Call it what you will; the loo, the lavatory, the water closet or the “salle de bain”. The bathroom has evolved over the last few years from being a utilitarian, practical space into a highly functional sanctuary of peace and relaxation.
If you’re considering a bathroom renovation, the options available are astounding. And if your budget allows it, the luxury of a sumptuous soaker tub, rain shower, granite or marble tiles, infinity drains, and sleek modern faucets are a must. But you can achieve a remarkable makeover on a smaller budget too by focusing on lighting, simple decorative touches, attractive furniture pieces, and designer storage solutions. It’s no longer simply a bathroom; “it’s a living space now.” says interior designer, Lisa Worth of Worth Interior Design. “We’re taking a lot of technology into these spaces, and on top of that, we’re looking at interesting ways to mix it up – making it look like a living space, and not so boring.”
Decorative lighting has a place in all areas of the home, including the bathroom. “Bathrooms are all about lighting,” says Worth. “I’m working on a project right now where we’re incorporating LED lighting into the mirrors.” She notes that while LED lighting is still pricey, its becoming much more available to the general consumer. “Years ago, everyone made the mistake of doing pot lights over the vanity, which creates unwanted shadows,” Worth states. Adding good lighting around the mirror helps improve the colour rendering index so that colours appear more natural. Decorative pendants can also transform the space. Whatever you do, don’t neglect the lighting. “You can design the most beautiful bathroom but if your lighting around your vanity is poor, it’s weak.”
Tips for a Custom Bathroom Makeover
1. Do you want his and hers areas, or one sink and a designated vanity/makeup area?
2. Optimal lighting is essential to the look of the room (and your complexion). Use bright lighting for the vanity area and accent lights elsewhere with a dimmer function.
3. Anticipate your storage needs. Use a mixture of hidden storage for toiletries and custom bookshelves to show more decorative items.
4. Include heated towel bars, heated floors, dual showerheads, body jets or an overhead shower.
5. Consider built-in media in the bathroom, like an LCD monitor hidden behind a high-tech mirror, a hardwired sound system, or an area for a Bluetooth speaker to fi ll the room with music.
6. Hang beautiful draperies in the bathroom.
7. Get ideas from magazines or on Pinterest and consult with a designer.
8. Check out the latest fabric and wallpaper trends on our site. Go to looklocalmagazine.com
and search Wallpaper.
9. See the latest paint colour trends for 2016 from Benjamin Moore and Behr.
Worth advises adding fresh furniture to the bathroom if space allows. “I love adding upholstered chairs and benches,” she says. Hanging draperies is another way to add softness to a room that is predominantly tile and hard surfaces. “We’re incorporating really fantastic fabric, especially if you’re concerned about humidity – the outdoor fabrics in the market today are phenomenal.” A little artwork can go a long way, too. “Look at adding artwork in unconventional areas, like around the free-standing tub, to warm it up,” says Worth. “It treats the tub like a piece of furniture.” And don’t be afraid of wallpaper, she adds. “I love adding wallpaper for a splash.”
Where in previous years shower stalls were understated and frameless, the look today is modern and up-scale. “We’re not hiding in them anymore,” says Worth. “We’re doing really big niches and lining the back with a focal tile.” Today’s bathroom designs also welcome the highest level of technology. “Even for traditionalists, the space is becoming streamlined and highly-functional and effective,” Worth explains. If you are able to start (or end) the day in a stunning space, it sets a nice tone for the rest of the day or before you hit the pillow.