One of the best places to look for design inspiration is nature – it offers great insight into colour palettes that work well, textural contrasts for added visual interest, and how to create a space that is calming and welcoming – all the necessary traits of any successful bathroom composition. Says Johnny Lamprecht from Bathroom Bizarre: “Bathroom designs inspired by nature are suitable for a wide variety of style preferences, and they offer a good level of longevity – whether classical or contemporary, the overall feel is one that has a definitive timeless appeal.”

Colour ways

Mother Nature is arguably the best source of inspiration when it comes to colour palettes to use in your home – and the bathroom is no different. Neutral tones found in nature have been a popular choice in the bathroom for decades now, and it is easy to understand why – they boast maximum consumer appeal that is great for resale purposes, and they promote a general ambiance of peacefulness and balance. However, Johnny Lamprecht from Bathroom Bizarre warns: “Bathrooms with neutral tones can often be very bland and uninteresting, yet this need not be the case. By paying careful attention to the finer details, you can create a bathroom space that is beautiful, inviting and practical.”

He says that the neutral tones that are bang on trend at the moment include a variety of soft grey, stone and off-white hues. “If you look at nature, you will notice that the neutral tones often form the base colour, which is accented by pops of brighter or more intense hues. These kinds of colour palettes work exceptionally well in the bathroom, however I would recommend choosing tiles and sanitaryware in neutral base tones, and then adding the chosen pops of colour via the inclusion of towels and other décor accessories. This way you can completely change the look and feel of the room, without having to undergo a major renovation.”

Textural contrasts

If you are using similar, harmonious colours in a bathroom composition, it is important to create visual interest by including a wide range of different textures into the design. Says Johnny: “If the entire bathroom is made up of very similar hues and textures, the final result will seem flat, boring and really uninviting. To make the design more interesting and appealing – it is imperative that you mix and match materials with a variety of textures. Again – nature offers great inspirations here – whether genuine or faux, natural materials such as wood and stone, offer incredible contrast to other materials that are often found in bathrooms, such as glass, ceramic, porcelain and stainless steel for example. Mix and match the various materials, and remember that the trick to achieving the perfect design is about finding the perfect balance of textural and colour contrasts.”

Favour functionality

Of course, says Johnny, a bathroom is not just about aesthetics – practicality is also very important: “When selecting your tiles, fittings and fixtures, whatever you do, don’t just choose them on good looks. Rather try and keep practicality at the forefront of your mind as well. For example, although a solid wooden floor might be the perfect compliment to your dream bathroom design – it isn’t the most practical option, as timber and water don’t marry well together. For this particular situation, rather choose porcelain tiles that look like wood – this offers the aesthetics you are after, but with the practical benefits of tiles that suit wet areas far better.”

Green is good

Natural inspirations are not just about good looks and design however. Whether you are doing a major remodel, building a new bathroom from scratch, or you just want to give your existing bathroom a bit of an update, it is always a good idea to consider Mother Nature by choosing water-saving faucets and sanitaryware whenever possible. Says Johnny: “Water is a very precious, and often scarce commodity, so choosing water-saving faucets, shower roses and toilet cisterns for your bathroom is a great idea – they are not only a greener choice and better for the environment, but they will save water and in turn, save you lots money during their life cycle.”

Spa-like serenity

“Creating a bathroom inspired by nature and its elements is a wonderful way of producing a bathroom space that exudes spa-like qualities that make it ideal for rejuvenation and relaxation,” explains Johnny. Out of all the rooms in the home – the bathroom is the most intimate space, where you can escape to for a bit of R&R – as such, it should be designed and decorated to maximise calm and comfort. Johnny says that to do this, minimalism is king, clutter is the enemy and adequate bathroom storage is essential: “Whatever you do, try to avoid getting too elaborate, and keep it simple. By limiting the number of decorations and clutter in the room, as well as keeping all necessary toiletries neatly stored away out of sight – you will be able to create a clean, open and serene feel in the room.”

Released on behalf of Bathroom Bizarre (www.bathroom.co.za).