In almost any renovation you do, you will have to make many decisions in regards to product choices. One area with more options than most is the bathroom.
Most people never think about the vast range of choices available for their bathroom until they start their research. People can get quickly overwhelmed when they find that many items can fit in the space and each item can have hundreds of choices. Deciding on whether to install a soaker tub or a walk-in shower, or whether to choose pedestal sink or a cabinet sink is an easy part. If you care about the right quality, colours, finishes, and value, then you need lots of advice.
Here’s the good news: Most of the info you need is free and the only advice you might pay for, is money well spent. The first step costs a few dollars and takes some time but is the most fun part of the process. Buy some magazines or a few books out there that have the types of bathrooms you would like. Then go on the computer, open up your internet browser, go to “Google Images” and type in whatever it is you want to see. Tile, showers, bathtubs, mirrors, sinks; you can look up anything. Save or print pictures of styles and colours that catch your eye.
Once you have your wish list, you need to make sure your choices are possible for your space. Anything is possible, but changing existing walls, plumbing and electrical will affect your budget. This is when you call your contractor for advice. The initial consultation to answer basic questions should be free. If you know exactly what you want, the contractor can confirm what needs to be done and give you a quote. This is the exception, not the rule.
Most of the time, the myriad of choices is more than most people want to deal with. A little professional help can mean the difference between mediocre results and something amazing. Your contractor will have at his disposal a plumber and electrician who can answer difficult questions that could drastically affect your budget. His tile setter can give you suggestions on tile patterns and possibilities.
One person who can bring all of the choices of materials, colours, and styles together is an interior designer. When I consult with a customer on the details of a project, I try to create what I think the customer wants. The problem comes when the customer does not know what they want. An interior designer is trained to take the customers wishes and improve them by modernizing and matching them.
Too many projects turn out to be lacklustre because people do not trust themselves to pick fun or bold textures and colours. It takes knowledge and experience to make it all work together. I’ve seen it time and time again. A renovation can be very well-built, however, if the details are missing, the finished product won’t excite anyone. An interior designer can cost 5% to 10% of a project but can often make the result twice as good. Working with a designer also gives the contractor and the customer a clear understanding of the project, while virtually eliminating the potential of you getting something you didn’t want.