Hi everyone, today I thought I would write about my experience of creating sensory spaces in specific relation to bathrooms. As humans, we depend on our five senses to guide us through the world and how we interact with it. We also use these senses to derive pleasure and improve our wellbeing. Being aware of and considering these senses when designing your home and spaces within it is vital, as it helps maximise the positive experience we take from these spaces. I will delve further into each of these senses, and how, I have found ways of improving the sensory experience when designing a bathroom, in collaboration with my favourite pieces from Geberit and some pretty fun surprises.
This is an incredibly intimate sensation and often not as highly valued initially when considering a space, but has such impact. Think of when you are in your favourite store, you want to touch everything you see - its emotive, its raw. Like how you know which jumper you are grabbing for in a bag full of stuff when you feel its material, our tactile sensation is very powerful and through it we determine a lot about our surroundings, which is why its imperative to consider this sensation when designing a bathroom. Incorporating different textures and finishes gives your bathroom personality and depth. Think of the smooth surface of glass, the slightly rougher texture of wood, the fluffy towels and the clean ceramics. The Geberit Aquaclean WC is quite frankly a work of art. You can get models whose lid lifts without having to touch it. The toilets come with an incorporated bidet, giving you a shower clean finish with every use. You can have your personal preferences memorised using the app on your phone. These can specify what water pressure you like, at what angle and what temperature you want it at! To really ramp up the luxury why not have a heated WC seat? I first experienced this calibre of WC when travelling in Japan and was gobsmacked at the luxury and level of hygiene I felt after using it and shocked at how most homes in Japan have one but this is still an emerging trend in Europe. Come on! We need to up our game!
Our sense of smell, despite not being honed to hunt, definitely evokes within us emotions and reactions that we can use to our advantage when designing a space. Think of that smell of freshly cut grass in spring, or the smell of mulled cider and bonfires in winter - these evocative smells bring back memories and transport us to a different place and time. Aromatherapy is a great way to relax and help improve balance, both physically and emotionally. It allows us to focus on the smell and a memory, creating moments of mindfulness and helping restore calm. When one thinks about the sense of smell in relation bathrooms, it can evoke a mixed reaction - but this shouldn't be the case. The smell of our favourite shampoos or face creams all form part of our daily routine and we buy these products based on how they perform and make us feel, including their perfume. So if we extended this concept further to the interior of the bathroom space, we can use scented candles or reed diffusers to creating a soothing space to be in and relax. Geberit have also thought of odour extraction within their WC systems. "WHAT?!" I hear you say, yes! Apparently so! There is a small extraction vent that removes any of the unpleasant odours from the air through a ceramic honeycomb filter. Insanely brilliant!
Now this sensation is probably the least stimulated in the bathroom of all rooms. But our taste buds are stimulated by the toothpaste and mouth cleaning products we use and even possibly the glass of wine we sip on slowly when having a bath. So despite not being the most obvious space that will stimulate our taste buds, remember its also something worth considering when developing the sensory space.
[This is a paid partnership with Geberit. To find out more head to their website: https://inspiredbygeberit.co.uk/in-your-area/cheshire/]
Next we went tile shopping! This was the exciting part of the process as we went to our local Topps Tiles showroom and picked out three tiles that we loved the most. It was so easy to place them next to each other and be sure that they all worked harmoniously with our scheme. For the floor tile we went for the Variato Tile, which is a porcelain tile which has a natural stone look. The other two tiles we used were both from the Wild Blossom collection. We used the plain tiles in two colourways, the Milk tile and the Sea Grass tile. The milk tile has a soft, off-white colour, and the sea grass is a muted or greyed/sage green, both with a very subtle ripple finish. We chose the green tile as a feature tile across the shower wall to create another interesting feature for you to look at and discover while within the space. It isn't overwhelming despite being a large wall due to its mellow colouring and being the same size as the other wall tiles.
I always recommend buying a sample so you can refer back to it at a later stage when developing your scheme and also to look at it within the light context that you will be placing the tile. Here you can see how the colours, despite being the same 3 tiles, can look different in different lighting conditions.
We also included more storage by changing the pedestal sink into a vanity unit that has a hidden drawer and a full drawer. The front of the sink is clad in a wood veneer which injects a warm and natural element into the space that would otherwise have mainly hard surfaces and cool colours.