Next to the kitchen, bathrooms see a lot of action. From taking a long soak, getting down to business, or standing in a hot shower, bathrooms are where we go to wash off our days. Like many people out there, I have spent my fair share of time flipping through home magazines and scouring Pinterest for dream homes and exquisite personalized rooms. In my dream world, my ideal master bathroom would have a standing glass enclosed shower, a separate soaker tub, his and her vanities, a separate toilet room, and tons of storage. That’s the dream, which will hopefully become a reality. That isn’t everyone’s dream, nor is that plan in everyone’s budget. But creating a special oasis for yourself doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can create an ideal, beautiful, and functional bathroom to complete your master suite on any budget. For those of you that are thinking of creating a lovely en suite bathroom, here are some things to think over when planning your space.

Character

When planning and designing your bathroom it’s important to add brightness and character through your choices and decorating scheme. You can go for bold wallpaper, tile, or eye-popping paint colors that really make a statement about who are you. If you’re feeling brave, you can try some combinations that maybe you wouldn’t want to try anywhere else in your home. It just depends on what you want your bathroom to look like, for instance, a Zen garden, a relaxing spa, or a 5-star hotel. Anything is possible, it just depends on what you are looking for design wise and what your budget is like for the project.

Recent trends for bathroom designs tend to be spa-like, hotel inspired, nautical, and retro-designed. Some people like very modern bathrooms with clean lines and sleek furnishings. Others prefer more old world charm and character with heavy wood accents. Bathrooms can be expensive, so be sure that your design choice is something you will be happy with in the long run.

Be sure to choose materials that are cost effective but also don’t look like you skimped on making the overall effect of the bathroom nice. Choose what is comfortable for your wallet but will also be unique to your bathroom and make your life better in terms of functionality.

Tile

There are several different material options that tile can be made out of including ceramic, glass, stone, and porcelain. These materials are most appropriate for bathroom areas once they are properly sealed. Materials made from naturally porous stone such as marble or limestone, are less water resistant than porcelain or ceramic and will require regular sealing against water stains, adding an extra cost every couple of years. If you choose a porous material, be sure you understand the responsibility of maintaining the stone year after year, otherwise you might find some water damage beneath your tile causing them to crack or the floor boards to warp.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are easy to clean and tend to be lighter and less expansive over natural stone and can be considered stronger than most flooring options. Ceramic tiles can be used on both the floors and the walls and can add great color and texture to surfaces. They are also very easy to apply and install, creating for a potential DIY project if you feel up to it and it could save you some extra money by installing yourself.

Stone requires a specialized diamond blade to cut natural tiles, they can be very heavy so it’s important to check if your floor can take the weight of the tiles in addition to all the other things you plan to add to the room. Stone tiles can also be used on both the floor and the walls, adding a warmth to the room through natural elements.

Glass tiles are a big trend right now. They provide a glossy finish and are suitable for floors as well as walls. They come in a variety of colors so you can make them work for any design scheme. Glass is non-porous so they are resistant to any type of water or spillage and will not stain.

Tile is a big part of bathrooms, taking up about 60% of the space depending on how you design it. There are plenty of options no matter what you budget, but shop around the best price. Check stone yards and multiple places where you could potentially get a really good deal for tile for your floors, shower, and walls.

Storage and function.

Personalization is rather important when it comes to bathrooms because you will be using the space every day. If you are like me and have a lot of make-up or hair products, you’re going to want a place to store all those things. If you have a lot of hair tools like curling irons and straighteners, it’s also important that you have a place to put those items so there aren’t wires everywhere on the sink.

In addition to beauty items, you will need space for everyday items like towels and toilet paper. We all need these products, so keep them in mind when designing the layout of your space and picking different types of vanities or storage. Vanities can possess a lot of storage options and they don’t have to look bulky or take up a lot of room. Of course, the bigger the vanity the more storage you have, but they don’t have to be big blocks that take up space. You can maximize your storage space while minimizing the effect a vanity will have on the overall footprint of the room.

If you want to get crafty, you can check the internet for fun and creative ideas for extra storage in your bathroom. There are plenty of fun and interesting tricks that could potentially save you time and money when installing an en suite. Just do your research before beginning any DIY project, because not all of them are created equally.

And for an extra tip: DON’T FORGET TO VENTILATE!

If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that bathrooms need proper ventilation. Coming out of the shower to see the walls covered in water like its Niagara Falls, isn’t the best feeling in the world. Towels don’t dry properly and everything feels damp, especially in a closed space so close to your bedroom.

Ventilation shouldn’t be excessively loud, there are plenty of extraction methods that are soft, yet powerful. So don’t skimp on the ventilation. Actually, you can’t skimp, because it’s required by code to have proper ventilation. And for good reason. Not ventilating properly can lead to mold and mildew, as well as water damage if you aren’t careful. Be sure to plan the ventilation once you have an overall floorplan of the bathroom in place. Shower panels should leave room for hot air to escape so you can get more air circulation. You can also install a fan to help with air circulation and make the drying time of the room faster. Having a window in the bathroom can help with air ventilation as well, but if you don’t have one, it’s definitely important that you find other ways of creating ventilation. You don’t want to put money into something that you will just have to redo because of silly mistakes.

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