Pamper Yourself with a Luxurious Bath (Room)
The median age of America's homes is 25, making most American bathrooms
relics. No room has changed more dramatically in the past few years.
It has moved from a utilitarian necessity to the absolute center
of personal relaxation and pampering, while a powder room, now considered
a necessity, i often the quintessential showcase of a homeowner's
distinctive decorating style.
While pedestal sinks add elegance to powder rooms, they sacrifice
storage. New alternatives -- sinks that resemble beautiful bowls
and vessels -- set atop real furniture, become the star centerpieces
of even a tiny room.
We mated a square-shape porcelain sink bowl with an ornate, French
traditional vanity that we fitted with a black marble top and finished
off with a French reproduction faucet and handles. Above it, we
placed a gilded, ornately framed mirror, and beside it, an equally
We surrounded them all in rich Oriental scenic wallpaper to add one
more scene-stealing measure of elegance to this treasure of a room,
always ready to greet guests in style.
In another powder room, we hung a mirror in a wood-carved frame
above an antique linen cabinet that we fitted with a drop-down marble
top and inset sink. Vintage linens with crocheted edges grace the
front of the cabinet, and a sconce from the same period, installed
beside the mirror at eye-level, puts primping guests in a most-flattering
All baths call for a mix of ambient and task lighting. The former
should be set to cast a warming glow. All baths also cry out for
a background that abolishes any vestige of the institutional look
once associated with this room.
The master bath is all about providing comfort for adults. Consider
raising the sink counter above the standard 30- to 34-inch cabinet
height to as high as 42 inches from the floor. This accommodates
a more comfortable, upright stance for shaving, performing dental
hygiene, and applying makeup. While it's easier on the back, it
also allows for more cabinet storage space below.More and handier
storage adds convenience and diminishes clutter.
Granite countertops come in a variety of colorations, and they
are both handsome and easy to clean, especially when they either
contain integrated, molded sinks or rimless ones that mount underneath
the countertop. Both eliminate seams that trap dirt, making clean-ups
quick and easy.
Those old metal-rimmed medicine cabinets are destined for the trash
heap. Yes, everyone needs a bathroom mirror and a place to store
medicine, but, when it comes to accommodating these needs, it's
time to think outside --way outside -- the old box.
In one bath re-do, we shifted the sink to below a window and extended
the window frame to the right in order to create a mirrored cabinet
of the same size. This creates the look of a windowed wall, offering
the pleasure of an outdoor view at the beginning and end of each
day while still providing ample storage and a generous mirror.
Crown molding and raised panel cabinets, white like the window
frame, tie together all the elements of this cheerful room.
Not least, a granite countertop spans the full length of the window
and mirror, providing ample space for toiletries, hand towels and
the never-to-be-forgotten vase of fresh flowers.
A natural cream-tone grass-cloth patterned wallpaper on the ceiling
comes from the same Sheridan Road collection and picks up the colors
of the granite.
Bringing your bathroom up to today's real-room status not only
pampers you and your guests, but also carries a highly practical
bonus. It ranks with kitchen renovation as an improvement that returns
more than your investment when it comes time to sell your home.
Courtesy of ARA Content