Real Living editor Elle Lovelock shares her tips on finding inspiration and creating moodboards to bring your bathroom vision to life.
We invited Elle Lovelock of Real Living to join us for the Reece Bathroom Renovation Masterclass earlier this year. If you’re starting out on your new bathroom journey, Elle had some great advice and insider tips on how to find inspiration and the benefits of creating a mood tray to establish your style and map out your bathroom vision.
Firstly, congratulations on deciding to create a new bathroom. If you need some help navigating the next steps, these tips are for you.
Inspiration can strike in the most unusual places – magazines, Instagram feeds, Pinterest, artwork that catches your eye, colours, textures, treatments — collect anything that speaks to you. Bathroom images, fashion photography, or an attractive landscape pic could all capture your imagination. Collect everything, in both hard copy and digital formats if possible.
This step might take you a few hours, or be an ongoing project for a few months. What’s important is to stick to any timelines and keep your project on track.
Before you start choosing product and décor styles, colour palettes and materials, or brief a designer or builder, it’s important to consolidate your inspiration and draw your conclusions. This way, you can see what works well together, and what appeals most to you, before you lock in any decisions for your bathroom.
Lay out all your visual references and see where themes are starting to appear. This might take the form of a mood board. You might realise that you have a lot of brass finishes, or that you thought you wanted a white bathroom but you’re seeing a lot of light grey or pastel green in your images. By making a list of the themes that become apparent, you will discover where your true style interests lie.
Instead of a mood board, Elle suggests a mood tray can be just as effective when it comes to selecting more tactile elements of a room. A physical tray allows you to play with fixtures, fittings, hardware options and solid finishes like tiles and vanity tops. Not only is it a great tool for deciding on the final outcome, you can also move it from room to room to see how different finishes capture the light and how they look and feel at different times of day.
To keep track of multiple samples, swatches and surfaces, Elle recommends compiling a mood book — a simple folder with plastic sleeves that allows you to keep all of your samples in one place. Remember to bring it with you to showrooms so that you can compare different products on the spot.
Most companies will let you buy sample swatches and finishes for a couple of dollars, if not for free, so be prepared to invest in them! It will literally save you thousands of dollars in the long run, as well as time and effort.
As Editor of Real Living, Elle has seen some great bathrooms, and heard about all the pitfalls. Here are her final tips to keep your project on track: