Bold and beautiful

An interview with Louise Ashdown, Head of Design at West One Bathrooms

We talk to Louise Ashdown, Head of design about Bold and Beautiful trends in bathroom design and how to use these effectively in your next bathroom project, from wallcoverings to pop colours in product selection.

If someone is thinking of taking the plunge with bold bathroom walls do you suggest they do all the walls or just one wall? (If so, which one?)

Bold has many contexts it can be striking, bright, vivid or obvious. A ‘bold wall’ can mean a wall painted in a strong colour, pattern or even a change in texture. If the ‘bold’ you want to use is a busy pattern then sometimes less is more, but it all depends upon the size of the room, a busy cloakroom can work with bold patterns on all walls. Cloakrooms are generally smaller rooms and one doesn’t spend copious amounts of time in them so one can be adventurous – bold darker walls invite cosiness and will make the room feel more intimate.

A bold wall can also work to change the feel of the space, for example in a long skinny room painting the end short wall in a darker hue or bold colour will bring the wall towards you and make the room feel squarer. Warmer tones will also change the feel of the room making it a more welcoming intimate space.

Don’t forget also the 5th wall, painting this in an accent colour can bring high ceilings closer, again making the room fell more intimate. If a room has large windows paint the wall opposite the window a darker cooler tone this will absorb excess light and give grounding to the space.

West One Bathrooms Inspiration Bold and beautiful image2a
West One Bathrooms Inspiration Bold and beautiful image2b

What is the best way to make a bold wall work with the rest of the bathroom scheme? Do you have any tips on which types of bathroom products and finishes work better?

‘Bold’ walls tend to be used when you want to highlight an area or draw the eye into a feature. Some bathrooms work well if there is a beautiful fireplace in situ and we use a bold paint or wallpaper to highlight this and maybe a freestanding bath in front.
Colours can jar so when considering a bold wall try to pick out a colour that runs throughout the room. In the past, we have used a subtle ‘bold wall’ of bespoke mosaic mural to blend beautifully with a chalky wood floor.

In bathrooms, tiles are an obvious choice for a bold wall we have some stunning book match porcelain slabs which can be used to highlight a wall in a shower. We also have the innovative Wet System Wallpapers which, being completely waterproof it works well in all wet area so these can also be used to highlight areas and walls as a bold statement.

West One Bathrooms Inspiration Bold and beautiful image4a
West One Bathrooms Inspiration Bold and beautiful image4b

When it comes to using wallpaper in a bathroom, what can people do to minimise problems?

In a bathroom, standard wallpaper will not work due to the moisture and steam build up. We do an innovative Wet System wallpaper – which incorporates a waterproof paper material along with ancillaries to ensure complete waterproofing of walls. This is sized to individual walls, which is great as you can alter the pattern size to work best in your room. We also do an alternative – which is a wallpaper print onto waterproof boarding.

Browse our Waterproof Wall Coverings

Are there any projects that you’ve worked on lately where a particular bold wall effect worked out really well?

A converted Sussex farmhouse with a His and Hers separate master en-suites – the ‘Metal Copper’ tile (shown above) worked amazingly well with the original old barn style doors in the property and ties in with the dark wood contemporary basin furniture, so although a BOLD wall it blends harmoniously with the bathroom and flows with the honest raw materials and architecture inherited in the bathroom.

View the Case Study

What are the key things to avoid if you’re thinking about going for bold walls?

The size of the space, the number of walls and the colour, key questions to ask are; does it tie in with any other colour or feature in the room? What is the use of the room? Is it a cloakroom or bathroom and how long will you spend in the room? At the end of the day though, it is your space and if you really love a wallpaper or a tile then go for it! Be bold!!!

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