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My 5 step process for designing the perfect bathroom.

a stand-alone tub with a bubble bath in a bathroom room with lots of windows.

Designing the perfect bathroom can be a challenging task for any interior designer, let alone homeowners without prior remodel experience. During my first from-the-ground-up bathroom design, I developed these main guidelines to guide me.

In any bathroom there’s a lot more that needs to be taken into account than looks. Creating a space that is both beautiful and practical requires careful planning and attention to detail. This all starts with the layout.

Consider the layout.

a moody bathroom with patterned floor tile, a wicker partition, and a copper claw foot bathtub.

The layout of the bathroom is one of the most important factors to consider when designing the space. Consider the placement of the sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub, as well as any storage solutions. Visualize how you will use your bathroom. Do you typically get ready with all your makeup on the counter and various hot tools? Then the vanity counter size and placement of your outlets will be integral. Do you have young kids that require baths? Make sure there is ample space surrounding your tub to avoid crowding. You may not have total flexibility when it comes to the layout of your bathroom, but it is a room you spend a lot of functional time in throughout your day, make sure it’s a space that actively works for you.

In the bathroom referenced above, although my client was a bachelor, we put in his and her vanities and a free-standing tub for resale value, and any guests he may have. Being involved early in the planning stages allowed me to make any changes before going to permit. Always involve a designer before submitting for permits because changes afterward are much more expensive and often times undoable.

Next, comes the materials.

a luxury bathroom with a marble counter and gold fixtures.

Choosing the right materials is key to creating a beautiful and durable bathroom. Opt for high-quality materials that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Look out for moisture resistant, long lasting materials like marble, granite, porcelain, or ceramic for the floors and walls. Also, high-quality fixtures and fittings for the sink, shower, and bathtub. Don't just think about how things look but consider the feel and texture of your materials. Don't forget a sound system and horizontal surfaces for candles, scents and plants. Consider making each element unique but cohesive. In my first bath remodel we used different knobs and handles that were all in the same family but unique in their own way throughout the space.

Don't forget the storage.

a bathroom with cement walls, an organic oval vanity mirror, and built-in storage.

Storage is essential in any bathroom, and incorporating it into the design can help to keep your space organized and clutter-free. If you have a smaller bathroom this tip is even more crucial. Consider adding built-in storage solutions like shelves or cabinets, or opt for a vanity with drawers or cabinets for storing toiletries, towels, and other essentials. Use all the spaces. Instead of having stationary drawer fronts under the sink, get special drawers that fit around the plumbing. Put electrical outlets in the drawers for your heating tools and razors. Be sure to leave some shelving open for character and depth. These are perfect for plants, rolled towels and unique trays for jewelry and other personal items.

a luxury bathroom with marble floors and a mirrored tub and vanity with a gold chandelier.

Don't skimp on the lighting.

Lighting should be layered. Good lighting is essential in any bathroom, and can help to create a bright and welcoming atmosphere, as well as a set the mood for an evening bath. Consider adding a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting, as well as natural light whenever possible. Make sure that the lighting is both functional and stylish, and complements the overall design of the space. Again, don't be afraid to be creative.

Make it your own with personal touches...

A blue bathtub with a tray holding soap, a loofa, towel and glasses.

Finally, adding personal touches to the design of the bathroom can help to make it feel like a relaxing and welcoming space. I love to incorporate little luxuries into my designs. Consider creating space for a towel warmer. How about a large ledge near the bathtub for candles? The bathroom should be your sanctuary. A place where you can relax and reset. Therefore, Look for soothing artwork, add plants, or decorative accessories like candles, vases, and trays.

In conclusion, designing the perfect bathroom requires careful planning and attention to detail. By considering the layout, choosing the right materials, incorporating storage, layering lighting, and adding personal touches, you can create a beautiful and functional space that meets your needs. If this task seems at all daunting to you or you would enjoy having someone else take care of the details I am here to help. Let’s set up a consultation and explore all the possibilities of how great your bathroom could be.


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Carolyn Tracy
  Interior Designer

My passion is to be present. In the moment, with everything and everyone that surrounds me.  I pursue collaboration, fun and creativity in all I do. 

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