Personalizing your bathroom design involves consideration of size, configuration, and style. The examples of bathrooms in this article are only a starting point for your own planning.
Before you plunge into your project, think carefully about what you like and dislike about your present bathroom.
Do you need more space in the master bath or just a savvier floor plan that lets two people share the room more comfortably? Is there enough counterspace and storage space? Are you tired of the outdated color scheme you've lived with since you moved in? Do you want all new fixtures or just a whirlpool in place of your old tub? Do you crave a bath you don't have to share with the kids or long for a drop-dead powder room or guest bath?
Sit down with family members, and get specific about what current problems you want the new bathroom to solve. Even young children can have good insights, and the more involved everyone is, the more they'll buy into the process.
Once you have an idea of what you want to change, start identifying solutions that appeal to you. Look through home design and decorating books and magazines, and tag or photocopy pages showing bathroom designs and products you like.
Then start a scrapbook of ideas, photos, and product catalogs that will help the professionals you hire understand your tastes and needs. You can also gather ideas by visiting the many Web sites that offer bath design products or by spending some time "just looking" in the local bath design center or department of your nearby home improvement store.
Unless you're planning the very simplest redecoration, you'll want to talk to bath design professionals about what you need and want. When interviewing them, be prepared to answer a lot of questions about how you and your family live and how you'll use the space.
Use your scrapbook to identify for the professional what styles you like: You'd be surprised by what "traditional" means to different people!
The more carefully you've done your homework, the more it will pay off when you actually sit down to discuss your needs with a bath specialist. Keep an open mind if your answers lead the designer to suggest something unexpected. It may be the perfect solution for you, your family, and your home.
If you're building a new home, you may want to consider designing a bathroom differently than you would if you're remodeling an existing bathroom. On the next page, find out more about how these two bathroom designs differ.