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).
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.
Between the porthole window (nicely echoed by the round mirror) and the starfish accents this space could only be coastal. This proves you don't have to pile on nautical accents to lend a breezy beachy feel. With mirrored sparkle suave lighting and overtones of glamour this bath radiates Hollywood Regency chic. Stripped back to the bare essentials this bath typifies minimalist decor. Where do you think they keep the toiletries? Warm white tones soft light and a sweetly skirted vanity seat? Feels romantic to me. All it needs is a vase of fresh flowers and a candle or two.
Divide and conquer. "Given that the design for this bathroom placed the shower in the center of the room with the vanities on either side a frameless glass enclosure was the best way to keep the space open and airy" says Shelly Amoroso of Amoroso Design. "I understand the need for a couple to have separate vanities but hey you would miss a lot of funny banter and together time if you couldn't see each other". Turn toward the light. "I changed the layout of this bathroom quite a bit by turning the shower area 90 degrees from its position on the long wall to sitting under the window" says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design. "This had a massive impact on the visual aspect of the space. All of a sudden a rather dark train‐compartment‐like room became somewhat grand in appearance and we didn't even need to enlarge the window. And the gray stone is balanced with lots of openess and light".
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".
Bidets. The U.S. is known for a love of being uberclean so it's surprising that we haven't embraced bidets as they offer a cleanliness we can't get with toilet paper. Beyond cleanliness bidets save water because making toilet paper is an incredibly water‐intensive process. And some bidet users increase their shower intervals saving more water still.
Composting toilets. Composting toilets which use little or no water are ready for the mainstream with smart systems that can look like conventional toilets (save for missing the water tank). Manufacturers like Clivus Multrum and Sun‐Mar offer centralized systems that have remote tanks for the waste. The tanks can be sized so that minimal attention is required.
Treat the tub like furniture. "The owner just fell in love with this tub and had to have it" says Colleen Knowles of knowles ps. "It worked perfectly in this older home where we transformed an extra bedroom into a fabulous master bathroom. The vanities and tub look like furniture items set around the room in an interesting way and the layout leaves the large original windows unobstructed". Add curves to a rectangle. "For this bathroom we wanted a way to maintain as much floor space as possible and create an 'unfitted' look at the same time" says Lance Stratton of Stratton Studio. The tub we selected has a small footprint but still looks substantial. Its slipper shape provides some relief to what is an otherwise rectilinear room".