Planning Your Bathroom Remodel
Bathroom renovations are both challenging to design and offer extraordinary opportunities for high impact function and style. These small(er) spaces have more surfaces and fixtures per square inch than any room in the home, and the options are limited only by our imaginations! Close the door and you can be enveloped in Roman Spa luxury, Retro Hollywood glamour, a meditative oasis, or New Orleans French Quarter charm.
Our bathrooms are where we prepare to meet the world and where we begin to wind down. They hold our secrets. They are a springboard to living well. In my view, a bathroom should represent one’s own unique prescription for an inviting, comfortable and inspiring sanctuary.
As with any renovation, exploring goals, motivations and priorities is paramount. A bathroom remodel can range from a simple update - to a full gut or addition. Take some time to think through the experience you want to create, and let your conclusions guide your budget as well as your stylistic choices.
Is your main goal to update the bathroom for resale?
Consider replacing outdated fixtures and finishes, improving lighting, and correcting maintenance issues.
With this goal, it’s generally wise to match or complement the existing style of your home or another
updated room, so that potential buyers can easily “see themselves” in the space.
Do you plan to stay put for 5-10 years?
In this case, you could take on some bigger changes. You might eliminate a tub to create a larger shower, change from a one to a two-sink vanity, add linen storage inside the bathroom, or expand the footprint to meet changing needs. In this case, you could opt for a “stand-alone” style, inspired by a vacation destination or hotel bathroom you love, to evoke a special atmosphere.
Are you planning to retire and age in place in this home?
If so, a larger project might make sense. Reconfiguring an entire floor of your home or building an Owner’s Suite addition might be a sound investment. The top priority is to make stylistic and practical changes that will support you as you age. Incorporating elements of Universal Design, whether you need them now or anticipate needing them, will protect your investment by allowing you to stay in your home as long as possible.
Fixtures and Finishes Should be Appropriate to your Goal
Your goals should drive the decisions you make regarding price, size, style and function of your space. For example, the bathtub you would select to prepare your home for sale may not be the tub you will choose should you plan to retire and grow old in your home. Typically, a longer- term stay equals a larger investment and more specialized and personalized elements. Budget, design and functional elements, and impact on the rest of your home should be proportionate to your timeline and to the experience you want to create.
Project Case Study
The photographs below show how smart design changes make for major stylistic and functional impact. With aging in place in mind, we relocated the tub deck under the window, creating space for a generous barrier-free shower, and turned a small, awkward shower into a functional linen closet. Fixtures and finishes are updated in a timeless expression of luxury. Remodeler and photo credits: mackmiller design + build.
Tub Deck and Vanity, Before Tub Deck and Vanity, After
Before After Before After
Floor Plan, Before
Floor Plan, After