By Kerrie Kelly, ASID
A bathroom renovation is a relatively easy activity to tackle. If the plumbing is already in place and you’re using standard-size pieces, there aren’t a whole lot of options for rearranging that floor plan. However, when bringing your dream design into reality, you should consider the third dimension and figure out what height is right for everything you bring into your room, from window treatments to mirrors.
Consider this your guide to hanging, installing and aligning the many small features of your bathroom.
Standardize the Sight Line
Maintaining a common line of sight creates a sense of calm. A line of sight that extends above eye level makes the room feel more spacious.
Put those two ideas together, and you can see that what you want to do is take the sight line to at least seven feet. Everything that can extend upward should, so take that tile, the mirrors—even the shower curtain—all the way up.
Tile it High
Finish the shower tile at the top height of your window casing or the top of your window covering. Better yet, run wall and shower tile to the ceiling instead of picking another random sight line. This is the kind of detail that guests may not initially notice, but they would if you didn’t take time for that thoughtful detail. With such horizontal symmetry, eyes won’t bounce all over the room looking for a place to focus and land upon.
When planning the vanity area and wainscoting details, see if you can find common ground at 36-42 inches. A vanity top typically sits at 30-36 inches. Add on a six-inch backsplash and you just may be able to tie the backsplash detail into the same height as any tile or wood wainscoting details you’re planning.
In the bathroom, you want to keep window treatments simple—let go of the swoops and swags in this area. Curtains and drapery just gather mold and take up space. Instead, consider inside mounting Roman or roller shades that tuck into an existing window frame. Alternatively, hang Romans and rollers above the window casing over a smaller window to make it appear larger. You can also simply hang a valance a little higher on the wall to match the height of other elements in space while creating visual height. To keep things really sleek and simple, vinyl shutters also provide a great solution for a wet area, with the ability to inside or outside mount to maintain the sight line you’re looking to highlight.
Go big to reflect light and keep the bathroom bright and airy. We all know that mirrors make a room appear larger, and that’s a great perk in a bathroom. Again, make sure to run the mirror to the same height as cabinets or window casings. You can get there by framing a mirror, if necessary, or simply installing a beveled version that runs from the top of the countertop to the ceiling or crown moulding detail.
Hang the rod high for more visual height—match it to the top of the window casing. Even if it requires a custom curtain or a simple band of fabric added at the top or bottom of a ready-made version, you’ll be rewarded with a more specialized and dramatic look. This works particularly well when using an arched shower curtain rod. Not only do you achieve height requirements, but gain extra wiggle room in the actual shower.
Glass Shower Enclosures
A frameless glass shower enclosure—we recommend ¾ inch— shows off tile designs and gives an open, airy feel with a wide-open sight line. Though you don’t necessarily need to match to window casings or cabinets, since the glass has no frame, you still want to take it as high as possible. And if you do use a framed enclosure, you definitely want to go high because that metal frame at the top of the door will highlight the actual height. With lower ceilings, it will be best to match the sight line at the bottom of the crown moulding or top of the door and window casing.
Have you figured out your sightline details in your bathroom space? What could be improved?
Interior designer Kerrie Kelly is an expert on home renovations who writes about her design ideas for The Home Depot. Kerrie is also the author of the book, Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. For a selection of bathroom windows treatments available at Home Depot, including styles mentioned by Kerrie, you can visit homedepot.com.