A cocoon of well-being

What has happened to the little shower room? GONE! Transformed into a veritable room for living over the past ten years or so, the bathroom is now a world of well-being, to be designed according to everyone’s individual desires.

An intimate room, by definition, the bathroom is now the object of decorative research in the same way as the other rooms of the house. Chosen by the biggest creators and designers such as Philippe Starck or Andree Putman, this place, formerly devoted simply to hygiene, has undergone an unquestionable metamorphosis. Once small and lacking in natural light, it is now being allocated more and more space. It has modernised, becoming increasingly fashionable as well as functional. We no longer confine ourselves to washing there but also relax, and spend a great deal of time there. It is no longer a secondary space but is now an essential space.

Well-being above all

Given the stress of daily life, the bathroom has become a place of relaxation even though it is a place through which we merely transit in the morning. Its layout and design are essentially focused on the pursuit of well-being. It now even forms an integral part of the bedroom.

Colours and light are de rigueur, they are even meticulously designed: there is a play on shades, lights are set at a low angle, and mirrors positioned to create an impression of space. Nothing is left to chance.

The functional aspect is not forgotten, but we are invited to relax through the pleasures of water... Hammams, steam rooms, (bath) balneotherapy and (shower) hydrotherapy are popular. The bathroom is somewhere to be pampered.

The criteria to be taken into account in designing a bathroom

Above all one must take into account the surface area of the room. The configuration of the bathroom will depend mainly on its layout: is it rectangular, square, asymmetrical? Where are the water outlets, and where is the radiator? What use will be making of it: how much will you be using it? Do you need a lot of storage? Finally, do not neglect the floor and wall coverings: select materials that are easy to maintain and that are of good quality so that they will stand the test of time.

And think carefully about the fittings. Take your time and do all that is necessary to ensure that it is functional.

Constraints to be adhered to ...

Because water and electricity have to live side by side, the bathroom is a room entailing risk and which requires many precautions to ensure that it does not become a source of accidents. Given that we often use the most simple item of equipment, it needs an ambient temperature that is higher than the rest of the house, with clean, renewed air and materials that are pleasant to the touch.

It requires a significant budget and the use of qualified professionals. This is a room that is even more complex than the kitchen: it calls upon the contribution of many different people: mason, plumber, electrician, tiler ... It is not straightforward and one must consider all angles.

Traps to be avoided

The best thing is to interview two or three installers, to compare quotations and ideas before making the final choice, and to understand what you are letting yourself in for. Word of mouth is a good way of finding out whether the companies in question are competent.

One should not be guided solely by one’s inclinations but also give due consideration to the practical side of your future bathroom. The creation or renovation of this room requires a lot of preparation and advice.

Materials in vogue

Vitrified ceramic (for washbasins, bidets, and toilets) remains the emblematic material of the shower room, as it is robust, easy to maintain and affordable. One can also find stainless steel, synthetic materials, glass, enamel, quartz, concrete and also marble is still popular.

Mixing materials such as wood, glass and ceramic is popular. The use of concrete and cement is still somewhat marginal (private individuals can be overcautious). Natural and untreated materials are always impactful and successful: for example, people like pebbles on the floor in the shower.

Duration of the works

If everything is re-done, if everything is well organised and decided upon in consultation with all the individuals concerned; if there is no delay in deliveries of products, in short, under optimum conditions, 15 days or 3 weeks of work should be expected.

The average budget for a bathroom

This is very difficult to establish, because its varies according to a large number of criteria: the floor space of the room, choice of materials and equipment. But the cost of a bathroom is often compared to buying a car or nice holiday trip. For example, for a small 4m2 bathroom with equipment and materials that are not too top of the range, one should expect to pay between 5000 and 6000 euros. This can rise to 15 to 20000 euros and much more, if you want to include a hammam or SPA. And more still if you like design and technology, prices can rise even further. A little like buying a very fine car and a second hand car!

New trends


Hammam and SPA

Installers note an increasing demand for the installation of hammams or SPAS in bathrooms ...Hammam

The hammam, also known as the steam or ‘Turkish’ bath, is an Arabic term which means “hot water”. The benefits of the hammam are many and well-recognised. This is a place dedicated to relaxation and unwinding. After a day of stressful work or after physical activity this is a very pleasant contrast. It enables the muscles to be loosened, the removal of dead skin and cleansing of the skin. The hammam is much more than a steam bath, it is an art de vivre.

Some hammam cabins are made to measure according to your requirements, based on pre-determined basic formats.


Note that certain SPAS are designed for relaxation, and others for therapeutic effects: the costs are very different. In both cases, the SPA is a space dedicated to well-being. It is enjoyable and also has very real anti-stress and stimulating qualities. In any case, if you decide to make this investment, you will be obtaining for yourself a veritable centre for well-being in the comfort of your own home. The SPA is a perfect match for the aspirations of our modern societies. With it, we offer ourselves a return to natural springs and the little bubbles of Zen philosophy.

For those who enjoy design

Basins, showers, taps, and baths are bursting with originality and are crafted like avant-garde sculptures. Some basins are wooden totem poles... Bath tubs are positioned on islands or completely recessed into the floor. Water falls like a waterfall or like rain in showers without walls. Some bathrooms are little thermal sanctuaries... The leds are there to create various atmospheric effects. There are even [intentionally] overflowing bathtubs, or immense Italian showers. Bathtubs can be fitted with sound systems or a mini television, to take relaxation to the level of paroxysm.

For those who enjoy design, the bathroom is no longer hidden but very much out in the open!