Discover its power – don't be afraid of choosing the warmest material for your soak-space
Luke Arthur Wells
written on: 07-03-2019 09:00am
There aren't many people re-designing their bathroom who envisage it as a gleaming all-white shrine to porcelain these days, and more and more, we're looking to interesting materials to add texture, colour and more into this traditionally quite functional space.
If you are worried about a bathroom feeling cold and clinical, the most obvious material to incorporate is wood – naturally warm, patterned and textured, it's an easy option that will complement almost any scheme.
Of course, the choice of type of wood can immediately affect the atmosphere of the space. Dark walnut lends richness and grandeur, while something like a cedar or pine will help you achieve a Scandi-inspired look. More than any other material, wood comes imbued with a sense of meaning.
However, some people are still scared of wood in the bathroom. There's that slight fear of the mix of wood and water that suggests that it's not going to be durable or it's going to deteriorate quickly – especially when it's not a highly finished or a hardwearing veneer. It's not surprising that wood-effect elements, such as porcelain tiles that capture natural grain, are popular, but you really can't beat the real thing.
And, actually, some woods are particularly well suited to use in the bathroom – and well beyond just the standard floor or vanity unit designs. Imagine, after all, a Scandinavian spa-like design, which uses real wood finishes throughout.
Teak is a particularly good choice, as the oils in the wood naturally resist water and rot, and they can be used to create bathroom elements which have a real architectural quality to them. Cedar is another type that works well in the bathroom as it will release a natural scent when in an environment with heat and moisture, delivering that true spa-like feel to a home's bathroom.
The key for any kind of wood in the bathroom is to keep an eye on the top coat. Your furniture will undoubtedly come pre-coated with a protective finishing, whether you choose off the shelf or bespoke, but this can degrade over time. Ensuring you regularly treat elements in the bathroom that may be permeated by water is the big challenge to making them last longer.
Luke is an interior designer, stylist and blogger at www.lukearthurwells.com. He’s a believer in understated interiors that don’t have to shout to be heard, and he’s currently practicing what he preaches renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, where he lives with his partner and two pampered pups. When it comes to his design style, he loves new and interesting building materials, a carefully chosen white paint and he also has a weakness for coffee table books and a fresh bunch of eucalyptus.