Friday, January 18, 2013

NOT your cold and sterile white bathroom


NOT your cold and sterile white bathroom

wall color and beadboard, wood flooring , wicker basket

Bathroom remodels are expensive, and just like with kitchen remodels, you have to "deal" with too many choices to choose from. So unless you actually know what you're looking for, remodeling your bathroom can get extremely confusing and overwhelming.
So what's my advice? unless there's a certain "look" you are after, or you are working with a good designer that helps you define your taste and lead you to choices you will be happy with, I suggest going for simplicity - a primarily white bathroom. But how do you design a white bathroom that is cozy, fresh and pretty? how do you NOT end up with a sterile, cold and depressing white bathroom?
My point - you CAN stick with mostly white for the fixed elements (tile, bathtub, backsplash, flooring, sink and vanity) and still create a fresh warm and cozy bathroom that you can freshen up from time to time with new accessories, paint, lighting, window treatments etc.)
here's how

1. lighting - white looks great in bright light, whether natural or artificial. 
2. Texture - using small repetitive shapes instead of color to create interest (beadboard, tile pattern)
3. Elements from nature - add a lot of warmth to white bathrooms (plants, wood, wicker, stone).
4. Detailed carpentry - detailed wood pieces versus plain "feel" warmer then sleek plain lined ones.
5. Free standing bath tubs - almost like a piece of sculpture, free standing bath tubs have a unique character.
6. Color accents - with accessories (towels, plants, soap dishes lighting) or wall color.
7. Open shelving - to display your unique accessories.

Maximize the natural light in your bathroom
Glass shower with window.

If your bathroom is windowless and you can afford to, go ahead and add windows or enlarge existing ones. If that's not an option, use window treatments that maximize natural light. Outside mount roman shades or woven shades can be opened up in a way that doesn't cover any of the window opening.

Stern Turner Home - traditional - bathroom - atlanta - Erica George Dines Photography
Lighting fixtures - If your bathroom ceiling is high enough you can add a chandelier. If not, be creative with wall sconces

High ceiling ? Add a chandelier
Texture is an excellent design tool to create visual interest in a limited color palette (white and grays). Texture is created by small repetitive shapes . Examples -  tile mosaic or patterned application of solid tile, bead boards, wicker etc.
Beadboards are a great way to add texture to a white bathroom. it's much softer looking then plain white walls.

Beadboards can be vertical (like the above picture), or horizontal. They can be installed halfway up over your walls or all the way up to the ceiling. If your bathroom has low ceiling, the vertical boards will give it some visual height. Wide, horizontal boards can create a serene and calm atmosphere.

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Tile - you can easily skip the accent tiles. Instead, use fields of hexagonal, circle or herringbone patterned tile.

Herringbone marble floor.

Ceramic Basics - Savoy - Ann Sacks Tile & Stone - traditional - bathroom tile - other metro - Rebekah Zaveloff

Black and white tile
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Use the same tile material in different sizes. this will create enough visual interest (the picture below -  the same stone was used both in hexagonal tile for flooring and a smaller tile for the shower.

hex floor

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Carera marble is not only trendy but goes well with a white and gray palette. Like any natural stone, it has it's own "character" which gives the space an instant personality. 

Bathroom decor.
Phoebe Howard

Detailed wood cabinetry will add style and warmth to any bathroom. A free standing furniture piece with legs will look stylish and non-bathroomy.

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The vanity in the picture above shows the perfect marriage between pretty and practical. The front decorative piece hides the flat baseboard behind, which closes all gaps (no need to clean underneath).

Elements from nature 
Natural materials like wood (especially reclaimed), wicker baskets and hand made stone or ceramic bowls add a lot of warmth and character . Plants are a another natural element that adds warmth (and color) to any room, and the bathroom is no exception.

Unique wood vanity
Gorgeous light and bright with vintage touches #bathroom #white

A driftwood hanger offers rustic coastal appeal
Warm touches

stone and wood basin

Free standing bathtubs have lots of character

                                A pretty white bathroom

                                        Breadboard, free standing bath

Texture can also be introduced with interesting shutters such as in the bathroom shown below.

                                    Breath of fresh air

Add color with colorful accents or wall paint.

                                      beautiful bathroom storage
Wall paint can add lots of color
                               Simple and perfect

Open shelving - use them to display towels and decorative accents - vintage pieces, planters, soap dispensers etc.

                                        Open Spaces, colorful touches, breadboard

Bathroom - contemporary - bathroom - los angeles - Pacific Family Homes

Unique hardware

                                          towel ring

Uniquely shaped mirrors

powder room, interesting shaped mirror

If you are planning a bathroom remodel and need help navigating through all the choices you have, contact me.


additional reading
    kitchen lights that blend in with the view
    How to light up your kitchen
    white kitchens
    Choosing color - ugly and pretty cost the same!
    choosing the right lighting can do wonders
    How to fix the "gray on gray" look
    gray is the new beige



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