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  • Lucy Kemp

Designing your bathroom as a sensory space

Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a paid partnership with Geberit UK.


If you’ve followed our house journey on Instagram you’ll know we kinda went all out on our master bedroom and ensuite. That’s the beauty of taking on a massive renovation project like ours, you have free reign (budget depending) to move walls, floors, doors and put the room back together so it works perfectly for your needs.




So how did we go about planning our mastersuite of dreams?


It started with mapping out the space and I’m not going to lie I found getting the layout right really stressful.


The mastersuite is on the top floor and was originally a weird mishmash of two bedrooms, a landing and a handy kitchenette for all your top floor cooking needs?!

Because the original layout was so odd it was really hard trying to imagine how we would convert it. Structural beams were in the wrong places so you’d hit your head on them at certain points in the room, the rooms were riddled with damp and the floor wasn’t too stable either.


This is where we needed to have good vision and I’m not ashamed to admit it I struggled to see it at first, not hard to understand when you take a look at some of the ‘before’ pictures.



The before. See what I mean about needing ‘vision’?

We* spent about a month sketching plans. It’s really tough trying to visualise your dream baedroom when you don’t have a roof on it!

*mainly Dan. It pains me to say it but he’s the one with the better eye for floor plans.



Sunroof?

The brief to ourselves was ‘boutique hotel’; luxury finishes, double sinks, his and hers shower combo and free standing bath were all high on the list.


If I’m honest we didn’t really consider the effect the room would have on our senses. Does anyone when they already have so many renovation decisions to make?


But maybe this is exactly how we should be planning the interiors of our homes.

The reason I bring this up is because I was recently invited to attend an event hosted by Geberit a luxury bathroom brand to learn about creating a sensory space. It’s ironic that these opportunities present themselves just as we finish our renovation but I was keen to attend to see if I had managed to unknowingly create a sensory bathroom.


I’m pleased to say, on the whole, I’ve pretty much managed it but it did make me think about what I would have done differently.


When we designed our bathroom we obviously considered the aesthetics and functionality but I’m not sure I knowingly considered the effect the room would have on our senses.

Here’s what I learned and what I would do differently if I was planning our bathroom again with the senses in mind;


Auditory

No one wants to hear ‘toilet noises’ in the morning do they? When your share a bathroom with your other half it’s important to think about how you can eliminate this assault on the ears.


This is something we did consider when creating our ensuite but it was more to do with making sure we couldn’t hear our neighbours. We live in a terraced house and our neighbours like to party so we doubled up on the soundproof board.

Believe it or not Geberit has designed toilets and pipework that are ‘acoustically optimised’. Wish I’d known this when we were choosing toilets for the ensuite eh Dan?


Visual

Lighting is so important. Something I’m not sure we’ve quite cracked in the master bathroom. The first mistake we made was not getting enough natural light into my make-up area, we royally p*ssed the builders off when we requested two Velux windows to be added to the newly finished roof.


The other lighting issue to think about in your bathroom space is how do you find the loo in the middle of the night and how do you keep the lighting low so that it doesn’t wake you up.

The answer to this conundrum is orientation lighting. The clever people at Geberit use soft, directional lighting that eliminates the need to switch on additional lighting in the middle of the night thus helping to preserve the sanctity of sleep. I wish we had included orientation lighting in our designs.


Olfactory

AKA smell. Ok I’m going to go there. No one wants a smelly loo. I have a friend who always keeps a box of matches next to the toilet to burn off any nasty methane emissions. But what can you do when planning your bathroom to help prevent unwanted odours?


Again I was surprised to learn about odour extraction technology. Yep there really is tech that eliminate embarrassing odours. The air is neutralised of unwanted whiffs through replaceable carbon filters, once cleaned the fresh air is then breezed back into the room ensuring a fresh smelling loo. Who knew? This is definitely something I wish we’d incorporated into our bathroom design.


Kinesthetics

The sense of touch. It’s not something I consciously thought about when we were planning the bathroom and I wish I’d have been to the Geberit event before we’d plumbed in our toilet because if I’d known how amazing a heated toilet seat is I would have definitely included one in our design.


The thought of a warm toilet seat didn’t initially appeal to me until I tested one at at Geberit HQ and I can honestly say it’s a revelation. The toilet comes with an app which can be programmed with each family members favourite settings how crazy is that! Personalised loo preferences.


The other thing to consider that involves touch is getting your storage and cabinets right. One of our bathroom triumphs was to incorporate the electric toothbrush sockets into the mirrored cabinets above the sink.


In conclusion I would definitely put more research into the lighting and also invest more in a high spec loo, once you’ve tried the Rolls Royce of toilets there’s no going back. Thanks Geberit!

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