There are many reasons for remodeling bathrooms. Whether the room is inadequate in some way, in need of updating or it is just time for a change, bathroom makeovers solve problems of many kinds. The place to start is with a list of goals and priorities.
With a clear set of goals, you can begin your design and shopping for fixtures and materials for the bathroom makeovers. Some homeowners plan an update of all bathrooms in the house at one time. This can simplify the process of selecting and purchasing materials for the project and occasionally saving some money.
The recent shift to very large bathrooms has caused many homeowners to consider bathroom makeovers. Some people who remodel baths will enlarge the spaces by reallocating some space in the house or by extending the walls with a bump out or an addition. Other homeowners will try to remodel in ways that adds important types of space and creates the impression of spaciousness.
Because changing the location of major plumbing fixtures (tub, toilet, sink) can be the most expensive element in bathroom makeovers, the focus is often on finding new fixtures that are designed on a smaller scale or that use space differently. For example, exchanging a sink set in a large vanity cabinet for a wall-mounted sink opens a large amount of floor space. This creates the impression of a larger room.
The choice to remove a vanity during a remodel creates a different set of challenges. In many bathrooms, the only storage space is the vanity. Removing the cabinet leaves no storage space for towels, wash cloths, soap, shampoo, makeup, grooming appliances, etc.
Replacing a vanity with wall-mounted cabinetry will not create the illusion of more space. In fact, adding wall mounted cabinets (typically at eye level) actually makes the room seem even smaller than the vanity did. Bathroom makeovers of this kind require a completely different approach to storage.
Some homeowners also object to removing a vanity by pointing out that there will be no place to display decorative items. This is true – removing the vanity also removes counter area. Once again, these bathroom makeovers require creativity.
Most families need storage space in each bathroom, even a guest bath. There are, however, several simple (yet often overlooked) ways to accomplish this goal in bathroom makeovers. Some options include:
- Claiming space for a linen closet from the adjoining bedroom.
- Using open shelving, particularly above a tub or toilet.
- Opening wall areas to build recessed shelves with trim (only the trim extends past the wall).
- Customizing cabinetry by making it six inches deep (rather than the standard 12 inches).
- Using cabinetry with glass doors.
- Using mirrors as doors (typically done with medicine cabinets).
Other approaches might include re-sizing a vanity to provide storage but use minimal space. Changing the doors on the vanity to glass (or textured or frosted glass) can create a sense of spaciousness. Different sizes in cabinets can be accommodated in bathroom makeovers by learning to adjust to different amounts of space.
Most physicians and pharmacists recommend moving all medications out of bathrooms because the heat and steam in the bath and kitchen can alter the chemicals. Move extra soaps, shampoos, etc. to another storage area. Make the most of all available storage space.
Finally, use other decorating and design ideas to make the room look larger than it is. Look at ideas from bathroom makeovers that work with small bathrooms. Bring in additional light, use light colors or vertical stripes to add height, bring in more mirrors and glass to make the room appear larger.
Working with an experienced cabinetmaker on bathroom renovations will provide valuable insight and creativity. It can also help you keep your bathroom makeovers more affordable if your cabinetmaker can customize stock cabinets and vanities for your project. With a little creativity and a good cabinetmaker, even the most challenging renovation can be easy and affordable.