Our bathrooms are typically the smallest room in our homes. But when it comes to bathroom remodels, the related decisions can feel oversized. Bathroom design choices are endless—from ceiling to floor, toilet to tub, and everything in between. Ready to make some great decisions? Check out these top 10 pro tips:
If you’re thinking less “facelift” and more “complete overhaul,” plan your new layout carefully so your toilet doesn’t end up being the focal point. Also, leave plenty of room around each fixture so you can comfortably use them, and make sure the door has sufficient space to swing open and closed. Finally, keep in mind that dramatic layout changes, such as putting the shower in a completely different spot, may require additional plumbing work.
In the bathroom, color is a matter of both form and function. It’s important that you love the look of your walls and accessories, obviously. But it’s just as important to consider how color influences how large (or small) the room feels and how flattering (or not) it is to your skin tone. Unless you have loads of natural light in your bathroom, avoid very dark colors. And if your bathroom walls are tiled, freshen up the room by painting the ceiling a complementary shade.
If you have a square-footage-hogging bathtub, consider removing it—particularly in a master bathroom. If you’re a professional soaker who can’t stand the idea of being tub-free, look for a free-standing model with a minimalist design.
For small spaces, nothing beats a glass shower. Sure, you’ll have a little less privacy than you would with an opaque door or rubber ducky shower curtain, but glass doors offer the illusion of space. Inside the shower, design pros recommend a sleek, polished look. Natural stone wall surrounds provide a seamless look while protecting against mold and mildew. And finally, take time to consider the latest perks in shower innovation from modern showerheads to body sprayers.
FINISHES AND FIXTURES
Vintage-style fixtures are all the rage, according to design experts, but that’s not the same thing as leaving original fixtures in your 1960s-era bathroom. Hard water, mold and mildew can build up in these older elements, causing expensive trouble down the road. That said, old is the new… well, new, so if you’re inclined, look for fixtures that call to mind a simpler era. A vintage soapstone sink or glass door knobs can become a fun focal point in a modern bathroom. If you don’t love the vintage vibe, simply choose a finish you love. There’s no “right” answer here—as long as the finish is compatible across all elements in the bathroom.
When it comes to bathroom flooring, pros agree: Tile is the way to go. That said, if your heart is set on hardwood, not all is lost. Today’s luxury vinyl flooring is available in planks that look just like the real thing. And if your budget won’t accommodate a high-end ceramic tile, luxury ceramic-look vinyl can fool even the most astute eye. Plus, it’s made to last. Modern vinyl tiles and planks are durable, water resistant, and gorgeous. Beyond that, the design mantra is “you do you.” Just be sure to take into consideration the transition points between the hallway or bedroom and bathroom.
Bathroom lighting is a critical element of design. Choose warm, bright lights with a high color rendering index, and layer your lighting to avoid shadows in the mirror and to create visual interest.
VANITIES AND COUNTERTOPS
When it comes to bathroom vanities, you’ll have to think like Goldilocks: not too big, not too small, but just right. While large vanities offer loads of storage, they easily overpower smaller bathrooms and make it difficult for multiple people to move around in the space. On the other hand, minimalist designs may leave you with no place to put your toothbrush, unless you have other storage available.
What works for one homeowner doesn’t always work for another. Professional designers believe in getting to know their clients by asking about their needs and their wants. Families with young children might want to consider safety features that empty nesters don’t need. And aging empty nesters might be interested in safety features that will allow them to remain independent for many years to come. Look for options that can be seamlessly integrated into your bathroom’s design.
Don’t be afraid to add visual interest to your bathroom with large prints, fun decorative items, or unique textiles. Window treatments, for example, are good for privacy and light control, but they can be beautiful (or fun!), too. A thick, wood frame around the bathroom mirror can make your vanity look like of a piece of elegant furniture, and give your bathroom a more finished appearance. Round out your remodel with personal touches to create your long-awaited retreat.