(ARA) - Trendy designs for the home combine furnishings from a variety of periods and materials. Finding the right mix takes confidence, a spirit of adventure and savvy eye. This is particularly true in the bath. Whether home spa, master suite, powder room or his and her space, the bathroom requires practical design solutions given its utilitarian function. But it's a style matchmaker's field of dreams where virtually anything goes thanks to today's products and designs.
Begin with the Design Basics In mixing and matching styles in your bathroom, start with the design basics of scale and proportion. What are the dimensions of your bathroom and what elements do you need to fit within that space? Ask yourself if you have all the fixtures and fittings to meet your needs and lifestyle. Do you want to gain storage space and lose the clutter? Balancing the room's size with the bathroom necessities will help you explore what to add, what to eliminate, what to build in or what furniture to consider.
Many manufacturers simplify the decision by offering complete bath furniture collections in a wide variety of periods and styles. Whether you use the collections in full or in part, they provide a foundation for the rest of the mix. The Fifth and 57th Collection from Porcher, for example, features an art deco-inspired vanity, cosmetic table, apothecary cabinet, storage cabinet, wall-hung mirror and tub surround. You can determine what pieces fit within your space and style.
Pick a Theme
Once you have the basics in place, today's décor-conscious homeowner welcomes the challenge to combine a little of this and a little of that. The successful mix features variations on one dominant visual theme, whether you choose art deco, minimalist, contemporary, country or anything in between. When selecting additional pieces for the room, look for design compatibility -- a similar (or happily contrasting) angle or curve to the fixtures, a matching finish, and so on. With your design theme in mind, you can also choose complementary materials for floors, walls and countertops.
Fortunately, there are many natural and man-made materials available that are water-resistant such as glass, stone, tile, metal, composites and certain woods. Again, some collections from bathroom manufacturers feature mix-and-match materials. Porcher's Fifth and 57th Collection offers rich, two-tone wood finishes, durable natural stone and sculpted hardware.
Play the Match Game
Good design seeks balance between matching and contrasting. Some elements of the well-mixed bath such as fixtures, faucets and hardware work best if they match. Sticking to one manufacturer's fixtures and fittings automatically adds a degree of visual consistency and a manageable amount of variety. Other bathroom details such as fixture finishes and furniture are perfect for mixing up the room's style. It's these types of details that provide the finishing touches on your bathroom makeover. An elegant, understated metal faucet finish, whether brushed or antiqued, makes a good match for all styles.
JADO bathroom faucets, for example, come in an antique nickel finish, which is among the most popular for luxury fixtures. No matter what finish you choose, try to keep them consistent, especially when the bath incorporates several periods and styles. Furniture can also provide a practical yet stylish contrast to your bathroom theme. An heirloom antique cabinet or a new clothing armoire can be repurposed as much-needed storage and contrasted with porcelain fixtures and metal finishes.
When it comes to mixing it up in the bathroom, learn from the design masters: match form to function and then match it to your style. Elegant, designer-looking bathrooms can be achieved easily with the help of manufacturers' mix-and-match collections and your own imagination.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
EDITOR'S NOTE: Judith Nasatir is a well-known writer and editor whose work has been published in numerous American and international publications about design, architecture and decorating.
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