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Design Dilemma: Upgrading a Bathroom

There’s always that one room in your house that needs a bit of work to make it extra special. Is it the kitchen where you love to cook, or your office where you want to be relaxed while reading a really intriguing book? This week, we’re examining how to renovate a bathroom into the perfect little space for you and future homeowners to enjoy.

I am sure you have dreamed about having the ultimate spa bathroom. Bathroom renovations are one of the first areas in a house that homeowners think of when they are buying a house. Large or small bathroom renovations are a huge deal, but they can largely impact your lifestyle – in a positive way.bathrooms

Unlike a condo where you have a limited footprint and plumbing of the building, a house can provide you with many opportunities to renovate your bathroom into your new oasis. The walls and floor tiles, the multiple shower jets, the rain heads, the tub, …. and the list can go on and on. Your new spa could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, but it doesn’t always have to be the most opulent and grandest of rooms that will break the bank.

Case Study

A recent client of our firm had purchased a house that had been renovated 10 years ago. The bones were great and the bathrooms needed some updating. There were some areas, like the shower stall and toilet area that could have been expanded to give a better floor plan, but in reality, it would have cost thousands more to gain an extra narrow piece of 10 square feet in the shower. Instead, we opted to keep the foot print as it was and spend a bit more on the tiles for the shower and remove the 4-seater jacuzzi tub and install a beautiful free-standing  oval soaker.

The Switch-Up

With marble tiles laid on the floor of the main room of the bathroom, we took these same tiles and used them on the wall and ceiling of the shower space. A rain head along with a handheld shower were included a thermostatic control valve. That is and should be standard in any shower. For the shower floor, we chose a small marble mosaic tile to add some pattern and texture to the room.


Staying on Budget

One of the perks to renovating a bathroom is that you can choose where you want to spend and where you don’t. You want to dedicate a portion of your budget to renovations that will add value to your home. They include:

  • A heated floor – we feel this brings value to you and the future homeowners when you decide to sell. It’s easy to install, energy efficient and can be controlled using a variety of thermostat options, including an app that you can use with your mobile device.
  • The vanity – this is a crucial piece to any bathroom. Choose one that looks like a piece of furniture in the room for an added design touch.
  • The toilet – a toilet that looks old, cracked or dirty is a huge turn-off to future buyers. Choose one that looks appealing and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • Lighting – Proper lighting is another way to boost the value of the bathroom, thus your home. Try adding a window in the bathroom for natural light, or shop around for an eye-catching light fixture.


BONUS TIPS! Keep these in mind when designing your new bathroom:

  • Sconce height and width should be between 36” – 40” apart, when placed on either side of a mirror. This lighting positioning is also more flattering.
  • Counter height is better when it is a bit higher at 34”-36”.
  • When laying your tiles on the floors and walls, take into consideration the pattern, scale and width of the room to determine the best direction in which to lay them down.
  • Additional pot lighting on a dimmer switch provides great overall lighting.

Ready to design your new bathroom? We can put you in touch with interior designers and general contractors who can help you in the design process and construction of your next home renovation project.

More in Bathroom Renovations

Technology in the Bathroom

Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

About the Author: Paul Semkuley is principal of Re:Source Lifestyle, a Toronto-based interior design firm.

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