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Bathroom Style Guide

You probably know the difference between traditional and modern, but a cohesive look is all in the details. Use these tips to refine your bathroom's style.

Traditional: Generally formal in style with classic architectural details. Heavy use of natural stone, carved or embellished cabinetry and vintage-look fixtures.

- In traditional style, balance is key. When in doubt, buy a pair.
- Marble and granite are best bets for countertops. Other options are concrete, pewter or hammered copper.
- Dark wood finishes are favored; select cabinets with timeless flair.
- Incorporate classic shapes, such as urns, columns, curves and scrolling leaves or flowers.
- A traditional-style bathroom best fits a traditional-style home but, truly, will work in any style home.
- Colors can be bold or subtle with classic patterns in wallpaper, shower curtains and linens adding extra oomph.

Design by Andreas Charalambous, see more of his spaces in Designers' Portfolio.

Modern: Sleek, streamlined and clutter-free, this style makes liberal use of reflective materials such as glass, chrome and solid-surface countertops.

- Clean lines and simple, geometric shapes are key.
- Mid-Century Modern style, a '50s take on Modern style, continues to grow in popularity.
- Choose sleek materials such as stainless steel and glass tile.
- Keep cabinetry free of fussy details. Popular wood choices are also eco-friendly, such as bamboo and cork.
- Modern style is clutter-free; ample concealed storage for toiletries is a necessity.
- All-white is a popular palette especially when paired with pops of energizing colors such as turquoise, red, orange and yellow.

Natural influences, bold pattern, streamlined fixtures and classic touches combine to create this eclectic bathroom designed by Erinn Valencich. See more of her work in Designers' Portfolio.

Eclectic: Creative mix of varying design styles with inventive color, pattern and material combinations.

- Mix different styles, periods and looks.
- Design by instinct: If you love it, it will work.
- Shop at flea markets and specialty stores.
- Create cohesion with repetition of color, shape or texture.
- Don't forget the details: Accessories like wall sconces, glassware and linens make a big difference in a room's design.
- Create a one-of-a-kind look with bold pattern choices, such as stripes, geometrics or prints.

Cottage style is cozy and relaxed with just a touch of romance. Design by Linda Woodrum, see more of her spaces in Designers' Portfolio.

Cottage: Casual, warm and reminiscent of country style, cottage continues to gain popularity.

- Commonly used architectural features are hardwood floors and beadboard or wainscot paneling.
- Cabinets resemble antique furniture and are often painted or distressed.
- Fabric patterns are traditional such as florals, checks, damask, toile or stripes.
- Vintage or hand-me-down accessories are part of the decor and add personality.
- Color choices are often feminine and softer in tone.
- Shop for vintage accessories and cottage-style furniture at estate sales, antique auctions, flea markets and thrift stores.

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