The hardest part which I didn't anticipate has been picking a color palette. Our adjoining bedroom is painted chamois yellow and it's tough to find a hue that both works with it and doesn't make me look sick. So for now I'm leaning toward classic white – fail‐safe timeless and always in good taste. The greatest thing about white bathrooms: They look equally appropriate in every design style. I'm not sure yet whether I'll stick with my streamlined traditional look or go into totally new territory but these eight outstanding baths will help me pick a direction.
Tie everything together. "We wanted to revamp this bathroom without doing a costly remodel " says Beth Dotolo of Pulp Design Studios. "By using this European trellis wall covering we were able to give the space a completely new look and tie together the existing finishes".
While the soft curves of a round mirror can add a more delicate feminine touch to a space two rectangular mirrors make a masculine statement in this bath. The frame of this mirror complements the vanity below perfectly while the sconces add further interest. An hourglass mirror in the center reflects onto the other surfaces in the room creating a 3‐D look. Get a look similar to two mirrors by framing a window with mirrors. These beautiful antique mirrors reflect the light from outside giving the whole room a golden glow.
Ensure proper drainage. Not only will you guard against damage from standing water but you'll also protect yourself from skidding on wet floors. Angle the shower floor slightly so that water flows toward the drain and think about adding a second drain for doubly effective siphoning. Select surfaces that can stand up to moisture. Even with careful attention to an open shower's design splashes and steam will escape. Outfit your bath with surfaces that hold their own against moisture: porcelain or glass tile metal stone solid surfacing engineered quartz and some woods. Avoid fabrics and other materials that are prone to mildew.
Add a half‐wall to protect against splashes. Ideally an open shower requires at least a 6‐foot buffer zone on every side to avoid flooding the rest of the bath with water. But a half‐wall such as the one that divides this shower from the vanity can help to contain droplets. Consider a corner location if possible. Orient the shower in a corner that faces away from the other bathroom zones. Not only does this guard against spraying water but it also preserves some measure of privacy (more on that in a minute).
Soak in the sunset. For this bathroom Crisp chose a vintage black claw‐foot tub. "Who wouldn't want to relax in a hot bath while gazing into the sunset across the rolling hills?" he asks. Highlight the positive. "Prior to its remodel this master bathroom had a built‐in vanity and tub surround that started at the entry door by the sinks and was carried all the way around to the shower" says Susan Brown of Susan E. Brown Interior Design. "By using a freestanding bathtub and separate vanities I knew the space would be opened up yet still feel cohesive with the integration of similar colors and finishes". She adds that "having negative space surrounding the tub gives more emphasis to it as the pièce de résistance of the room. I continued to emphasize that aspect with hidden accent lighting that shines through the onyx tub deck and down onto the iridescent turquoise glass tiles creating an 'incredible soft glow ' as my client put it".
Prepare to combat chills. There's no getting around it – open showers can be drafty especially in the winter months. Installing a heat lamp and radiant heat bathroom flooring can offset the shivers. Mount a heated towel rack nearby and you'll be extra toasty as you dry off. Choose an appropriate showerhead. Unless you have a very large buffer zone a standard showerhead that angles outward can end up soaking your space. Opt for a rain‐style model which casts water straight down or a handheld type that allows you to control the position and flow. If you do use a more conventional model mount it so that the spray hits an opposite wall rather than the shower opening.
I’ve always wanted a freestanding bathtub. I'm not really sure why. There's just something so appealing about all the different sizes and shapes and how they sit so independently in a room and seem to virtually say "Look at me". And now these designers have given me 16 more reasons why I need to get one. Take advantage of the view. "I must admit that the homeowners drove the decisions for these tubs" says James Crisp of Crisp Architects (see next photo also). "The real inspiration is the view. If a master bath has a separate shower and room for a freestanding tub strategically positioned to enjoy a great view the big question is why not?" This tub is from Waterworks.
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