Get a handle on how to look flush

It might be the smallest room in the house but the loo shouldn’t be ignored, says Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall.

Looking flush at home

There is nothing worse than being in a beautifully decorated room, walking through a door and discovering an area that has not received the same love and attention. It is a story familiar to anyone who has visited a stately home and witnessed the difference between “upstairs” and “downstairs”.

Whilst most of us do not have a similar division of “them” and “us” in their home, the humble WC can often find itself being treated as the poor relation when it comes to décor: despite the cloakroom being an area which most people will visit in your home.

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I feel it is time to declare a true love of our loos and up the ante when it comes to decorating these areas.

Looking flush at home

We should move away from thinking of this as a functional area and treat it as an exceptional space within the home that exists to allow us to indulge in a few inner decorative passions.

Whenever I visit a restaurant I always pop to the loo before ordering to see both if the facilities are spotless and also if the venue has bothered to include them in their decorating budget (demonstrating a total commitment to the restaurant experience).

When designing spaces we pay particular attention to the littlest room, ensuring the magic extends beyond the door. Indeed, we go to great lengths to design a room that actually heightens the visitor experience – an oasis within the home, where the occupant can drink in a pleasurable scheme and take their time, rather than rushing back from a cold and inhospitable environment. Your WC might be small in space, but it can be big on personality!

The WC is the perfect place for wallpaper as it is generally small in size, so you do not need a horrendous amount of rolls – meaning you can afford to be a little more extravagant in your spending. Not only that, but if you finish and decide you do not like the design then it will not cost too much to have another go with a different paper. Paper, rather than paint helps to create a softer, more inviting atmosphere, which is important in small rooms. Opt for something with impact – an oversize pattern, an iridescent background or maybe a holographic design to add extra depth to your walls (Osborne and Little Ponti or Komodo are particular favourites).

Looking flush at home

Extend the walls of your littlest room by including a stylish framed mirror. This not only helps with a feeling of space, but is also a vital help to people visiting your home who want to check their appearance. Lighting needs to be bright enough to ensure people can use the facilities (and see in the mirror) but not harsh – you want to avoid people looking washed out when they check. Use either an opulent overhead pendant or frame the over-basin mirror with a matching pair of wall lights. Any window MUST be dressed – failure to do so will leave any scheme looking unfinished and a little cold.

Windows are likely to be small and you want to maximise light, so create dress blinds or curtains (a window treatment that will not actually draw, but gives the illusion of a full curtain). Dress treatments use much less fabric, so again your budget will probably allow you to make some bolder choices!.