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Beyond the Bath

Bathrooms are usually the most private part of a residence, tucked away from the limelight. Yet bathrooms can be a source of decorative inspiration. More and more, these once utilitarian spaces are now tailored to reflect individual lifestyles and tastes. Just about anything is possible when it comes to creating a bathroom from scratch.  This process can be quite overwhelming, so, as you begin planning your dream space, you must consider the function and layout.

First, establish what components will comprise your ideal bathroom.  Determine the items that are true to your lifestyle and set goals for the design.  Every successful design begins with a detailed wish list.  Remember, the bathroom is the place where you begin your day and where you can rejuvenate your mind and body, but before you begin, ask yourself who will be using the space and what are their needs?  This will lead the way to designing your dream bathroom.

Second, after you have made your wish list you can begin evaluating the technical and mechanical support items that might be required as well as the size of footprint for your bath.  During this phase, design professionals can help you avoid costly mistakes and will strive to create the perfect bath for you.  For example, if you desire an intense shower with many shower jets, you might require a booster on your water pump to keep up with the demand.  Our primary water supply derives from rainwater caught and stored in cisterns, and the bath can deplete these stores significantly.


Lastly, it’s time to get to the fun stuff: selecting your fixtures and materials.  Quality fixtures and furnishings transform your bathroom into a personal retreat. Select with care products that are both functional and aesthetic.  Invest in quality fixtures in the beginning and you won’t need to replace them later.  Evaluate all the elements that are selected for durability and function; for example, a floor tile in the shower should offer some slip resistance and plumbing fixture finishes such as natural bronze will require little maintenance.

Playing a key role in bath design, manufacturing companies like Kohler and American Standard are in tune with today’s trends.  They create products that are both functional and aesthetic.  Hand-painted sinks, an array of coordinating faucets and showerheads are just a few of the many products available.  The rejuvenating shower also comes in more shapes and styles than ever.  Dornbracht, for example, has developed a new product called the shower module. This module offers an array of water streams from a mist called sky and another that mimics the downpour of rain.

As part of the home spa, other high-end products, such as steam-resistant mirrors, towel warmers and heated floors, have great appeal.  Although you might not initially think it necessary to introduce additional heating elements in our Caribbean latitudes, these can be wonderful assets when building at a higher elevation or a site that is exposed to the trade winds.  Towel warmers are available as hard-wired units that deliver radiant heat, and some are large enough to warm the entire room.  In case you overlooked this amenity as a design element of your luxurious bath, there are also freestanding units that plug into a standard household outlet.  In-floor heating, on the other hand, must be installed between the sub-floor and finishes floor in order for the technology to work properly; unfortunately, there is no afterthought with this product.  This heating system uses a network of electrical cables or tubes filled with hot water, which is a more involved addition to your bathroom, but the results are comfortably warm floors.

To extend the furnishing style of the rest of your home into the bathroom, you can add freestanding furniture pieces, such as armoires and chests.  These pieces are not only excellent for storage space but make a personal statement of style.  Units with rollout trays, drawer organizers and specialized shelving make the traditional vanity seem feeble.  Even seating that is more indulgent like upholstered chairs and chaises turn bathrooms into spa-like havens.


Never underestimate the impact of well-considered details.  Whether it be a colour scheme that is bright and bold or calm soothing, it is important to coordinate all the elements.  By choosing wall tones such as pale lilac or jade green you can create a soothing background.  Simple indulgences like coordinated towel bars, rings and robe hooks help complete the look and feel of the bathroom.

Whether you’ve purchased land on one of BVI’s breathtaking beaches or are interested in updating the look or function of your home’s bathroom, a professional designer can assist you in turning your dreams into reality. 

For seven decades, OBM International has been the premier full-service design consulting firm in Bermuda and the Caribbean.  Today, with nine multinational offices, projects throughout the world and a diverse team of experts, OBM is a global leader in luxury hotel/resort design development, architecture, master/town planning and interior design, with landmark projects in the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.
Currently, OBM has design offices located in Antigua, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Madrid, Miami, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks & Caicos Islands, a strategic alliance in the Bahamas, and a business development office in Bath (UK).

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