Making a great bathroom does not require a lot of space, but above all good ideas and products. Few people know this better than Rolf Heide who, as a Duravit designer, has transformed many small rooms into a big bathing experience.
Thinking big in small spaces
Statistically, the average bathroom in the UK is all of 4.4 square meters in size. At first glance, this appears to be a small room with cramped conditions and little scope for creativity. But at second glance, this assessment is completely false. With my six decades of design experience, I would go so far as to say that it is easier to design a small bathroom than a large one.
Rolf Heide is a multiple award-winning interior designer who became known amongst other things for the practical, functional stacking bed he created in 1966. Since almost 30 years, Rolf Heide has been designing and planning the exemplary bathrooms in which we photograph our products. In this way, the diligent designer has not only defined Duravit‘s image, but also the picture of a beautiful bathroom that we all carry with us.
The reason for this is quite simple. In a large bathroom you have lots of available space that you first have to furnish with purpose and style. It is therefore important to consider how to utilise the excess space, and this is anything but a trivial task. With a smaller area, however, you can and must concentrate on the principal elements and their layout: How do I accommodate the washbasin, toilet, and bathtub or shower logically? In answering this question, everything else usually falls into place. The bathroom is primarily a workshop, just like the kitchen, in which we carry out routine daily activities, and more often than not, under demanding time constraints. First and foremost, the bathroom must function, just like the kitchen.
In addition, there are several design tricks with which you can make more of limited space. This begins with the selection of sanitary ceramics and bathroom furniture in dimensions which are geared to the room, i.e. reduced sizes. Perfumes, shampoos and other small items can disappear in cupboards, and if the building belongs to you or the landlord allows it, these can be space-saving cupboards, built into the wall. Mirrors, floor-to-ceiling cupboards, and extending the floor covering on to the walls make the room appear larger. The restriction to fewer yet continuous materials creates the appearance of calm in a reduced space.
A well-designed, small bathroom can be the jewel in the crown of your home. I once designed a small bathroom completely in orange, and it was a pleasant surprise for everyone as they found that an entire world had been created in a limited space. Naturally, the bathroom ceramics and furniture are much more prominent against an orange background. Whether you like it is one thing. However, it is important that planning a bathroom should not be seen as yet another tiresome chore that you have to do, but as fun. Then the bathroom is also fun to use.
Incidentally, I designed my own bathroom, just like I did the bungalow that we built in 1973, just outside Hamburg. My bathroom has a washbasin (with a shelf to the left and right; that was important for me), toilet, full wall mirror, cupboard, bidet and shower (we are not big bathers). And at eight square meters it is almost exactly as small or large as the average bathroom. In other words: My family and I live with a completely average bathroom, and we have been completely happy with it for almost 40 years. Just as we are told that ‚big is brave‘, I wish us all the courage to be more creative in small spaces.
Sometimes quite daring, but allways well thought out
At Duravit we have realized many bathroom ideas according to designs by Rolf Heide. Some of them were quite daring, but they were all well thought out. Thank you, Rolf Heide!
More bath ideas
Interior designer Rolf Heide
„Thinking big in small spaces”
Making a great bathroom does not require a lot of space, but above all good ideas and products. – Rolf Heide, a Duravit designer, who has transformed many small rooms into a big bathing experience.
Comfort for all ages
Generation-spanning ideas for the bathroom for more quality of life.