Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On to the Bathroom...Step 1 - Ideas

My wife wants to do the one last room in our house that hasn't been "officially" touched by me, even though I have put a new toilet seat on the pot. Sheesh...

Briefly: We have a main floor full bath that's about 7' by about 9.5' when you include the 60" tub and shower, or about 7' by 7' of floor area with a toilet and 30" vanity. I will post before pictures to give you an idea of what we are starting with. Very old decor with thin ligh blue ceramic tile and thin (unsanded) grout lines that cover the floor and shower enlcosure on the walls and soffitted ceiling over the bath. There's and almond tub and an old oak vanity.

Anyway, in thinking of some new designs and I was looking at pictures on the internet for inspiration. I have included them here so they get me to thinking about what I want. I think, but I am not 100% sure, that I want the wall that you face to be tiled, or at least textured. That would break up the room and give us a chance to express our style in a different way. Right now, everything is slick finish white walls. I was also thinking of something on the ceiling - a wood or possibly bamboo look that would also add some character.

Some of the pictures I have seen that I like and will comment on below the design:

I like the look of the walls and floor here and the tasteful use of chrome. While I am not a big chrome fan, when done correctly, I think it adds a lot of style and character. Problem is, you need to clean it all the time for it to look good. With two pre-teen girls, not a good idea unless you plan on cleaning it all the time. You can have the blue mirror...Don't know what they were thinking there.

I really liked this vanity as it gave the room an exotic look and the use of the wood was somewhat rustic and the room says "water house" to me somehow. The texture walls look like a brushed concrete tile that you can glue on and then grout. I love that it's textured and not shiny. Shiny tile is too much in a small bathroom. I think you want the natural matte surface or stone for a smaller room. I was not thrilled with the sink selection, but I understand that they needed to do something different here. I may have continued looking around instead of going with that design.

I really like the wall with the mirror detail here. In a small bathroom, it might be too busy and I need to play with some graph paper and lay the wall-tile - mirror combo out and "see" how it would look. I also really like the built in tiled vanity and countertop. It ties everything together and doesn't look like you just "mounted a vanity" in the corner of the room and threw a sink in it.

I liked the rustic look of the slate on this wall. It also said "water house" to me and it's not shiny nor would it show spots. A little dark for a smaller room, but big, irregular sandstone (light tones) might work.

I like the use of the larger tile here, but I think, upon further review, that there was too much symmetry and uniformity for my tastes. This bathroom has a cold look and feel to it, even though they used warm color tiles...

Uhhhhh...Hmmmmm. Yeah, I am not sure my wife would allow this. Even though I can appreciate what went into it.

Looking at details, we wanted some additional shelves in the room, and there is a step corner where the toilet sits that gives us a location to mount either shelves over the toilet or possibly corner shelves. If we don't do the tile, we could go with something like wood:

Or, you could stay with the simple elegance of glass or stone:

Glass and stone will be much easier to clean and keep "neat". Of course, that assumes that two girls can keep a bathroom "neat" looking. So, we may have to scrap the whole open shelves idea and go with a closed cabinet.

My biggest issue with a closed cabinet is that you are now limited with what you can do with respect to wall textures and designs. You are pretty much committing to a vanity wall cabinet combo that matches. And while that doesn't bother me, it will not be an expression of artistic ability.

So, what to do?

Decisions, decisions.

With respect to the ceiling, wood always looks different and adds warmth to any room. Concern is in a bathroom, will it discolor or otherwise become somethign that I need to address in the next 20 years? But you can't deny the look:

A nice redwood would be easy and fairly water resistant. And redwood is easy to work with and probably would be low maintenance.
Bamboo, on the other hand, would probably require zero maintennace, but it might not be as elegant or maybe a little to "Florida-ish" for a Michigan home.....but you can buy the bamboo strips relatively cheaply and they are simple to install.