Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Carlisle Homes

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

The bathroom is one of the busiest rooms in the home – here’s how to create a design that’s both beautiful and highly functional.

From getting ready for work in the morning to bathing the kids at night, your family bathroom and ensuite are among the hardest-working rooms in the home. As such, it pays to get the look, layout and fixtures right.

To help you on your way, we’ve created a short video below that outlines the key steps you’ll need to take. Or, read on to learn more.


How will the bathroom be used?

First, think about how the bathroom will be used and by how many people. This will help you determine whether you need one basin or two, a separate bath and shower, as well as the amount of storage required.

Pick a style

Next, consider the look and feel you want to create. Do you want a classic theme? If yes, create a timeless and traditional aesthetic with highly reflective tiles, a top-mounted basin, and ornate tapware and light fixtures (such as wall sconces with shades). Or are you after a more contemporary look? Then, clean-lined fixtures with lighting, a sleek, undermount basin and matt tiles on the walls and floor will get you that perfect look. 

Ensure your home maintains a cohesive look,  choose a bathroom style that ties in with the rest of your home’s décor.

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

Opt for a wall-mounted basin and toilet to maximise floor space in your bathroom. Featured here: Sanctuary Grand, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.

Plan the layout

When it comes to layout, you’ll want to include all your bathroom essentials, while ensuring there is enough room to move around comfortably and for drawers and doors to open and close without obstruction. 

Is your bathroom on the small side? You can maximise floor space by opting for a wall-mounted vanity and toilet, and a freestanding bath over an inset style. Or dispense with a bath altogether and focus on creating a fabulous shower area.

When planning your bathroom layout, don’t forget to consider sightlines – your view through the room as you enter. Look to include a focal point, such as a shapely bath or a tiled feature wall, that can be viewed from the doorway. And position the toilet so it’s not the first thing when you step inside the bathroom.

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

Choose a bathroom style that ties in with the rest of your home’s décor to maintain a cohesive look. Featured here: Sanctuary Grand, Smiths Lane, Clyde North.

Choose the right finishes

Low-maintenance, easy-to-clean finishes are a must in any bathroom. Meanwhile, the colours you choose should suit the look and feel you want to create.

The main finishes you’ll need to select are:

Vanity benchtop

For your benchtop, you’ll have hundreds of hardwearing and beautiful colours and finishes to choose from. Colours range from sumptuous marble looks and urban-inspired concrete to gentle neutrals.

For a unique touch, customise the edge profile of your benchtop with a Shadowline or overhang. To give your bathroom a sense of opulence, specify an 80-170mm edge profile.


When it comes to your vanity cabinetry, you’ll have a vast range of colours and finishes to choose, including a variety of soft neutrals and wood grain looks that will add instant warmth to your bathroom. 

As well as colour and finish, you can also tailor the configuration of your vanity to suit your needs. For example, you may wish to add easy-access drawers or a towel rack. To give storage a further boost, consider adding a shaving cabinet above your vanity. 

Handles are another consideration when designing your bathroom vanity. Opt for a statement style in a metallic finish or matt black. Or keep things sleek with handleless, push-touch cabinetry doors and drawers, or specify minimalist sharknose handles.

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

Add character instantly! Consider including a contrasting tiled feature wall for your vanity splashback or in the shower. Featured here: Montpellier, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.


Tiles are one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your bathroom. You’ll need to choose styles for your walls (including shower walls and vanity splashback), bath hob (if you select an inset bath) and floors.

At Carlisle, there are tiles to suit all budgets and styles. Our ever-popular porcelain tiles come in a vast array of colours and several finishes. They are tough, easy to clean and will look great for years. Ceramic tiles are extremely durable, dent-, scratch- and stain-resistant, making them a great choice for busy family bathrooms. They also come in many colours and, due to the way they’re made, are always glazed.

Larger tiles will create a more opulent look and require less cleaning, while mixing tiles of different sizes (or formats) on your walls and floors – such as large-format square tiles on the floor and finger mosaics on your walls – will add a dynamic feel to your bathroom.

To add instant character, consider adding a contrasting feature tile, such as patterned or hexagonal-shape tiles, to your shower wall or vanity splashback.

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

Palette perfection! Carlisle offers a myriad tapware styles and finishes so you can choose the perfect finish to complement or accent the space. Scarborough Grand, Smiths Lane, Clyde North.

Select tapware

Fabulous tapware is an easy way to up the luxe factor in your bathroom. Seek out tapware for your basins, bath and shower (as well as shower rails) that suits your style and harmonises with your cabinetry, benchtop and tiles. For a truly relaxing bathing experience, consider specifying a rain showerhead. 

At Carlisle, there are myriad tapware styles and finishes on offer, including ones in chrome, brushed gold and matt black.

For more advice on choosing the right tapware for your bathroom, read our blog post here.

Choose a beautiful basin and bath

You’ll find a wide variety of basins to choose from for your new bathroom, including striking countertop basins and sleek undermount ones, in a choice of different shapes (round, square, oval) and colours.

At Carlisle, there are baths to suit different bathroom styles and needs. Take your pick from stunning freestanding baths, spa baths that let you enjoy a therapeutic massage, and family-friendly inset baths that make bathing the kids a breeze, with spa around the sides for shampoos, soaps and toys.

Plan the Perfect Bathroom: A Step-by-Step Guide

Add ambience to your guest bathroom with the right lighting, and don’t forget to include adequate storage so you can keep the space neat and tidy! Featured here: Canterbury Grand, Minta Estate, Berwick.

Include storage

No well-planned bathroom is complete without adequate storage. To determine how much you’ll need, think about who will be using the space and how much you need to store. 

You can add storage by specifying a vanity with generous cupboards and drawers, adding a shaving cabinet with shelves, or specifying a niche or ledge in your shower for shampoos and soaps.

Don’t forget lighting

The right lighting adds ambience to your bathroom and makes it easier to see what you’re doing when you perform everyday tasks, such as putting on makeup. 

Add feature wall lights either side of your vanity to inject a sense of luxury. Or consider under-cabinet lighting that gently illuminates your bathroom at night. If you’re looking for top-notch task lighting for tasks such as putting on your makeup, consider an LED vanity mirror with de-misting function, such as our Remer vanity mirror. 

The finishing touches

Often, it’s the little finishing touches that can make all the difference to a bathroom. At Carlisle, you can add headrests to your spa bath so you can enjoy long, luxurious soaks, or power points inside drawers or a vanity cabinet to charge your electric toothbrush or razor.

Or customise your shower frame to suit your aesthetic – our showers come semi-frameless as standard, but if you prefer a minimalist look, choose a fully frameless shower.

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Looking for inspiration? Visit our new Spectra Selection Centre to find your perfect bathroom.


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