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Modern Bathrooms: Elements of the ultimate modern styles

Start writing down all the little items you need to bring together your bathroom renovation and you might just lose count. Of course, the basics of modern bathrooms are easy: shower, bath, vanity, sink. But then comes all the little extras of a modern bathroom design: the shower screen, splashback, tapware – and each of them offer so many style options that can change the look of modern bathrooms too. To find the perfect elements that will suit your bathroom space, personal preference will dictate but it’s a good idea to know just what’s in vogue and what your options are before you get inundated with choice on your first stop at the bathroom showroom. Here’s how your modern bathroom design could unfold.

BATH

The first question to ask is will you or won’t you? While a bathtub is a luxury in modern bathrooms, many people choose to go without to maximise space or choose an over-sized shower instead. Now popular in contemporary bathrooms are freestanding bathtub designs, in various shapes. Although built-in baths haven’t disappeared, it’s just a matter of what works best in your bathroom zone.

VANITY

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to your vanity, and it’s not just about colours. Consider whether you’ll be opting for dual basins (therefore a larger vanity), and whether your vanity will be a wall-mounted unit (exposes more floor and can give the illusion of a bigger space) or a floor unit. Plus there’s the issue of how much storage your vanity will offer you too – if you’re opting for a custom-designed unit, you can be flexible with the amount of open space (great for storing towels), cupboards and drawers you want to include. In luxury modern bathrooms, a reconstituted-stone or Caesarstone benchtop is a popular option (as opposed to laminate).

BASINS

Long-gone is the simple rounded under-counter basin to your vanity. The basin style options now available to suit modern bathrooms are in abundance from semi-recessed basin designs to above-counter basins in various heights and sizes. And don’t forget about the shape that appeals to you most too. There are plenty of classic-looking rounded-edged styles available, but square or rectangular above-counter basins offer a supremely modern look. Here’s a host of basins that could form part of your modern bathroom design.

TAPWARE

Design-wise, you can opt for straight lines, smooth or curved edges in your tapware. Expect to be spoilt for choice, although often the design differences are minimal. Mixer taps are still popular in contemporary bathrooms, particularly for basins.

SHOWER

Shower choice might seem simple but there are quite a few decisions to make here, and accessories to select in order to fit-out your modern bathroom design too. When narrowing down the layout for contemporary bathrooms, you'll need to decide on a walk-in or step-in shower. Or for a luxury, resort-look maybe you'll go a frameless oversized shower. Here are some of the shower elements for modern bathrooms you'll need to consider:

Shower head: Oversized square or round showerheads are popular options.

Shower frame: A clear glass shower screen is always a winner, and for modern bathrooms consider a frameless screen.

Tapware: Your two real choices here are the conventional design or mixer-style tapware.

Splashback: Glass or tiles are your main options, being mindful that while glass eliminates grout it's definitely a pricier option. Consider large tiles for the shower splashback area, meaning less grout to keep clean.

Drains: The simple drain hole is a thing of the past, with the latest fad being stainless-steel floor grates positioned at one end of the shower and spaning the whole width - super-effective and it creates a supremely modern and architectural-type look too.

Storage: Long-gone are shower caddies. You might want to add glass shelving to the shower area, but a recessed shower niche has become a more popular option.

TOILETS

Toilets might be the last item on your mind when it comes to bathroom renovations, but there’s actually a few style options to consider for modern bathrooms here. If you're modern bathroom design is all about keeping things simple and space-saving, then look for a slimline toilet suite. The main two differences to consider: wall-facing toilet suites (they sit flush against the wall, meaning no dusting that annoying gap between then toilet and the wall) versus close-coupled toilets (the cistern is fitted to the pan, but there's a gap behind the pan to the wall).

 Check out these articles for more modern bathroom design ideas:

- Modern Bathroom Look book: Images to inspire

- Colour schemes for contemporary bathrooms

 For expert ideas and advice on renovating bathrooms, Melbourne clients can phone The Makeover Group on 1300 768 464 or see www.themakeovergoup.com.au

Richard Armstrong is a Director of Melbourne firm The Makeover Group. He possesses over a decade of bathroom design and bathroom renovation experience plus post graduate property qualifications. Educated in interior design, he is also a registered building practitioner who has assisted hundreds of Melbourne clients redesign and update their kitchens and bathrooms.