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Basic notes for planning bathroom furniture

Basic notes for planning bathroom furniture

BATHROOM BASICS

Before you start considering choice of units, work out your plans based on the size and shape of your room: will your budget and space stretch to a full range of built-in units? Will sleek lines look out of place in an older-style or traditionally-furnished house?

A fitted bathroom needn't be brutally modern: many traditional-style units are available. Materials are the same as those used for fitted kitchens coloured laminated plastics, various wood finishes and some luxury man-made or natural materials. Whatever the finish, rounded edges and corners are essential for safety and comfort.

The fullest range of built-in bathroom fitments extends to a wide choice of storage cupboards full height, low level, or high level to house everything that gathers in a bathroom. Plumbing should be housed out of view, but do be sure to provide access panels. Bath, wash basin and cistern can be encased, and work surfaces and shelving may be built in.

Off-the-peg bathroom furniture systems would suit a bathroom ' of standard proportions. Though more expensive, a made-tomeasure range will give flexibility and make the most of valuable space.

If your bathroom is tiny, planning of every precious centimetre is essential. Consider a basic system of a small vanity unit with storage above and below, and fit wall units or shelving as space permits.

BATHROOM FURNITURE EXTRAS

Many modern bathroom units are provided with internal fittings to give a clever selection of concealed laundry and waste bins, wire basket storage fOr towels, integral mirrors and lighting, and many other extras. Most of these have borrowed inspiration from the fitted kitchen, and an enterprising DIY expert could even adapt standard kitchen fitments for bathroom use.

Corner carousels can provide valuable storage in a tight corner. Trays are designed to swivel out so you don't have to delve deep into cupboards to forage for small items - an added convenience' is that makeup can be used straight from the tray. Some fitted storage ideas are very neat. Soap dishes can slide away after use to give a flush surface, and a few units even have a special built-in radio.

Though most bathroom accessories can be neatly stored, some essentials need to be left out for convenient use. Look for accessories which will complement your overall scheme, as you don't want to'spoil the clean lines of a fitted bathroom with a hotchpotch of unmatched extras. Towels are generally very evident in a bathroom; choose them to match the overall scheme. Storage ideas range from wall-high heated ladders to small fitments designed to hold guest towels. Some manufacturers provide colour-matched items such as beakers, bath tidies and towel rings. For a streamlined effect, choose fitments such as soap dishes which are inset rather than projecting.

Built-in units often have integral lighting for tasks such as shaving. For applying makeup, consider Hollywood-style light bulbs set around a mirror for a touch of real glamour.