The year of the bathroom
We will remember 2020 for a lot of reasons, and that is not an exaggeration, but one of the other things we’ve noticed about this year is that everyone wants to remodel their bathrooms! We can’t blame you, being stuck at home and not able to spend money on travel has us thinking about how we can update our homes too!
So while bathrooms are on our minds, we thought we’d give you some insight into planning a bathroom remodel. Our philosophy with a big remodel like a bathroom or a kitchen is do it once and do it right so that it will last you for years to come. From the floor plan to the individual selections, each piece is important to the bathroom in design and flow. So let’s dive into the process.
The Floor Plan
Some master bathrooms have ample space to fit in everything we want, in others, its a puzzle to maximize storage while staying within code. We usually try to keep the toilet in the same location if we can help it. Not having to relocate the waste pipe will help your construction budget. From there, we think about the shower and the vanity. Sometimes its a decision between an expansive shower and double sinks. Personally, I will choose two sinks over a larger shower. Mama needs space for her skincare products!
When drawing the shower, it’s important to consider the shower enclosure. Do you want a half wall to let in more light? Are you going to do a glass door or a shower curtain? Will you have a niche for your shampoo bottles or a shelf?
If you have the room, adding a large soaking bathtub will make the room so luxurious. There nothing quite like a hot bath with a glass of wine to wash away a stressful day.
Pick Your Tile
Once we know what our floor plan will look like, its time to head into the design. In a bathroom, you need a floor tile, a shower floor tile, a shower wall tile, a shower ceiling tile, and a backsplash tile. One of the designs we do often is to keep our floor and shower tiles somewhat coordinating and monochromatic but vary the size and scale of the tiles to create an interesting look. This makes the room feel larger because your eye sees a continuation in the colors. That’s not to say that is always the way to go. There are so many options when it comes to tile!
The backsplash is a great place to make an impact in the room. Here is where you can splurge a little because you don’t need a ton of it, and you can add in some color or something fun! This is where we find a lot of people want to use subway tile, and if we’re totally honest, we’re so bored with subway tile. That will be a trend that people look back on in a decade or so and say “wow that is so early 2000s!” If you really love it, go for it, but don’t hop on that trend just because its a trend. There are so many fun things you can do with tile!
So now you have your tiles picked out – you choose those first because there is a finite amount of tile to choose from, but your cabinet finish can be tweaked in any direction to coordinate with them – now its time to draw your cabinetry. Cabinet elevations determine the amount of storage, how it will be distributed – doors vs. drawers – the door style, and the cabinet finish. You can make your cabinets more interesting with a unique door front or a fun cabinet finish.
You’ve heard us mention that we think lighting is the jewelry of a room, and the bathroom is no exception. Lighting is especially important in the bathroom where you will be getting dressed, shaving, putting on makeup, and so on. It’s important to put a lot of lighting near the mirrors in the form of wall sconces and recessed lighting. But the other place we LOVE to put a decorative fixture is over a bathtub. This is the place for a gorgeous chandelier.
Please, please, please don’t just use a plain mirror or the one that comes with your vanity. This is a place to add personality with a gorgeous frame. There are so many unique mirrors to choose from that still give you plenty of functional space (the actual mirror), while being a unique shape or featuring a funky frame. Show off your personality here!
Let’s talk about plumbing fixtures. We know you can buy a lot of the brands we sell at big box stores, and clients often fight us on “why is it more expensive from you?” So here is why and we will let you do with this what you will. The insides of the fixtures you buy from a big box store are not the same as the insides of a fixture you buy from a specialty plumbing store. Often they look exactly the same, but the insides are plastic instead of metal which will not last as long. We aren’t saying you should never buy anything from the big box store, but you should know that manufacturers often produce less expensive items for them by cutting corners, and you get what you pay for.
Paint or Wallpaper
The last thing we pick in any room is paint. There are infinite paint colors to choose from. If we’re thinking wallpaper, it will happen a little earlier in the design process since there are far fewer papers to choose from. In a bathroom, we would probably choose wallpaper back when we were selecting tiles. When it comes to the paint in the bathroom, we are very picky about which paint we use. Our number one choice is Benjamin Moore Aura paint – it is mildew resistant which is so important in the bathroom. For Sherwin Williams, the Emerald paint line is the go-to equivalent.
We always at least recommend radiant floor heating. This is a luxury, we know, but can we just tell you how wonderful it is to walk out of your shower and step onto a warm tile. Not to mention because warm air rises, radiant floor heating is incredibly efficient. Another luxury that our clients often splurge for is a towel warmer. This can both warm your room and keep those towels with the fresh out of the dryer feeling.
The very last thing we pick in a bathroom renovation is the accessories. These details are chosen last, but that does not mean they are unimportant. Cabinet hardware, towel bars, robe hooks, towel rings, towels, art – the finally 10% that make a huge impact on the space. This is where you can go a little trendier without being afraid because you can always swap out these details in the future when you tire of them. We love bold cabinet hardware and fun bathroom art!