The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in a house. Not only should it be functional, but also aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. On average, bathrooms are renovated every 15 years, so design and plan your needs for that time period. For instance, a young, new homeowner might want a walk-in shower with rain-shower heads and a television in the room; those in their retirement years may opt for a soaker tub with grab bars and built-in ceiling speakers for soft music. As for style, look for clean, simple and modern lines that represent mid-century modern styles. Keep these design ideas and products in mind when making changes to your bathroom.
Bathtub or shower
There’s always a debate about the need for at least one bathtub in every home. Many real estate agents will tell you that every home needs one. But a bathroom is — perhaps more than any other space — the ultimate private retreat, and its design should reflect your personal preference. So although many homes have a tub/shower combo, allowing for choice, I’ve always designed my bathrooms without a tub, as I don’t use one. I prefer to create a large, luxurious shower within the same footprint as a tub; that way the space can easily be fitted with a tub if my needs change in the future.
Vanity or pedestal sinks
In smaller bathrooms, the decision between a pedestal sink or vanity is a catch 22. While a pedestal allows for a more open, spacious looking room, a vanity provides much-needed countertop space and storage. When planning a bathroom renovation, I always suggest incorporating a vanity into a bathroom that will be used daily, regardless of other available storage. Pedestals are perfect for secondary bathrooms, such as guest or powder room baths. Choose one with a larger sink deck for display and use as a countertop. An alternative is a wall-mounted vanity, which offers some exposed storage and countertop space, while keeping the room feeling airy and open. Secret tip: Seek out extra storage by using the four-inch depth between wall studs as space for an extended medicine cabinet.
On-trend bathroom finishes
Although subway tiles are a classic choice for both modern and traditional bathroom walls, new mid-century-inspired tiles are making a splash into the scene. In lieu of wallpaper, tile and drywall, many of the on-trend baths are tiling all the wall space to create the look of a shower room. For flooring, look for larger tiles. In a small bathroom run the tiles across the width of the room to visually enlarge the space. Narrow tiles in a herringbone/chevron pattern also help to widen a room’s appearance. Another trick is to continue your flooring onto the shower floor and up the back wall, thereby drawing the eye through the room, and giving it a longer runway appearance.
Save money, add style in the bathroom
Want to upgrade the look of your bathroom? Here are a few easy decor ideas that keep your bathroom on-trend without the hassle and expense of renovating.
— New shower curtains and towels. Textiles take up some serious real estate in a bathroom; a shower curtain, bathmat and towels offer a big opportunity to add colour or pattern into a room for under $100.
— Luxury vinyl tiles. Not just for the floors, vinyl tiles are an affordable, durable way to cover vertical wall space and create an expensive tiled look, and are also a great alternative to wallpaper.
— New faucets and light fixtures (with homeowner friendly installations). Follow the trends in metallic finishes by purchasing on-trend hardware, lighting and faucets. Look for old brass or matte black metal finishes as solid trends into 2019.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl Lohnes on Facebook or Instagram at Karl Lohnes Designer, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karl has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He appears Thursdays during the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morning Montreal.