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Function then Beauty: Key elements of Good Bath Design
Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009

The bathroom is unlike any other room in the house.

It is the place for:

  • Meditation and introspection.
  • Relaxation and refocusing.
  • A communal experience.
  • A secluded and tranquil retreat.

Review the offerings on and you’ll find that the latest European modern bathroom trends embrace the best in materials and minimalist forms. Distinctive characteristics (walnut, stainless steel, glass and assorted finishes) make vanities particularly appealing as strong design statements.

But before you go there, know that the bathroom is a space that warrants planning and much thought. So first and foremost, how will it be used? That’s an important consideration because intimate rituals are performed in the bathroom that not only cleanse us of the day’s excess—both physically and spiritually—but it’s also a place for us to shed our exterior and fully examine and become conscious of our interior.

To assist with the process, at we put our designer-savvy thinking caps on and organized a few important points:

Who will be using the bathroom?

  1. Will guests be using it? Make a statement with an nontraditional sink.

  2. Will children be using it? Then provide a pullout step under the vanity.
  3. Visualize the needs of the users, including you. Do you need a privacy zone allowing several users to occupy the space at one time? What activities will take place in the bathroom? Make-up, hair care, bathing, dressing, exercising, laundering, reading, lounging, showering?
  4. Finally, contemplate water relaxation elements such as: sauna, steam, and whirlpool. What are your preferences?

Hone in on:

The primary time of the day the bathroom will be used.

  • Address privacy issues with window and door treatments. For instance, glass is an architectural element that can define zones and lighting requirements. Explore what is available before getting too involved with the smaller details.

Storage integration.

  • You can never have too much bathroom storage. But first, take inventory of what you absolutely have to store in the bathroom and what can be placed in a hall closet (if the bathroom is too small). Ledges and shelves form an abstract sculpture of useful storage. Vented base cabinets can serve as hampers. Roll top garage-style space savers hide sink clutter. And, note that designers advise you to recess shallow shelving between wall studs.

Characteristics of your household.

  • Are you right handed? Left-handed? Have physical limitations? How tall are you?

  • Accessible design accommodates users of all ages, sizes and abilities. The objective of a great multi-user design is that it creates as few obstacles and barriers as possible. Grab bars can double as towel racks and easily be incorporated into a design as a stylish element. Hand held showerheads are convenient for users of all ages and size. Tubs should always be set into decks wide enough for the user to sit on comfortably and safely.

While the kitchen is a high-level design room, without exception, the bathroom too demands many decisions whether for a remodel or new construction. And unlike other rooms in your house where furniture can be moved on a whim, the bath is much more difficult (and expensive) when it comes to relocating fixture and plumbing sites. So … planning is key. Take our advice and then the fun stuff will follow. We’re talking about everything offered at, from sinks and vanities to storage accessories, shower panels and more.


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