While updating your home, you will likely have to choose between a wishlist and a needs list of additions. But as it turns out, that dream kitchen island and master bathroom tub might be some of the best decisions you could make while renovating your home.
The Highly Desired Island
Emre Kuzudisli, a designer at Dulles Kitchen and Bath, says aside from homeowners wanting to make their kitchens bigger, almost every redo they do includes the request for an island or peninsula. Adding more workspace and better flow to these high-traffic areas also increases a home’s value, Kuzudisli says.
Make It High-Functioning
If islands and peninsulas seem like musts in new kitchens these days, experts say it’s probably because they are. But done correctly, they should be high-functioning. They can offer seating, prep space, storage and cabinetry, and—if painted a different color or topped with a different counter material—complement the rest of the kitchen.
Make It Pop
Allie Mann, a designer with Case Design, says she’s noticed more homeowners are asking for islands in custom colors. Consider a traditional white kitchen, she says. Paint the island in a pop of color and “it’s beautiful; it’s like a statement piece,” she says of a current project that includes a bespoke blue butcher block. “It’s this blue island in a sea of white.”
Create More Storage
Seek out storage that works for you. For example, if you love to bake, think about creating cabinet space for those wide, tall cookie sheets. Think about easy-to-open drawers that can house big pots or oversized serving platters. Make sure frequently used items are within comfortable reach. Store a knife collection in a museum-worthy display, and add glass-front cabinets to exhibit favorite pieces stashed out of harm’s way.
From Tub to Tile
To increase a home’s resale value, experts agree having one standard tub in the house remains essential. That said, the master bath is open to interpretation. That’s where more homeowners are swapping out their old-school tubs and whirlpool baths to build beautifully tiled frameless glass showers, generously sized and complete with multiple body sprays and a tasteful, well-placed bench.
Vanities and Tubs
Double vanities are vital to ensuring a happy shared space. And if square footage and budget allow, many homeowners like to outfit the master bath with a statement-making standalone tub in addition to the shower. Although that’s also good for resale, that’s more a matter of personal preference. But choosing a smaller freestanding tub lets you “eke out a little bit more space” for that master shower, vanity or even storage, says Mann.
Light It Up
A master bath can’t have too much lighting, says Mann. If possible, put in a window or enlarge an existing one to bring in natural light, add sconces for drama, and include the all-important task lighting. In one recent bath Mann and her team did, light bounces off the mirrors and the bright, white finishes; a structural pendant hangs above the freestanding tub. They added a fireplace to up the spa-like ambience: “It’s much more than just a bathroom space,” Mann says.
Choose a neutral color palette, says Marissa Jambor, a designer with Bath Plus Kitchen Design Remodel. Use tasteful finishes on faucets and cabinets, and avoid anything too trendy. “What I like to do in design is make a space that’s pleasing to most people,” she says. “If you’re planning to stay in the house, make it fit what you want. But also make it neutral enough and timeless enough that it will still be pleasing to future prospective buyers.”
Add a Niche
A tiled cut-out in the shower is a convenience, providing immediate storage for shampoo bottles, body washes, razors—those all-important go-to items that need to be in arm’s reach. “That’s something we’re doing more and more. It’s just a cleaner, nicer way to store things in your shower. We do it whenever we can,” says Jambor.
Be sure to have a stash of toilet paper rolls within sight and easy reach—especially if the bath is in a common part of the home. Designate an open shelf, or toss them into a pretty basket. Be obvious. Don’t force guests to rifle around cabinets.