Beadboard Bathroom Designs
Beadboard bathroom designs are most common in cottage-style bathrooms, but this casually elegant design can work well in a wide selection of bathroom styles. Traditional cottages often use the most familiar style of beadboard, which features thin, vertical white panels aligned closely together.
Storage in small baths is essential to a functional space. Sarah Susanka, author of Not So Big Remodeling, encourages homeowner to get innovative in small baths. Walls, which are typically four inches thick, offer a place for additional storage whether it's a recessed medicine cabinet or open shelving. "Little indents in walls can be great for all the stuff you have in bathrooms like soaps and shampoos," Susanka says. "We don't often think of it, but it's space and it's there and it's easy to use."
Make the Most of Your Floor Plan
A challenge with any bath, but particularly a small one is the placement of the toilet. "It can be very difficult and expensive and sometimes impossible to move a toilet from its current location," says Rob Bennett, an Indianapolis, Ind. remodeler. If the layout has to stay the same, you can still make the floor plan more functional. If there is a separate tub and shower, Susanka advises clients to scrap the tub in favor of a super-sized shower stall since it's used daily.
Lengthen the Countertop
Get creative when square footage allows for only a single, small vanity. Susanka recommends extending the countertop material over the toilet to create a shelf. It may only be a place for a box of tissues or container of cotton balls or another decorative item, but it creates the illusion of more surface area.
Trick the Eye
One of Susanka's favorite ways to make a room feel larger involves lowering the ceiling over the sinks and tub. "What happens is that creates more spatial variety. It's paradoxical, but it actually makes the whole room feel bigger," Susanka says. "This is because your eye and your body experiences contrast between the middle of the room and essentially these alcoves that have the lowered ceiling."
Extend Floor Space
Beverley Binns, a designer with Binns kitchen + bath design in Ontario, Canada, recommends using wall-hung vanities in contemporary baths and furniture-like vanities with legs in traditional rooms. Doing so visually extends the floor space. Along the same lines, Binns often continues the floor material into the shower to make the room appear larger. "If you see more of the floor it's going to feel like a more spacious place," she says.
Add a mirror. "You can make the experience of that room much bigger because your eye then believes the room is twice the size than it really is," Susanka says. "It's such a simple solution, but it really truly makes such an enormous difference." In her designs, Susanka likes to specify a window adjacent to a reflective surface such as a mirror or light-colored wall. The goal is to increase the amount of natural light that bounces around the room.
Newer styles are available in an almost limitless selection of materials, colors and finishes, ensuring that with a little research, you'll likely have no trouble finding the right type of beadboard for your bathroom design.
Beadboard features a single characteristic that sets it apart from other types of paneling — a recessed strip called a bead runs the length of the paneling, creating a distinctive look. In addition to adding to the attractiveness of a space, beadboard is often used to protect walls, acting as a barrier between the wall surface and any activity in the room space. Beadboard is often viewed as a quick way to transform the look of a room, as it can be installed in large sheets or smaller panels, and it is easily cut and configured to fit any space. Most styles of beadboard paneling feature tongue-and-groove construction, which allows for easy installation and a seamless look once on the wall.
Beadboard can be made from high-quality natural wood, plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in a vast range of finishes and colors. Pre-primed in white, left in its natural wood state or stained to take on the look of hardwoods like cherry and maple, beadboard can help create an elegant yet casual and welcoming bathroom space.
When purchased in its natural wood or pre-primed states, beadboard can be painted in the color of your choice. White beadboard is a common sight in traditional vacation or beach cottages, but soothing greens, blues and yellows can also work well to create a welcoming cottage feel in your bathroom. Natural wood beadboard can also be stained in a vast selection of colors and tones, with matte or glossy finishes in every tone from blonde to black.
Beadboard paneling was traditionally deployed in vertical strips on walls, but many homeowners have begun experimenting with new approaches and styles. Beadboard can now be found in horizontal strips in many homes; this style is particularly popular in southern homes. And many homeowners have started running beadboard on ceilings, as well, often creating a feeling of depth by contrasting with the direction of wall beadboard in the space.
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