Keep these design tips and ideas in mind as you plan your dream bathroom. Discover the best layouts, the spa-like features to add, and the color palette that will soothe you after a long day.
Even the dreamiest bathroom has to deal with plumbing drains, water lines, and vent stacks. Bathroom floor plans generally fall into one-, two- or three-wet-wall layouts. A one-wall layout lines up the sink, toilet, and shower along one wall as in this bathroom. It’s the most cost-effective design, but it’s also the most limiting.
A two-wall layout gives you more flexibility. The sink and toilet can be plumbed on one wall and the tub and shower on the other. The three-wall layout is the most versatile and also the most complicated and expensive. Working with a certified bathroom designer or architect can help you avoid costly mistakes and make the best use of space.
Integral bathroom sinks (one piece with the vanity counter) and undermount bathroomsinks make it easy to wipe messes from the counter into the sink. Self-rimming bathroomsinks, on the other hand, are the most economical and the easiest to install, but the perimeter lip can collect grime.
The most critical area for bathroom lighting is the mirror. Ideally you should have wall-mount lights at each side of the mirror at about eye level, with a third light above the mirror. This arrangement illuminates your face from both sides and above, eliminating shadows.
Bathtubs are the natural focal point of a bathroom and have a powerful impact on the decorating style. Freestanding bathtubs may rest on claw-and-ball feet or a pedestal base (like this one) or they may be streamlined and straight-sided like a piece of sculpture.
Luxury showers replicate the spa-resort experience in a dream bathroom. Plan on a variety of spray heads. Ceiling-mounted rain shower showerheads soak you from above, while body sprays create a crisscross pattern for a water massage. Handheld showerheads allow you to direct the spray for washing your hair, rinsing off, or even cleaning out the shower stall.
As with kitchen cabinets, you can purchase bathroom cabinets in stock units or with semicustom options, or you can have them custom-designed and built. Stock cabinets are typically least expensive and custom the most expensive, with price ranges for each depending on the material, construction, finish, and accessories.
Color has the power to energize and to soothe, to wake you up and calm you down. Consider the mood you want to evoke before selecting your palette of materials. As you develop your bathroom color scheme, remember that color comes from more than wall paint and fabric. The hues in the cabinetry wood and in the stone or tile you choose for floors and walls play a major role in creating an overall color personality. Even the sink and tub contribute to the bathroom color scheme, whether they’re made of white porcelain, dyed concrete, or stone.