Aug 31, 2021, Inspiration

‘How to’ design #MySanctuary with TileStyle’s Emma Louise Hood

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is how important self-care and finding that all important me time is. The pressures of home-schooling, forced remote working and spending prolonged periods indoors have added to the strains of everyday life. The bathroom has become a place where we go to reboot and relax - a home sanctuary.  

With so many of us having more time and budget to complete home improvements projects, we’ve asked three interior designers to share their top design tips on how to build your perfect bathroom sanctuary at home.

In our second Design MySanctuary Q&A, we spoke with TileStyle Interior Designer, Emma-Louise Hood.

Meet the designer:

Name Emma-Louise Hood

Follow me on: Instagram Emma-louise_tilestyle

Design Experience 20 years

What would you say is your typical style and design ethos? I would say that my typical style is classic contemporary – a fusion of timeless elegance and modern, simple lines. I like to approach my bathroom projects with the client at the centre. Start by considering how the bathroom will be used and who will be using it. This includes understanding whether it is a family bathroom or an en-suite, the age of the users and their individual preferences. This information is vital to ensure the bathroom style is both practical and pretty, catering to the needs of all users.

Favourite Arysto Colour finish: Brushed Stainless Steel

Arysto Colour Brushed Stainless Steel


Over the last year in particular, the bathroom has become a personal space where we can go to unwind and relax and get some much needed ‘me-time’. Which key design trends or themes can help inspire people looking to create their own personal spa and home sanctuary?

Biophilic design is one of the key interior trends that can help inspire people looking to create a calm and relaxing bathroom environment. Biophilic design is centered around the need for increased human exposure to the natural world, which can be achieved through adding greenery and natural materials to the built environment and interior spaces.

There are many benefits to adding biophilic design to your bathroom – it can support cognitive function, while boosting physical health, and psychological well-being.

Add a touch of biophilia inspiration to your bathroom by incorporating leafy green plants and general foliage such as Succulents, Peace Lilies and Spider plants. For more subtle touches, introducing natural materials such as wood around a vanity area or a wood-effect tile in the shower enclosure will bring texture to the room and in turn, create a calming space.

Maximise the bathroom’s potential as a nurturing space by including sensory details through the use of different textures and tactile surfaces. These elements add depth to a space, providing the guest with a cosy feeling that is closer to nature. Play with contrasting wood and marble flooring textures, cork, rattan and bamboo accessories, and ribbed or 3D effect tiling in greens, browns and greys to create the perfect outdoors-in atmosphere.

What are your top three tips you would give homeowners looking to achieve the luxurious cleansing look at home?

Less clutter, more zen! Storage is a great and subtle way to give a home that luxurious feel. Eliminating clutter from your surroundings will instantly leave you feeling more relaxed. The use of storage units that blend in with the room’s design scheme can hide unnecessary items from display whilst adding to the interior aesthetic.

Lighting that’s fit for purpose. The lighting requirements of each room will vary depending on its purpose and general usage. Bathrooms should invigorate you in the morning, so select a bulb or dimmer switch for brighter light in the morning and warmer, softer light in the evening.

Take a leaf out of nature. The inclusion of foliage in a room instantly injects a sense of calm and stimulates our senses. Plants are a cost-effective and relatively instant way to incorporate nature into your space, no matter the size, emulating the spa-like experience we seek at home.

What advice would you give to homeowners looking to transform their own bathroom into a home sanctuary?

It might sound obvious, but I would advise homeowners to start by thinking about how they are going to use the space and what they’re hoping to achieve. Think about what currently works and what doesn’t and use this to create a wish list. From here it will be much easier to develop the design scheme and ensure that everyone’s needs are covered.

The mood that you are looking to create will inform your colour palette and decor choices. For a subtle, minimalist look, soft tones like brushed stainless steel or brushed brass fixtures and showers can really work with a soft palette of colours for the walls. If you want a more striking finish with a bold focal point, then matt black shower frames and fixtures can achieve this with warmer tones of grey against the crisp white of the ceramics.

When designing a home sanctuary, storage is a must! Entering a calm, tidy space will instantly help the user to relax. Declutter the bathroom and hide cleaning products and spare toilet rolls by maximizing wall space with shelving, or vanity units that wrap around the pedestal.

Who inspires you at the moment? Are there any ‘platforms/social handles’ you love and recommend budding designers to follow?

There are so many inspiring interior architects and designers out there at the moment, too many to mention! I think Instagram is a fantastic source of inspiration for bathroom design and all things home, and of course Pinterest. Follow @TileStyle_Dublin on Pinterest for the latest bathroom design trends and inspiration.

Looking for some more design inspiration? Check out the previous post in this series:

How to design your own home sanctuary – with Swedish Interior Designer, Mia Horton.

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