Luxury interior and architectural designer, Janine Stone, has designed her fair share of bathrooms (and even fairer share of award-winning ones). If you’re currently thinking about cosying up your commode, or livening your loo, here are Janine’s top tips. Carole Annett sat down with the brilliant designer to get the lowdown on lush lavatories.
Q&A With Interior Designer Janine Stone On Designing Your Bathroom
What’s the most important consideration when it comes to bathroom design?
Remember that bathrooms are a retreat from the rest of the house. Arguably, they are the most private space in any home, where most of the time it’s just you, undisturbed and at your most natural state.
Can you mix metal finishes or would you advise sticking to one finish?
Of course metals can be mixed! Yet it takes a subtle eye to achieve the right balance.
The moment I enter a room, if all the metals are competing for my attention, then the room is unbalanced. It’s easy for people to feel overwhelmed.
To succeed, the trick if often to contrast metallic tones and pay attention to the finishes. For instance, iron matted in black paint is a handsome finish, that can marry wonderfully with antiqued, burnished brass. While accenting polished chrome fixtures with objects made from polished stainless steel is unlikely to have the same effect.
Are there any current trends you are seeing?
The use of terrazzo has increased in popularity across the industry in recent times, and I might suggest that our more recent projects have incorporated more natural and earthy tones than, say, twenty years ago. Yet we try to avoid adopting trends for trend sake, in favour of getting to the heart of our client’s lifestyle and tastes.
What do you need to think about when buying a bath?
There’s certainly more to buying a bath than meets the eye.
Practically you should ask yourself: who is the bath for? Do they prefer to lay down or sit-up with breakfast and a newspaper in the bathtub? Is it for a private en-suite or will you be bathing the children in there? Baths come in all shapes and sizes for all these varied purposes.
Beyond this, baths are often the centrepiece of any bathroom. For our clients, their imaginations are the limit when it comes to what materials and finishes we could incorporate into a design. Cast iron, brass, stone or concrete perhaps?
What is best flooring option for a bathroom? Is there anything you wouldn’t advise using?
There’s no single option that’s really right or wrong here. Although I would say… Don’t use carpet.
What about lighting?
Lighting plays a transformative role in any room. In a bathroom, you’ll want to consider how the light fixtures you’ve chosen are working to increase the visual impact of different areas of your bathroom. From the bath and shower area, to perhaps a quiet seated space or the area where you can hang your robes or look at yourself in the mirror. Lighting can make each of these areas feel distinct, and remember it’s the interaction of light with your finishes and surfaces, that are just as important in creating good lighting as the light fixtures themselves.
Any storage tips?
Ensure any storage solutions are discrete. They should camouflage seamlessly into the furniture and fittings, as if they’re not even there. It goes back to the idea of bathrooms, being a retreat, a place to declutter the mind – which is why so many people have their best ideas in the bathroom!
Do you have a favourite colour scheme?
Not really, I’m constantly inspired by the wonderful variation of bathroom colour schemes I see around me. My favourite bathroom in my own home is rather dark and moody – it has a dimly lit bathtub that is sunken into the floor. It’s been designed to allow you to simply step down into the tub for maximum relaxation.