Every community has its own style and trends when it comes to remodeling a bathroom. Here are 8 that homeowners in the Shreveport-Bossier area are partial to when it’s time to makeover, upgrade, enlarge or add a new bathroom to an existing home.
1. Update. The top request we get from owners of homes built 20-plus years ago is for an overall overhaul to update an out-of-style master bathroom.
Back in the ’90s, shiny brass faucets were in style, and so was mauve-and-green wallpaper. Today, not so much.
If your home’s bathrooms look outdated or worn out, consider a floor-to-ceiling upgrade that incorporates today’s timeless style, including neutral colors, natural stone and muted finishes.
A tip: If you love your old brass faucets enough to hang onto them, consider pairing them with granite or other natural stone countertop that features flecks of gold or another warm color. That combination will blend together much more stylishly than a yellow-toned faucet with a cultured (artificial) marble vanity surface and integrated sink.
2. Add accessibility. If you’re in your 50s or older and you’re planning a major bathroom remodel anyway, ask your contractor to design the room so you’ll still be comfortable using it as you age.
It’s easier to get into the shower if you don’t have to step over a three-foot-tall bathtub wall, for example. And it’s easier to sit down at the sink if there’s room for your knees underneath of it.
A tip: Even if you’re healthy and fit, plan for the future by replacing your old bathtub with a walk-in or roll-in, stand-alone shower and opt for a taller-than-standard toilet. Install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower—or at least have the walls reinforced so it will be easy to add them later, once you feel you need them.
3. Divide and conquer. His-and-hers bathroom sinks and vanities could completely change your morning routine—for the better. Even if your room is too small to place the sinks on separate walls, you can hang separate mirrors and build in a small, countertop cabinet to divide the space.
A tip: You don’t necessarily have to enlarge your bathroom to add a second sink. Work with a contractor who is also a designer—or has one on staff—and can figure out how to reorganize the room to accommodate the extra basin.
4. Add on. Once your babies grow into teenagers, adding a bathroom for the kids—separate from the one the parents use and separate from the one your guests use—can do wonders for family harmony.
A tip: If you have both boys and girls and you have the space, adding a bathroom for each gender will quell bickering over how clean—or not—each “side” keeps the room and how long each sibling takes to get ready for the day.
5. Enlarge. Almost 100 percent of our clients who renovate a master bedroom in an older house opt to turn the space into a suite that includes a bedroom, a big bathroom and large closets.
Tip: You might regret it if you remodel your master bedroom suite with a bathroom that’s too small. The ideal way to get the large rooms you want is to add a room onto the house. But if you don’t want to enlarge the home, sacrifice a bit of bedroom space in favor of a larger bathroom.
6. Spruce up. The main-floor powder room is the one that nearly every guest who visits your home will use. So it should make a good impression.
Don’t let outdated or worn-out flooring, color, faucets or cabinets in this busy half-bath greet your guests. Move the guest-room overhaul up high on your remodeling to-do list.
A tip: A small space can make a big statement. Because the powder room is the home’s smallest room, it’s usually affordable to install some higher-end materials, like natural stone vanity tops, porcelain or stone floor and wall tile, and a “statement” sink.
7. Include storage. Your master bathroom needs plenty of space for hiding away hair, skin and hygiene products, towels, hair dryers, razors and whatever else helps you prepare for each day. Hang cabinets or shelves on every wall. A good contractor with an eye for design will be able to rearrange the placement of the shower, toilet and sink so there’s plenty of room for storage.
A tip: Avoid choosing a pedestal sink for a small bathroom. Instead, select a decorative basin that sits atop a cabinet with drawers, doors and shelves where you can tuck your necessities out of sight.
8. Repaint. It’s OK to choose a bold, bright wall color that coordinates with the bathroom’s vanity top, cabinets and tile. But because natural stone counters, floors and backsplashes are so classic and timeless, more and more homeowners are going with neutral wall colors that don’t steal the show.
A tip: Favorite paint colors among our homeowner clients include hues of linen, beige and pewter.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build, an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner, in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914 or by visiting www.jebdesignbuild.com.