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Our Natural Habitat - - Archived

“Shiplap walls add texture and character to a brand-new bathroom. Soaking tubs are not only incredibly relaxing, but they also add a sculptural element to a space. I often have square tiles laid in a subway pattern for added subtle interest.”
“Shiplap walls add texture and character to a brand-new bathroom. Soaking tubs are not only incredibly relaxing, but they also add a sculptural element to a space. I often have square tiles laid in a subway pattern for added subtle interest.”
Reprinted with permission from Habitat by Lauren Liess | Introductory text by Brandon Daiker

Practical, Functional, Beautiful Bathrooms

We might not spend the most time out of the day in the bathroom, but the time we do spend needs to be… comfortable. Freshly drawn baths, elegant fixtures, fresh-feeling lighting, and yes, even the toilet itself all need to do their part when it comes to those essential daily routines—and there’s rarely a better way to both increase the value of your house and maximize your comfort than tackling a bathroom for your next renovation project.

A simple textural bathroom in a mountain home feels quiet and relaxing.
A simple textural bathroom in a mountain home feels quiet and relaxing.

Bathrooms need to be practical and functional, but they should be beautiful, too. Select timeless materials that are in keeping with your style and the home’s architecture. Stay away from things for the sole reason that they’re in style, don’t fear things that are supposedly out of style, and choose colors and materials because you love them. As in the powder room, select plumbing and lighting fixtures that feel appropriate with the rest of the house. If more than one person will be using the bathroom and there is enough space, choose a vanity with multiple sinks, or two vanities. Consider topping an old dresser with a new countertop and repurposing it as a bathroom vanity. Use eight-inch-spread faucets or wall-mounted faucets for a statement and for easy cleaning.

One of a pair of his-and-hers floating vanities in a master bath is shown here with vintage-style hex floors. White glass lamps beside the mirrors provide face-flattering light, and flush mount square rain shower heads lend a spa-like feel.
One of a pair of his-and-hers floating vanities in a master bath is shown here with vintage-style hex floors. White glass lamps beside the mirrors provide face-flattering light, and flush mount square rain shower heads lend a spa-like feel.

Keep bathroom art and accessories to a minimum. Include a bit of art on the walls so that the room doesn’t feel sterile, and consider fresh towels, a rug, a basket for supplies, soap, and a vase of flowers. Accessories should be practical and useful. If you plan on lighting candles in the bathroom, have a candle or two, but don’t bring in pillar candles that you don’t intend to light as decor. It’s great if you fill baskets with useful things, such as towels, washcloths, toilet paper, and soap, but baskets holding decorative objects and pretty things you’ll never use will simply take up space and collect dust.

“Symmetry reigns in our family’s lake house bathroom complete with double rain shower heads in polished nickel and a shower flanked by metal cabinets filled with bath supplies. I wanted us to feel as if we’re in a completely different setting when we visit the lake, so I brought in colors and elements that call to mind the water and shore, such as the shiplap walls and the modern gray pebble resin floors. We used an island with a two-sided mirror and sinks in lieu of the traditional vanity because it allowed for better flow.”
“Symmetry reigns in our family’s lake house bathroom complete with double rain shower heads in polished nickel and a shower flanked by metal cabinets filled with bath supplies. I wanted us to feel as if we’re in a completely different setting when we visit the lake, so I brought in colors and elements that call to mind the water and shore, such as the shiplap walls and the modern gray pebble resin floors. We used an island with a two-sided mirror and sinks in lieu of the traditional vanity because it allowed for better flow.”

Reprinted with permission from Habitat by Lauren Liess, ABRAMS; Fall 2015. Habitat illustrates how to bring nature into every aspect of your home. Full of lavish photographs that capture details large and small, this volume is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to nature for inspiration. Lauren Liess is a decorator, textile designer, and founder of the popular design blog Pure Style Home. She lives in Northern Virginia.

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