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5 Great Bathroom Design Tips

Ready to reno the bath? Make it perfect with these top tips.

1. Increase the sense of space by taking the vanity off the floor. In this Whistler, B.C.-based bathroom, designed by Falken Reynolds Interiors, “floating vanities make the space feel bigger,” says designer Chad Falkenberg—like this one, which is about nine inches above the tile floor.

Falken Reynolds Bathroom
A simple palette of cool stone and light oak are the perfect neutral backdrop for bold Missoni towels. (Photo by Chad Falkenberg.)


2. Take advantage of dead space in the walls to create sculpture niches. When the homeowner of this Calgary, Alberta-based bathroom takes a long soak in this Hydro Systems bath, she won’t be staring at the (albeit lovely) silver walls. Designer Kevin Mitchell of Cridland Associates punched into the archway over the bath, creating pockets in the walls for two sculpture niches.

Kevin Mitchell Bath
Silver leaf lines the walls of this Calgary-based bathroom. (Photo by Martin Tessler.)


3. Make a large space feel intimate with a darker ceiling. The homeowners have two young children, so the shower space was designed to be large enough for mom and the kids to get ready in the morning. In this Calgary bathroom by Rockwood Custom Homes, the darker tiles on the ceiling help the large space feel cozy.

rockwood bath
Designed by Alison Grafton and Lindsay Zugelder of Rockwood Custom Homes, this Calgary bathroom evokes Old Hollywood. Photo by Martin Tessler.


4. Don’t feel you have to choose between shiny or matte finishes. Shiny materials tend to feel formal, while matte is more casual and natural. Here, the bathroom is mostly matte—stone, tile, wood and paint—offset with polished chrome for a touch of sophistication.

Falken-reynolds bath2
This Whistler home, designed by Falken Reynolds Interiors, is inspired by Scandinavian design—”Canadian Nordic,” as the designers refer to it. (Photo by Chad Falkenberg.)


5. Pay careful attention to the placement of sconces. There may be no room more important than the bathroom for proper lighting. “You want lighting to be equally spaces in the middle of where you’re standing,” explains designer Kevin Mitchell of Cridland Associates. “If you have light hitting you on one side, you start to look different, and it affects how you do your makeup.”

Kevin Mitchell Bath
The vanities in this bathroom were once bow-fronted and too traditional for the homeowner, so designer Kevin Mitchell updated them to look more like modern furniture pieces. (Photo by Martin Tessler.)


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