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Meet our Bathroom Designer: Lee Watkins

author image Karley Coles Senior Marketing Officer
Meet our Bathroom Designer: Lee Watkins image Meet our Bathroom Designer: Lee Watkins image
August 21st, 2023

In this blog series we invite you to virtually meet our designers, find out more about them & their experiences designing over the years and what you can expect if you visit them for your next bathroom renovation. 


Today we'd like to introduce you to Lee, one of our bathroom designers based in our Bristol Showroom. Lee has worked with us at Gardiner Haskins Interiors for 2 years.


Hi Lee! How did you get into Bathroom Design?

"The earliest inspirations were a love of graphic and product design at school (as well as an obsession with The Sims, making spaces look good and flow well!). I’ve worked as a bathroom designer for the best part of 10 years, having moved across from builders and plumbing merchanting previously. Merchanting gave me a good grounding in the practical side of bathroom design and installation. I moved across to the showroom section of the company, where I honed my skills in customer service and could enjoy my preferred area of work in design.  "

What do you enjoy most about design work?

"I think design is not only about solving problems, but also about doing so in a creative and stylish way. The challenge is always to integrate these two things, while tailoring this to the specific needs of our clients. I enjoy the evolving process of taking a vague set ideas, and refining it into a practical and beautiful final specification."

Any insider tips for someone considering a new bathroom renovation project?

"I always encourage customers to always keep in mind function, alongside form. It is often the case at the very beginning of a project, that high concept Pinterest images and catalogue clippings inspire grandiose impressions of what’s possible. Tailoring early ideas into a practicable reality can be an enjoyable process, with compromise a natural party of the journey.

For instance, a good bathroom design must have adequate answers to key questions such as these: Is the shower/bath/basin unit size proportional to the room without overpowering it? Is it easy to clean? Is there adequate storage? Does the layout allow efficient flow when moving around the room? Does the shower enclosure/bath screen account for likely splash radius when in use? Is the plumbing accessible for maintenance? Are the walls and surfaces sealed and waterproofed? Is there adequate lighting, extraction and charging options for devices? Does the towel rail heat the room adequately?"

What's your favourite bathroom trend for 2023?

"I am enjoying the return of finishes alternative to chrome plating on taps/showers and other fittings. Alongside brushed brass, many traditional and art deco styled bathrooms benefit from a nickel plate for example, or a more industrial look suits a brushed steel or black. Although Bristol is notoriously high maintenance with limescale no matter what finish you choose, better coating and plating processes have brought special finishes in line with the quality, durability and long guarantees traditionally boasted by chrome.  I’m equally fond of furniture and tiling moving into bolder and brighter colours, such as rich greens and teals"

Can you show us some of your previous bathroom design work?

"The design below was a simple and elegant integration of traditional décor furniture with the practicality of fitted units (and traditional style towel radiator from Eastbrook to suit, a feature centred on the window). From the Calypso Chiltern Range in ’Contour Blue Ash’, this furniture range shows the ability of fitted furniture to be specified to an exact size, perfectly spanning the respective WC and Basin Areas of the room while providing generous storage, concealing pipework and providing ever useful worktop surfaces. The design also exhibits a key principle I follow, layout: in this case, all key items are all equally distanced from a central point.  

The specification also includes up to date and practical technology as finishing touches, such as dimmable, colour adjustable ceiling lights, plinth lights under the basin, ambient lighting from the demisting mirror and insulated waterproof flooring: warmer to walk on (easier to install and maintain than underfloor heating under tiles) and easy to clean."

Bathroom Design by Lee Watkins Bathroom Design by Lee Watkins

Finally, why do you think your clients choose Gardiner Haskins Interiors?

"We have a building reputation as a varied, spacious, and well-presented showroom that, unlike online suppliers, allows customers to make informed choices for their bathroom. Customers are able to get a real sense of scale . Many of our customers are recommendations from previous clients, reflecting the growing success of our in-depth and attentive appointment-based model with us designers. We have good working relationships with reputable installers, and we have well adapted processes that takes a project from design, to delivery, to installation, and to any support the customer may require thereafter.  We’re a good team here, and I think the sense of positive, natural and relaxed rapport shows in the confidence and optimism with which we help our customers. "

Would you like Lee to plan, design and project manage your next bathroom renovation?

Contact Us to book your FREE design appointment

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Gardiner and Sons Co Ltd registered address Gardiner Haskins, 1 Straight Street, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0FQ, registered in England.
Company registration number: 00039402 VAT no. GB302974367

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