Describe your ideal “bathroom” and the word “functional” will probably come to mind. After all, few other spaces in the house serve so many different purposes. One moment it’s a bath-time playpen for the kids, full of toys, bubbles, and noise, and the next it’s a candle-lit, jazz-infused meditation retreat, perfect for some downtime once the kiddos have gone to bed.
But, there is more opportunity to maximize your bathroom’s functionality than you might expect. Sure, throwing some cubbies under the counter and buying a drawer divider helps organize the space, but trust us when we say there is yet-untapped potential to for your bathroom to serve your family’s needs even better.
So, how do you make this Swiss-army-knife of a room even more functional? Listed below are 8 ideas that will help you do just that. Some are more involved than others, but each one adds an element of practicality and usability to your home.
1. Bye-bye bathtub
The idea: Consider replacing your bathtub with a tub-to-shower conversion. Over 60% of homeowners prefer a shower to a traditional tub, and for good reason. On average, this uber-functional improvement adds 5 square feet of usable space to your family’s bathroom and offers a much more practical bathing option.
Though more involved than some other ideas listed here, partnering with an experienced professional for the installation will make this upgrade as enjoyable as it is functional.
Added bonus: For seniors and individuals with limited mobility, replacing your bathtub with a low-threshold shower makes the bathroom dramatically more accessible.
2. More maneuverable
The idea: Adding grab bars to your new or existing bathroom goes a long way to making your bathroom more functional and welcoming. Slips and falls are downright dangerous, and family members young and old will benefit from this small but mighty safety measure. And forget the cold, medical device-like bars of yesteryear. Modern grab bars are beautiful in their own right, perfectly complementing your bathroom’s aesthetic.
Few bathroom improvements are as simple, beautiful, and functional as a new grab bar.
Added bonus: Recent data shows mobility-friendly bathrooms are prized by home buyers, and can drive up your home’s value more than almost any other upgrade.
3. Clever convenience
The idea: Mirrored medicine cabinets are a highly functional, dual-purpose solution for keeping bathroom essentials out of sight and out of mind. These mirror/cabinet combinations not only add beauty and depth to your bathroom, but they offer lots of extra storage where you need it most.
A variety of modern and classic mirror styles, offered in a hinge or sliding designs mean there is a model to complement any aesthetic.
Added bonus: For families with young children, mirrored medicine cabinets help keep toiletries and medicines tucked away from curious hands.
4. Light upgrades
The idea: Upgrading your bathroom’s light fixtures is an often overlooked yet powerful way to make the room more functional. Poorly lit bathrooms feel small and cold, and can make everyday chores like makeup and hygiene more time-consuming. Installing new vanity, hanging, or sconce lighting will make the space feel bigger and more inviting, and help minimize the amount of time you spend on mundane tasks.
As you might expect, there is a seemingly endless variety of light fixture designs, which means your lighting upgrade can be as beautiful as it is functional.
Added bonus: Not only is a new light fixture one of the most immediately rewarding bathroom improvements you can make, it’s among the most affordable.
5. Fashionably functional
The idea: Adding new towel hooks is a simple, affordable, and totally functional upgrade to your bathroom’s look. Modern bathroom designs continue to blend aesthetics and practicality, and these handy accessories are no exception. A variety of materials, colors, and finishes make for an impressive finished product, even to the most discerning homeowner.
When it comes to minimally invasive but totally practical bathroom upgrades, it can be hard to beat towel hooks.
Added bonus: Simply having a place to hang wet towels, as opposed to leaving them in a pile on the floor or hanging off of doorways, can instantly transform how your bathroom feels day-to-day.
6. Splendid storage
The idea: Installing a new vanity instantly improves the storage capacity and usability of your bathroom. By keeping towels, toiletries, and all other daily essentials neatly organized and tucked away, your bathroom takes on a spacious, tidy appearance. Another fantastic function of a new vanity is the additional counter space they offer. Especially in smaller or shared bathrooms, having a just a couple extra square feet of room for daily makeup and hygiene routines makes all the difference in the world.
Not sure which vanity is right for your space? Speak with an experienced designer for some professional input.
Added bonus: As the homeowner, installing a new vanity is a chance for you to show off your personal sense of style. A plethora of wood colors, cabinet designs, and granite or marble countertop options make this upgrade truly personal.
7. Practical repurposing
The idea: Recycling old furniture for new purposes around the house is a great way to minimize the financial and economical cost of upgrading your bathroom. Old dressers and nightstands are great for towel and toiletry storage, and often just require some sandpaper, paint, and elbow grease. If you don’t have a spare chest of drawers laying around, a quick search of local classifieds is sure to reveal a plethora or low cost and free choices.
Added bonus: Repurposing old or spare furniture for bathroom use means you’re likely not concerned with keeping it in original condition, so you’re free to try all sorts of paint and stain options until you find something you love.
8. Handy accessories
The idea: Last but certainly not least on our list of functional bathroom upgrade ideas are a few clever and completely practical accessories for your shower. Built-in benches, caddies, and shelving make bathing more convenient and enjoyable. While disposable plastic caddies and shower seats are common in family bathrooms, these premanufactured stone and wood pieces offer a permanent and secure solution to storage and seating in the shower.
We’d say minimizing clutter while improving the overall appearance of the bathroom is a win-win for any homeowner.
Added bonus: Built-in benches, shower caddies, and shelving can blend perfectly into your bathroom’s existing design, and don’t necessarily require a new shower unit.
Making your bathroom more functional should be as enjoyable as it is practical. The Re-Bath Process is designed to do exactly that. We start by pairing you with an experienced design professional to guide you through the entire remodel process, and to make sure you’ll love the finished result for many years to come.
For more information on any of the functional upgrade ideas discussed here, or to find out about what’s involved in building your dream bathroom, contact us today!