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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


I believe good design is a balance of function and style, and nowhere is this more relevant than in the modern bathroom. As interior trends continue to lead us further from the bathroom’s once-utilitarian agenda, I’m seeing traditional bathroom elements take on new and exciting forms, becoming focal points in their own right. If you’re looking to add some “splash” to a dated bathroom, it could be as simple as these easy upgrades.



Fabulous Fixtures

While there will always be a place in the bathroom for the classic chrome and stainless steel faucets and handles, you can add some understated oomph with fixtures in an unusual finish, such as black, bronze, gold or one of the many brightly coloured options available on the market. Just be mindful that colour trends come and go, so if longevity is a priority, stick to metals. New fixtures are a great choice if you’re looking for quick and easy updates without the cost or inconvenience of a full-blown renovation.

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to update the towel bars and toilet handles to complement your fixtures.



Tailored Bathing Areas

Are you a “bath person” or a “shower person?” No need to choose, when you can have both! This trending bathroom upgrade maximizes space and style, integrating the bath and shower experience into the overall bathroom design. And this isn’t one you’ll want to hide. I love the seamless look of a curbless and frameless glass enclosure, and continuous floor and wall tiles for a clean, minimalist aesthetic that lets your beautiful fixtures be seen.

MODERN MUST-HAVE: Freestanding bathtubs are as much art as they are functional fixtures in the bathroom – a perfect addition to the bathing area. Manufacturers are offering units in a range of colours, materials and styles, from classic to contemporary. And as a bonus, they actually occupy less space than a traditional built-in bathtub! When shopping, “test drive” the tub by sitting in it, to ensure it is both comfortable and suitable to your physical size.



Great Tile

Tile is an easy way to add visual interest to a bathroom while keeping it functional. A bathroom will typically feature two to three different types of tile: bathroom, backsplash and the shower/bathing area. Start with your showstopper – this will likely be your biggest investment and it will also make the biggest splash in the room. Your remaining selections should complement your dominant choice. Beyond colour, tiles also come in many different patterns, from solids to geometrics and intricate motifs. Also consider the shape of the tile itself, which ranges from classic to irregular shapes. The secret to a successful tile mix is variety. Vary the scale of your tiles’ patterns, sizes and shapes. Think large and small; combine busier patterns with classic shapes and solid colours. You might even consider using the same tile, but laid out in a different pattern.

PRO TIP: Be mindful of your grout colour and the contrast this creates.



Statement Lighting.

I find lighting is a quick and effective way to elevate any space, whether it’s a dining room, a kitchen or, yes, a bathroom. Consider the size of the space and the various “areas” within it, such as the vanity, toilet, bath and shower. Each of these areas requires illumination, and in a large bathroom, each may even warrant its own fixture. In a smaller powder room, a single light source could be sufficient.

Generally speaking, I layer three different types of light into each room: ambient lighting, such as a chandelier; task lighting, like vanity sconces or pendants that illuminate the face; and accent lighting, which is intended to highlight a focal point, like a cool architectural feature. Ensure each light fixture is in keeping with the same material, finish and style of the others, as well as the broader aesthetic of the room.

Whether it’s a major renovation or a minor refresh, some key bathroom upgrades will certainly go a long way to enhancing your lifestyle and increasing your home’s value. Just be sure you’re investing your time, effort and budget in the right places, to get the return that matters most to you.

Looking to renovate or update your bathroom? Connect with me to find out how we can transform your bathroom into a stylish personal oasis.


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