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Modernising your bathroom storage

Modernising your bathroom storage

Think of modern bathroom storage and clutter-free surfaces, crisp white fixtures, and hi-tech fittings spring to mind. It is not a difficult look to achieve, even with a limited budget and space. Begin by assessing your fixtures and fittings. Replacing the basin and bathtub fittings make all the difference as will changing details such as the towel rail and toilet roll holder. Choose polished steel or satin finishes for a contemporary feel.

Making changes

Take each wall in turn and remove highly patterned wallcoverings, fabrics, and tiles. Replace them with plain colours, neutral shades, or textural finishes that play on light. Reflective surfaces - mirror, steel, aluminium create light and a spacious atmosphere. They are available in panels and tiles and can be used to clad complete walls or as a modern detail around the bathtub or basin. Avoid patterned blinds, and opt instead for a simple blind, in a material such as denim or natural unbleached cotton, or shutters in wood or aluminium. Changing the floor is a relatively easy and effective way to modernise bathroom storage. Bring it up to date with chunky stud rubber flooring or sheet vinyl in a granite or stone-effect finish. Ceramic tiles take longer to lay but, in stone colours, will give the bathroom the simple look needed for a contemporary style. Flooring materials such as coir are easy to fit, practical in damp conditions, and with their natural colour are well suited to modern interiors.

Accessories & storage

A few well-chosen accessories can do a great deal to change the look of your bathroom, but follow the "less is more" maxim. For all other necessities - occasional-use toiletries, medicines, and cleaning chemicals - buy closed storage so they can be tucked away matter use and the look of the bathroom remains clean and simple. Wall fixed shelving will keep the floor clear, and it conveniently stores belongings at eye-level, Towels and hair- and body care products are practical stored where they can be seen, but decent miscellaneous products, such as cotton-wool pads and cosmetic brushes, into modern stainless-steel or utilitarian plastic containers tor understated style.

A comfortable, light bathroom will appeal to children, especially when their individual needs have been taken into account. Although special half-size fixtures are available, it makes more sense to fit standard products that can be adapted as the children grow. Bathrooms are a great learning zone for children, where they will find out how to wash, brush their teeth, and use the toilet. They are also a great place for children to play with water, so the bathroom storage surfaces need to be waterproof and non-slip.

Long-term fixtures

A child with wet skin is particularly sensitive to a drop in temperature: make sure that the bathroom and towels are kept warm so they can be dried off thoroughly after stepping out of the shower or tub. If you plan to tile the floor, consider installing underfloor heating to make it more comfortable to walk on with bare feet. A towel radiator with a big enough rail to dry everyone's towels will also keep the bathroom pleasant to use all year round. Good lighting is essential in a bathroom designed for children since clearly visible surfaces will highlight any splashes, making them quick to spot and mop up. Make sure that the toilet and basin areas have task lighting to help children see clearly when they need to use them.

Short-term solutions

To help children master the basic skills of using the bathroom storage as they become more independent, you will need to incorporate safety features to reduce the risk of accidents. Provide a low, lightweight step-stool that a child can use to reach the basin or toilet. Gadgets, not necessarily designed for young children, can be particularly useful - for example, extensions that attach to tap handles to make them easier to turn. Brightly coloured grab rails are easy to spot and can help children to use the tub, shower or toilet safely. Choose surfaces with rounded edges that can be gripped by small hands as they move around the bathroom. Brightly coloured cotton mats with non-slip rubber backings will soak up splashes and cushion any falls. Before children use the tub or shower, place a nonslip rubber mat in the bottom to prevent them from sliding under the water or slipping over as they try to stand up.

Kids storage

There are plenty of fun bathroom products designed with children in mind. Use a plastic container to hold bath toys when they are not in use, and another with a lid for nappies and general waste. Buy a range of shatterproof plastic accessories, such as soap dishes and toothbrush holders, to keep everything in its place. Encourage children to pick soap out of the tub and pop it in a dish to prevent it from becoming soggy and to replace their toothbrush when they have finished cleaning their teeth. Have a laundry basket nearby when children are getting undressed so that they learn to pop their dirty clothes into it rather than leaving them scattered over the floor