Furnishings If you are choosing new plumbing fixtures, you can take advantage of lots of new ideas and innovations for a sleek, up-to-the-minute look. Modern ceramics are designed to fit effortlessly into small spaces, with smoothly rounded corners and flowing lines. Bathtubs are often molded around the body to narrow at each end, saving a vital few inches. Corner sinks, semi-inset sinks that can be set into a shelf, or inset sinks to drop into a countertop all offer clever design options. For extra floor space, choose a free-standing sink on a narrow pedestal, or a wall-mounted unit that leaves the floor free. Explore industrial and catering suppliers for high-tech steel sinks to set into a countertop or vanity unit.
Granite-effect kitchen countertops supplied by the yard or meter are perfect for apartment bathrooms. Fit a simple cupboard under the sink to stack away all your toiletries, and paint or stain it. Catering suppliers may have steel cupboards, too. If you need more storage space, slot glass or steel mesh shelves into an alcove, but keep die contents tidy and color-coordinated with the room.
Faucets and shower fixtures should be steel or chrome, rather than brass or gilt, and in contemporary, streamlined shapes; some sinks and bath faucets can be mounted on the wall, with a long, elegant spout to splash gracefully into a round basin below.
Close-coupled toilets have a neat, compact look. Alternatively, you could completely conceal a toilet tank behind a false wall, which you can top with a useful shelf. Many toilets have a seat and cover molded as part of the design.
Fit a heated towel rack instead of a standard radiator – choose stainless steel or white – so you can have a comfortable room plus warm, dry towels. Site a square or circle of mirror glass above the basin, or choose a mirror with a built-in magnifier or shaving point and light. If you fit shower doors rather than a curtain, look for plain, clear, or smoked glass; shower curtains can be clear plastic, or the brilliantly colored nylon used for yacht sails, eyeleted and threaded on a tension wire or curtain rod across the bathroom.
Curtains and fabric shades have too soft a look for an apartment bathroom; if you need to provide extra privacy, choose a simple roller blind in a plain color, a pleated blind, or narrow slatted Venetian blind in metal or wood.
Lighting should be discreet but effective. Low-voltage halogen spotlights in the ceiling are ideal, or paint simply shaped modern wall torchiers to match the walls, siting one on either side of the mirror; contemporary tracking spotlights are good for flexible lighting where you most want it, and look suitably high-tech.
Details Details and accessories in an apartment-style bathroom are kept strictly to a minimum, and carefully chosen to flatter the style. Door handles and knobs have crisp, functional lines, or are ergonomically designed in sleek tapering shapes to fit your hand.
There is a wide range of accessories, ranging from towel bars and toilet-roll holders to soap dishes and tooth mugs, available in large home supply and specialty stores; these items add essential character to the room. Gleaming stainless steel or nickel looks sharp and clinical, contrasting well with frosted glass dishes and bowls in fresh citrus colors.
Pick up the color accents in towels, facecloths, and bathmats, or go for pure white fluffy towels contrasted with linen in taupe and gray for a neutral scheme.
Copyright 2009 Rhonda Morin, MyInteriorDecorator.com. May not be reprinted.