It might come as a surprise to some but the design-science behind our workspaces has a serious place in making our homes more enjoyable.
When you hear the word ergonomics you may think of chairs, desks, bad backs and those funny balls people used to sit on in the 90s. While getting your chair height right is important, ergonomic considerations actually guide the efficiency and effectiveness of any space we interact with, including the bathroom – from the height of the vanity to the position of the drainage.
Generally in Australia, vanities or basins are positioned approximately 850mm above the floor – based on the average height of an adult. Most vanities are freestanding so positioning them to suit taller or shorter family members can be difficult, though wall-mounted units are an elegant solution to that problem.
Freestanding or wall-mounted, the choice of basin is also important in creating a better bathroom experience. Units like the Quattro Zero, or basins where the water drains to the rear, reduce the need for plumbing under the surface meaning a cupboard or drawer can be positioned right at your fingertips. The area directly around the basin is also worth thinking about as you don’t want to be too close to the mirror or have nowhere to put the everyday essentials like toothbrushes and creams.
Basins like the Falper Quattro Zero reduce plumbing requirements meaning storage is more accessible.
To that point, storage is a key consideration in designing a functional bathroom – drawers can be easier to access than deep cupboards and it is best to consider dry and wet storage areas using finishes that are water and humidity resistant. Modular systems are ideal for this, meaning you can position your vanity and storage in the most suitable place while still retaining an integrated look.
The position of your taps is another area to consider before committing to the build. You don’t want the tap above your basin to be too far forward as you will end up bumping your head on it when you wash your face and it will also generate splashback from the basin when the water starts flowing. Across the room, avoid shower taps that are directly under the shower head so you don’t scald yourself or your children while you adjust the temperature.
Another key consideration when it comes to shower spaces is where the water goes. A drain directly under the shower isn’t ideal, you don’t want to stand on it and if you do the water has nowhere to go. In more open-plan bathrooms where there is no door into the shower, a small ledge or generous slope toward the drain will ensure the water doesn’t make its way into the rest of the bathroom. This might seem simple but it is also safe, reducing the chance of slipping when you reach for a towel.
The modular Caldera vanity range available through Rogerseller from August 2018.
And there is another element in the science of bathroom design – making sure everything you need is right where you need it. Towel rails or hooks that can be accessed easily from shower or bath, a ledge for your clothes or robe, and a niche to store soaps in and around the shower or bath can reduce frustration, making life a little easier in the morning without that annoying shower caddy.
Lighting too plays a huge roll in the functionality of a bathroom, beyond downlights and heat lamps – the rules and regulations around lighting in wet areas is as difficult to manage as applying your make-up in the dark, and in particular with pendant lights. Like using an architect or design consultant for your bathroom, an interior lighting consultant can get you and your space looking good with some expert advice. LED technology that mimics natural light has also made an impact meaning a vanity can be illuminated without taking up additional space.
At the end of the day this might all seem like design 101, but in aiming for a certain style we can often forget that a bathroom needs to function, and with a bit of thought this is simple to achieve.
The Falper and Caldera ranges are available exclusively through Rogerseller who also provide design consultation on bathroom design.
WRITTEN BY HouseLab