•Design a space that meets the needs of its users.
•Create a stylish, ultra-efficient bathroom.
When it comes to the bathroom, one size does not fit all. Everyone uses the bathroom differently, and a properly designed room can enhance each person's experience, making it easier to use and much more personal. When planning a new bath or remodel, ask yourself these simple questions.
Who will be using the space?
- A family bath should comfortably accommodate at least two people at the same time. That could mean, for example, planning enough space for two sinks and perhaps even double showerheads. One way to make your space easier to share is to "zone" your fixtures--for instance, isolating the toilet from the shower, bathtub and sink area for added privacy.
- A master bath suite, which is often planned as a private retreat, should have space to accommodate extra relaxation and luxury features, such as an oversize chair or vanity. Be sure to coordinate the colors and textures with those found in the master bedroom for a cohesive and seamless flow.
- A powder room, which usually includes a sink and toilet but no bathing space, requires less square footage than a full bath. That said, make sure you don't sacrifice comfort and adequate storage. Adding a few wish list items gives even the smallest space a warm, pampering feel.
- Children's baths pose unique challenges. They typically require more safety features and lower heights, but also need to be adaptable as kids grow.
- Universal design turns the bathroom into a comfortable environment for seniors or family members with limited mobility, taking functional and safety needs into account.
- A guest bathroom should accommodate for guests of all ages. Incorporate comfort and ease of use, and if possible, tie the design in with the guest bedrooms for continuity.
Is the bathroom conveniently located?
- Powder rooms and half-baths should stay on the ground floor, where guests congregate during parties and family gatherings.
- Guest and master baths should be located near or adjacent to their respective bedrooms.
- If creating a bathroom for elderly adults or those with disabilities, consider their mobility. A ground floor bath is probably more convenient than one that requires climbing the stairs.
- Baths located near a patio or pool add convenience and keep wet bathing suits and bodies out of living areas.
Does the bathroom reflect the style and taste of the individuals who use the space?
Color plays a big role in the mood and design of a bath or powder room. Consider who you are designing for when choosing colors and materials for decorating. Bright colors, like red and yellow, are great for children's baths, while moodier tones, like eggplant and grey, work well in small powder rooms.
Guest and master bath suites should be all about relaxation and comfort. Use light hues and warm woods to keep the space soft and inviting. A great place to start is the corresponding bedroom; take your cue from there.
If you're having troubles deciding on a style, imagine the person who will use the space most. If you're designing a bathroom for kids, think about what they are interested in and what styles they like. Same goes for guests or master suites--always consider the user before you begin the design process.
Is the lighting sufficient?
- Consider adding task-specific lighting above mirrors and a light inside the shower enclosure.
- Motion sensors are perfect for young children who might not be able to reach the switch, or for older adults who may frequently use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Natural lighting creates a calm atmosphere, and works especially well in master and guest bathrooms.
- In the powder room, make sure you're not over-lighting the space. Too much lighting can wash out the rest of the décor and leave your guests feeling stunned.
Do you have adequate storage?
Storage is a must in any space--especially the bathroom. As always, consider the end user when designing your cabinets and cubbies. Can kids reach the towels in the children's bath? Is there a place for guests to store their toiletries near the sink? Do you need a cubby for loofahs and shampoo in the shower? There is nothing more satisfying than a room with everything in its right place.
Need a little extra help? The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a great resource for learning more about the industry and finding a designer in your area.