anti-stress and anti-inflammatory health benefits, as the steam releases essential oils. Aloe vera is believed to help purify air quality and thrives in indirect sunlight, which makes it perfect for small, dark bathrooms.
And finally, don't forget about your olfactory senses. Gillian Halpin, founder of Jane Darcy candles, recommends choosing a scent depending on the mood you want to create in the bathroom - zesty for those who need a lift in the morning, or soothing for those who prefer to unwind in the bath after a long day.
"Lemongrass & Bergamot will put a spring in my step for the day ahead, while I'll light my Lavender & Lovage candle in my bathroom about 15 minutes before I get into the bath."
Your bathroom is small enough to experiment with colour and texture without blowing the budget. A warning though, give it a little love, and you may want to spend a lot more time in the tub.