Home Design Savvy – Creating a Spa-Style Bathroom
More and more people are designing their dream and vacation homes to include bathrooms that also serve as zen-like retreats. Indeed, the spirit of the spa can be found in Linwood custom homes. Here are some tips for creating these relaxing rooms – and some inspired examples to help with your planning.
Cindy McKellar, Linwood Interior’s design expert, has the following advice to help you get started on the planning stages. Cindy advises, “Envision what you want and need in your bathroom. Make a list of what you ‘need’ – the essentials that your bathroom must have. Then make a list of ‘wants,’ the special aspects you would like your bathroom design to include in order to become your ideal retreat. The more detail you can provide in this early planning stage, the more you will be able to get the answers you require with respect to your personal bathroom design.” Key planning features that you may wish to consider are as follows:
A key consideration is budget. With the many options available today, bathrooms can cost as much as much as kitchens to complete. Cindy adds, “as well as the bathroom fixtures, the cost of plumbing, tile work, and so on must be factored in to the budget up front.” Collect a clipping file of fixtures you like and then get firm costs on both the fixtures and the installation before you proceed.
Tubs, showers, sinks and toilets are vital to your bathroom design. Make sure you have enough room to accommodate them, and still have room left for cabinets and countertop space. An extra long tub is not practical for most bathroom spaces. If you are determined to have a certain tub or shower configuration, you need to make allowances for this in the preliminary stages of designing your bathroom.
It’s important to keep in mind the location of your bathroom fixtures and the most logical and practical locations for plumbing hook ups. Long runs are more costly and may affect your water pressure. New plumbing must conform to code and must be inspected by a local building department. A professional should create your overall bathroom design, with installation by a certified plumber and other skilled trades people.
Lighting is important in a bathroom. You should have good task lighting, as well as a source of natural light. Meanwhile you should consider the ability to have ambient light, should you wish to create a spa-style atmosphere. Dimmer switches are a must in a bathroom for this reason.
By only using recessed lighting, too much shadow may be cast on your vanity area(s). Use additional lighting, such as a soft focus or diffused light fixture, in order to eliminate shadows. Ideally, light fixtures should be mounted at eye level or just above, on either side of the mirror, shining at your face. However that may not always be possible. Mounting a diffused light fixture on the wall over the mirror will help combat the sharp focus of halogen floodlight shining down on your face. Natural light is a wonderful feature in any bathroom, so skylights and large windows, if in your budget, are worth the investment.
Bathrooms, if not properly ventilated, can encourage mould and mildew. For this reason ventilation and proper insulation are key. In particular, shower enclosures require the proper drainage, water barrier materials and surfaces to discourage the accumulation of moisture. Should you choose to install a steam shower, sauna or spa, you will need added ventilation and surface protection.
Consider who will be using your bathroom on a regular basis. If it is a shared bathroom, you may wish to consider plans for a knee wall, pocket door, or frosted glass to add a privacy element to your bathroom. The placement of windows is also a factor in planning your bathroom. In addition, window treatments, here, perhaps more than in any other area of your home, will be beneficial.
One of the most enjoyable aspects planning a special bathroom is giving it a unique style or theme with paint shades, surface finishes, materials, and door styles. The choice in cabinetry and cabinetry door materials is vast, and most cabinet companies offer a wide range of choices. The most popular cabinet door materials include oak, maple, cherry, walnut, alder, birch, pine, and hickory. Popular countertop surfaces include laminate, granite, solid surface, concrete, tile, and quartz. Backsplash and shower wall finishing materials have become incredibly creative, including many kinds of glass and metallic tiles. Flooring is an important part of your plan. Ceramic, slate and vinyl flooring are the most popular choices. Some types of engineered wood are available for bathrooms, though only practical if they have a non-slip finish and can tolerate excessive moisture. If using radiant heat flooring, ensure the floor covering conforms to code for your heat source.
Light fixtures, faucets, and cabinetry hardware add the final touches to your bathroom and should be accounted for in the initial budgeting stages. The smallest of features can greatly alter the budget, and ideally, you will want to be able to complete the look you had planned in the beginning. However, by sticking to the initial budget guidelines for a carefully planned and designed bathroom, you can get the perfect retreat and have the peace of mind to enjoy it.