• Bathroom Decorating Guide

    The major components of your bathroom are the bathing area (tub and/or shower), the toilet, and the sink. What these look like, or what you want them to look like, will help you determine how the rest of the bathroom decor ought to look.

    Bathing Area

    Perhaps all you need or can afford is a simple pre-molded fiberglass unit with tub and shower all in one. Even for this, you can still make choices about the color and style of the shower head, the faucet, and the knobs. Choose an ornate or streamlined style depending on your inclinations and let that set the theme for the rest of the bathroom. You can also choose whether the shower is guarded by doors-in which case you can choose a pattern for glass and bars-or by a curtain-in which case you can choose color, pattern, and style. If you want to get a little fancier, you can consider a whirlpool tub. If you have more room, perhaps a shower area that is separated from the tub so you can choose one for efficiency or the other to relax.


    There are many styles of toilet to choose from. You can try the old-fashioned look with the water tank installed high up and operated by a chain. You can choose a sleek, streamlined design that sits close to the ground. You can even get a toilet with a remote control! Once you've selected that, of course, you can choose from an array of colors and patterns to cover the seat and tank lid with something that matches the rest of the bathroom.


    Again, the standard is a white porcelain bowl, but there are many other choices. Glass, marble, and granite sinks are a possibility. So is a sink in beaten brass with a faucet and knobs to match. This is where the theme of your bathroom can start to come together. Get faucet and knobs that match those in the shower or tub and you're on your way to a unified decorating scheme.


    The cabinets will help set the style for the bathroom as well. If you have a certain wood or metal theme going, these cabinets will be a major place where you show it off. Rustic oak cabinets can give you an old country look. Metallic framed glass and mirror cabinets can have a more contemporary feel.


    You don't notice the flooring much, especially once you've laid down a bath mat. But the flooring can really affect the look and feel. A hardwood floor in the bathroom can really add a coziness and warmth to the place. But you don't want to risk water damage. An imitation hardwood can be the answer to that concern. Tile or terra cotta also make lovely bathroom flooring but can be cold. If you've got the budget, add heating coils beneath them so that the tile floor is warm to the foot on the coldest winter day.


    The most important aspect of the lighting is that it allows you to see what you're doing. It should light up your face and the rest of you so that you can see how you look in the mirror. This can be done with a row of over-sized bulbs such as you might see in a theater dressing room. It can be done with old-fashioned, wall-mounted lamps on elegantly curving necks that flank the mirror. Or a simple, white shade may be the elegant, understated style you're looking for.


    For an old-fashioned look, choose oval mirrors, his and hers, over twin sinks. For a more modern look, choose a mirror without a frame that simply covers the entire wall behind the sink and toilet.