Obsessively Original Interiors
Helen Powell
Helen Powell

Helen Powell

With a beautifully understated minimal style, Helen explores contemporary interiors adding a touch of luxury to the everyday through her blog, Design Hunter. As one of the UK’s leading interiors, design and lifestyle influencers, she’s here to share styling tips for our Feature Floors Illusion tile.

Although they are first and foremost designed to provide practical accommodation for daily tasks like bathing and showering, bathrooms aren’t just purely functional spaces. Interiors trends over the past few years have seen them evolve to become an increasingly important part of our living space, and as such they are an area of the home where we can express our own unique style and personality just as much as in the living room or the kitchen.

We’re currently in the process of moving and planning renovation projects for our new home. One of the first rooms we’ll be tackling is the bathroom. The property dates from the 1930s and still has many of its original features, which we are keen to retain, but it will require lots of updating, and some of the later additions like the 1970s style turquoise bathroom will definitely be going!

Our aim is to create a fresh new space that will provide contemporary comfort and style while also retaining a degree of sensitivity to the original character of the house and the era in which it was built.

Here I’m sharing my moodboarding process so far, along with some of the design elements, textures and tones we plan to incorporate into our new bathroom.

Gathering inspiration

The design process

My initial starting point was gathering inspiration for the look and feel we want to create by pinning images to a bathroom makeover board on Pinterest.

Whenever I use Pinterest I always notice certain ideas and trends leaping out at me. This helps me to identify what I’m most drawn to, which in turn enables me to narrow down my preferences.

I quickly began to pick out a few design elements I liked – wall mounted taps with a brushed brass or black finish, vintage cupboards or sideboards repurposed as vanity units and crittall windows and shower panels (very appropriate for a 1930s house). Our budget may not stretch to original crittall glazing but I’ve hinted at this look with an industrial style black metal framed mirror.

Drawing inspiration from 1930 style crittall glazing

Tile Trends

When it came to tiles I initially found myself focusing in on three key trends – simple white rectangular or metro style tiles laid in herringbone patterns, hexagonal tiles (especially in marble) and feature floors with geometric Escher style patterns.

After playing around with a few different samples from British Ceramic Tile, I narrowed the choice down to just two different designs – Cosmopolitan, a small format white rectangular tile which we plan to use for the walls and a matt grey illusion printed tile for the floor.

Choosing the tiles

Working within the constraints of the space

Size wise the bathroom in our new home is slightly smaller than the average bathroom so space is going to be limited. Oddly I actually really enjoy working within the constraints of a tight design brief. We’ll be aiming to make the space feels as big as possible with the clever use of mirrors and lighting and by incorporating a vanity unit with built in storage. We’ll also be sticking to a classic monochrome colour palette – white wall tiles and a grey and white feature floor.

Cosmopolitan – a small format rectangular tile with a white gloss finish

Adding texture and tone

I always like to introduce lots of different materials into any room I’m working on. This is something that I think is probably particularly important in the bathroom as with so many hard shiny surfaces bathrooms can sometimes lack textural contrast and interest. Here I’ve chosen birch twigs to add a more natural and less formal feel to the space and coral ornaments for sculptural interest.

Coral ornaments add a decorative touch

Decorative details and finishing touches

Given the size constraints of the space we’ll be working with we plan to keep the room as clutter free as possible, but there will always be room for a few carefully chosen details - a pretty jar or bottle containing a favourite bath product perhaps or a decorative bowl that will also double up as a soap dish.

I’m so excited to get started on this project. If you want to see how it turns out you can follow our bathroom makeover over on Instagram @designhunter_uk where I’ll also be sharing the rest of our renovation journey.