What to Consider Before Remodeling Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are not utilitarian anymore. Homeowners not only want practicality and functionality, but also want style, luxury, and convenience. The challenge is, how do you plan a bathroom remodel that can be both useful and luxurious?  Here’s what to consider before remodeling your bathroom.

Gather costs and create a budget

Like any remodeling job, a budget can quickly get blown if you get caught up in the bells and whistles, or never researched the cost in the first place. Before you get started, step back and take a look at what you want to do, and then do your research on what it’s going to cost. Regardless of whether you’re trying to do the remodel yourself or are working with a remodeling professional, it’s important to have an idea of what the costs are going to be. This will include materials, design and labor.  Decide what kind of materials you want and get an idea of what those costs are. Granite or marble countertops? Stock lighting or custom order? Will that new bathtub require a complete replumbing job to accommodate? Gathering costs and creating a budget will help you enjoy the process and the end results without facing a stunning and unanticipated bill at the end.

Consider the functionality of your bathroom

When people remodel their kitchen, they’re very in tune with the functionality aspect. What needs to be in reach?  What’s the flow from the stove to the sink to the table? Oddly enough, the same consideration isn’t always given to the bathroom but it should be! How many people will be using it at the same time?  Do you want a spa-like bathtub or would you rather have a steam shower (or both?). What kind of lighting will you need if you’re putting on makeup in that bathroom? Here are a few key items to consider when choosing a bathroom layout:

  • Vanity
  • Shower
  • Bathtub
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Toilet

What’s the focal point? Is the bathroom adjacent to another room such as the master when it will always be in view? Think not only about functionality by the visuals:  if you’re laying in bed at night, do you want a toilet in your line of sight? Really plan the footprint of your bathroom to make sure it serves your functional and aesthetic needs.

Plan out your color scheme

This might seem like a minor point but it’s not!  If you’re completely renovating a bathroom, you’ll likely be choosing flooring, countertops, sinks, faucets, shower heads, shower tiles, glass, and paint, not to mention other bathroom décor such as mirrors, lighting, towel racks and hooks, etc. Not having a color scheme in mind can result in a mismatched bathroom. Your best bet is to work with a bath design professional who can guide you through how to create a color scheme that you will love.

Plan your lighting

So often overlooked and yet one of the more important aspects of a bathroom both for functionality and style. Consider what light you already have, such as a window or a skylight, and plan from there. The best approach to a well-lit space is to incorporate layers of task, accent, ambient and decorative lighting.  Current bathroom design trends create focus on lighting schemes. To highlight this space, homeowners are using creative lighting techniques, fixtures, and dimmers to create a luxury and relaxing feeling. There are many lighting styles you can use for the vanity area including light bars and wall sconces, or small pendants.

Don’t overlook the hardware

Bathroom hardware includes faucets, showerheads, and knobs, but also includes handles, hinges, towel racks and hooks, and door handles. Make sure you have hardware that’s complementary (not matchy matchy) to each other. If you’re using oil-rubbed bronze for your shower hardware and faucets but your door handles are brass, it’s going to impact the overall look of your bathroom.

Think about technology

To say bathrooms have become high tech is an understatement! There are all kinds of options to add technology to your bathroom including floor heating, under counter appliances such as warming drawers for robes and towels, or wireless music systems. You spend a lot of time in a bathroom; why not make it a luxurious retreat?

Remodeling a bathroom can be a huge project, but an exciting one as well! Having a well thought out plan from the start will help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams!

5 Trends in Kitchen Countertops

When it’s time to renovate your kitchen, countertops can often make the biggest impact as they’re the most visible part of any kitchen. Trends have come and gone over the years; some are still going strong while others are considered outdated. Want some fresh ideas for your kitchen remodel?  Check out these 5 trends in kitchen countertops.

Prominent Patterns

Natural stones such as granite and marble can come with many different patterns or styles. You may see a fairly consistent pattern throughout the stone or you can see what’s called “movement” which means a unique pattern of crystals, veins and patterns that flow through the piece of stone. In the past, movement wasn’t desirable by homeowners for countertops but the new trend is to bring it on! Very distinct, prominent patterns in granite and marble are now in style; the more unique the better. For many, it makes decorating more interesting as designers match the colors and patterns in the stone with other décor in the kitchen such as artwork, wallpaper or backsplashes.

Backsplash Tiles

In the past, a backsplash was an extension of the stone or other material used for the countertops. Nowadays, backsplashes are predominantly tiles which allows for much more versatility. Whether it’s multi-colored tiles or subway tiles, backsplash tiles are the new norm. Materials for the tiles can include marble, metal, glass, copper, slate or glass, just to name a few. The options allow homeowners to really customize the look of their kitchens.

Neutral Countertops

Another emerging trend with the popularity of backsplash tiles are neutral countertops. While many homeowners want their countertops to take center stage with interesting patterns, others want their backsplash creativity to shine through, and are instead opting for very neutral countertops. Soft greys, whites, creams and beiges allow for other items in the kitchen, not just backsplashes, to stand out. The goal is for the countertop to be neutral and not catch anyone’s eye while other fun features such as lighting, backsplashes or even appliances to stand out.

Metal Countertops

This surprising trend is actually quite stunning! Metal countertops are now becoming increasingly popular all homes due to their durability and eye-catching shine. Though not new; this trend has been spotted in more contemporary, urban homes, the look is going mainstream. Many metal countertops are made to withstand rust and surface dings that are bound to happen in the kitchen.

Integrated Kitchen Sinks

Over the years, styles of sinks change with some frequency:  Over-counter, undermount, black granite, white porcelain, stainless steel, farmhouse sinks, etc. The trends seem to be driven by the look more than the functionality. Now the trend is sinks that are integrated into countertops. Also known as an “integrated sink countertop,” “counter sink,” or “integral sink”, integrated kitchen sink countertops are a single-piece design because the sink is made of the same material as the countertop. Why is this on trend?  They’re easy to clean because there are no seams between countertops and sinks. They provide a sleek look, so the sink isn’t a visual focal point in the kitchen. They’ve been popular for awhile in bathrooms, but now kitchens are featuring them as well.

At the end of the day, if you’re interesting in building your dream kitchen, the style needs to reflect your tastes as well as what you want the functionality of your kitchen to be. Countertop trends can be fun in opening up possibilities to make your kitchen unique. Not sure if these trends will work for you?  Work with a company that specializes in kitchen remodeling and restoration to find options that are right for you.