Bathroom Decoration: bathroom ideas

More than any other room in the house, a bathroom’s design must effectively combine form and function. It’s not always an easy balance, but get it right and you make this essential room much more comfortable, safer and a stunning part of your home’s design.
Any discussion about bathroom design must actually cover three different spaces: the powder room or half-bath; the separate or guest bath; and the master bathroom. Each presents different design opportunities and challenges, but the basics of sound design underlying successful bathroom style are the same no matter what size the room may be. For instance, safety is the paramount concern in any bathroom because of the combination of water and slick surfaces. Hygiene and cleanliness are also natural issues to consider whenever you choose materials and fixtures for a bathroom design.

Whatever the particulars, one of the great things about a bathroom is that it doesn’t take much to renew the look of the room. A design update can entail a quick makeover or a complete remodel. Add a new faucet, showerhead and towel bars, and you introduce fresh new flair to the room. A little paint and a refinished vanity can do the same. Of course, you can change the look even more dramatically if you’re willing to resurface the walls or floors, or make bigger changes such as adding a standalone shower enclosure, a bidet or a jetted tub. Larger changes can also make the room more usable. Add his-and- her sinks, and you alleviate marital friction and make the morning bathroom rush hour a lot less stressful for everyone.
Luxury, though, is the highest calling for a bathroom design. Steam fittings in a shower stall, towel warmers, super-deep soaking tubs and mini-saunas are all ways to turn the bathroom into less of a purely functional space and more of a spa-like experience. The examples that follow illustrate the full range of possibilities for your bathroom. Choose the options that suit your space, your life, your budget and your tastes, and turn this functional space into a more comfortable design gem that adds to the look, comfort and enjoyment of your home.

REPEAT SHAPES FOR A SOOTHING.

Bathroom design details don’t need to be ostentatious or over the top to make a big impact. This simple black-and-white bathroom is made more stylish with the addition of a frosted-glass divider at the foot of the tub, a simple black bathmat over an understated sisal rug and unusual shelves that offer dynamic shapes and plenty of visual interest. All the fixtures are kept simple and white, and contemporary faucet fittings reinforce the room’s uncomplicated—yet beautiful—aesthetic.

LUXURIATE YOUR BATHROOM WITH PERIOD-STYLE CHAIRS AND ENDTABLES.

Turn to unexpected style features such as the chandelier and period-style chair used in this room and
include top-of-the-line fixtures such as this drop- in whirlpool tub. Captured in a highly detailed custom oval surround, this model includes heated backrests, 36 jets, molded armrests, color-matched grab bars and room enough for two. A luxury shower stall or bathtub like this not only elevates the bathroom’s look, it can vastly improve your day-to-day life.

USE DIFFERENT PATTERNS AND TEXTURES ON BATHROOM BUMPOUTS.

Institute high style in your bathroom by including a mix of textures and patterns to provide increased visual interest anywhere the eye settles. The sleek white marble floor in this lavish bathroom competes for attention with the showy silver patterned wallpaper framing the bump out. The simple modern fixtures and vanity, as well as a glass shower enclosure, reinforce the luxurious style driving the rooms aesthetic. Notice that as stylish as the space is, function and storage have not been sacrificed to the design.

OUTFIT A BATHROOM WITH A WALK-IN CLOSET.

The southwestern flair of this en suite bathroom and walk-in closet combo features a vanity and
storage that not only match the cabinetry in the closet and dressing area but also look custom
made for the space. There is a vanity and matching storage furniture to suit any bathroom—even if the room has adobe walls and irregular stone payers for a floor.

UNEXPECTED FURNISHINGS INVIGORATE BATHROOMS, LIKE THIS EXTERIOR TUB SPOUT AND CHAISE LOUNGE.

Add unexpected elements to a bathroom—especially a large bathroom such as this—to pump up the visual interest. The chaise lounge reinforces the notion of the room as a spa retreat. The open shelving with rolled up towels is a great way to store attractive textiles, but it also provides rounded shapes that contrast the overwhelmingly linear design of the room, up to and including the stylish spout outside the tub. Shape and line are as much a part of the well-designed bathroom as color and texture.

SINK FIXTURES INCORPORATED INTO A MIRROR OR WAIL ARE NOVEL DESIGN DECISIONS.

Mounting sink fixtures through the mirror is an innovative and chic choice for bathrooms. The temperature controls are left on the vanity, while waterproof backsplash tiles create a clear border from countertop to wall. The matte black tile has a scintillating surface relief that invites the hand as well as the eye. Small details such as this can dial your bathroom design up a notch with a modest investment, regardless of the size of the room.

MATCH THE TOILET TO THE ROOM STYLE.

Reinforce your bathrooms design theme with your choice of toilets. The available selection of toilet styles is greater than ever before and, as shown here, includes some eye-catching shapes. This bathroom is equipped with both toilet and bidet, and as is done in almost every case, the two are a matched set. These modern-style fixtures are also low-flow, which is not only the socially responsible way to go, it’s also mandated by many local, regional and state ordinances.

WALL SCONCES EMIT SOFT AND SOOTHING LIGHT THAT IS PERFECT FOR BATHROOMS.

Choose lighting fixtures to not only serve the function, but also add a flashy form to the bathroom’s design. Sconces, like this matched pair, are perfect for bringing a bit of drama into the room. Notice how the blown-glass shades on these units work perfectly with the wall paint color and also complement the handsome vanity-and-mirror combination, If you have your heart set on colorful light fixtures, it’s a wise idea to bring paint and vanity finish samples with you when you go shopping.

CUSTOM TILE MAKES A SHOWER STUNNING.

Looking to impress in your bathroom? If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can’t go wrong with a custom -tiled shower enclosure like the one shown here. Distinctive motif indicators like the arch used in this shower opening, the alcove shelf and the wall detailing add even more flair. The mix of tile shapes, colors and sizes is a sure way to keep the eye moving and interested. A bench makes this particular shower as luxurious to use as it is to look at.

UPGRADE YOUR SHOWER TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.

Create an unforgettable morning ritual by including multiple showerheads in your shower. The body sprayers shown here combine with an overhead rainwater showerhead to turn a simple shower into a hedonistic daily indulgence. A rail mounted, handheld showerhead increases the adaptability of this shower and makes it even more luxurious. Low-flow versions (pictured here) let you enjoy the sumptuous experience knowing its eco-friendly as well.

 

GARDEN DECORATION: SIDE-YARD GARDENS

A side-yard garden is the outdoor equivalent of a hallway, a little chute of space between the house and property line, joining the front and back yards. An indispensable walkway, it may provide access to service or utility meters on the side of the house. The side yard may also be used (in a limited fashion) fir storage, utility placement, and the routing of service lines.

Side yards are gardens on the skinny, since the space rarely exceeds 15 feet in total width (less than 10 feet in new housing) and is much longer. Usually the space is too pinched for any active use other than walking.

Common Design Problems

  • The main challenge is maintaining a usable passage while creating an attractive garden space. The choice of paving materials and the layout of the walkway sets the tone.
    • Unless there is a wall or fence along the property line, the boundary may not be clearly defined.
  • It is difficult to make storage areas and utility spaces both secure and attractive.

Solutions

  • The walkway is everything in a passageway garden. It should provide solid footing, but informal paving such as steppingstones, bricks on sand, or pea gravel will work. Routing the walk from one side to the other in a gentle “S” curve or with a right-angle offset will vary the width of the planting areas and increase the interest of the space.
    • Use a fence (or vine-covered lattice) to define the space and to screen any storage. Gates at either end will look attractive from the front or rear garden while screening the passageway. Hedges or shrubbery are not recommended because they take too much room.
    • An overhead arbor the length of the passageway is an ambitious yet unique way to define the space. It will also make the space uniformly shady.

Key Plantings

The open side of the passageway may receive full sun, while the roof cave may shade the sides adjacent to the house completely. Such conditions make plant selection and water management tricky.

  • Look for a durable evergreen ground cover to provide visual unity, reduce maintenance, and be a foil for more ornamental plants, which you can plant in the ground cover.
    • Take advantage of a wall or fence by planting flowering vines or vigorous climbers and training them to cover it.
  • Locate any trees on the property-line side of a side yard passageway. This will enhance the feeling of enclosure.

Things to Note

Know the drainage pattern. The side yard may be the only route for storm- water runoff to move between the front and back of the residence. Do not block this drainage when creating a passageway garden.
Any gate in a passageway should be wide enough to permit access by emergency repair equipment.

Circumstances

Consider using the passageway for a specialty garden. A side yard can be ideal for a raised-bed vegetable garden or a cutting garden. if it is sunny plant tomatoes; if it is shady, create a fern glade.
A side-yard passageway also can be an elegant entryway. In an urban location, consider installing a small fountain. The sound of water will help you leave the outside world on the far side of the gate.

Bathroom Decoration: Detached & Guest Baths.

One of the key differences among bathrooms is their size. The smallest are half-baths or powder rooms, used mostly by guests. Detached, or guest, bathrooms usually serve more than one bedroom and often have a bathtub shower rather than a separate shower and tub. Master bathrooms are grander spaces that usually include one or more luxury features such as a two-person whirlpool tub or a large, standalone shower enclosure.

Detached baths usually need to serve more than one person, often including both guests and family members. Comfort is king in the detached bath, and small luxuries bring a big bang to the room. If you can carve out space for a separate shower enclosure or large soaking tub, you add immeasurably to the luxury and perceived sophistication of the room. Special tile, standout sinks and chic storage solutions all go a long way toward creating a distinctive detached bath design.

NEO-ANGLES SAVE SPACE.

Add a shower to a bathroom that seems squeezed for space by using a neo-angle shower kit. These types of shower enclosures tuck into a corner and take up very little floor space, making them appropriate for even modestly sized guest baths. The unit here was built with a metal frame, but you can also find more modern-looking frameless neo-angle enclosures. You can build a neo-angle shower from scratch or turn to one of the many kits available that make the process easier and quicker—not to mention increasing your style choices.

DESIGN TO THE ROOMS AVAILABLE SPACE AND SHAPE.

Design a detached bathroom to optimize the space, getting as much as you can from the room. This long, narrow guest bathroom features a slim—but deep—soaking tub that offers a lot of luxury in a small footprint. Likewise, the glass walls of the shower enclosure are not only chic and afford maximum light penetration; they are also much thinner than a traditional wall, taking up far less space (both visually and physically). A narrow solid surface vanity top with integral his-and-her sinks caps off a space-efficient and understated yet powerful bathroom design.

CHOOSE FIXTURES TO SUIT AVAILABLE SPACE.

Outfit an attic guest bath with space considerations in mind. This compact room features a tiny cabinet where the vanity would have gone, because there was no plumbing for a sink. The shower enclosure is positioned for maximum headroom, and the cabinet supplies lust enough storage for the essentials (such as a backup supply of toilet paper). Often, in guest bathrooms, you have to make the most of the space the architecture gives you.

USE ROUND SHAPES FOR INFORMAL. YET EFFECTIVE, DESIGN.

This is especially true in detached bathrooms, which tend to feature low-key designs that verge on boring. This room includes a repetitive oval shape in the mirror, sink and toilet tank—shapes that buffer the wealth of lines and sharp angles in the room. Introducing round or oval shapes makes a room design seem less stiff and less formal and can—as this room clearly shows—make a bathroom appear more inviting.

SAVE SPACE WITH A BUILT-IN CORNER TUB.

Detached bathrooms can be squeezed for space, but that doesn’t mean you have to downgrade the luxury. You can include a jetted tub with a useful built-in surround by tucking the structure into a corner. You can also install a standard apron tub with plain sides for even more space savings. In either case, the placement leaves the floor area clear and gives the room a more spacious feel.

TUB SURROUNDS ARE GREAT SOLUTIONS FOR GUEST BATHROOMS.

Turn to a three- piece tub surround for an easy, handsome surface treatment and a guest bathrooms bathtub shower. These solid panels are inexpensive and available in a wide range of colors and styles, from the very plain to the more ornate, such as the faux tile and ledges shown here. They are usually formed of fiberglass, polymers or other synthetic materials, which means they are lightweight, waterproof, easy to install and fairly durable. Choose versions with integral shelves, cubbies or other features depending on how many people use the tub and shower.

SIMPLE COLOR SCHEMES ARE INVITING.

You will find elegance in simplicity when you work with what you have in your guest bathroom. Here, the room’s casework is painted a clean, sharp white that emphasizes the detail without calling too much attention to it. A wall of white tile behind the tub is an uncomplicated treatment that is still quite handsome, and the simple blue-and-bright white color scheme is ideal in a space where cleanliness comes first. This bathroom is proof that you don’t need expensive design bells and whistles to create a truly lovely space.

EMPHASIZE SPACE AND SUBTLETY WITH MINIMAL FURNISHINGS AND ACCENTS.

There’s no harm in keeping your bathroom design low key, especially in a smaller detached bath. Here, demure taupe ceramic tile ties together the tub and shower areas, without closing in the space as bolder, darker or more dynamic tiles might have done. The chunky wood console base for the sink provides a modest amount of style and texture, but its open construction also helps the room appear more spacious. All in all, the combination of neutral colors and simple textures and lines makes this a handsome, if understated, bathroom.

EMPHASIZE OPENNESS WITH LIGHT, FORM, AND FREE-STANDING FURNISHINGS.

Bring a guest bathroom to stunning life with a minimal, modern treatment. This room features an open floor plan as striking as it is unusual; a graceful freestanding tub with a sweeping form tops an eye-catching marble floor. The modern tiger wood vanity boasts an off-center sink with a sleek modern faucet. Although this is an extreme design style, in the right house, it would be a showstopper.

 

Bathroom Decoration: Powder Rooms & Half-Baths

USE MULTIPLE MIRRORS TO OPEN UP THE ROOM.

You can often get the most out of a small powder room by approaching the design more like you would a main room, rather than another bathroom. This tiny bathroom is a perfect example, featuring an enchanting small vanity that resembles a round console table and a round mirror that might otherwise be found in an entryway. The mirror is supplemented with an adjacent gilt framed mirror, which opens up the room. A small chandelier provides just the right amount of light as it might otherwise do in a foyer, dining room or hallway. The features combine to give this powder room an appeal beyond that basic bathroom style.

SHOW OFF HALF BATHROOMS AND POWDER ROOMS WITH FINE FLOOR
TREATMENTS.

More expensive flooring might not be practical in a larger, busier bathroom, but it’s perfect here. This colonial-style half-bath features lovely wood wainscoting and detailed casework, as well as
a stunning oak floor.
The light honey color of the floor and the unusual height of the wainscoting serve to raise the ceiling and increase the sense of space in the bathroom.

MATCH WALL EFFECTS TO FIXTURES FOR SUBTLE BEAUTY.

Sponging, rag-rolling, stippling and other effects are perfect for such a small, contained space, and they create visual excitement without overwhelming the room. Choose colors carefully to avoid jarring contrasts between the base and top coats and complement the fixtures and furniture in the room—as the brown paint on these walls complements the formal vanity and serves as the perfect backdrop for an ornate mirror frame.

USE TILE. RECESSED WINDOWS. MIRRORS AND BASE MOLDING IN TANDEM TO ENHANCE A SMALL SPACE.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, multiple fixtures in the right dark colors can enhance a small space and actually make it seem larger. The colors in this two tone paint scheme are separated by a band of tiles, a technique that works wonderfully no matter what size the room or what colors you use. Neutral colors tone down a busy aesthetic.

KEEP THE SMALLEST SPACES SIMPLE.

If your toilet and sink are positioned next to each other in a corner, use a small sink to avoid crowding someone sitting on the toilet. Always choose fixtures and position them with the space between kept firmly in mind. Notice that no storage or other furniture has been placed in the corner; leaving the space relatively free ensures easy movement between toilet and sink and creates more visual space as well. The choice of white walls and floor, with a basic decorative border of patterned tiles, visually opens up the room.

LOW KEY WORKS IN GUEST BATHS.

Sometimes a subdued design provides the most welcoming comfort in a space used by many people, so don’t hesitate to go low key in your guest bath. Here, a gold bathmat, towels and other accents liven up the room’s classic gray-and-white scheme. An oak hardwood floor provides an unexpected look underfoot, and crisp chrome accents and fixtures in the bath and shower provide
an upscale polish.

TRADE A BATH FOR A SHOWER.

Turn a simple detached bath into a grander space by exchanging a standard bathtub for a fully tiled shower enclosure. If you’re going to go to the trouble of creating a large walk-in enclosure such as this, tiling it on all surfaces will make it that much more special. A tile color that stands out from the other colors in the room is one way to draw attention to this very special feature.

 

GARDEN DECORATION: TYPICAL SMALL-GARDEN SCENARIOS

The ideas and experiences of other gardeners provide a rich vein to mine for help with your own garden design. A peek at the creativity others have poured into settings like yours will stir up the idea pot. You will notice that the same problems are solved over and over again, but in different ways.
The four small-garden scenarios that follow embrace common circumstances for garden decoration. You are likely to identify with some aspect of one or more of these settings. Each scenario has a brief description followed by some thoughts on suggested uses, common design problems, possible solutions, key plantings and things to note.
By solving the inherent design challenges you are well on the way to creating a usable and beautiful garden.

TOWNHOUSE GARDENS
If you live in a new townhouse, the only potential garden sites are the space in front of the unit and the space at the rear. Both are likely to be nearly square. (End or corner townhouses may own additional space for a garden along one side.)

New townhouses tend to be built as a series of side-by-side similar units, each with a smattering of landscaping.” The front garden site, facing the street, is as wide as the townhouse and includes the land from the building wall to any public sidewalk. It may or may not include a shade tree planted by the builder, but it certainly will have some evergreen shrubbery across the foundation. Paved entry walks and landings or porches reduce the plantable garden space.

Rear garden sites will also be as wide as the unit but the depth may vary, particularly if residential parking is located behind the townhouse. The heating/cooling units servicing the residence are usually in the rear. A townhouse unit with a garage has even less available garden space because of the driveway serving the garage.

 

Possible Uses
The public setting and the walkway mean that the front of a wwnhou.sc is best used as an entry garden or flower garden. The rear space can serve different uses, among them outdoor entertaining recreational gardening or as a private retreat.
Common Design Problems
• Townhouse garden sites often are not well defined. Your allotted space may simply run into the site next door with no visual distinction between them.
• There is frequently an inherited landscape consisting of evergreen shrubbery huddled at the foundation of the building and a patch of lawn.
• Rear gardens lack a clear sense of space and may have no privacy or sense of purpose.

Solutions
Create a sense of enclosure in a front garden site by dearly delineating the boundaries. These sites cry out for a picket or wrought-iron fence to serve as a neat ornamental frame to the garden. If fencing is not an option, rely on plantings (low shrubs or a small tree) along the perimeter to establish the feeling of enclosure. Such plantings help make the entry walk a short transition from public parking into a private place.
Provide a central feature, such as a miniature lawn, ground-cover bed, small ornamental tree, or statuary1 as the visual focus of the newly defined space.
Rear gardens must be contained and separated from common space. With so little space to spare, fencing is the best and quickest way to provide a sense of privacy from neighboring units.
Key Plantings


• Identify your existing landscape plants and determine their expected mature size. Newly constructed homes will have some landscaping provided by the contractor, in most cases the only thought behind it is green side goes up.” Probably the plants are too close to the foundation and too large for the location. Plan to dig and relocate them to more suitable sites.
• Plant one or more small trees or tree-form shrubs as close to the sidewalk or street as possible. This will create a foreground for the garden, serve as faux gate posts1 and enhance the feeling of enclosure. A 20-foot-wide garden has room for a pair of small ornamental trees.
• Use low shrubs (3 to 4 feet high) to establish the frame of the garden and a backdrop for flowers. The smaller spireas, evergreen hollies, or even ornamental grasses fit this bill.
• Genuinely consider whether a lawn is a good idea or not.

Things to Note
You need to allow access to utility meters.
Unless you own an end unit, you should allow space for transporting construction, planting, and maintenance items between the front and the rear garden. Before you make a purchase, think about how you will carry it to the site.
Be sure there is an exterior water spigot in both front and back; all new plantings will need regular watering.