Details for the Ultimate Bath Experience

How can you be excited about designing a bathroom? I know it seems like it is a just bathroom, but let me tell you, there are some exciting and sexy bathroom options to consider!

Beyond beautiful stone and tile, look past the custom vanity, disregard the plush bathrobes and pretty soaps that we put in all of the pictures, let’s talk about form and function coming together to make a truly spectacular  bathroom.

Let’s start with the toilet. It is a running joke here at my office how passionate I am about toilet details. I have 2 boys you see, so I know the value of a good toilet. What makes a good toilet, besides the style that compliments your bathroom:

  • 1 piece (no break/transition from tank to seat) – this is both a function and beauty issue
  • Smooth apron to the floor – this is a cleanability detail that you will appreciate
  • Elongated seat design – this is a preference, but is a nice detail
  • Comfort height (unless someone in your home is short) – as we get older this becomes more important, and is nice if everyone in the home is over 5’5″
  • Dual flush – a little water conservation goes a long way!

The bathtub…there are 2 main options to consider -Freestanding or Built in?

Freestanding tubs have beautiful shapes and size options, and typically if you do free standing it is the “wow” moment in a bathroom that sets the tone for the bathroom style. They do offer freestanding in jetted, but those tend to be a bit bulky and not as nice looking. Also with a free standing tub, you have some fantastic tub filler options, wall mounted or floor mounted, or if you are really bold you can do ceiling mounted for your tub filler!

Built in style tubs offer a plethora of options, including easy to conceal jets, bubblers, line heaters and some wonderful features. The other big advantage to a built in style is the surround itself allows us to accessorize with towels, candles, bath salts, you get the picture! Not to mention, there’s a convenient place for a glass of wine. Also, there is the safety feature of being able to sit your tush down on the side and easily swing your legs in.

Showers have countless options, but the one I want to share today is called a style or infinity drain. This is one of my favorite items. Drains are no longer typical. The tile in options are so great, you barely notice the drain, the water flows around the tiled area, and there is a little tool that allows you to lift the tiled top off if you need to clean the drain. Also, the elongated version is super cool, both tile in or with a grate, it is just fun to do something different! You can install this drain to run along the wall, or under a bench. Just remember we do have to slope the floor slightly to the drain.

We have even done a round version of this type of drain to go with the penny round mosaic tile.

A splurge item for some, a must in my opinion, is inset medicine cabinet mirrors. No more of the cheesy, little medicine cabinet on the side wall, how about a large 20×30 or 20×40 medicine cabinet that can be 4″ or 6″ deep, right in front of you as your mirror. Robern makes a fantastic one, Kohler has some, RH has some, you name it, we have lots of options in various shapes and sizes and budgets. On some of them, you can even have power inside (so you no longer need to have your toothbrush or various other counter top clutter items out) You can order them with a locking section for medication and you can get a refrigerated section. Sidenote : I used to think this was for tiny champagne or wine bottles!  but its main function is for expensive face cream or medication that should be kept cool. A nice little feature is the magnetic interior detail that holds tweezers or little scissors. Some even come with interior light and a magnifying make up mirror inside, so when you open that door you have everything you need. For the techies out there you can even get a TV in the mirror if you like to watch the morning news!

Let’s talk lighting for your bathroom. First, you need good light in the room, this is typically done with recessed lights placed properly in the room, sometimes even over the sink, tub, toilet area – depending on the bath lay out. Then we want some accent light, sconce lights, pendants (don’t be afraid to try something different) or over the mirror/medicine cabinet lights. These can be good task lights, but some fixtures are really more ambiance rather than task (especially with Edison bulbs or heavy shades). For your designer, these lights are the “bling” in the room, they let us define the style to compliment the surfaces and plumbing fixtures. One of my favorite little details is to add LED lighting under the toe kick of the vanity for a night light.

Another item to consider if your feet area always cold like mine, is radiant heated flooring. We don’t do much of this in California, but I did it for my parents and it is my mom’s very favorite detail. Yes, it is a luxury, but how nice to not be walking on cold stone flooring in the early morning. Your feet will thank you!

Want a complete spa experience, how about a towel warmer. Not too expensive, just need power, and a wall that accommodates the size of the towel warmer, now you have warm toasty towels when you step out of the shower. I know most people don’t think of this, but if you are remodeling anyway, it is an inexpensive way to add something special that I am sure you will enjoy.

One more fun item to consider (very affordable at that) is a blue tooth speaker/LED light/exhaust fan. That’s right you can have your morning play list, a quiet fan, and LED light all in one!

Now ….throw in some plush towels and a nice bathrobe and Voila! Your own custom spa bath
What new feature is your favorite for a new bathroom – Let us know !