Bathroom upgrades are continually in demand and often push the envelope with their bold statements and unique styles.
Story by Ann Butenas
Do you have complaints about the design and décor of your current bathroom? Does it give you the “blahs” instead of the “ahhhs?” Then you have definitely come to the right place. If you are seeking a bath remodel in the near future, the experts at Kitchens and Baths by Briggs can help. Showroom consultant and designer Cara Christman shares her insights on the latest in bathroom designs, upgrades and styles. Take a quick peek into what the bathrooms of today desire, proving function and style can harmoniously co-exist.
KCH&S: What traditional rules can we break when designing our bathrooms now?
CHRISTMAN: In this part of the country, people tend to design with resale in mind. However, unless that is imminent, I suggest remodeling your bathroom with yourself in mind. It’s fun – and okay – to push the envelope a bit and play with shape, color, and texture. We are now taking our design cues from places we go that make us feel relaxed and comfortable and bringing those style cues home, creating that spa-like atmosphere.
KCH&S: What types of flooring are trending now?
CHRISTMAN: The traditional 12” x 12” tiles are out and we are now seeing 12” x 24” or even larger, such as 18” x 36” and similar large formats so the floor space is not broken up. We are also seeing more people use tile that resembles a wood plank aesthetic. Additionally, patterned floor tiles, while not seen too much locally, are trending more on a global basis, with bold, graphic shapes.
KCH&S: How can I have fun with lighting features?
CHRISTMAN: You are not just limited to the standard bar light over the mirror. While you still need good task lighting, you can have fun with personality and style. Chrome and crystal chandeliers were popular last year and now we are seeing a trend towards mixing metals within the lighting features themselves. Other fun ideas include sconces beside the mirror; back lighting the mirror; or lighting integrated into the mirror. Not only do these options make the lighting interesting, but they also make it functional. Other lighting ideas consist of placing sconces in other areas of your bathroom if it is large enough, or hanging chandeliers over free standing tubs. This bring both personality and sculpture into the room. Not all chandeliers have to be crystal, however. Some may look like mobiles or floating sculptures with incorporated LED lighting for a contemporary and new look.
KCH&S: What colors and textures are people bringing into the bathroom now in terms of design?
CHRISTMAN: While marble, gray and white still make the rounds, today we are seeing trends towards warming up the bathroom with a variety of different finishes, textures and colors. As I tell people, unless you plan to move soon, pick the design you enjoy. If you are getting ready to sell, design it like the first three photos you see online and call a designer who works with a real estate agent in this regard.
KCH&S: What role does technology play in the bathroom now?
CHRISTMAN: Showers now come with digital systems that allow you to program your showering experience. Steam showers, also programmable, are highly popular, and can be heated and ready for you. Some steam showers also have a video screen for a meditative experience with music. Audio systems can also be added to the shower to embrace your senses. Therapy tubs, whether for luxury or health reasons, can have timers and programs to provide options such as air massage and aromatherapy, all individually set for you. Automated toilets will raise the seat for you, self-deodorize and self-clean with UV cleaning. Add touchless faucets and your entire bathroom can be fully automated.