3 Simple Steps to Create a Bathroom That Will Stand the Test of Time

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Although bathrooms can be small spaces, they are substantial investments in your home. Restrooms should provide not only functionality but beauty and comfort for both homeowners and guests. An ideal bathroom design incorporates functionality, support, and beauty, regardless of age or mobility.  

1. Planning Ahead

  • Prioritize the space: When remodeling a bathroom, remember to establish what areas are best suitable for specific tasks. Plumbing, outlets, and ventilation are all critical elements to a high-functioning bathroom. Consider adding outlets for hairstyling products, or adding ventilation close to the shower. However large or small your bathroom may be, it is essential to address which areas used most, how, and by whom.

  • Smart storage: Bathroom designers should consider the specific needs and storage requirements of you and your guests to ensure the bathroom to feel spacious and organized. For example, the area next to where you apply makeup or shave may need hidden drawers or a built-in cabinet. Children’s bathrooms may require space for bath toys or step stools.

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2. Safety and Comfort for Everyone 

  • Use readily available strategies: Barrier-free showers, slip-resistant flooring, and lever-style door handles are safe and straightforward. Planning to make bathrooms comfortable and accessible may also help save money in the long-run. You can have comfort by knowing that these implementations will last, and there is no need to remodel again.

  • Consult an expert: Interior design professionals can help implement universal design methods into any bathroom space. They can plan for accessibility, the environmentally conscious, and help you achieve a classic style that will not need to be replaced again in a few years.

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3. Luxurious Experience and Materials  

  • Use a variety of lighting: Lighting is a crucial component of good bathroom design and can help improve the human experience. Task lighting should be in places used for applying make-up or in other preparation areas. Ambient light can create a soft look, and pleasant feel to the room.

  • Choose the right materials: When choosing colors and articles for the bathroom, select options that are durable and easy to clean to save yourself time and headache later on. Also, consider timeless materials and avoiding fads so that the bathroom’s beauty can endure.

It may seem like a daunting task, but your bathroom can be a serene and healthy space with careful planning, consideration for safety and accessibility, and the right materials. Start with a clear vision and be mindful of health, sustainability, and timeless style to make the most out of your bathroom.

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Photos by Chas Metivier

By Melinda Cardenas

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Historic West Hollywood Bungalow: Dining Room

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A historic 1918 Craftsman Bungalow features a beautifully remodeled dining room with contemporary updates by Sarah Barnard Design. By utilizing and restoring pieces original to the property, Sarah preserves the home's traditional aesthetic while introducing modern elements to create something personalized and unique. The fresh blue wall color modernizes the otherwise traditional dining room complementing the deep redwoods of the vintage furniture. 

An original built-in cabinet, a collection of art objects, a vintage dining table, and a contemporary chandelier sing together in harmony. A ceramic bust by artist Deborah Cansler rests atop an original antique cabinet with plenty of display space for the homeowner's eclectic treasures. An arrangement of wild blue thistles in a ceramic vessel made by artist Nashua Alfaro creates the perfect centerpiece.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Historic West Hollywood Bungalow: Living Room

A historic 1918 Craftsman Bungalow gets a fresh face! Utilizing the original Arts & Crafts woodwork design, Sarah Barnard adds a pop of contemporary color for an updated take on this traditional style. In keeping with the classic aesthetic, Sarah treats the interior with eclectic and vintage mid-century modern furnishings.

Saturated colors and modern patterns pair perfectly with wood and brass accents. At the heart of the living room is an original brick fireplace restored to its former glory. Items collected on the homeowner’s travels make fast friends on the mantle with abstract paintings by Los Angeles based artist, Lori Dorn.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Historic West Hollywood Bungalow: Heineken Green Kitchen

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This bright West Hollywood bungalow features a custom remodeled kitchen with a collection of handmade elements reflecting the homeowners love of nature and commitment to sustainable materials. Locally made cabinets, countertops made with recycled Heineken bottles, handmade ceramic backsplash tile, and cardboard pendant lamps make for a truly unique space.

This cook's kitchen has a place for everything and everything in its place! Built-in wall shelving provides extra space for storage and creates a cheerful display of dishware and other kitchen utilities.

A hard-working home office tucked away in the corner of the kitchen. Custom designed to fit the compact space perfectly, this corner nook gets plenty of natural light. A countertop made from recycled bowling alley lumber makes the utilitarian space special! Framed artwork by Gwen Samuels adds unique handmade detail atop the desk.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Harbor-Side Loft: Master Bedroom

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This harbor-side loft in Marina Del Rey features a masculine master bedroom with a contemporary nautical design. The master bedroom breathes with calming deep blue walls and dark walnut furniture. The artwork by Sara Pae and rich, dark furniture complement the blue tones of the room. The wall behind the bed is papered in a hand-blocked geometric pattern and paired with drapes made of wool in a warm winter white.

Vintage and brass elements add visual interest to the contemporary maritime theme. Tom Dixon pendants frame the headboard adding a pop of gold over each nightstand. A collection of coral, driftwood, and tillandsia enliven the matching bedside tables. Strategically placed houseplants in the bedroom contribute to clean indoor air and add to the calming seaside atmosphere.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Park View Pied-à-terre: Guest Bedroom

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Nestled above Santa Monica's Virgina Park, this Pied-à-terre is complete with a guest bedroom inspired by the French countryside. Locally made antique reproductions pair perfectly with organic linen textiles. The crisp whites complement the natural textures and vintage accoutrements. A painting by artist Renae Barnard sits atop the bespoke blue nightstand. The woven headboard provides a rustic backdrop to custom silk pillows.

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Merging historic and contemporary aesthetics, this renovated guest bedroom utilizes all natural, handmade and local materials. The antique reproduction dresser features artwork by Karrie Ross and is flanked by delicate beaded sconces and natural linen roman shades.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Guest Room

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This Ocean Avenue penthouse would not be complete without a custom designed guest bedroom retreat. Vintage rattan coffee table ottomans pair perfectly with a sleeper sofa and lightweight linen sheer drapery. The sleeper sofa is not only compact but comfortable and versatile. An organic wool toss blanket adds warmth and visual interest. Handcrafted paper wings by fine artist Susan Hannon complete the space.

Active design elements like natural woods, raw textiles and plant life are incorporated throughout the space. Salvaged "live edge" wood was used to fabricate custom bookshelves displaying a collection of the homeowners' favorite books, fossil and mineral specimens. A handmade wooden bowl in the shape of a seashell is the perfect home to a potted plant adding life to the entertainment center.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Living Room

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An Ocean Avenue penthouse with a bird's eye view of Santa Monica's coastline is outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, natural textiles and organic rugs to create a perfect Zen retreat. White fabric poufs provide extra seating for guests and are low enough to preserve the ocean view. A natural driftwood sculpture compliments a collection of organic objects as the centerpiece to this biophilic design.

Fine art can become a unique design element within a room. This one of a kind artwork fashioned from hand-thrown clay disks explicitly created for the living room captures the calming energy of the ocean air. The installation's delicate minimalism and organic formations add dimension and complement the room's natural textures.

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Sustainably sourced organic textiles and fabrics adorn this custom sectional with natural latex cushions, a perfect companion to the organic wool rug and toss blanket. A modern white metal side table with a fun organic shape adds interest.

This modern design preserves the expansive coastline view while utilizing a wall of mirrors to extend the entertaining area visually. The integrated dining area features a custom table of chrome and maple perfectly sized for this compact space.

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A collection of eco-friendly materials, organic textiles, and vintage accoutrements make this Ocean Avenue penthouse the ultimate beach retreat. The delicate chandelier made up of tiny light bulbs, and wire reminds us of stars strung together in the sky. Tillandsia plants make a perfect centerpiece for beachfront dining. 

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Teen Boy's Bedroom: Santa Monica Style

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Autumn is always in the air in this teen boy's bedroom; which has a reclaimed wood bed frame and a natural log nightstand. The deep orange ceiling casts an overall warm glow while the pumpkin colored draperies work with the other elements to create a dramatic statement. A well-loved toy rests against custom pillows and bedding in embossed cotton velvet. A contemporary armchair was deconstructed and re-plated in antique bronze and upholstered in a vintage-inspired geometric fabric.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

California Dreamers: Boys' Bedroom

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Very possibly the best boys' bedroom ever! In a color scheme of navy, teal, walnut, and antique gold, this children's bedroom is both masculine and fun. Newly built walls allow for custom-made American walnut bunk beds that provide each boy with his private cave. Antique brass wall sconces are tucked inside of each boys bunk so that reading in bed is fresh and convenient.

Sarah Barnard designed the custom brushed brass ladder and bed rail to complement the antique metal finishes throughout the boys' bedroom. Each bunk bed has a pair of blue linen draperies lined with black-out lining. The drapes fit neatly into custom grooves in the bunks so that everything stays just where it belongs.

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Geometric wallpaper in navy, teal, and oatmeal creates visual appeal in the boys' bedroom. The vintage-inspired brass and black chandelier make the room glow with warm diffuse light. Handmade American walnut floating desks paired with small scale marble lamps provide each boy their own study space. Each boy's desk includes a utility wall with a chalkboard, pin board, metal panel for magnets and whiteboard calendar. The cantilevered desk chairs in antique brass and black leather complete the look.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

Traditional Home: Pacific Palisades Master Bathroom

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Bespoke American Walnut cabinets and handmade, glazed ceramic tiles restore period authenticity to this Pacific Palisades Estate Master Bathroom. Recessed medicine cabinets provide ample storage while custom-designed light fixtures in antique bronze illuminate the vanity area. Artwork by Renae Barnard and Miggie Wong rest atop the vanity counter.

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Careful consideration is given to every project detail to retain the traditional aesthetic in the master bathroom and throughout the home. Motorized natural linen roman shades make for smooth operation and enjoyment of the ocean view. American Walnut cabinets and handmade ceramic tiles outfit his and hers water closets.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall