Designing your bathrooms in your new home build is exciting - there’s no doubt about that. But it’s also an area of the home that requires a lot of attention when making decisions about how it will look and function.

Because while it is a small space (compared to your kitchen, living and dining), there’s a lot that has to happen in that room, and plenty of the build budget can be spent here too!

So our resident expert, Errol Hotham (a building consultant from our Tauranga branch), is here to help, with some advice on how to create the bathroom of your dreams.


The layout and footprint should come first

As with everything to do with design and building a home, you’ll likely have a list of must haves, as well as the nice-to-haves. But before getting to the look of your bathrooms, it is important to nail the layout - as functionality is key.

So from understanding the space you have, to what you want in there, is where Errol and his design team begin their process.

“We talk to our clients about the overall house design, and ask questions about whether they want to have separate toilets, how big the vanities will be, whether the shower will be tiled or glass and how much of the space that will take up. It’s important to know what the client expects to see in there and how they will use it, before we move onto drawing up those rooms for them.”


Design for the end user in mind

Another tip Errol has is to think about who will be living in the house. If there are going to be a lot of children or grandchildren running around, you may prefer to keep the main bathroom quite practical and purposeful, and upgrade the ensuite to something that is a little more luxurious.

“Showers are definitely a big conversation piece. Everyone loves a tiled shower, where there is a level entry from the bathroom into the shower, with insets. It can be a big feature of the bathroom,” says Errol.

It is easy to get caught up in what you like about showhome bathrooms, or ones you see online - but it’s important to remember to make choices which are right for the layout of your bathroom, and also how you will use it.


Let your bathroom be guided by your home

With kitchens typically topping the budget list, it is worth considering that the bathrooms will often follow the same pattern in terms of tapware and colours. So if you’ve set yourself some specific design aesthetics for the kitchen, you should be able to match similar options for the wet rooms of the home.

This will not only help with achieving a cohesive look, it will also minimise the number of choices you have to make!


Have fun, but focus on practicality

We know how easy it is to get carried away with bathroom design, and when you’re building a brand new home - you want it to be just right.

Because the size of the space is small, comparable to how much you have to fit in there, it is usually best to focus on a ‘less is more’ approach (as this will help to ensure it feels larger than it is). Storage is always key though, so make sure you factor that into the cabinetry and shelving you select - there are some amazing ways in which you can add storage solutions that don’t affect the floorplan.

Lighting is so crucial for bathrooms, but can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought. Consider whether you’ll get enough natural light from a window, or if a skylight could be an added feature (a great option if the neighbours are too close). And would you like to mix business with pleasure by installing task lighting - for makeup - along with ambient lighting, for relaxation? Dimmers might be the answer, along with spotlights framing the mirror.


Simplicity is often key

The bathroom is one of the most product-filled rooms of the home (second after the kitchen), and it is good to start having a look around at what kind of fixtures and fittings are available, so you can begin to build a preference of what you like (and don’t like).

While it can be easy to focus on what’s currently ‘in vogue’ when making your choices, it is usually recommended that bathrooms focus on a more muted tone - like whites, greys and black. However, that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on personality, because there are lots of easy ways to add colour and unique touches with the smaller details, like swapping out towels, bath mats and accessories. It will mean the design won’t date, and when the time comes to sell up, it’ll be far more appealing to a range of buyers.

So, what do you think - is it time to get designing your dream bathroom, and the home to go with it? Contact your closest branch to have a chat about how we can help.

Or take some time to go through our collection of photos from previous builds to get some bathroom inspiration for your new build.