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10 Great Bathroom Accessories

Modern bathrooms serve not only as bathing areas but also as retreat areas for those who want to relax. To make your bathroom more comfortable and luxurious, you can go for matching accessories, decorative faucets and cabinets, big tubs, shower enclosures, and other various features.
10 Great Bathroom Accessories

If your bathroom has remained basically the same for the last five years, it’s time you thought about remodeling. Bathrooms have come a long way from the simple, utilitarian rooms we’ve known for decades. Today’s bathrooms are larger, warmer, more stylish, and more luxurious. In fact, it’s no longer just a bathroom anymore—it’s become a personal retreat for homeowners who like to relax at the end of the day.

Needless to say, this new trend isn’t cheap. Remodeling your bathroom can easily cost several thousand dollars, not including the labor costs and the contractor’s fee. But remodeling isn’t always the only option. If you want to give your bathroom a new look without breaking the bank, you can always add a few key accessories. As long as you choose the right pieces, you can get that modern look for half the cost. Here are ten bathroom accessories that are worth a try.

1. Oversized tubs. An oversized tub is the ultimate picture of luxury and relaxation. With all the designs currently available, bulky doesn’t necessarily mean ugly—you can easily find a stylish tub good enough for two people. Think beyond the usual steel or built-in designs; look for round tubs, Jacuzzis, or freestanding tubs with attractive vessels and stylized legs. If you have a small area, try placing a freestanding tub at an angle from the corner to create an illusion of space.

2. Shower enclosures. Gone are the days when your tub could double as your shower area. It’s now fashionable to put your tub and shower in separate enclosures, both for better privacy and wiser use of space. Shower enclosures now come in all shapes and sizes, from simple corner screens to high-end mini-saunas. For maximum relaxation, consider getting a steam bath enclosure. These little rooms pack the ultimate pampering package: massage jets, temperature controls, scented steam, and even waterproof speakers for listening to soothing music.

3. Vanity area. Self-pampering isn’t complete without a good vanity table. From the simple pedestal sink and mirror, bathrooms now sport a full-blown vanity with a chair, dresser, mirror, and all the other trimmings. Design your vanity to match your bathroom theme, but pay extra attention to the lighting—it should be simple and flattering, but easily adjusted to suit the user’s skin tone. The best vanity lighting is a column of lights on each side of the mirror, or a single large light about six feet overhead.

4. Vessel sinks. Recessed sinks are still in style, but vessel sinks are quickly taking over. Vessel sinks are installed with the base on the same level as the countertop, so that they appear informal and casual. They’re a great way to add color and dimension to your bathroom, especially when the colors contrast with your countertop. Glass vessel sinks are especially stylish, as they reflect the light and hold water well.  The only downside with vessels is that they only work for tall people—if you have kids around, you may need to install a separate sink for them.

5. Recessed lighting. As bathrooms get bigger, it’s become necessary to place dedicated lights in the shower, bath, vanity, and other key areas. One of the best ways to do this is recessed lighting. Recessed lights are installed in hollow openings in the ceiling, creating the illusion of light shining down from an unseen source. It gives a soft, sleek look to your bathroom and makes excellent task lighting for small areas. Be sure to use warm tones and install a dimmer so you can adjust the brightness to suit your moods.

6. Matching accessories. Whether it’s a color theme or a simple monogram, matching accessories add a unified and elegant look to your bathroom. Match your towels to your bathroom tiles, your shower and bath enclosures, your sink and wall colors. Look for any two elements that you can unite with a common theme. Don’t overdo it, though; otherwise your bathroom will become too uniform and uninteresting. Try adding little accents of bold color for contrast, such as red against white or orange against green.

7. Glass and mirrors. Glass and mirrors give your bathroom a light yet elegant feel. They also help reflect the light that comes in, so that you can illuminate the entire area without using strong ambient lighting. In the daytime, a large wall mirror can bounce back sunlight and spread it across the room. This is a great way to save energy and lend a warm, airy feel to your bathroom. Add little glass elements here and there, such as a glass sink, a row of glass tiles, or even a glass tub.

8. Heated floors. Many people think they’ve made their bathroom as comfortable as possible, until they step in on a winter morning and get a shock from the frigid floors. Avoid this problem by using heated tile flooring, wherein a thin electric mat is spread under your ceramic tiles to keep them continuously warm. Don’t worry about energy consumption—it only costs around 20c a day and as little as $500 for an average bathroom.

9. Decorative faucets. Double taps or “mixers” are becoming popular, although they’re a bit of an excess for a household bathroom. Instead, you can get a decorative tap that matches your sink and bathroom décor. They now come in a wide range of finishes, such as chrome, satin chrome, stainless steel, brass, and pewter. Stainless steel is the most durable, but brass and chrome have more luster and may look better with modern bathroom themes.

10. Custom cabinetry. More often than not, cabinets are the main decorative element in a bathroom. If you want to add personality to your bathroom, make sure your cabinets reflect your personal style. Store-bought cabinets tend to lack character, so have your cabinets custom-made or altered to suit your preferences. If that seems a bit too expensive, you can add your own personal touches such as hand-painted doors, personalized handles, or decorative frames.