HOW many times have you wished you could scoop up the relaxed feeling you get when you're on holidays and take it home with you?
Well, there is a way to capture that tranquil experience at home - by creating a hotel-style bathroom.
"A hotel-style bathroom gives you a sense of freedom because you're attaching the emotions you get when you go away on holiday to the room in your home," explained Reece bathroom marketing leader Daniela Santilli. "So, naturally, it becomes a space where you feel relaxed."
In the zone
To get things started, Ms Santilli recommended first identifying what emotional needs you wanted met by the space.
"Write yourself a 'top five' list of what you want to experience, such as privacy, serenity and relaxation, and then plan the design from there, rather than starting with the design," she said.
Your next consideration should be making the most of the space, whether it's big or small.
Ms Santilli suggested zoning the bathroom into relaxation, grooming and personal-hygiene areas, then look at really opening up the space.
"(But) openness doesn't mean bringing everything out into the open," she explained.
"It's about bringing the luxury items into the open and containing the hygiene items in a function space.
"So, you would make a feature of the grooming or relaxation areas (the vanity or bath), but keep the shower and toilet in a more closed environment."
A freestanding bath probably tops the list of must-haves for a relaxed space because it inspires thoughts of a luxurious, uninterrupted soak.
Ms Santilli explained it also gave an airy feel because it wasn't contained within a solid, tiled hob.
As for what shape to choose, she recommended organic shapes or square baths with soft edges and fine lines. "They offer elegant and timeless appeal," she said.
If you don't have room for a bath, consider installing an oversized walk-in shower with generous proportions and an open design.
And look for ways you can heighten the showering experience.
"Create a water-therapy zone for a wholistic showering experience with multiple showerheads and different water flows," Ms Santilli suggested.
To capture the hotel theme, make a feature of your bathroom furniture, in particular, the vanity unit.
"You may consider turning the vanity into an area where you can also sit down and do your makeup and hair," Ms Santilli said.
To visually open up the floor space, install a wall-hung vanity.
In terms of finishes, Ms Santilli said timber was increasingly popular because it brought warmth to the space.
She added a stone top was also a good choice, as, being a natural material, it had a relaxed look.
"And even though the (vanity) piece may not be bespoke, I think having that timber or stone top makes it feel like it is," she added.
At your convenience
There are many ways technology is impacting on bathroom design, and one of these is the rise of smart in-wash toilets, which have in-built washing and drying features.
"This type of toilet is very common in hotel environments overseas," Ms Santilli said.
Another innovation is in-tank designs, which provide more options for locating the toilet in the room because the cistern and buttons are within the pan itself.
"You don't have to position the toilet on a perimeter wall, "Ms Santilli said. "You could build a mid-wall and have the toilet in the centre of the room, which frees up a space that may have a good view outside and be an ideal spot for a bath instead."
A little bit of luxe will take your bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary. Consider special features that will make you feel pampered, such as underfloor heating and heated towel rails.
Ms Santilli said to consider putting your underfloor heating only where you needed it, not necessarily across the entire room.
She also recommended choosing slimline heat lamps with combined lights and extraction fans that sat flush with the ceiling - this would give a streamlined look.
Matt-black tapware and a matt-black towel rail would also suit your hotel theme.
"They add hints of luxury and drama," Ms Santilli said.
Bathroom design tips
■ Avoid choosing too many different finishes. They will fight each other for attention.
■ Introduce as much natural light into the space as you can, or recreate it with clever lighting - it makes a huge difference.
■ For an uncluttered look, opt for clever storage solutions, such as mirrored cabinets, wall-hung storage units, and niches in the shower.
■ Personalise your showering or bathing experience with thermostatic mixers. You can set the water temperature to your liking and also customise your water flow.
Source: Daniela Santilli, Reece