Consider how many times each day you enter the bathroom and use the amenities in this space. What time of day do you spend more time there, and what activities take place (aside from the obvious)? Do you retreat to a master bath to soak in a tub and read a magazine? Or, do you shower and run in a family bathroom, and share a vanity space with a spouse while you’re getting ready for work?
Simply put: How do you use the bathroom?
Yes, this discussion can get rather personal, says Cameron Snyder, president, Roomscapes Luxury Design Center, Boston, Mass., and past-president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “If the bathroom is a place where you quickly shower, brush your teeth and go, the materials and colors will be different than if it is a place where you go to spend a couple hours with candles and soft music so you can unwind from the week.”
“Bathrooms are a more personal space than kitchens,” Snyder continues. “So some of the questions I ask clients may be personal, but I need to ask them because if you are designing this area for yourself and your family, you want to make sure it is personal.”
For instance, how many people soak in the tub at one time? Do you shower alone? (If the answer is no, you may want multiple shower heads and more space in the shower.) Do you want a more private space for the toilet, and how is the ventilation working in that space now?
How old are you? (This might be the most personal question of all!) Are you planning on staying in your current home and how will your needs change as you get older (known in the design industry as “aging in place”)? Will your bathroom be able to accommodate these needs? The industry term universal design refers to the principle of designing features that cater to aging homeowners, such as attractive grab bars that double as towel racks and curb-less showers.
The discovery you’ll make during this process of determining how your bathroom must work for you is that despite the rudimentary appliances (toilet, shower, sink), this space functions very differently for everyone.
So while you’re in the initial phases of determining what your existing space lacks, think big, says Lori Carroll, president, Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, Ariz. “Let’s design your dream space,” she tells her clients. “We can always value-engineer back, but let’s start by creating the vision. It may seem backward—the opposite of starting small—but at least you incorporate into the design all of the elements you want as opposed to adding them on later.”
To read the full article by Kristen Hampshire, please click here!