February 28, 2013

Bathroom Design Dilemma – How to Fix

Ok so you’ve got to the point of figuring your bathroom needs some love and brought more up to date.  Where to start???

Ask yourself the following (‘cos this is pretty much what we will be asking you) …

1. Do I want to change everything about the existing bathroom (one extreme) or are there just a few smaller elements that I’m not crazy about (the other extreme)?  The former means a complete gut of the room usually back to the studs just to ensure everything is done right when it is remodelled.  The latter could mean something as simple as new hardware, or a new vanity & backsplash.  When you get a bit more involved it could entail replacing vinyl flooring with tile or replacing an acrylic shower stall.  Basically figure out in your mind what you see the full scope of work being.

2. What style am I aiming for?  Do you see yourself leaning towards traditional, or modern, or contemporary, or rustic, or eclectic or really no idea and just needing guidance? If you are just changing a few elements then you are largely confined to the style of the remaining features … so if the vanity is staying as well as the tile and both are very traditional then likely traditional is the way it will remain.  If the room is being completed gutted so that you can start over, then you have all sorts of options.  You can stick to the same style as the remainder of the house especially if it has been recently renovated or you have plans for adjoining rooms that are already determined, or you can create your own little oasis with that ‘spa feel’.  This is especially true if it is a master on-suite and so separate from the rest of the house.

3. Have I considered how I am going to finance this and how much I am comfortable spending?  It is one thing to have a wish list of upgrades with all the ‘bells & whistles’, but that can significantly increase the budget.

4. What would I consider must have features?  For example, this may include a separate shower stall, a soaker tub, a new one piece toilet, extra storage / new vanity, and improved lighting.

5. What items are on my wish list if the budget will stretch that far?  These may include in-floor radiant heating, tiled tub surround, custom glass shower door/screen, mosaic tile feature wall, higher-end faucets, rainfall shower head, twin sinks, stone tile on floor, etc etc.  Now for everyone this will be different … for some they will have more on the ‘must have’ list and for others the requirements may be very simple, especially if perhaps it is a rental property or being done on a tighter budget.

6. What do I like?  Regardless of who you decide to use or whether you are doing the work yourself, allocate time to look at other designs that inspire you whether that be in magazines, on HGTV, via Houzz.com, at retail stores, asking friends … the source does not matter as long as you compile some ideas/images that appeal to you in some shape or form.

7. Is there any one single element that I absolutely love and have to have in the new bathroom?  There may be a particular mosaic tile that you have decided must be used somehow somewhere.  It could be a vanity that you fell in love with as soon as you saw it. You may have decided that a wall hung toilet is one thing you want for sure.

8. What colours, tones, or textures would I like to see included?  Bearing in mind that the lighting may totally change (i.e. don’t focus on how dark the existing bathroom may be) is there a particular colour pallet that you prefer?

9. Are there any materials, colours, textures that I hate or certainly do not want to see anywhere in the new room? For example, some people love natural stone and wood with it’s somewhat random pattern … others dislike this and want a more consistent product.

10. Do I have a particular layout in mind for practicality, aesthetic or other reasons?  Are there mobility / ADA considerations to be taken in to account?  For example; do we need turning space for a wheel chair, or a bath tub suitable for bathing infants, or the tub located under a skylight so we can watch the stars while soaking in bubbles.

With all these questions at least given some thought in advance we can assist you more effectively in formulating a plan & determining a realistic budget.  One last tip for now would be to consider that elements such as tile and a vanity cannot be easily changed … so unless you are naturally bold with colour stick with something more neutral (which does not mean boring) and add punches of colour with easily changed items such as towels, candles, etc.