As with any other room in the house, the bathroom is just as interested in remaining fashionable while keeping pace with the current trends.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photos by Matt Kocourek
Looking into 2019, bathrooms are certainly taking on an even grander personality than in the past. There is no denying the bathroom remains one of the most popular rooms in the home, and understandably so, but that has often been more for its underlying purpose than its style. Today, bathrooms seem to demand equal billing with the rest of the design styles in the home. Some crave a minimalist appeal while others lean towards a modern and sleek design. Others still step way outside the box with bold and edgy design elements that steal the show. Today’s bathroom may not be your grandma’s bathroom, as it has a voice and style all of its own and is unafraid to request your full attention. Mary Thompson, co-owner of Architectural Craftsmen, the award-winning home remodeling firm, has compiled an extensive list of the “must haves” and “curious desires” in today’s bathroom design trends. Through her company’s extensive portfolio of home remodeling projects, she has come to realize bathrooms are more than just a shower, sink and toilet. They are a unique and inviting aspect of the home and most worthy of the attention they seek.
KCH&S: Let’s just cut to the chase. What has been the most unusual request you have received from a client in terms of a bathroom remodeling project?
THOMPSON: Remodeling a client’s bathroom is a very intimate experience, actually. We do receive some interesting requests. One client asked for a tub that was large enough to accommodate two people. The couple wanted to sit in the tub at the same time to read, bathe, enjoy a glass of wine and just talk. It’s just what they enjoyed doing together.
KCH&S: What are the trending colors now?
THOMPSON: While we don’t see a whole lot of vibrant colors, we are seeing a lot of blues now, blending off the traditional gray and white color scheme. Many clients also appreciate a spa-like ambiance, which relies on the elements of sea glass colors, such as muted blues and greens. These provide a calming and relaxing effect on the space. Also, many people are requesting the Carrara marble look, but we don’t recommend marble in the bathroom, as it is a high-maintenance product which has to be resealed over time. To accommodate this particular request, we have found a lot of really good porcelain tiles that look like marble and are perfect to put in the bathroom.
KCH&S: What part of the bathroom is becoming somewhat obsolete and what is taking its place?
THOMPSON: Many people are getting rid of the oversized tubs in the Master Bath and perhaps putting a larger shower in its place. The old shower can then be repurposed as a linen closet or laundry with stacked washers and dryers, which makes sense, as so much of your laundry is generated in the bathroom. Others have added steam rooms in place of the tub, which can be accompanied by music, aromatherapy and chromotherapy. It is interesting to figure out ways to use the space where the tub used to reside. Some choose to add an additional vanity area, an extra closet or simply a sitting area with a bench. There are many options and ideas.
KCH&S: How have vanities changed? Are people leaning towards built-ins or stand-alone pieces?
THOMPSON: We are doing a bit of both. Some of the built-in vanities have legs to make them look like a table, along with a built-in drawer and sitting area to do make-up. These often look like pieces of furniture instead of just vanities.
KCH&S: What types of lighting do clients request to add unique layers to the space?
THOMPSON: Lighted mirrors are popular now. These have lights built into them, much like a make-up mirror, offering both warm light and daylight as needed. Some are also dimmable. We will frequently add sconces to either side of the mirror to soften up the space.
KCH&S: What are some interesting storage ideas for bathrooms?
THOMPSON: We have installed a lot of pull out drawers, similar to the spice door or drawer in kitchens. This is a perfect place to store hair dryers and curling irons. We have also installed pull-out trash drawers under the sink.