How ergonomic are the mixer taps and handles in your bathroom? Are you thinking of purchasing bathroom fixtures that reduce water wastage without compromising on safety and comfort? So many things to consider when creating a new bathroom!
It may seem like a good idea to cut costs and just go with the flow (pun intended) when choosing bathroom fixtures and furnishings. But in the long run, it’s wise to invest a little more on a few key bathroom fittings that will not only save costs and time, but also increase usability and safety, particularly for small children and the elderly.
Keep it simple
Many of us don’t think about it, but the bathroom can be an especially difficult place for the elderly or the physically-challenged. According to Isabelle Oh of Hansgrohe Singapore, an uncomplicated approach to choosing bathroom fittings and selecting simple products that even first-time users will intuitively understand is best.
For example, the Hansgrohe ShowerSelect is operated with the quick press of a clearly-labelled button, an ideal alternative to those who might have trouble twisting a shower knob. Too many complicated bathroom fittings take up excessive space, obstructing access and easy movement.
Minimalist fixtures that combine multiple functions into one can help de-clutter what could be a tight space. The AXOR One Shower control element can operate different outlets, water temperature and the water volume all from one console.
Photo: Hansgrohe Singapore
Stability and safety
There are many simple but effective measures you can take to make your bathroom’s shower area as safe as possible, e.g. shower bars which double as grab handles and hand showers at the lower end of the bar to offer easy access to children.
Keep your bathroom free from clutter by making sure that there are designated bins or storage compartments to put wet towels and dirty laundry in. You can also install towel bars at lower levels to make them more accessible to kids or anyone who is seated. A foldable stepping stool will help small children reach the bathroom counter, while non-slip mats offer stability on wet floors.
For mixers and showerheads with EcoSmart technology, look for Hansgrohe’s Metropol Classic range of mixers for washbasins, bathtubs and bidets (reducing water flow to about five litres per minute). The Raindance Classic overhead and hand showers flow at only nine litres per minute.
Fixtures like the three-hole mixer with ergonomically rounded cross handles and a no-handle version prove that small changes can transform what used to be the most overlooked room in the house to somewhere welcoming, elegant and actually raise the value of your home.
Choosing washbasins and taps can be complicated when you have to factor in space constraints (one sink or two?) and different spout heights catering to different users and personal style (minimalist, tropical, traditional).
Photo: IKEA Malaysia
Working smart with limited space
Many homeowners in the city face the challenge of creating a safe and stylish bathroom within a small space. Here’s an effective tip on choosing furniture for smallsized bathrooms: opt for multifunctional furniture. IKEA – that great purveyor of multi-functional furnishings for small spaces – always has fantastic ideas on how to make any room look good.
For example, additional lighting is always a welcome addition for a small bathroom and the STORJORM two-door mirror cabinet achieves this thanks to built-in energy-saving LED lights. These cabinets also offer four shelves of space to store your bathroom essentials and keep those counter tops as neat as possible.
Instead of installing a shower rack onto the wall, use a removable alternative like a two-tiered shower hanger – an instant space-saver where you can place all your essential toiletries. You might also consider a two-door washstand: the well-designed edge of the washbasin keeps water droplets from the cabinet space and the surrounding area.
IKEA also stocks eco-friendly mixer taps that maintain decent water pressure, reduce water wastage, and let you save on hot water with a ‘cold start’ function.
A touch of luxury
Materials like wood or marble on walls can transform the look of a bathroom, so try experimenting with grey or white wood panelling to lend a touch of class to a narrow space. Since bathrooms are often the smallest room in the house, you can create the illusion of a wider space with mirrors and a monochrome colour scheme.
For example, go all white with cabinets, bathroom mats and window blinds, then accentuate with potted plants. Why restrict yourself to the usual shampoo bottles and soap bars? Bathroom accessories like toilet roll carriages, soap dispensers and even essential oil burners can make your bathroom look that bit more elegant.
If there’s a decent amount of space near your bathtub or sink, introduce simple seating options like a small stool or chair – it’s practical and will give the bathroom an elegant look. People don’t often give bathrooms a lot of thought décor-wise, but there’s a lot you can do even with limited space.
Change up the often clinical bathroom décor by hanging up a piece of your favourite artwork; it lifts the mood and personalises the space considerably. Don’t forget to get creative with your lighting options either as lighting plays a huge part in controlling the atmosphere of a room – yes, even a bathroom. Items like a large lampshade or a modified chandelier will soften the room’s interior, as will sconces and candles.