5 Interior Design Tips for Renovating a Bathroom

I recently worked with a client who handed me a list of 50 Decisions for the Guest Bath.  Now, if I were one of my clients I would be completely overwhelmed with a list of 50 decisions. Wouldn’t you be?

So, I’ve pared down the list to five major decisions. I think this is a more accurate and certainly more manageable number.

floor plan, before, after, interior design, planning, renovation

Floor Plan - Before and After

1. Plan and Budget: Create a plan for your dream bath. Now consider what you absolutely cannot live without. To generate ideas, tear your likes and dislikes photos out of magazines and put in a folder. Then consider your budget. How much do you think your new bathroom is going to cost? Now add 20%. Ok, breathe. Now add 20% again. There are cost over-runs on every project. Top-notch licensed plumbers, tilers, electricians and other professionals are expensive and not the place to cut corners. But you can get about a 60% return on an updated bathroom when you sell your home.

2. Function: Who uses the bathroom and how often?  Will you/they soak in a tub or prefer a hot shower?  Where would you like to, for the ladies–put on your make-up and blow dry your hair, and for the guys–shave?  Are other people sharing the bathroom?  Take note, guys and gals, one of my clients said her separate sinks are a marriage saver! Agree. Finally, take into account the age of the people using the bath. If they are older, you will want to consider skipping the tub and just having a walk-in shower. If you have young children, you will need to have a tub available for their baths.

bath, vanity, interior design, renovation, corian, mirror

Bath Vanity

3. Feel: How do you want to feel in your bathroom?  OK, don’t say clean…  That’s a given.  This is about atmosphere.  Do you want to have a relaxing bubble bath at the end of the day? OK, working moms weight in, when was the last time you had a relaxing bubble bath?  Well, it’s nice to dream.  Or a vibrant shower that will wake you up in the morning?  Or a spa feeling–a get away retreat?

4. Keep it Dry and Easy to Clean: Install tile or azek beadboard on the walls. Both are more moisture resistant and easy to towel down. They are also easy to clean. If you must have wallpaper use the vinyl coated kind. Be sure to ask if the wallpaper can handle the steam from the bath and if it is wipeable. High traffic bathroom floors are better with tile or stone, though a powder room floor can be finished in wood if it’s properly sealed. Countertops can be stone or granite as well as tile or laminate. I always recommend a wipeable finish on vanity cabinets if they are in a kid’s bath. Make sure there are plenty of towels available on hooks or towel bars so that you and your guests can stay dry too.

bath, renovation, shower, lighting, interior design, beadboard, skylight

Bath Shower and Lighting

5. Lighting: Make sure to have plenty of lighting – natural, accent and especially task. Be sure you can see your face in the mirror even when daylight is not streaming in. Also, if your husband shaves in the shower, overhead lighting is crucial. I always put lights on dimmers for those middle of the night trips to the bath. Who wants a glaring bulb at 4am?

Still feeling overwhelmed? Give me a call and I can guide you through the process. Renovating a bath is a major project and well worth professional assistance.

I love to hear from you. What does your ideal bathroom look like?


5 Responses to “5 Interior Design Tips for Renovating a Bathroom”

  1. Norbridge Antiques Says:

    You’ve thought of everything. I like the new floor plan too. It’s much more inviting.
    Kind regards,

  2. Rob Jones Says:

    Thanks for this post, Catherine – all excellent points. And the least obvious is the one that can make an impact on all of the others, that being your point about minimizing moisture build up. This is important not only to things like better air quality, but also healthier for the rest of the home, too. Moisture resistance is a key to extending the life of your home.


  3. Relaxed Elegance Redux: A Look at Three of our Top Posts in 2010 « Relaxed Elegance Says:

    […] So, I’ve pared down the list to 5 decisions. For more…. […]

  4. fortunela Says:

    that design looks simple, but still looks elegant..

  5. Relaxed Elegance Redux: A Look at Three of our Top Posts in 2010 Says:

    […] So, I’ve pared down the list to 5 decisions. For more…. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: