Bathroom Renovation Based in Universal Design

A project like a bathroom remodel is harder than some because there are many things to take into account including what style you’d like to achieve, its functionality for everyone, aesthetics, and cost. These are the four main questions that should guide your renovation plan no matter what your budget and space limitations. Join us for an easy to follow guide to planning your bathroom project! We’re including summary charts at the end to save you time.

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Most home renovation projects that involve only one aspect are easy to tackle. For example, if you’re building a new deck then the main concerns are building materials. A countertop remodel? You’ll research choices like natural materials versus man-made products. A project like a bathroom remodel is harder because there are many things to take into account including what style you’d like to achieve, its functionality for everyone, aesthetics, and cost. These are the four main questions that should guide your renovation plan no matter what your budget and space limitations. Join us for an easy to follow guide to planning your bathroom project! We’re including summary charts at the end to save you time.

A great bathroom that translates into functionality for the entire family and increased resale value is rooted in universal design. This means that anyone of all ages and physical ability (children, the elderly, those using assistive devices like walkers etc) will be able to access the space and use it with ease. Fortunately, universal design lends itself well with today’s main renovation trends. A well designed bathroom maximizes floor space, simplifies bathing, and maximizes safety by reducing falls. The 2018 bathroom design trend is for a room that maximizes all space and has a modern feel. The modern bathroom has a spa-like vibe with an emphasis on a light and luxury that incorporates natural materials in neutral or cool colors. Think deluxe comfort and maximum use hidden behind soothing minimalism.

The first thing that you’ll see about the modern bathroom is that it is well lit from either a natural light source like a skylight or rectular hy-lite windows. If those aren’t options then the light is always kept soft. The light compliments the star of your bathroom, the tiles. Since the tiles set the tone for much of this room, the choices can seem tricky but see this as a chance to personalize your space rather than being overwhelmed. Start by deciding if you are designing a modern or more traditional bathroom. (Either way, both styles can be interpreted into a more contemporary manner.) The best approach is to choose the tile for your shower stall or tub first since this is the largest feature. Many homeowners are opting to make their budget go the furthest by creating a highlighted feature wall in tile. Here, there are many choices including using penny round tiles which are both economical and unique. Multicolored geometric tiles are more expensive as are fish scale tiles but these can be saved for the recessed shower niche. Secondly, choose a complimentary tile in a large size to complete the room. The color that you choose for your floor can be continued up the walls for continuity and saving on labor costs. (Keep in mind that large tiles require less work and materials to install.) Colors that work best are dark and neutral tones that compliment the shower or tub’s feature tiles.

After good lighting, the modern bathroom design has un-obstructive functionality. Consider barrier-free features like a roll-in shower, open cabinet storage, floating vanities, or wall-mounted vanities for easy access by wheelchairs and walkers alike. Grab bars are easily incorporated into the design if you choose a brushed nickel finish for your hardware and light fixtures. Choose smaller tiles in your shower stall to minimalize the fall risk from pooled water. (Or go with larger tiles but use a long grated drain for slip-free safety.) Tubs are an attractive feature that lend a bath-house or spa feel with the right features and accessories. For example, install a walk-in tub which allows everyone of all abilities to have a full body soak in a tub that fills up faster than a large Jacuzzi tub. Accessorize with orchids or a cool blue and green color scheme alongside some teak accents to complete your oasis.

Lastly, no modern bathroom should be without technology features. Of course, some home owners will want a high tech European commode complete with ambient lighting at night or wi-fi music streaming abilities. Women (and stylish gents) are probably more interested in a deluxe beauty station in the house that allows them to get ready for a big night out completely kitted out with tech features. At the very least, include a niche and power outlet for your iPad and charging your phone. This way you can stream Netflix or a beauty tutorial while in front of the mirror or doing your hair. Blue tooth speakers can easily be installed in your bathroom fan or splurge on a hidden smart TV in your vanity (it disappears when not in use). A quick steam bath is also a great way to get an at-home glow or muscle relaxation after a workout. Your bathroom can be transformed into a luxury renewal center now that there are more ways to incorporate these features into your space. A modern bathroom hides a plethora of customized high end options behind its deceptively minimalistic façade. Remember that any upgrade is an improvement that will make your bathroom more attractive now and increase its resale value for the future. There are many choices but also focus on what your top priority is whether that is a truly bespoke space or maximum functionality.

Top Homeowner Priority


  • One Statement Piece (mirrors,vanity, etc.)
  • Neutral Colors Scheme
  • Grab Bars

Increased Resale Value

  • Steam Shower
  • Skylight
  • Mosiac Tile

Universal Accessibility

  • Wall-Mounted Vanity
  • Grab Bars
  • Roll-in Shower or Walk-in Tub

Creating A Spa Retreat

  • Vanishing Smart TV
  • Rain Shower
  • Accent Tile Wall
  • Soft, Natural Light

Style Guide

Modern Spa

  • Brushed Nickel Hardware
  • Cool Colors
  • Statement Tiles
  • Natural Light

Traditional Retreat

  • Natural Light
  • Neutral Colors
  • Open Storage

Island Vibes

  • Fish Scale Tiles
  • Glossy Glass Tiles
  • Cool Colors with An Emphasis on Blue and Green

Cottage Nook

  • Wood and Stone Accents
  • Wainscotting
  • White Molding

The 2018 Bathroom: Less Is More

Your home’s bathroom can be more than a place to shower and brush your teeth. It can be your own personal spa where you can relax, decompress, and make sure you’re looking fresh. It’s the first place you go when you wake up and the last stop before bed. Don’t you owe it to yourself to make sure it’s not only tailored perfectly to your needs but also looks as good as you feel when you step out of a nice hot shower?

The days of enormous Jacuzzi tubs, massive marble flooring, and lavish his & her cabinets are better left in the luxury magazines and Hollywood films. 2018 bathrooms are all about achieving the same results on a more efficient smaller-scale. It’s important to make the most of the space you’ve got without making it feel cramped, so every inch should be utilized. There’s a great emphasis on ditching excess for minimalism and the integration of smart home technology. Before, any type of electrical appliances in the bathroom were a dangerous game. Now gadgets and items to make life easier and the bathroom more comfortable are embraced as the future.

Let’s start with the actual commode. You may have heard about the features that newer toilets are equipped with. They’ve been a staple of European bathrooms, and they’re finally starting to come to the United States. These artfully designed toilets can come equipped with everything from seat warmers, customizable slow close lid options, automatic openers, built-in deodorizers, adjustable air dryers, and even wireless music players.

Next is the arguable centerpiece of the bathroom. Hexagon, diamond, arabesque, Moroccan fish scales, or chevron tile patterns are a beautiful choice to liven up walk-in showers. Freestanding tubs are becoming trendy since they save room and can be decked out with green energy-saving faucets to reduce water consumption. Putting a sleek and modern tub in a space that’s designed to look more rustic creates a popular contemporary complementary scheme.

Having large pieces of clunky furniture or bulky appliances are wasteful and counter intuitive to the progressive approach homeowners are choosing for their designing needs. Storage areas are economizing as well. Vanities can hang as free floating wall mounted pieces, rather than as part of a large or cumbersome cabinet structure. All of the plumbing is still hidden neatly for a clean, simplified counter area.

Similarly, sink bowls are going smaller. A contemporary style is expressed with brass and gold tones on automatic faucets triggered by hand sensors and warming drawers for linens and towels. Of course, wireless music systems and televisions are being combined into these appliances so you can stay entertained and multitask throughout your daily routines.

We’re stressing pathway lighting more than overhead, not just for safety but for aesthetics. New techniques to keep the bathroom lit properly are getting even more creative to get the most use out of everything. There’s a rise in light bars and wall sconces and natural lighting, where some renovators are carving out a skylight. And as for those walls, nature inspired patterns and graphics are in. Exposed brick, wood accent pieces, and leaf tile mosaics are dominating the consumer market. While we don’t always enjoy year-round sun in Ohio, don’t forget natural light. Sunshine streaming through large or high mounted windows can open your bathroom and make it look and feel more spacious.

Neutral, natural colors like whites, grays, and warm browns are being utilized the most, but some people are injecting a burst of personality with blues and reds on their walls or floors. Underfloor heating systems are a great comfort item. These work best with tile, vinyl, concrete, and wood materials and not only keep you toasty on cold winter mornings, but also help with noise control and are beneficial for those with allergies since they reduce air flow that would typically stir up dust. You can take it a step further. Add to the natural look/feel, by incorporating live plants into your floor plan (they’ll love the floor heating system too).

You don’t have to settle for the stark cookie cutter bathrooms of the past. The key thing to keep in mind is identifying colors, features, and comforts that fit your style. A good designer or contractor can help you identify an organizing theme, so your new bathroom remodel has a clean streamlined style and feel – both functional and beautiful.

Lastly, be sure to consider what you need now and what may want in the future. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to start attaching wiring and hook ups for technologies and gadgets that they might need someday down the line. Likewise, attractive barrier free bathrooms and decorative grab bars can be aesthetically appealing today, and functional tomorrow.

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