Give the Littlest Room in Your House an Uplift
Remodeling can be super-overwhelming, but also super-rewarding. Starting with the smallest room can give your entire house a new look.
What are some of the newer trends in bathroom renovations?
Customers are choosing slow-closing drawers that glide closed and won’t slam on your hand, as well as full-extension drawers, which allow for complete access and more storage space.
Vanities add style to any bathroom.
“People are drawn to the furniture look, so vanities are more than stationary pieces,” said Katie Dennis, marketing manager of Re-Bath, which has been in business since 1978. Furniture vanities can have a modern or vintage look, depending on what style you’re trying to achieve.
And vanities are not only trendy, but they also have functionality. No longer do you have to store bath towels on a put-it-together-yourself towel rack within the bathroom or in a closet somewhere outside the bathroom.
“We probably still see a lot of chrome and brushed-nickel finishes, which are traditional,” said Dennis. “But we’re also seeing bronze, a lot of mixing of metals, and a brushed-gold look, which can be paired with brushed nickel.”
In general, she added, faucets are bolder, more modern looking, and “not so much of an afterthought.”
You may love the look of your bathroom but dislike the cold sensation you feel stepping out of the shower. Due to the warm water evaporating off your skin, the room feels colder than it really is. What can you do?
Try a heated towel rack. It can be installed in any bathroom that has an outlet. Just fold the towels over the warming rails, and your towel will be toasty and snuggly the minute you step out of the tub or shower.
Although heated towel racks are not meant to warm the bathroom, small bathrooms will feel a difference in temperature.
Another possibility is heated flooring, including ceramic-floor or luxury-vinyl tile and sheet vinyl, which come in a variety of color options.
Though carpeting would remedy a cold floor, carpeting is no longer popular because seeping-in moisture becomes a problem.
“Most people are interested in tearing [carpeting] out,” said Dennis.
Technology has now been integrated into your bathing experience. Even that can be personalized.
With smart faucets, you can adjust the showerhead to a preset temperature so your personal settings will come on. The temperature can also be controlled from your smartphone or smart-home device, such as Alexa or voice activation. You can start your shower by just saying, “Alexa, start my shower,” and it will start with your individual settings.
Traditionally, designers have advised homeowners to have a tub in at least one of their bathrooms to enhance resale value, a tip that often helps homes appeal to young families as it’s hard to bathe a baby or toddler in a shower.
But if you have a very small house and you want to utilize the full-size tub space for something else, like a more elaborate shower, a gorgeous new trough sink, or just extra space in the bathroom, what do you do? There are small, portable tub products on the market that can be used in the shower for the short length of time that tub bathing is usually necessary for young children.
“So, the cost of keeping or installing a tub they otherwise don’t enjoy often outweighs the resale value,” said Dennis. “The time spent bathing young children is a short-enough moment in family life that it seems unnecessary to keep it.”
Mirrors are becoming smaller and don’t span the whole length of the wall of the vanity as they once did.
“Now it’s more important to have a mirror where you need it, in front of the sink, for example,” said Dennis. “We’re also seeing many more framed mirrors, such as a metal look with a design that complements the faucets.”
There is a realm of possibilities when it comes to paint color. Should you go with bold and beautiful, eggshell the no-fail, or a blend of this year’s trend color?
Grays and neutrals are popular themes, but using bits of bolder color in accessories or in wall paint can enliven them.
“You can create a more dynamic palette, even with neutral tones, by layering similar colors in different textures and patterns on top of each other,” said Dennis.
Suppose you have a bathroom that’s claustrophobia-inducing. How do you make it look bigger?
One way is by reducing the size of older fixtures, which “may be larger than they need to be and take up unnecessary space,” she added. “By shrinking the toilet or vanity, even if you gain just a few inches, the room looks bigger.”
Another way comes back to the tub. Some people prefer to remove it and expand their shower, sometimes expanding the shower wall to the ceiling.
If you have only one mirror, consider adding to that number. The presence of mirrors can make a room look larger by reflecting light.
In more general terms, why remodel at all?
“People are less reluctant than they used to be to put their own personality into their rooms,” Dennis said.
It used to be common to sell a house every five years or so. Now homeowners typically plan to be in their homes much longer, around the 15- to 20-year mark. It’s just natural that things become “dated,” and people start looking around to make changes.
And when it comes to the littlest room in their house, “people are seeking a more luxurious spa experience in their bathrooms, as opposed to a utilitarian room they get ready in each day,” Dennis said.