Online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum recognises that when it comes to designing your home, making it suitable for a range of mobility issues is a priority for thousands of households.

People can live with a wide spectrum of mobility issues making everyday tasks and the ability to move around the home more challenging – particularly in older age.

Trying to strike a balance between functionality and style is key to any bathroom design, but even more so when buying a bathroom for an elderly relative who is living independently.

Maintaining independence is extremely important and when it comes to the bathroom there are a wide choice of adaptations that can be made that vary from quick fixes to more complex renovations.

Whether you’re looking to adapt for ease of mobility, better access or want to future-proof for your senior years, an accessible bathroom could be just what you need.

Ruth Foster, interior designer at Victoria Plum shares some practical advice and her top design tips for creating an accessible and modern bathroom that is both functional and stylish for independent living.

Ruth says: “When people hear the term ‘accessible bathroom’ it conjures up images of sterile rooms with clunky obtrusive items, that wouldn’t look out of place in a hospital – a distant cry from the beautiful space you’d envisaged for your home.

“However, it is possible to get the contemporary bathroom that you want and have it meet your accessibility needs at the same time.”


Simple modifications

“An accessible bathroom can be fully customisable with as much or as little as you need. Trying to strike a balance between functionality and style is key to any bathroom design, but even more so when buying a bathroom for someone with a disability or an elderly relative who is living independently.

“Day to day independent living can be hugely impacted by the addition of items such as walk-in baths, grab rails and bath and shower seats.

“Advanced toilets are also an easy adaptation, with comfort height settings and built in personal hygiene jets and dryers. Opt for an electronic bidet toilet with a control panel, automatic flush and seat opening and closing mechanism.

“A walk-in shower bath or shower enclosure with large easy to use controls are ideal for those with visual impairment or hand mobility restrictions. Wet rooms are especially accessible for wheelchair users and those with impaired vision. With no steps or shower trays to worry about, trip hazards can be greatly reduced for those less steady on their feet.

“Consider lowering your shelving so that accessories can be reached more easily and angle your mirrors lower too. A pivot mirror is great for shared spaces as it can be tilted to the perfect angle as required.

Minimalist greys

“Minimalist design continues to lead the way when it comes to choosing an on-trend look for the bathroom with a colour palette of greys and earthy tones.

“This trend works well for an accessible bathroom as it is simple and uncluttered.  Adding patterned tiled and textured floors or walls can make a lovely feature and can help to identify zones in the bathroom for visually impaired users.

“Sleek and sturdy chrome grab rails will help you move around with ease while a folding shower seat is ideal if you find standing for an extended period a strain.

Bold, blue and easy to use

“A splash of colour can be most welcome in the bathroom, and you can create some real impact by painting walls rather than tiling everywhere.

“Shower wall panels are fast becoming a popular for accessible bathrooms as they are easy to install and clean with no grout lines where mould can develop. Use them around key splash zones to create contrast.

“If a full wet room is beyond your budget, then a walk-in shower enclosure will still give you easy access to your shower.

“At just 40mm in height walk-in shower trays are ultra-low meaning stepping in and out takes no effort at all. Choose an anti-slip tray and matt for extra safety.”


Black framed and beautiful

“Black framed shower screens are a huge trend in bathrooms right now giving a nod to industrial style interiors, whilst metro tiles are an enduring popular option.

“If climbing in and out of your bath is a chore a large black framed shower is the ideal alternative. Marble effect shower panels will help bring a luxury feel to the décor and are cost-effective to install. Black accents in the form of taps, shower, fold down seat and grab rail provide a super stylish look.

“Break up the space with a feature wall around the basin – again this can help with identifying the different zones in the bathroom.

“A lowered mirror and wall mounted single handed mixer tap will make using the sink area easier while a fold away grab rail for the toilet will retain the aesthetic of the room as well as providing extra support if needed.”

For more independent living design inspiration visit  where you can download a free look book.