Designing Baths with Personalities: What’s Popular Right Now
Today’s homeowners are making a greater commitment to bold bathrooms that are making a statement and leaving behind the sparse and monolithic look of recent years. Whether it’s full-height wall tile installations, patterns on floors or walls, or selecting warmer and richer materials in general, bathrooms are not as cold as they’ve been in the past, according to experts. The variety of natural stone options and applications are helping to shape this new trend.
Bathrooms and kitchens have consistently proven to produce high returns on a home’s investment. Whether one is remodeling or updating their bathroom for a higher resale value or to make their morning and evening routines more enjoyable, there are several options to creating a bathroom that fits a homeowner’s needs, look, and budget.
Trends in Bathrooms: Bring On the Warmth
One way homeowners can add warmth and a sense of calm in their bathrooms is by bringing in organic materials such as natural stone. According to Suzanne Shumaker, principal of Shumaker Design + Build Associates, LLC, clients are also choosing higher-end materials selectively.
Shumaker is noticing her clients are focusing on one special material in the space and pairing it with materials that complement its unique character. For a recent project she calls the lilac master bathroom, she and her client chose a unique marble which they cut in large pieces and installed in a herringbone pattern. It’s a classic design, but blown up in scale.
Once the stone floor was installed, they chose a lilac paint color for the vanity and the walls. “Our client wanted a color that was unique,” she says. She had seen enough grey painted bathrooms.
Nancy Epstein, founder & CEO of Artistic Tile, also feels natural stone is being used in all of its glory when it comes to bathroom trends, sometimes singularly but more often as a combination. “Texture, color, size, big or small, and shape are all used in bathroom design,” she says. “A bathroom might combine different colors in multiple textures and mix mosaics with larger scale tiles.”
Epstein also feels that we are returning to a “no rules” design era, allowing interior designers to use their aesthetic to create personalized spaces for clients as opposed to redundant spaces. Still, there are some clients who are nervous to go beyond their comfort zone of choosing white and grey. For those clients, it’s a matter of adding texture and size and mixing dimensions to still achieve a new and updated look.
Since a vanity is so central to a bathroom’s design, from both an aesthetic and practical point of view since it’s something used daily, a natural stone top can easily update an existing or new vanity. For clients who wish to add warmer, richer tones, Shumaker recommends selecting or designing a natural wood stained vanity and specifying warm slate colors for the floors with a cleft finish for slip resistance.
Make a Statement in the Bathroom by Using Natural Stone
It’s not always necessary to remodel an entire bathroom to create a statement since several pieces within the space can be updated to create a sense of richness and warmth.
Incorporating natural stone as a backsplash is one easy way to update and create a bold look in a bathroom. Changing out the flooring and wall materials, especially if one has been living with older wallpaper designs or worn-out flooring, is another way to get creative with the space.
As with most design projects, whether it’s an update or remodel, materials matter.
“The spaces that resonate with us and have impact are most often created from natural stone,” says Epstein. “Manufactured products such as porcelain tile don’t offer the intrinsic warmth or authority of natural products.”
A stand out bathroom is tiled floor to ceiling with all components thoughtfully selected, according to Epstein. The room included modern amenities such as heated floors and an array of shower fixtures including a hand shower, rain head, and body spray. “Adjustable lighting is a must-have,” says Epstein. “De-fogging shaving mirrors, a television included in the mirror, and a great magnifying mirror are special additions to truly make your space home.”
Shumaker agrees that it’s all in the details and recommends clients seeking that spa-like experience at home select warm tones and textured materials. “In showers, a teak shower seat is comfortable to sit on,” she offers.
What to Consider if Planning a Bathroom Update or Remodel in 2019
Whether you’re planning a complete remodel or a refresh, small details go a long way in bathroom projects. The varied options within natural stone can elevate any bathroom.
For homeowners planning to make changes in their bathroom, Epstein recommends updating the vanity top to a natural stone, replacing handles and knobs on the vanity, updating sconces or other lighting, and replacing sink faucets and shower fixtures, keeping in mind that the replacements must function with the roughs inside the wall.
Shumaker also recommends that clients switch out the vanity with a new countertop as a way to really update a bathroom’s look. In addition, homeowners can consider replacing the floor with new stone surfaces while a new coat of paint goes a long way.
“Consider, though, that nothing adds value to a home more than updated bathrooms and kitchen,” reminds Epstein.
For those questioning the decision of updating their bathroom, Epstein recommends to go for it. “You will never regret it,” she says.