Designers Northwest, Inc.

Raising children involves years of a flurry of activity as you spend your days and evenings shuttling them around, seeming to always be getting ready for something and trying to get them out the door for school, athletic games, music performances, and such. At home, it’s a blur of mealtimes, bath times, and bedtimes. Now that they’re gone and the house is quiet, you may be noticing things you’d really like to upgrade in your home—and now have the time, energy, and maybe even extra money to do it.

Now that your focus isn’t on the busy schedule of raising children, you may desire some changes that are just for your own comfort now. Or, it could be that you have an elderly parent who plans to move in and now you’re considering aging in place design. But where is a good place to start? While a new kitchen would be amazing, the bathrooms in your home are likely the spaces that get the most use by the entire household, which makes this a great place to begin when considering a home remodeling project.

On one hand, the bathroom can be a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. On the other, the bathroom can be the biggest hazard in a home. If you plan to age in place in your home or have a multigenerational household with an aging parent, the bathroom is a great place to begin when remodeling your home. There are a variety of upgrades and modifications to consider.

The large soaking tub you thought was a luxurious master bath feature may no longer get much use as it can become more difficult to get in and out of with aging, as well as be a pain to clean after each use. A large curbless shower with a spa-style bench and spray attachment on the showerhead can have both safety benefits as well as be easier to maintain. For easier upkeep select from a variety of contemporary solid surface wall panels which eliminate the back-breaking work of cleaning the grout joints that are typical in older showers. Modern shower wall panels are available in many styles such as high gloss, faux stone, or laminate panels that resemble tile but without the cleaning difficulty.

Besides the safety hazards posed by older style tubs and showers, lighting can be a risk for trip and fall accidents. This can be remedied in several ways. New fixtures that provide brighter lighting is the most obvious and probably easiest fix. Other bathroom remodeling projects can include adding more natural light sources by replacing windows and adding skylights or light tubes. If your bathroom has one or more windows that are always covered for privacy, consider replacing the glass with frosted glass vinyl or glass block style windows.

Reaching up or down into cabinet shelving to rummage for appliances or beauty products can be a literal pain on your back. Installing slide-out drawers in vanity cabinets or bathroom storage closets will allow for better ease of storage for less pain and frustration when trying to find things as well as possibly allow for greater out of sight storage rather than cluttering the vanity counter. Another place it considers adding storage spaces is in the shower. Inset storage niches are very handy in showers to keep your bathing items within easy reach, and take up less space and look nicer than hanging up a shower caddy.

Of course, there’s a whole realm of upgrades that can bring all the style and comforts of a premium hotel right into your own bathrooms such as heated flooring, towel warmers, coffee station nook, or a wall mount television to watch the morning news while shaving.

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