When it comes to bathroom remodels, most people hold steadfast to their utilitarian mind-set. Functionality should be absolutely top of mind while considering changes to a bathroom, but pairing that functionality with just the right amount of design is how you create a comfortable bathroom retreat.

We’re sharing with you our list of bathroom “must-haves” in hopes that you’ll find inspiration to design your perfect bathroom.

EVALUATION

The first step to planning your new bathroom is evaluating how you use your current bathroom. Consider things like: Do you absolutely need two sinks, or would you prefer more counter space? What about that oversized jet tub that never seems to be used? Can we exchange the tub space for a larger shower or storage area? Have you thought about adding privacy to the toilet area?

LIGHTING

People are always blocking out sources of natural light in a bathroom, but we say, let the light in! We understand privacy concerns, but have you considered a skylight? Skylights are great over a shower or vanity. We all can agree that natural light beats out fluorescents every time.

STORAGE

There really is nothing worse than an overcrowded bathroom countertop. Number three on our bathroom must-have list is the importance of designing storage into your space. You will need a place to tuck away all those pesky bathroom items in order to showcase your beautiful new countertops and sink faucets. When planning for storage, think beyond towels and toiletries. Combine open shelving storage with more functional, traditional cabinetry for an interesting bathroom design. Talk to your bathroom designer about what items you use on a daily basis, and what products you typically store in your bathroom, so they can design with these things in mind.

BATHTUBS

The number one comment we hear from clients is, “But I need to keep a tub for resale.” Guess what? If you don’t want a tub, why would the next homeowner? According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), deluxe showers are becoming far more popular than spa tubs. Moreover, forget the conventional shower in which you barely had enough elbow space. Building a luxurious open shower with a built-in bench and large glass paneling will change your morning routine to that of an Herbal Essence commercial! The idea of taking out the tub and using that space for a larger shower may bring on some initial apprehension, but after one week with your new shower, you’ll never look back. Oversized, luxurious showers are actually adding value to a future home sale while giving you morning perks in your daily routine.

COLORS & MATERIALS

In 2017, we’ll be seeing more natural elegances in the bathroom. This look is easily achieved by bringing light, neutral colors and tones into the space. There are countless new materials that are being perfectly crafted with bathrooms in mind. For example, porcelain tile is now being made to look like wood, and it’s awesome! These tiles come in almost as many options as real wood floors, but with no scratches, maintenance or waterproofing issues. Consider using these “wood” tiles throughout the master bedroom suite to create an open, seamless look. When it comes to shower and bathroom walls, rather than going with a classic white subway tile, why not spice it up? There are now oversized panels made to mimic natural stone, such as marble, that are quickly gaining popularity. This look creates a stylish, tranquil vibe with no grout lines to clean. Tile manufacturers are also offering fun, textured tiles, even some with 3D elements to incorporate into your design for an edgy flair.