Incorporating Details from the Rest of Your House

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Recently, homeowners have been opting to update their homes rather than moving to new properties, and the most likely candidate for an update is the bathroom. No longer utilitarian spaces, bathrooms lend themselves to unexpected details from the rest of the home, in turn creating luxurious accents and interest in often design-neglected spaces. Following are some of this year’s most popular bathroom design trends.

Oriental Rugs

Gone are the days of terry bathmats. Rugs add luxury and warmth by keeping feet off tile floors. Flat-weave rugs with low profiles, such as kilims and dhurries, hug the floor and are perfect for tile and stone. The exquisite patterns and colors of Oriental rugs are another excellent complement to simple baths. Do not be afraid to use an antique rug; a well-made rug will stand up to decades of use.


Bathrooms are perfect for using bold-patterned paper, as limited time is spent in the bath, and these smaller spaces also require less material, which translates into a more cost-effective application. Wallpaper is making a big comeback and will quickly transform your plain bath into a happy and inviting space.

Nontraditional lighting

Fixtures labeled “bathroom” are fairly design-limited. Expand your search to include sconces and pendants traditionally used in the rest of the house. You can place more importance in the bath by using decorative lighting. It’s fine to mix finishes—a pair of dark bronze sconces will look great with a chrome faucet. Remember to check the wattage of new fixtures to ensure the bath will have enough light.

Reproduction furniture vanities

Find a piece of furniture that you love and have your cabinetmaker reproduce it into a vanity. Don’t limit yourself to traditional vanities that are common in most bathrooms. Think beyond bathroom cabinets and use your dining room buffet for inspiration. This is also a great opportunity to experiment with hardware.

hire a pro

An interior designer has a vast library of resources and can probably find you the best deal on tile, lighting, countertops and vanities. Designers will also work with subcontractors on details such as grout color, measurements of fixtures and code requirements. Hiring the right designer can prevent mistakes and oversights.

keep in mind

Your bathroom is for the use and enjoyment of your family, not the future homeowners. If you are planning on buying a new home in the near future, keep the floors and plumbing simple and add style through lighting, paint and accessories. These items can be easily and inexpensively changed.


Moisture and condensation are obstacles that you can overcome. Remember that good ventilation is critical in a bathroom, especially if you’re incorporating any of these trends. Use your best judgment in planning for your bath. Also, ensure that the light fixtures are rated for damp environments to protect the wiring.

wallpaper worries

Still not convinced about wallpaper? Use a stencil and have a pattern painted on the walls. Think geometric or tribal patterns for a current look. And be sure to use color!
—Capella Kincheloe is an Atlanta residential designer.

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