Create a Stylish Care or Assisted Living Bathroom

White bathroom with wood accents, inset basins, toilet and free standing bath

Everyone deserves a stylish and comfortable bathroom, regardless of mobility. The good news is, if you’re designing a care bathroom for yourself or someone else - be it for ageing in place, restricted mobility, or assisted living - you have just as much scope to make it stylish as anyone else. The even better news is that some of the most flourishing bathroom trends really lend themselves to your task.

At Tradelink, we keep up to date with the latest in style and the latest in care products. Here are our tips for combining the two to give a stylish look to your care or assisted living bathroom.

Walk-in and open showers are safe and on point

In most cases, care or assisted living bathrooms do away with the bathtub in favour of a more easily accessible shower. Well, recent trends are doing the same thing. Style experts are saying the bigger the shower the better. Specifically, walk-in and open-plan showers are the way to go, which is perfect for people in wheelchairs or who shower with assistance.

One of the biggest considerations for a walk-in shower is the drainage flow. You might be worried about water splashing everywhere and creating a slipping hazard. If your walk-in shower is designed and installed properly with the right slope, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t have enough room to allow for the right slope, you could consider a waste pump, which sucks the water quickly back into the drain.

With your walk-in shower, you could opt for shower screens, curtains or an open wet room design. Rimless glass has been a popular shower screen style for some years; however, it may be harder to see for someone with vision impairment. Try a tinted glass for added visibility and style. Some tinted shower screens even have smart technology to transfer them from transparent to opaque for added privacy with the flick of a switch!

White bathroom with chrome tapware, shower and grab rails

Feature architecture is popular and is a great way to include a shower seat

Architectural features create depth and interest in bathrooms. A ledge in the shower is a perfect example - a spa-like feature that enhances the design and can double as a handy shower seat.

For some, standing in the shower is fatiguing and dizzying, which is why shower seats are an essential bathroom care product.

If your bathroom or bathroom budget lacks space for a built-in shower seat, never fear. You can still choose from a range of stylish folding shower seats. The Opal Support folding shower seat by Caroma is a sleek design that’s available in white, matte black or brushed nickel and white. You could even shop around for a nice waterproof timber bench.

Neutral coloured bathroom with herringbone tile feature walls and white fixtures

Textures and neutral colours add elegance and make it easier to judge space

An all-white, smooth glossy bathroom can be completely disorientating for someone with vision impairment or dementia. Fortunately, that is a bathroom colour that has long since washed away. Popular colours recently are soft and nature-inspired. Think blues, greens and gentle stone colours. These are being enhanced by subtle patterns and textures like ripples or terrazzo.

These hues not only make the space feel safer for people with dementia or reduced vision, but also create a spa-like serenity for everyone else who uses the bathroom.

Feature tiles create zones in open spaces

The 2020s have seen an explosion of new finishes, colours and designs when it comes to bathroom tiles. Beautiful bathroom designs incorporate different tiles to create stunning zones and features. This is absolutely something you can and should do in your stylish care bathroom.

Use a different tile for your shower floor to make it easier to see; or for your toilet area to give that usually bland space a bit more personality. Really spruce up your vanity area by creating a feature wall with beautiful, fun or bold colours and patterns.

One word of advice is to avoid dark contrasting colours on the floor, which may appear like a gaping hole to someone with vision impairment.

Woodgrain bathroom with white toilet and basins and brushed copper tapware and shower

Grab rails have come a long way

Grab rails used to stand out like a sore thumb. These days, they come in a range of colours to blend into your décor. They can also be incorporated into other bathroom accessories, like a grab rail that doubles as a toilet roll, or a grab rail shower set with sliders to adjust the shower head height and flexi hoses for easier reach.

Some grab rails also come with automatic LED lighting that emits a soft easy-to-find glow when the room is dim.

We recommend you consult a trained health professional for the use and positioning of support rails. You may also need to consult a builder about safe installation.

Grey and white bathroom with chrome tapware, shower and grab rails as well as white basin and toilet

Trendy wall-hung toilets and vanities add more than just luxury

This year’s most elegant bathroom designs strive for clean lines and luxury - definitely something that is achieved with wall hung toilets and vanities. An extra benefit? For care bathrooms, they can be hung at the height best suited for you. A lower hung vanity makes the basin easier to reach from a seated position. The toilet can be positioned at a comfortable height that’s easier to sit and stand from, or to suit transitioning from a wheelchair. Wall-hung toilets and vanities also allow extra space for more freedom of movement around them.

Complete your vanity with a high-level mixer tap with lever – something that is easier to reach and manoeuvre. One of our most popular options is the Raymor Care Handle, which comes in chrome, black, and brushed nickel so you can find the look you love.

Neutral coloured bathroom with white toilet and gold tapware, shower and grab rails

Spa-inspired trends add convenience and style

We offer heaps more advice about bathroom products for care or assisted living. Check out our Care Products buying guide, browse our Bathroom Assisted Living range or talk to one of our Tradelink experts online or at your nearest Tradelink showroom.

Once you’ve made sure all your care items are covered, top your stylish bathroom off with some of the latest spa-inspired looks that also work to make life a little easier:

  • Try a stylish storage trolley that can be moved around out of the way or for easier access.
  • See if you can increase natural lighting to break through that institutional feel.
  • Add dimmable lighting for different moods and to suit different users.
  • Further improve lighting by installing stylish wall sconces or backlit mirrors.
  • Hang open shelves or install recessed storage to display your rolled towels and some lush greenery.
  • Really inject your personality by displaying your favourite artworks.

When it all comes together, you’ll love the look, feel and safety of your care or assisted living bathroom – a place for everyone to enjoy.

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