Like everyone else in the whole wide world, I have been running around like a girl in need of 80 thousand perfect Christmas presents. I’ve been so busy, I’ve neglected my blogging life completely. Santa would be ashamed! In fact, the whole topic of our recent blog discussion – timeless vs. trendy home renovations – completely left my brain until yesterday when I was in line behind a trio of verrrrry excited munchkins and their oh, so frazzled mama. She was doing her best to avoid the Target-at-Christmas style meltdown that was looming when one of her sweet peas uttered a not-so-nice (but totally preschool-rated) putdown to his sister. Mom quickly swooped in and reminded him, “NO POTTY TALK.” And my first thought was POTTY TALK! BATHROOMS! RENOVATIONS! MY PROMISED BLOG POST. And yes, before I continue, this is how my brain works, especially at this time of year. No judging, friends.
Let’s engage in some potty talk, shall we? Specifically the kind that involves pretty tile and heated floors and lots of different types of shower jets. That’s the kind of potty talk we can all get behind. Let’s talk about how we approach our bathrooms and how we should approach our bathrooms, especially if we’re launching a bathroom renovation. In so many homes, the bathrooms are afterthoughts. As long as they’re kept relatively clean, most homeowners just live with what they’ve got, knowing that a bathroom reno can be a serious drain on the checkbook. But, friends. Listen. I bring good news. You will get back every dime you spend on a good, timeless bathroom redo. Great bathrooms, like great kitchens, are uber-important when it comes time to sell your home. So, if you’re thinking about ever selling, treat yourself to a nice, new bathroom now! You might as well enjoy it for as long as you’ll continue to be in your home. Then, when you do go to sell, you’ll be ready to get top dollar on your brilliantly renovated home.
As with the kitchen, though, let’s be smart about this project. Let’s remember that classic design elements will stand the test of time, while a room filled with trendy elements will quickly look dated. If you outfit your bathroom with barn doors and shiplap, you won’t see the return on your investment you deserve. But, if you plan well, a bathroom that is renovated with ageless elegance will yield an excellent return on your investment. Before you begin planning your bathroom upgrade, I want you to do something for me. It’s going to be tough, but know that this rigorous request will pay off in the long run. I want you to schedule a spa visit. Yes, a spa. Your favorite spa. Book a mani/pedi, and a facial and a massage. If you’re better half balks, tell them it’s all about research. Because, a “spa-like” bathroom is what we want to create in your abode, so while you’re lying there being pampered, you’re also going to take mental notes. Notice that the colors are soft and warm, not bright and gaudy. Notice that the light is diffused and the ambiance is peaceful. Then bring all that “research” home and get to work planning your spa-like, timelessly beautiful bathroom.
This might seem strange, but I like to work from the ground up. Plus, I have a small passion for tile. Today, the possibilities are endless and if you’re looking to be a little bit trendy, but still ensure enduring beauty, take a look at the wood plank ceramic tiles. They really do look like wood, but are as durable as tile and a great choice for bathrooms. They come in a myriad of colors and finishes and can be laid in many different patterns. . One of my favorite homes recently showcased wood plank tiles set in a herringbone pattern. The homeowner matched the gray tones in the tile with a soft gray grout for a really seamless (and super easy to clean) flooring choice. It’s absolutely spectacular. If you’re retiling, do consider adding a heated floor. It actually doesn’t add too much to your overall bill, but is a great selling point and something you’ll enjoy in the midst of winter.
When it comes to vanities and countertops, go as luxe as you possibly can. The vanity will be the centerpiece of your new bathroom and as such deserves a little love. Furniture style vanities are all the rage and will wear well, so if you want to capitalize on a chic trend, do it here. I firmly believe that this is one fad that won’t go out of style. Choose a solid stone countertop, like granite or marble. In fact, if you were disappointed that I nixed the Carrara marble for your kitchen, rest easy. You can use it in your bathroom and it will radiate elegance and high-brow beauty. Do remember, though, that Carrara is more porous than some other stones and needs to be treated to avoid staining. Spend some time really thinking about fixtures. Brass is “in” right now, but I think it’s a nostalgia choice and will soon go the way of open shelving. Consider, instead, brushed nickel or rubbed bronze fixtures.
Now, the shower. Let’s not even quibble about the fact that frameless glass doors are the way to go. Yes, they’re fashionable, but they always will be because they allow your shower to showcase the artistry of the tile that you choose. If you’re custom-building your shower, ask your contractor to build recessed shampoo niches and shelves. Then back those niches with a coordinating tile to really show off the shower. You won’t go wrong with extra showerheads, too. Rainheads are considered a luxury, but are easy and inexpensive to install. Even better are body jets which allow users to personalize their shower experience… remember the spa? Body jets in your new shower ooze spa-like luxury. If you have a separate shower and tub, consider replacing an encased garden tub (all the rage in the 90’s and early 2000’s) with a standalone tub. Like vanities, there are a ton to choose from… you can go classic to modern and really turn the tub into a talking point. Removing all that extra building material around your old tub will also make the new room feel bigger and airier.
I could go on and on, but this is already one of my longest posts to date. I have a lot to say about bathrooms because they’re so important. Even though they’re oft forgotten, they’re really vital to maintaining your home’s value and getting the most bang for your buck. One other happy note… contractors and home renovation centers often offer big discounts at this time of year and since your bathroom renovation will be weatherproof, you could save some dough by booking your bathroom renovation for early 2017. Here’s hoping Santa brings us all what we really wish for… a beautiful, classically renovated spa-like bathroom! Happy Holidays!!!