Antonia's Notebook: Smallest Room

PUBLISHED: 10:51 21 March 2012 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 February 2013

Antonia Edwards

Antonia Edwards

All the latest interiors news and trends from Sussex Life interiors expert Antonia Edwards. Check out Antonia's design blog

Big ideas for the smallest room
We're doing up our Victorian terraced house to sell and our bathroom is in serious need of a makeover. It has fantastic views from the window and a beautiful period fireplace. How can we make this room a real feature of the house?
Janice, Eastbourne

When revamping a bathroom it's hard not to be seduced by the polished, state of the art designs we see depicted in brochures. But when it comes to integrating contemporary bathrooms into period properties it's important to work with what's already there. There is an art to mixing traditional styles with modern fittings and when done properly it can produce stunning results. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve the 'wow' factor.

It sounds like the fireplace should be your starting point, as well as the view you mention. To some extent the bathroom should be in keeping with the style of the property; think charming details and sensuous shapes as opposed to clean-cut minimalism. On the other hand, you could opt for a classic but modern suite that will compliment the colours and materials of the existing interior and use accessories that will tie in with the style of the fireplace.

If you want to really accentuate the period elements, the popular Victorian style roll-top bath would work well in this kind of setting and there are several modern takes on this style at the moment such as Kohler's Iron Works Tellieur bath which combines cast iron with a maple wood surround (available from Reflections, Hove).

Many companies manufacture traditional-style brassware and door handles and if you wish to change the radiators and towel rails, Bisque provide a wide selection of classic ranges in a surprising array of colours (available at Whittington's Bathroom Studio, Pulborough). For even more Victoriana, you may find original decorative tiles are lurking somewhere underneath the existing floor so it's worth seeing what condition they're in. Be aware however that giving any room too strong a theme should be avoided. Try not to get too carried away with old-fashioned accessories and fittings otherwise you might feel like you're living in a museum.

The perfect bathroom should be free of clutter, just showing off a few key pieces against crisp white walls, creating a bright and airy interior. As in any room, it's worth exploring unusual lighting options and here you can really play with the reflection of water, mirrors and other shiny surfaces to complete the effect. If you have a high ceiling, why not consider hanging a chandelier up there? And with regards to colour schemes, it's good to take inspiration from the outside space, so if you have a sea view, soft greys, blues and greens might be appropriate. 0870 830 4951...

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