When it comes to activity per square footage, the bathroom is perhaps the busiest room in the house. When it needs some well-deserved sprucing, making sure the new look is durable, lasts, and is resistant to design-of-the-moment fads should be a priority.
So when interior designer Dena Thomas’ clients were remodeling their home and talks turned to the guest powder bathroom, Thomas ensured its longevity by not granting their initial wish.
The Chandler homeowners had thoughts about creating a farmhouse look—currently all-the-rage—for the room that features a sink, vanity and toilet behind a wall divider. However, Thomas had other ideas to stave off what would eventually be an outdated theme.
“It is a trend and I don’t live in trends. I wanted to go outside of the box a little bit,” says Thomas, owner of Dena Thomas Designs.
She managed a compromise that pleased her clients with a mix that implemented a central farmhouse-style piece, supported by modern touches. This, Thomas explains, yields a look that’s timeless.
A contemporary vessel sink and chrome faucet with a complementary framed mirror replaced a gaudy gray pedestal sink and dated mirror. A chrome hand towel bar and toilet paper holder are modern elements that complement the vanity, which flaunts light wood and classic farmhouse flair. Chrome hardware here gives this piece a modern vibe that ties it into the rest of the room.
A low-profile toilet was removed and a more modern, higher version brought in. A stunning crystal chandelier featuring LED lighting is responsible for the illumination. Chevron classic brick flooring in a herringbone pattern complements wallpaper that flaunts a motif composed of taupe gray and white shades. It also covers the old baby blue paint on the walls.
“I wanted to stay neutral,” Thomas explains of her plans for the powder bathroom that sits just off the kitchen. “Plus, they’re doing a remodel in their massive kitchen and the cabinets will be white and gray, so I wanted to follow suit with that whole scheme.”
For those who may cringe at the idea of wallpaper, Thomas urges them to have an open mind with the contemporary renditions that are a far cry from the hard-to-remove and antiquated versions from decades ago. It can go a long way toward creating that classic look that outlives whatever the “it” color of the moment is.
“Wallpaper, to me, is timeless. It’s been around for a long time and anything that comes and goes with the times is timeless,” Thomas says. “The concept of putting wallpaper on walls has really never gone away, just the concept of the design of the wallpaper.”
If you’re pondering a bathroom remodel, Thomas offers some suggestions:
· Personal taste over popular trends: “Grays are trending but for some, it’s depressing,” Thomas says. “What colors do you love or hate? Do you wear a lot of black or reds? Go with what speaks to you.”
· Light and bright: Shades in the white family create a brighter feel, which can be especially beneficial in a small space. Or, try something in the yellow clan that’s more neutral and creamier.
· Quartz or quartzite: It’s durable and granite’s inexpensive, versatile and practical alternative. Dark tones show water spots, so if that’s something that you can’t live with or you’re not the type to wipe off every water drop immediately after using the sink, go with something lighter that’s close to a marble shade. “It’s clean, timeless, and you just can’t go wrong with it.”
· LED it: “If you’re going to use recessed lighting, soft LEDs are so important, especially if you use cooler tones.”
· Mix it up: Resist the temptation to go all out with one theme. “If a client wants a modern look, I don’t go all modern. I add an element of that in the home and don’t go full-fledged of one design.”