How to Create a Classic Bathroom

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While trendy bathrooms are fun, sometimes it’s best to stick to a timeless design that will last for years. A classic bathroom appeals to everyone and can add value to your home. Learn how to give your bathroom a look that will last with these tips.

Look at this post. Now look at your bathroom. This post. Your bathroom. Are you seeing design trends that should have gone out with your powder blue leisure suit and crocheted poncho? While gold foil and brown velvet wallpaper may have been as “must have” as a Pet Rock, it just doesn’t stand the test of time.

When redesigning your bathroom, it’s best to stick with timeless design elements, says Anita Dawson, president of Dawson Design Group in San Diego — especially if you’re looking to sell your home.

What’s Timeless, Anyway?

“When I go into a house that’s, say, 20 years old, I ask the homeowners what it is they absolutely hate in the bathroom,” Dawson says. “Usually it’s something that’s not timeless.”

Trendy color tiles, wood veneers and fixtures all date the space. Timeless style uses simple lines, shapes, fabrics, materials and other elements that give a room structure.

The trendy stuff that comes and goes can still be used, just do so in the places you can easily — and inexpensively — replace or update: paint colors and shower curtains, for example.

“Trendy tile colors are a problem,” Dawson says. “It’s the first thing that will date a project.”

And tile is difficult and expensive to change.

“There are pretty teals that are out there now that probably won’t date well. If people want timeless, I’d stick with white or marble,” she says.

The Right Time

Timeless bathroom design is actually trending now, especially things that make people think “clean,” such as layers of white: marble floors, vanity tops and subway tile.

One thing Dawson has noticed is that homeowners want less grout to have to clean, so she’s specifying more large-format tiles.

“But if there’s tile on the shower floor, it’s better to use small tiles for slip resistance,” she says.

As for cabinets, Dawson suggests painted wood because certain types, like oak or pine, can date a room.

“You can’t easily resurface a wood veneer,” she says, but paint can be easily changed.

For hardware, “classic chrome is less expensive and has a hardier finish,” Dawson says. “And it never goes out of style.”

If you’re thinking of selling your home, all this translates into a better return on your investment. Homebuyers don’t want to create a to-do list every time they view a house. A dated bathroom shouts, “You need to spend more time and money on upgrades!”

Updating to a classic style could be well worth the effort: A mid-range bathroom remodel that costs $16,724 would give you about a 70% ROI, according to the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report.