5 Things to Consider When Designing a Bathroom

I know what you are thinking….. Just 5?!  There are lots of things to consider when designing a bathroom.  All of the choices can seem overwhelming.  But I suggest just 5 things that you should consider when renovating that space.  Once you choose how you want to proceed based on these 5 things you can get into the fun (and pretty) decision making.

It hasn’t been that long since our renovation was complete.  I mean, painters were still here up until Thanksgiving!  So I wanted to share this with you while it was still fresh in my mind.  And after living in the space for a while, I have a better understanding of what I love and what I would change.  I can pass that information on to you.  Remember, I redesigned 3 bathrooms.  There is plenty of things I love and a few things I would change.

If you already know the layout of your bathroom, then you are ready to decide on these 5 things.  If you still haven’t chosen your layout, then you need to do that first.  Make sure you have all of your measurements handy.  We would hate to have you choose something so wonderful just to find out that it doesn’t fit!  So here we go.

First, do you want a free standing tub vs. a built in tub?  This is a big one!  For me, I felt that a free standing tub was going to be the focal point of the bathroom.  The cost can vary on both of these so make sure you set a budget and stick to it.  The choice can depend on location of the tub in the room and cost.

bath tub, bathroom design, freestanding tub, bathroom

Next, consider whether or not you want a furniture looking vanity vs. built in cabinets vs. just the sink.  There are lots of premade furniture looking vanity options that are affordable.  But sometimes built in cabinets offer the best storage.  Or, if you are short on space, just a free standing sink works best.

Lighting is so important to consider in a bathroom.  Do you want sconces vs. a lighting bar?  Sconces will go on either side of your mirror while a lighting bar or vanity fixture will go above your mirror.

Tile!  This is such a huge decision.  Do you want small, medium or large tile in your bathroom?  I say use it all!  Here are my tips for that.  A large or medium scale tile work best in a shower.  Why?  Who wants to get dizzy in the shower?!  Save the smaller tiles for an accent, backsplash or for the floor.  Large scale tiles also work well for the floors.  For my master bathroom (which you can see here) I used large tile on the floor, medium in the shower and small behind the bathtub.  In my daughter’s bathroom I used small on the floor and medium in the shower.  And it my son’s/guest bath, I used large on the floor and medium on the shower walls.

Choosing a mirror style is so important.  Do you want a statement mirror or do you want something simple?  How large do you want to go?  Will the mirror go with the lighting?  These are all fair questions to ask when shopping for a mirror.  But a mirror is truly a statement piece and can set the tone for the bathroom.  My advice…. choose one you love and the rest will work out.  Make a statement with it about the tone of the bathroom.  My daughter’s mirror above is very feminine and sweet while my son’s is industrial.  They work for the overall design of the bathroom.

Now you have plenty to consider.  Have fun!  Dig in and make this bathroom the design of your dreams!  Make your decisions and stick to them.  Don’t second guess yourself.  You know what you love and you know what you want.  Enjoy the process!


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  • I am so glad you wrote this!! Great tips. And I LOVE your tub.


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