Buyers’ Guide to Freestanding Bathroom Furniture

If you’ve decided you’d like to embrace the sophisticated look that freestanding bathroom furniture can bring to your bathroom, you might now be wondering how precisely to go about choosing the perfect pieces for your space.

The first consideration, as always, is size. If your bathroom is large, you’ll need to consider the size of each item and how it will fit into any alcoves or spaces between other fixtures such as baths or shower enclosures; if your bathroom is small, you need to get clever with your use of bathroom furniture to maximise your space and – crucially – to make it appear more spacious.

You should be able to find a small freestanding washstand of only 400 or 450mm across; one of these would suit a petite countertop basin and would still grant you some under basin storage space. If your room is narrow, consider the depth of your bathroom furniture. At less than 350mm deep, a compact washstand can be an admirably space saving item.

Going for a slim depth in all your bathroom furniture will allow maximum freedom of movement around a narrow bathroom. You can make the room seem bigger just by choosing freestanding units that are raised from the floor on legs. This will allow glimpses of some of the floor on which they’re standing, thus giving the illusion of a larger floor area overall. Units with sides that come right down to the ground inevitably limit the parts of the floor you can see, with the result that the room seems smaller. Sadly, you don’t actually get more storage space this way, but an optical illusion that makes you feel you’ve got more space is better than sticking with a claustrophobic bathroom, and simpler than embarking on an expensive rebuild project.

Think about the height of your bathroom furniture. Tall people need tall furniture, and vice versa, whichever room in the house you’re dressing. Washstands usually measure between 700mm and 900mm high: to eliminate aches and pains from stooping or stretching, pick a height that’s right for you. Similarly, think about ease of use when choosing storage units: different items of bathroom furniture have shelves, doors and drawers at different heights. It’s always preferable where possible to store low-use items near the floor or above shoulder height, so that you’ve got room to keep all your regular use items easily accessible.

And speaking of storage units, tall, slim cabinets offer a lot of storage capacity for the amount of floor space they take up. A tall cabinet that’s 350x350mm square but almost two metres high can hold a lot of clutter. Think about the way you use (or intend to use) your storage space. You will be able to choose between open shelving, drawer units, or cupboards, and can mix a combination of all three. Open shelving is useful for decorative pieces or daily use items; glass shelving is transparent and light reflective for smaller spaces; and concealed storage in the form of capacious cupboards is perfect to hide away bulky items. Drawer units, meanwhile, make easy work of storing row upon row of small items, which could get lost in a big cupboard, and are easily sub-divisible with baskets or boxes, making it a doddle to locate the precise item you require in seconds.

We’re all used to our bathrooms being ordered and structured places, and it’s interesting to bring in some freestanding bathroom furniture to break the mould. The very freestanding nature of this type of bathroom furniture appeals to many just because a bathroom designed around a freestanding set of furniture looks as though it could be moved round almost on a whim.

In terms of style, freestanding bathroom furniture can be traditional or contemporary, and there are such a range of different looks it would be difficult to list them all here. Suffice to say, whether your look is chunky and minimal, ornate and traditional, or slender and modern, there’s freestanding bathroom furniture out there to suit your tastes. Choose the individual pieces of bathroom furniture that suit both your room’s size and layout and your style preferences.

Always remember that bathroom furniture is flexible: if your lifestyle dictates that two basins are a necessity, then buy two washstands; if you prefer a huge showering area, invest your space there and choose bathroom furniture which fits the space you have remaining. Your bathroom furniture should be chosen to suit your lifestyle, not the other way around.

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