It's been established that the most involved, expensive and impactful renovations for the home is the kitchen. But, today bathrooms are considered a close second when it comes to investment, value and adding "personality power" to a home.

What do we mean by "personality power"? Let's discuss what a "theme" is (btw, we loathe that word!!). Regardless for the following - the term theme is more appropriate. Typically a theme is an idea supported by superficial elements (applique details - that tend to be more literal in nature), ie: a colourful seashell on the wall for an "aquatic" feeling space, complete with coordinating, towels, accessories and shower curtain (yikes!!). For a design to be impactful, the theme should just behave as an inspirational starting  place. 

Today, the relevance of the bathroom as a valuable space in the home has heightened. The bathroom is one of the few places in a home where one can find personal sanctuary, a space to collect, rejuvenate for the next day or contemplate days end. It is also a space when updated it adds substantial value to ones home.

All photos below were found on Pinterest...

The Vision - Before purchasing or selecting materials and fixtures, it's best to brainstorm the bigger picture; the full design vision (strategy). Form should follow function in this utilitarian space and the bathroom reno should allow for a variety of tasks to be performed. The bathroom must be multi-functional (bathing, showering, shaving, storage, putting on makeup, reading, etc, etc.).

Your Flooring – Nowadays, there is a plethora of price conscience options that can provide visual impact, so take time with this decision. Tile comes in so many textures, colours, format sizes, insert options, blah, blah -  it can be hard to choose (oh, and don't forget floor warming options!), Luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl blank, mini glass tile, concrete, etc are all looks that can be quite fab in your new bathroom space. 

The Vanity – There are really only three or four surfaces to design in this space, so we suggest making a statement with the vanity... it's often a prime focal point in bathrooms. Cabinets (vanity, storage, floating shelves) can be made in or a combination of any material imaginable- wood, glass, stainless steel, laminate, granite, quartz, lumicor, corian, melamine, and on and on... 

And then the Sinks – vessel sinks have been trendy to the "DIY-ers". These come in all shapes and sizes, a variety of materials (glass, stone, porcelain, and metals to name a few). Vessel sinks are functional, add visual interest... but note they CAN be a wee trickier to clean.  

Steamy Showers- multiple showerheads are all the rage! Sprays that massage or pulsating. Install multiples and play with their placement and height. But, don't forget, the more shower heads use "need", the larger the hot water tank required to support!. 

Aaaah, the Tub- Jetted tubs or ones with air massagers are a brilliant addition to the bathing experience! Many tubs can have the option of a heated liner, or speed pumps which are great when there are multiple users. Personalize it more... add a stereo system, TV or chromatherapy! 

La Toilette (or is that "Le"???) - check out the new modern and contemporary shapes rather than opting for a color. Consider automatic flush features, remote control bidets that feature a quick button flush on the wall - these help minimize water consumption!

Lighting - Space Jewellery! – Lighting fixtures are always at the forefront of design. Statements are being made everyday with a mixture of lighting sources. Don't forget about those multiple tasks that take place in this space! Lighting sources, value, etc. is imperative to functioning properly in the bathroom.

Like this post? Don't like it? Let us know... we welcome feedback, comments, questions and then some about the above anything design or Design Shop related !! Oh, and press the wee heart on your "way out"!! 

The Design Shop Girls


Bathrooms on budget with colossal personalities !!

We all have been told repeatedly that the most involved, expensive and pay it forward renovations for the home are the kitchen and bathroom spaces. But what is rarely spoken of, is that if planned creatively and proactively (wink, wink.. hire a seasoned INTERIOR designer), your renovation can stay on track and you can avoid bankruptcy, foreclosure and emptying your wallets !!

So, with the above statement said, How the h*ll do you update said spaces while still infusing massive personality and innovative design moves into your new and improved space !! Brilliant question you / we ask ...

Here are a few steps in the process that will keep you and your designer on track with budget vision and timeline...

1. BUDGET -  TALK ABOUT IT! Don't be afraid to communicate this integral baseline to the entire project. Do your homework. Think hard about your needs (and wishes) for the space. What are your expectations? What's your vision? What is your timeline (are you securing an interior designer at the 11th hour and rushing everything)? Are you satisfied with your current floor plan and layout? Is there anything in the existing space you are open to salvaging? And, on and on.... Don't worry, it's not that daunting of a task and your designer will help facilitate this dialogue... But the end result will help your designer know if your expectations are indeed in line with the budget, or if you are completely out to lunch... Design Shop will say this politely of course .

2. Keep as many mechanical, plumbing and electrical locations in place. Every move of said system can add dollar bills to the final construction costs. Wee moves or slight adjustments are typically not the biggest deal, but a complete reconfigure of the plan WILL add up.

3. Concept - the design story!!  Yeah, yeah... the perceived "hooey hooey" part of the design process, but this is where and when the magic happens with the overall vision of the design (please don't use the word theme - a decorator may be ok with this "term", but an Interior Designer will throw up in their mouth.. Just a heads up!).

The concept behaves like a thesis statement when writing a paper. It filters ideas, decisions and the body, ensuring the overall "story" is consistent and uniquely yours!
When it comes to staying on budget it allows you and your designer to choose the appropriate finishes and materials, fixtures, etc., that are congruent but most importantly we can make decisions about when,  where and how much you can splurge with your selections! There is always a way, you just need to have the right brain power to put this creativity to work.

4. Form should always follow function, specifically in a bathroom space, and one should allow for a variety of tasks to be performed in this multifunctional space. Your designer may ask you seemingly odd questions... ie: (sorry Ben Hopper), do you shave your legs in the shower? Show us how? These question may lead to your designer to suggesting a bench detail or an elongated or segmented alcove in your shower wall. Maybe one alcove storage opening is intended for shampoo and whatnot storage and maybe another segment is perfectly placed for you to prop your foot up to shave your legs!! If you are going custom - truly make it yours.

Enough Design Shop verbage for today... Now it's your turn, let us know what you think of our blog entry. Share, comment or hit the cute little red heart !!

The Design Shop Girls