Congratulations on choosing to renovate your bathroom! Bathroom renovations can be among the trickiest to do, as you often deal with fixed plumbing like toilets and sinks that are more difficult to move around if you’re expanding your existing space. Space expansion isn’t the only reason to do a bathroom renovation. Sometimes you’re preparing for an elderly relative to move in and are making some accessibility changes. Other times, your bathroom is old and dated, and the fixtures and aesthetics need to be updated – particularly if you’ve just bought an older home.
As part of this refresh, consider incorporating natural elements into your re-design. The phrase “nature provides” comes to mind. And in a bathroom setting, nature can provide plenty, from light to greenery to tone changes with certain green aesthetics. Introducing natural elements into the space will add to the tranquility and beauty of one of your home’s most private spaces.
We are lucky to live in Australia, where natural beauty is abundant. The natural world that surrounds us – from sandy Fraser Island to the gorgeous greenery of the Blue Mountains, the stunning turquoise of Australia’s coastal waters, and the colour palette of the Great Barrier Reef. Drawing inspiration from Australia’s natural beauty is relatively easy.
Given Australia’s abundant natural beauty, incorporating natural materials in your bathroom renovation will provide you with a stunning colour palette and sharp (but attractive) contrasts between certain materials such as wood and stone. There are many readily-available, native, natural materials that you can (and should) incorporate when renovating your bathroom to provide a calming, serene aesthetic.
Aside from the aesthetic options (which are bountiful), when selecting natural materials for your bathroom renovation, there is the durability of natural materials to consider. Unlike synthetic materials, natural materials have a cellulose structure. You’ve probably heard about cellulose as it relates to plant life. This is why bamboo, timbers, and other natural materials last much longer than their synthetic counterparts.
Choosing natural materials will make your money go further and give your bathroom a calming, serene, and sensory aesthetic. Depending on your design preferences, you could choose a more modern look when renovating your bathroom, or you could incorporate natural materials in a more rustic way.
Of course, bathroom tiling is one of the most popular ways to floor your bathroom or use on your shower walls. Certain types of stone and masonry add elegance and opulence to your bathroom renovation, such as gorgeous smooth marble or granite. A marble or granite look is typically white (but can be any colour), which adds a huge amount of light (capitalising on the natural light coming in from windows), so it is a good choice if you’re looking to brighten up the space.
But it’s not just the bright, light (and possibly very expensive) granite and marble that can add a natural feel. Other stone, such as brushed limestone, provides a gorgeous aesthetic option for your shower walls if you want to add a different feel – like a waterfall shower with stone surroundings. Using this as tiling in the shower is the best use for it. A smoother stone, such as polished slate, could be an option for flooring.
Just like the gorgeous heat of a woodfire, utilising wood in your bathroom provides warm tones. Using bright natural wood such as birch, pine, or white/red oak for vanity or wall cabinetry, perhaps brushed with a waterproofing lacquer, will provide a welcoming warmth to your bathroom. It can nicely contrast with harsher stone floors or wall tiles.
Short of spending additional funds on waterproofing wooden surfaces after the fact, you can also choose naturally waterproof wood, including maple, oak, Western Red cedar, Iroko, or cherry. Unfortunately, many native Australian timbers aren’t waterproof, so you may need to pay more for imported timbers from elsewhere or choose to apply a waterproof lacquer after installation.
No natural space is complete without a few plants or greenery! After all, what’s more natural than the flowers and plants that grow without human interference? Adding greenery and plants into the space will improve air quality and give a greater connection with nature.
When choosing a bathroom-based plant, you likely want something low-maintenance that can be watered simply by the shower mist. You also don’t want something particularly large unless you can accommodate a large potted plant. However, the larger the plant (and pot), the more water it will need. Consider smaller, low-maintenance options like ferns, peace lilies, or snake plants. Bonsai trees are also a great low-maintenance option.
One of the most important elements in a bathroom is light! Whether you have a skylight or a large window, providing natural light in a bathroom is the best way to brighten up the space, add to the aesthetic appeal, and be good for your plants and other natural elements.
Additionally, larger windows to provide a pleasing view (perhaps while soaking in the bathtub) is a wonderful way to let light in if you have a view to look out on. If not, then plenty of smaller windows (or even skylight windows) are the best option. The goal is to brighten up the bathroom as much as possible.
People sometimes believe that nature and modernity clash and it’s a zero-sum game of one or the other. This is not always the case. Finding a balance of the natural world and modern aesthetics is one of the great challenges of bathroom renovations and home renovations more broadly. Striking a balance is key in a space that provides calm in chaos and seclusion, functionality, and convenience.
Your smart shower, sensor-based faucet, or brass fixtures on cupboard doors and square or rectangular mirrors can perfectly complement your plants and stone tiling on the shower wall. Choosing tones that match when it comes to modern light fixtures with natural wood walls or vanities, warm wood colours, such as those mentioned above, tend to go best with warm lighting rather than harsh LEDs.
At Crystal Bathrooms, we’ll use nature as our muse, as your premiere bathroom renovations company will make the sometimes overwhelming process flow much more smoothly. With years of experience in any type of bathroom space, Crystal Bathrooms is one of the few companies conducting licensed bathroom renovations in Sydney.