Links: Bathroom Design

To get started on a bathroom design, I usually start by browsing images and articles on Houzz (link because getting to articles can be a bit convoluted there) and Pinterest to gather some inspiration together, then editing them to get down to the essence of what I'm looking for.

Here are some articles I've read recently:

The New Bathroom: Sink, Tub and Tile Trends for 2014 and Beyond

I like to keep an eye on the trends even if I don't follow them. I have certain design blogs I follow and then there are magazines (either digital or paper) where things show up earlier or later, depending on what the editorial focus is.

I also like to look at hot designs from 5-10 years ago. Anything that still appeals to me is more of a keeper, because it's not just about it being new and unusual. I hate spending money on things that lose their appeal with overuse, and anything that shows up on a top ten list is going to be used to death.

Houzzer's Say: Dream Features for the Bath and Closet

Some of this is insane. I would never, ever consider a TV in the bathtub. That sounds like a combination of the worst idea ever and possibly one of the more dangerous ideas ever. If that's what you need, go for it, but mount it VERY carefully so it does not nosedive into the drink.

But: a bath niche sized to store your actual shampoo bottles is nice, and grab bars should really be required (you will use them more than you expect). I'm agnostic on benches -- they can be great, but you can use a portable bench if you need one which works better for access -- and a true convert on towel warmers. In California, the total water output from a shower at any given time can only be 2 GPM, which doesn't allow you to have an overhead fixture and a handheld operating at the same time (sorry, 1200-year drought is still here), but a fixture that switches between the two is OK and good. I like a handheld for things other than bathing, like washing dogs or soaking my feet after a hard run.

5 Common Bathroom Design Mistakes to Avoid

Most of these I already covered in my post on bathroom design, but it's worth repeating #5: bigger is not always better. Lots of people want a spacious bathroom retreat, when really what they need is a place that works for them. The problem is that sometimes it feels like this would take the edge off the stresses of life, and I am here to tell you it will not. In fact, because bathrooms are so expensive, a spacious bathroom will actually add to the stress you feel, because you have to pay for it.

12 Design Tips to Make a Small Bathroom Better

My bathrooms are all what might be considered small bathrooms, even though they all feel large to me. I see this when I deal with actual large bathrooms, which are generally larger than my bedroom (which is 12 ft x 12 ft). So if you have an actually small bathroom, the photos in this kind of article can feel a little like a lie, since they show what is clearly a pretty large space. Just keep that in mind.

Most of these are great ideas. I tend to use pocket doors for bathrooms when possible because of the space saved on the swing, so hanging towels on the door doesn't work, but for the most part I agree with almost everything in this list.

I do disagree about shower curtains: in reality, you have to pull them out to dry after showering or they get mildewy, so they take up a lot of visual space in a bathroom unless you almost never shower in there. Fine for guest rooms or kids' baths, though. Or if you are the kind of person who washes their shower curtain every week (these people exist, and they have more energy than I do).

Be careful when extending a vanity over the toilet that you can still get into the tank to perform simple repairs. You'll need one of those short tanks or a wall hung. Or, I guess, a Victorian-style high tank would work.

I'm not sure how a trough sink helps make a small bathroom feel larger: I find that I feel more cramped when there is nowhere for me to put things down, like my phone or a brush. YMMV.

And hey, all, there are some good notes in the comments on the last set of posts! Check them out! I know my draconian comment policy keeps things a little slow here (beats the porn links and abuse I was getting for a while), but I didn't want to dedicate my life to monitoring the comments threads. So slow commenting is kind of the thing.

posted by ayse on 01/15/15


Not only have to pay more, but to take more time to clean it. Or pay more money for someone else to clean it.

Our current bathroom in SF is tinier than most of the bathrooms in that article, but it was built in the 30s and it has the original bright pinky-purple and mint green tilework, with matching pedestal sink and tub (I'm pretty sure the toilet used to match too, but it's been replaced with a newer model).

There's very little space to put anything down, so we keep the towels in a linen closet except the ones we're using right now, and have only the everyday-use things on the small shelves. I too appreciate having somewhere safe to put down my phone/book/whatever. The not-everyday bath usage have their own drawer in the wardrobe.

It'd be nice if it were a little larger (I miss the big walk-in shower from the last place we lived. So much nicer than the shower-in-the-tub). But keeping those bathroom shelves and the available space partly empty helps me feel like it is not quite so cramped.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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