Ever get house envy? I do – weapons grade levels.
Shameful I know. But seriously, it’s an occupational hazard of the job. When we’re not checking out our customer’s gorgeous homes, we’re catching up with the latest trends online. And my current guilty fix is for anything Scandinavian. Give me a box-set of The Bridge, and I’ll binge-watch just for the interiors. Show me a Scandi-styled Pinterest board, and I’ll show you how to lose two hours.
And when it comes to bathrooms, the nordic nations have got it nailed. Perhaps it’s their culture of saunas or the long chilly winter; either way, our Scandinavian cousins have perfected the art of a warm and welcoming space. The kind of room you’ll want to linger in; a relaxing place to unwind after a long and stressful day.
So whether you’re looking for a new bathroom or just a quick weekend fix, we’ll show you how to get the look at home. A quick word of advice – look away now if white walls and wholesome woods don’t float your boat.
A Lighter Shade Of Pale
Winter in northern Europe can be a pretty daunting prospect – long, cold and very dark. So Scandinavians do what Scandinavians do; they make their homes as cosy and inviting as possible.
And while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, stick to a muted palette and you can’t go far wrong. So that’s hello to pale whites, cool greys and organic tones; goodbye to anything too dark, dramatic or opulent.
Black and White Is Always Right
You know how a selfie always looks better with a black and white filter? It’s just the same with bathrooms. Add a dash of monochrome magic and your room will transform from ordinary to extraordinary in the blink of an eye.
The key is to keep things classy – so go for all-white on your walls and add elegance with black brassware, trims and floor tiles. Opt for simple tiles that won’t date – Victorian Black hexagons or Micro Hex Black on the floor; Bon Ton Sugar on the walls.
Warm Up With Wood
It might be a cliche, but Scandi design wouldn’t be Scandi design without some stripped-back wooden floorboards. The Danes et al just love natural materials and it’s pretty easy to see why – long, light timber planks just ooze rustic charm in a way that wall-to-wall carpets just can’t compete with.
But although wood floors may be de rigueur for kitchens and living spaces, they’re not an ideal companion for bathrooms with high humidity and wet feet. However, you can fake it with our range of wood effect tiles. Being made from porcelain, they’re totally waterproof so you’ll get all the charm of real wood without any of the drawbacks.
Cut Out The Clutter
Have you ever seen a messy Scandinavian house? I didn’t think so. After all, no self-respecting Swede would be seen dead with clutter – they’re the kings and queens of minimal living.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to detox your home and live like a monk. Instead, the emphasis here is on being considerate. So go easy on the accessories, throw away the tat and make sure that everything has a home.
And when it comes to storage, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Need somewhere to hang towels? Weathered ladders and rattan baskets combine practicality with a natural touch. Posh soaps and sea salt scrubs? These don’t want to live on the floor – keep them close by in some neat, recessed tiled shelves in your shower area.
Tiled shelves can be a little tricky to get just right. Make sure you discuss the exact finish you want with your tiler in advance.
Bring In The Green
If there’s a secret ingredient to make any room look better, it’s the humble houseplant – rare are the Scandinavian homes without one. They’re the easiest way to tick the box marked ‘scandi-chic’ and will add an Instagrammable burst of cheerful green to any monochrome room.
And it just so happens that bathrooms are terrific homes for tropical plants. All that warm, moist air makes them feel right at home, so feel free to turn the shower temperature up a notch and get a little steamy.
Pick up a canvas pot for your plant…
If In Doubt, White It Out
Got a smaller ensuite or a room with little natural light? Why not go for an all-white bathroom? The Scandinavians are masters of simplicity, so follow their lead and you’ll have a space that feels light, elegant and airy.
White on white can reign supreme, but you do need to ensure that your room’s not too clinical. This is where layout, texture and the little details come into play. Staggering square wall tiles, using darker grout colours and laying floor tiles on an angle all add up to an unconventional and visually exciting twist. If you’re still worried that your room might feel sterile, add a little contrast by using pale grey floor tiles.
This is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget, first time buyer but want ‘the look’, or have a small bathroom.
Wonderful Walk-in Wetrooms
If Scandi-style was like baking a Danish pastry, the three key ingredients would be simplicity, function and form – all in equal measures. You see, it’s not just about elegant good looks; Scandinavians demand that their homes perform at the highest levels day in, day out.
And when it comes to the bathroom, nothing represents this holy trinity better than the walk-in wetroom. Why shower in a dingy enclosure when you can lather up in a luxurious, spa-like space? So, out with the dodgy doors and plastic trays; in with sleek frameless screens and uninterrupted tiled floors. It seems like wetrooms are finally catching on in Blighty and honestly, take it from us, you won’t look back!
We’d recommend using porcelain tiles for your bathroom floor as they’re impervious to water and extremely hard-wearing.
Go Graphical With Geometrics
Although Scandinavians do love bold and bright accessories – this is the land of Marimekko after all – when it comes to pattern in the bathroom, it’s best to play it safe.
But being safe doesn’t mean you can’t play around with geometrics. We’re not sure why exactly, but our hexagon tiles lend themselves perfectly to scandi-style spaces and offer a quirky, playful alternative to more traditional formats. In fact, we think they’re almost the epitome of good danish design – eye-catching enough to stand out, but with a classic shape that won’t date over time.
In With The Old
With their simple clean lines, neutral tones and calm style, it’s easy to think that modern Scandi homes could feel a little bland or stark. Far from it! Instead, Scandinavians have a knack for mixing the old with the new to add a dose of character to any room.
Mid-century sideboards are re-fashioned into basin units (adding a healthy blend of teak and texture) while vintage lamp sconces are perfect for mood lighting (just make sure they have the appropriate IP rating).
For a few extra brownie points, pick up a wooden stool from a flea market. Not only will it add to the viking vibe, it’ll provide a handy place for the towels and toiletries you’ll need for that long soak.