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When it comes to the bathroom, sometimes we sacrifice form in favor of function. Take care of business, get clean, get out. Other times, however, we strive for something more.
Need some ideas for a makeover? Let’s take a look at some design trends in the throne room.
Would you like to make your bathroom a place where you can sink into the tub and escape from the pressures of everyday life?
Keep The Foundation
In order to get this type of look for your renovation, you can start by revitalizing what’s already there.
“Remodelers are keeping the current tub and dressing up all around it with new tile in glass or faux wood,” Wolff says.
This is easier and less expensive than ripping out your existing fixtures and starting from scratch because you don’t have to redo the plumbing. Adding something simple like new tile on the walls or floors surrounding your bathtub can give things a fresh feel or totally transform a style.
To get a spa-like experience, look for a tile that evokes the soothing environment of an actual spa, like this white and gray marble mosaic tile.
For an earthier look, try a natural stone tile on your shower floor or surrounding your bathtub.
If installing new tile is a big enough project to be a no-go for you, there are ways you can transform your bathroom into a spa getaway without any extra elbow grease on your part.
A wooden mat for your shower is ridiculously easy to incorporate into your bathroom decor and immediately adds a calming, natural feel to your daily hygiene routine.
Another easy way to feel pampered? Get yourself a bath sheet. A bath sheet is just like a bath towel, but bigger. Gone are the days of wrapping yourself up in a flimsy, already-soaked towel.
Finish off the look with a beautiful, soothing candle, like this terrarium candle. It’s a two-for-one: you get the warm ambiance of a candle and the natural beauty of a succulent.
- Calacatta Cressa Marble Mosaic Tile $90 per box
- Classic Random Sized Natural Stone Mosaic Tile $62 per box
- Egham Bath Rug $164
- Orchid 100% Cotton Bath Sheet $30
- Terrarium Candle $25
Seats And Storage
Storage can be a challenge in a small space like your bathroom, and seating is often overlooked altogether. These things are not only practical, but can really raise the comfort level and visual appeal of your space.
Think about adding a bench to your shower. Keeping your balance while shaving your legs can be really tricky when you’re half-awake. And, who says showers have to be exclusively about hygiene? Why not take a seat and enjoy a steam bath for a few minutes at the end of a stressful day? A built-in bench also adds a touch of luxury to an otherwise simple space.
This wall-mounted wooden bench, in particular, is beautiful and functional. Close your eyes and you can imagine you’re in a luxury sauna.
Another way to add a special touch that’s also practical is with a niche that’s inset into the shower wall. Replace the rack hanging off the showerhead and stop knocking over the row of shampoos and body washes you keep on the edge of the tub. Give them an intentional storage space with an attractively designed niche, like this one that offers plenty of extra storage space.
Need more storage outside the shower? Update your vanity! This can be another relatively simple upgrade that packs a one-two punch with style and performance. If you’re going for a sleek, modern look, try a wall-mounted version that looks like it’s floating. This can be a great option for a smaller room because it gives the illusion of more floor space. If your taste is more traditional, you can repurpose a dresser by cutting a whole in the top to insert your sink. You could even add a matching armoire to hang bathrobes and store towels.
Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right
Sometimes in the morning the wait for warm water can be agonizing. We turn it up too high hoping the water will get warm faster and then that gives us quite a shock. It seemed like there was no way to win – until now.
Dale Miller, president and chief creative officer of Boca Raton, Florida-based Daring by Design, says that a simple valve adjustment can add to your ability to spoil yourself in the shower.
“A thermostatic valve set in the wall outside the shower enables us to permanently set the exact temperature we prefer and not get wet adjusting it inside the shower,” she says.
Having your tub separated from the shower is a popular upgrade right now for folks who have the necessary space. A separate shower allows for much more freedom for customization (like adding a bench) and more elbow room.
“The opportunity to separate the tub from the shower is timely. A deep soaking tub is a luxurious way to end the day,” Miller says. “The popularity of the ‘rain’ shower head and separate hand shower have come into use.”
Many home buyers expect master bathrooms to have two sinks. Why not go the extra mile and add a second sink to the second bathroom? It’s not just the master bath that has to be shared. Is one user neat and tidy and the other a hoarder of toiletries? Having two sinks, whether they share a large vanity or each have their own, allows for users to maintain their own space. Save time and stress and potential sibling battles with this practical solution.
Try this large double vanity with plenty of storage for multiple users.
- Free-standing Soaking Bathtub $1,240
- Chrome Rain Shower Head $67
- Tahoe 60″ Double Bathroom Vanity Set $3,120
If you think a spa-like bathroom might put you to sleep if you walked in first thing in the morning, there are other options you can try.
Tracy Kay Griffin is the lead designer at Express Homebuyers USA in Springfield, Virginia.
“In more traditional or cottage style homes, 3-by-6 subway tile is the rage, as well as freestanding vanities with shelves instead of cabinets,” Griffin says. “The square sinks and frameless shower doors are popular here, too.”
Let’s unpack that a little bit, starting with the tile.
Subway tile may not give your bathroom the appearance of the New York City underground, but its brick-like appearance will help your bathroom seem more modern and industrial.
Vanities with shelves offer the distinct advantage of being able to see what you’re looking for at a glance without having to open 67 cabinet doors.
A square sink could also help give the bathroom a look that says, “I’m here to get the job done, but I’ll look good doing it.”
Finally, frameless shower doors give the appearance of one surface throughout, rather than transitioning to a metallic frame. It’s a clean look.
The real key to a modern bathroom is modern appliances. This toilet from Toto is a combination toilet and bidet designed for those that are looking for a more hygienic way of cleaning. It has adjustable seat and water temperatures, a warm air dryer and an air deodorizer. It’s even self-cleaning. Before you count that as one less chore on your list though, this option is a bit pricey.
Moving on to the shower, you can take your control to the next level with this system from Moen. You can control the temperature and flow of your shower using your voice, your smartphone or a remote control. With the ability to program personalized presets and connect the device to a virtual assistant, warming up the water is as simple as saying “Alexa, start ‘Morning Shower,’” before hitting the snooze for just a couple more minutes.
Having a little trouble finding space for your lighting? You could let your mirror light the way. Recessed lighting is also good above cabinets and in the shower.
If you’re looking for a groovy accessory for the shower, consider a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker, like this awesome shower head with a speaker built right in, so you can rock out to Bobby Darin while you’re splishing and splashing.
- Proyecto Ceramic Subway Tile $4.19/sq. ft.
- Wyndmoor Single Bathroom Vanity $880
- Ceramic Square Vessel Bathroom Sink $90
- Hinged Frameless Shower Door $660
- Bidet Toilet With Electronic Bidet Seat $1,000
- U By Moen Smart Home Connected Digital Shower Controller $430
- Kirkby LED Coastal Lighted Vanity Mirror $350
- Moxie Shower Head With Wireless Speaker $260
Much of the remodeling mentioned so far has been on a larger budget. If you’re not made of money, it’s amazing what a little bit of paint, accent tile and some color theory can do.
While retiling your floor or bathroom wall may be a bit of an ambitious project, a little bit of accent tile around the baseboards or base of the tub is pretty DIY friendly and the scope is manageable.
Miller describes a popular color palette for today’s consumer.
“Contemporary best describes the most popular look of today,” Miller says, “especially in white and tones of grey as the palette. Adding touches of aqua, beige or yellow add some zing.”
While we’re obviously all about that zing, it may not be the way to go if you’re looking to re-create the relaxing, spa-like feel described earlier. Instead, it may make more sense to go with more muted, natural tones.
- Appaloosa Porcelain Field Tile $6.09/sq. ft.
Finally, don’t worry too much about trends unless you’re getting ready to sell your house. You’re the one who has to live with the bathroom, so it’s sensible to decorate to your taste.
If you could do anything to upgrade your bathroom, what would it be? Let us know in the comments.
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