Bathrooms are often associated with the Yin or the feminine. Bathroom design exists in a grey sphere, somewhere between utility and leisure. When one picture, an above average bathroom, inevitably one thinks of a space adorned with some or the other feminine element. Why is that? This, maybe due to the fact that on average, women tend to spend more time in the washroom than men. For most women, a bathroom is not merely a utilitarian space; it functions as so much more. For some it is a sacred space that provides them with much-needed rejuvenation; for others, it provides a sanctum to cocoon one's self away from the mundane daily existence. Often when designers, design a bathroom for women, they design a plain simple space with utility as their prime guiding factor for design. While the utility is a core to design, there is a lot more that needs to be looked into for designing a befitting bathroom, to cater to all the needs of a woman. Let us now take a look at a few conceptual design ideas for a feminine bathroom.
Bubble baths have been associated with the feminine since forever. The same association extends to bath tubs. The bath tubs being discussed, are a far take away from the drab utilitarian objects that came to exist in the 1900s. These bedazzling objects are no less than any sculpture or pieces of art. Each is a masterpiece of its own kind; a must have in any feminine bathing space. One can design their bathing space, with the bathtub as a center piece. The bath tub does not necessarily have to follow the design language of the WBC and the washbasin. It can be a standalone design feature. Victorian styled bathtubs work very well, in making a space more feminine. Their pale delicate colours soften the surroundings and add a sense of romance and history to space. Bathtubs are also available with gilded details in gold and silver, these can help introduce a theatrical spin to the design of the space. Bathtubs in wood, ceramic and stone can be used for the desired effect. Not only does a bath tub work as a design element, it also helps set the tone for the rest of the design.
Image credit: Flickr/Colette Cosentino
SOOTHING COLOUR PALLETE
Colour schemes are crucial to the visualization of any space. Muted shades in pastels are a preferred choice for designing a feminine space. One should try and stick to monotones of the one hue, preferably softer tones. This monotony of a shade can be broken with accent patterns at particular spots or a splash of green of a potted plant. It is advisable to keep the colours to a minimum and to choose them such that they are soothing and help create an ambience of elegant and subtlety. Especially since bathrooms normally tend to be smaller spaces in general, it is advisable to go in for a softer colour scheme, in lieu of making space appear more feminine and light.
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Lighting has the power to make or break a design. Lighting in bathroom design is an extremely crucial feature; it helps create an ambience of seclusion, mystery and indulgence. Yes, the correct lighting can do all that. For bathrooms, we mostly edge towards the warm white light. The yellow of the light makes space seem soothing and mystic over the jarring whiteness of cool white light. Splashes of neutral white can be given for ambient lighting, though all fixtures and focus lights are preferred in warm white. To get the artificial lighting right is a must, what is even more important, is to let the natural light in. This can be done via fenestrations and large frosted screens. Privacy can be maintained by the use of shutters, louvers and curtains. The entire effect of natural and artificial light should be such that it helps create a lighting theatrical and mystic effect, to help space emanate a sense of feminity.
Image credit: Flickr/Dennis Wong
ACCENT ANTIQUE FURNITURE PIECE
An accent furniture piece, preferably antique, is an absolute must in any feminine bathroom design. It can be a wrought iron chair, or an old wooden shelf with a distressed finish or a rack with bath salts and scrubs. An old wooden wardrobe or a linear side table, all will do the trick, of adding that x-factor to space. Not only does it function as a utilitarian element but also provides warmth and complexity to space. It helps add layers to the design and provide a sense of belonging to the person using it. Antique furniture pieces that can be obtained in fleas and street markets for a cheaper price work very well in this process. It helps create an ambience of timelessness, mystery and drama, all at the very same time.
ADDING FABRIC TO THE MIX
Fabric is a very versatile element. It can be used in several different ways, to create several different highly contrasting effects. Fabrics in pastel floral prints can make space look elegant and soothing. Satin drapes in rose gold or ivory can add a very dramatic effect to space. Fabric is a must in bathrooms; it can be cleverly incorporated in the upholstery of a chair or a divan, placed in the space. Rugs are another brilliant way of introducing fabric into the bathing space. Curtains with lace and silk make good temporary partitions, in bathroom space design.
Who does not like to look into a mirror? That is not the sole reason for introducing mirrors into bathroom design. Mirrors not only up, the dramatic quotient but also help space look larger than what it actually is. Mirrors can be linear and tall or wide and long, depending upon the space. Accent mirrors can also be put with gilded frames in dramatic colours. Mirrors are not only functional, but when played around with, can act as fantastic accessories for making a space more feminine and light. Mirrors are a must have in any feminine setting, especially in bathroom design.
Wall paper is a perfectly good way to accent a wall. It is not only simple and has many hundreds of patterns and colours, to choose from. It is also a quick and effective way to add a feminine character to space. It can be used to break the monotony in the colour palette or help accentuate a particular design concept. A well chosen and well-applied wallpaper can help liven up drab plain walls. Thus, making wallpaper a simple and effective tool in bathroom design.
SPRUCING UP WITH ACCESSORIES
God lies in the details; the key to designing a successful feminine bathroom is nonetheless, the small details. Accessories are the most intimate step of design, in a way. Accessories are the details that vary from person to person. Though subject to personal interest, there are few accessories that are mostly desired by all women in their bathrooms and help make space seem lively and personalized. The first item on the list is a favorite book. Every bathroom must have a few of those. Accessories like tea light candle diffuser, a small vase with fresh flowers, a piece of art are the few other common accessories that one could add to space. Higher end accessories like a signature painting or a marble sculpture can really help add to space. More inexpensive yet effective accessories like candles, glass perfume bottles, tea light holders and baskets really help add a feminine character to the washroom.
It is said that with the all the right elements in the right quantities, one can whip up a fabulous dish. All the elements given above, mixed in the right places, in the right quantities, can help create a perfectly feminine bathroom space. A space that not only is great functionally but is also aesthetically appealing and luring for women. The above elements, not only help add a feminine character, but in fact, help create a multi-dimensional space with depth and complexity. Thus, making it a sure shot formula for designing a bathing space, appealing not only to women but to one and all.