Your bathroom isn’t just a pit stop room, it’s a sanctuary for relaxation, an oasis of self, and a retreat from reality. The bathroom is not only one of the most used rooms in your house (second to the kitchen) it is also one of the rooms you stand to benefit considerably from putting a few pennies into. Bathrooms have anywhere from a 60%-100% return on investment, assuming you make the right choices. 😉
This list will help guide you in the right direction with smart design ideas that will give you the most bang for your buck, whether you’re selling or staying put.
Remember to keep in mind what is reasonable when redesigning your bathroom. It wouldn’t make sense to do a $40,000 bathroom renovation on a $100,000 house. You want to stay within the range of your neighborhood and home. Sometimes the slightest improvements will make the most significant differences.
This year is the year of texture, neutrals, minimalism, technology, and sustainability. What is trendy today is a timeless look. Styles that will look good forever, are durable enough to outlast trends, and simply put – simple. Our lives are the decor in this day and age.
Neutral tones serve as the back drop for pops of color that are incorporated seamlessly through interchangeable pieces. When designing, be aware the best designs are those that assert function and longevity over trend.
When it comes to making dramatic changes in a room as small as the bathroom, the best place to start is at your feet. Floors set the tone for the entire room, so it’s essential that you begin with a color that will work well in your space. Play with lighter hues to open up a smaller space. White is trendy right now, but also happens to be timeless, an important factor when it comes time to sell.
- Ceramic/Porcelain Hard Wood Tiles: Love the hardwood look but can’t justify materials prone to warping and swelling in a humid space such as the bathroom? The solution: woodgrain tile. It’s more durable than hardwood and needs less maintenance, a major selling point in this fast paced day and age.
It also happens to be on trend these days, with the same cost and installation prices as hardwoods, ranging from $10-$20 per sq ft., it only makes sense that wood grain tiles would have the same ROI as hardwood flooring. Did I mention you get the appearance of hardwood floors without cutting down a single tree?
- Large Tiles: Tiles are tending toward larger sizes these days. Mosaics are out and 24” is the new standard size for tiles. Keep this trend classic by opting for a polished marble or natural stone. Large tiles can cost anywhere from $7-$20 per sq ft. including installation.
- Unique Tiles: This year has seen a surge in patterned tiles. If you cant resist a good pattern, opt for classic colors like black and white, or a neutral grey. Like the look but can’t quite take the plunge? Try it out with a border or small backsplash area. Or skip the flashy tile and try a herringbone pattern with plain subway tiles for a unique yet non color committal look. Patterned tiles generally cost $11- $17 per sq ft with installation.
The downside to opting for tile is keeping grout clean and cold feet, but in a small space like the bathroom you can easily remedy these issues. Opt for a darker colored grout such as black.
You’ll still need to clean regularly as you would with any surface, but at least stains won’t be an issue. As for keeping your toes warm, add heating components under tiles or the old fashioned way with a nice cozy rug. Heated floors attract buyers like bees to honey.
2. Textured Walls:
- Textured Wall Tiles: Textured walls are all the rage, adding depth and intrigue to a once bland surface. Textured wallpaper in the bathroom may sound like a good, cost-effective idea, but the humidity will certainly undermine the adhesive and end up costing you more in the long run. If you’re looking for longevity, opt for dramatic 3D ceramic or porcelain wall tile.
Textured tile was on the rise last year and will likely continue growing in popularity this year, and with a good reason. Geometric, waves, high-low patterns and more all add a greater range of depth and intrigue. Find your favorite and give it a go for $15 – $30 per sq ft.
- Textured Wall Panels: 3D wall panels range in cost from $30 – $200 per sq meter depending on the material and method. Bamboo, gypsum, glass, pulp, aluminum, plastic and so on, all vary in price.
Panels can be highly custom and employ a number of professionals, from artists to designers and developers. The completed look is seamless and bold. An alternative to textured panels are smaller scale wall panels. With a wide range in repetitive textures starting from $8 per sq ft and up, they can be a good option for smaller areas.
Nix the single source lighting and bring on the beams. Smaller spaces require brighter light to open up the space.
The bathroom has tons of opportunity to create an atmosphere of both relaxation and function. Install dramatic fixtures with LED bulbs for a greater ROI.
LEDs save on energy and can last about 50 times longer than regular bulbs.
- Vanity lighting: When designing lighting for the vanity/sink area, it is key to eliminate shadows and dark corners. Light should be coming in from all angles, enabling a practical application of the space. Brighten up the vanity with pendant lights, sconces, and vertical lighting mounted on either side of the mirror will spread even light where it needs to. Accomplish flawless lighting for around $150 – $300.
- Overhead: Illuminate the entire room with a striking yet purposeful centerpiece. Minimalist chandeliers are a perfect way to do just that. Clean lines with clear glass or non existent shades/bulbs or a bare bulb cluster lend an industrial and sophisticated touch. Sometimes less says so much more. Ranging in price from $250 – $1,000 including installation.
- Shower: Normally not a focal point for lighting in the bathroom, showers are stepping into the spot light. Instead of relying on overhead lighting from beyond the bathtub, make a point to incorporate a practical fixture such as recessed canned lighting to avoid electrical mishaps. There are also more decorative options specifically designed for a wet area, ranging from $320 to $440 available from Creative Systems Lighting.