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DOs AND DON'Ts FOR AN ELEVATED BATHROOM RENOVATION

At Chez Lissette, bathroom design is approached as any other space in the home. While function is of the utmost importance, the goal is to create personalized spaces that go beyond the utilitarian. Whether large or small, a powder bath or a grand master ensuite, here are the DOs and DON'Ts I adhere to every time.


1- DO get creative with tile

Hoxton Hotel via @mad_about_the_house

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Kyle J Caldwell]

Even the most basic of tiles can feel instantly elevated by laying it a pattern with some interest, such as a subway tile laid in herringbone pattern. Another option is to use the same tile in different colors to create a band or color-block pattern. In the bathroom above, we used a cement hex tile in 4 different colors to create a custom pattern that was bold, original, and personalized to the clients.


Mixing two different tiles together is another way to get creative. Be sure that the tiles vary in size and that they are not both patterned. My preference is for tiles that are similar in intensity or saturation.

black and white chevron tile bathroom wall

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]


2- DON'T be afraid to use marble

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]

Marble gets a bad rap. Because of its porous nature, it is more likely to stain. NEWS FLASH: All natural stones can stain (and even quartz can too). I am also of the belief that age and patina can add to the beauty of marble. It is one of the most luxurious materials one can use, and it lends itself to a variety of design styles. AND, because I am all about authenticity when choosing materials, steer clear of faux marble tile.

If marble is pushing you over budget, consider using it in a limited area such as the vanity countertop. Though marble is fail-safe choice for an timeless and elevated space, there are many other beautiful options available.

3- DO take your shower tile all the way to the ceiling

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]

Nothing looks more unfinished than shower tile that stops about one foot below the ceiling. Taking your tile all the way up will not only elevate the look of your shower, but will draw the eye up making the shower or tub area appear taller and more spacious.


4- DON'T highlight your tiny shampoo niche

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]


You create this spacious shower with beautiful tile and stunning shower fixtures only to draw your eye to a tiny square shampoo niche. This may not be the element to you want to feature, and an accented niche will only distract from the rest of the shower or tub area. So unless you are creating a large architectural feature with your niche, it is best to have it blend in with the wall tile.


If you are looking for a little more excitement in your shower, alternative options to highlighting the shampoo niche are creating an accent wall or an inlay in contrasting tile. You may also consider highlighting your shower fixtures with a secondary material or tile on that wall only.


5- DO mix metal finishes - with intention

soaking tub underneath the window

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]

Mixing metals is a definite DO in design. I find it to be a concept most homeowners grapple with, but many designers embrace. The key is to repeat each finish so that it is well thought out and done with intention.


Keep all plumbing fixtures (sink faucet, shower head, tub spout, etc.) in one finish and then introducing a second finish on items such as hardware and mirrors. I also prefer to avoid mixing chrome and polished nickel as it will give the impression that you made an attempt to match but weren't looking closely enough at your selections. Instead combine chrome with matte black, brass with polished nickel. The mixture will feel fresh and add interest.

6- DON'T close off windows

mixing metals in the bathroom

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]

There may be circumstances in which having a window in your bathroom is not possible, like if you live in an apartment building or townhouse. However, if given the option to have a window (or two), nothing beats having natural light in any space. This includes the bathroom.



7- DO opt for an 8" widespread over a centerset faucet


[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Tracey Elizabeth Photography]


There may be circumstances in which having a window in your bathroom is not possible, (i.e. you live in an apartment building or townhouse.) However, if given the option to have a window, or two, nothing beats having natural light in any space. This includes the bathroom.



8- DO give thoughtful consideration to artwork


soaking tub underneath the window

[design: Chez Lissette, photo: Kyle J Caldwell]


In designing bathrooms, art is considered as a part of the design as a whole, just as it is in another other space we design. Art can impact the look and feel of the bathroom, so give thought to the style, subject matter, and where it will be placed from the very beginning. It should not be an afterthought.


In the powder room above, we had a blank wall opposite the wall-to-wall mirror above the sink and toilet. An oversized piece of art adds color and dimensions to the wall, and because it is across from the mirror, it can also be viewed and appreciated while using the sink.

Your bathroom should do more than merely function - it should WOW!



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