Get that sinking feeling with these awesome painted basins

Steve Irish
Hand-painted “Yasmin” basin, £760,

When redesigning the average London bathroom, the first, second and third considerations will be space, space and space. This is even more of a consideration if you’re installing a second or third bathroom to bump up the value of your house prior to selling it; according to property management company Move With Us, an extra porcelain throne could add as much as six per cent to your property value.

But just because you’re thinking small doesn’t mean you have to think boring. There are ways to make a bijou space go a long way, while still allowing your personality to shine through.

One of these is colour. Thanks to the pastel-pink and olive-green bathroom suites of the 1970s and 80s, there is a generation of homeowners with a chronic phobia of coloured sinks. But if you can get over that, there are a host of companies offering classy, high-quality bathroomware with intricate hand-painted or hand-crafted designs.

Moroccan-style basins, £270,

“Small bathrooms lend themselves brilliantly to colour,” says Anna Callis, founder of the London Basin Company. “It can be a jewel box; highly decorative. I’d consider one or two ‘design focus’ pieces like one of our richly decorated basins and some beautiful taps.”

Many of the designs featured on these pages are travel inspired; while the British have been brought up on the austere bathroom legacy of Armitage Shanks (the world-famous “sanitary engineering company”, founded in 1817, best known for its whiter-than-white sinks and urinals), other cultures have long-embraced more interesting bathrooms. Moroccan designs are seeing a resurgence, with their intricate, repeating patterns lending themselves well to small, deep basins perfect for squeezing into small spaces.

Asian designs are also increasingly popular, adding a splash – no pun intended – of rich, sumptuous colour to a room with their vibrant floral patterns. If you’re after something altogether more extravagant, consider looking to Mexico for inspiration, where bold patterns in bright primary colours will ensure your ensuite is a talking point for anyone lucky enough to use it.

Hand-painted basin, £760,

If these designs all seem a little outre, you could try a small stained-glass sink, which will add a more subtle design flourish to your outhouse. More commonly seen in the hospitality industry, the footprint of these units (pictured above left) tend to be far smaller than regular free-standing sinks, so they’re ideal for smaller rooms and guest bathrooms. Now all you need to do is decide what you’re going to do with that boring old white toilet you have sitting next to your wonderful, multi-coloured sink...

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