Learn how to design a bathroom with wide appeal.
Design a bathroom with the greatest return on investment.
Remodeling is on the rise, and with the downturn of the housing
market, it's no wonder. Depending on what you do, remodeling can be a
sound investment, especially when it comes to the bathroom. According
to Remodeling Magazine's 2008-09 Cost Vs. Value Report,
a bathroom remodel recoups 74.6 percent, one of the top home
renovations when it comes to recoup value. And compared to last years
report, an upscale bathroom remodel actually went up in recoup value,
coming in at 70.7 percent.
When remodeling, the best rule of thumb is to always design a space
that fits your style and functional needs. However, if pleasing
prospective buyers and getting the greatest return on investment is a
top priority, keep in mind these experts' advice when renovating your
Consider sticking with white fixtures and a neutral color scheme if you really want to play it safe.
Neutral-toned walls and tiles are more versatile, and lend future homeowners more design options.
You can always add color in the details, says Diane Saatchi, of the
Corcoran Group real estate agency in East Hampton, N.Y. Add vivid
colors and patterns with accessories like towels or artwork.
That said, if you fall in love with a bold-color sink, go for it. It's your remodel, after all.
Keep it simple
"From a design perspective, clean and simple is always more
marketable than anything that's ornate or off the wall," says Coco
Clayman-Cook, an agent with Prudential California Realty in Beverly
For the floor, ceramic tile tends to bring the greatest return on
investment, says Spence Bowthorpe of First Star Construction in
Just add water
baths maximize a home's marketability and value. Showers should be
separate from tubs when possible, particularly in the master bathroom.
Walk-in showers with multiple showerheads are even more appealing,
especially if you're doing an upscale redesign.
Among Saatchi's East Coast clientele, steam showers
have surpassed whirlpool baths in popularity. "But keep mind that there
are tub people and there are shower people," she says. If you install
only a shower, make it a roomy one at least a 5-footer-so the next
owners have the option of removing it and putting a tub in its place.
For the best return on investment, choose nickel or chrome
faucets. Traditional finishes tend to be more versatile than
gold or bronze.
facilitate cleanup and are considered a "must have" by many remodeling
professionals and homebuyers. Handshowers with slide bars combine sleek
good looks with function and flexibility.
Pause for reflection
"Anything you can do to make a bathroom feel bigger is a plus,"
Bowthorpe says. A wall-to-wall, counter-to-ceiling mirror will make a
small space seem much larger.
A wall-to-wall mirror works well with a double-sink vanity because the
reflective surface unifies the shared space. Clean, contemporary
bathroom designs generally call for unframed or beveled mirrors.
Bathroom designers seeking a more furnished look are mounting framed oval or rectangular mirrors above the sinks.
Small changes, big difference
If you're looking to remodel without spending big bucks, consider
making small changes to the space. Many bathroom features are
relatively minor, and still high on a buyers wishlist. Dual sinks,
particularly in the master bath, plus recessed medicine cabinets,
dimmer switches, a shower light, solid surfaces such as natural stone
or acrylic, and ample storage space are all very pleasing to
Other small changes include repainting your cabinets rather than replacing them, and swapping out knobs, towel bars, and other accessories for a fresh, updated feel. Small changes can make a big difference and leave a smaller dent in your wallet.
Everything in its place
storage is important to potential buyers, and the more the better. If
you have the option, install niches or cabinets along the wall to keep
add a cozy, furniture appeal to the bathroom, and provide storage space
below the sink. If you're looking for that little extra feature to
separate your bathroom from the rest, consider a shower storage unit.
Keep it consistent
Ideally, a bathroom should feel like an oasis. But that doesn't mean
you should forsake the style of the house to which it's attached.
Consistency is key: "Don't put a rustic timber mountain look in a
1950s-era brick ranch house," Bowthorpe says.
To build or not to build
Adding another bathroom to your home can add a lot of value and
increase your list of potential buyers. But not all homes need another
bath. Try to see your home as a buyer would see it.
If you have a four bedroom, one bathroom home, then an
additional bathroom may add more value than a remodel. But if your home
has three bedrooms and two baths, an addition may not be
necessary. Think about what your space will be used for and build
accordingly. In general, you recoup more cost from remodeling than
building, but it depends on the home.