If you're planning a bathroom remodel, you may have yearned for a nautical theme for your new space, as the beach and the bath are a natural pairing. To create a sophisticated beach-y feel without kitsch and clutter, however, takes a bit more forethought than just slapping up some seashell-framed mirrors or wrapping your trash can in rope. Read on to learn three ways to incorporate the seashore in a way that looks grown up and clean, whether you live on the ocean or in the center of the country.
Choose the Right Color Palette
Beaches around the world have different palettes, so think about the mood you're trying to evoke. Do you want a vibrant Caribbean feel to your bath? In that case, you may want more aqua or bright blue, coupled with sand tones or even sunset hues like pink or purple.
If you want a more northerly feel, like the beaches of New England or Washington state, try washed greens, foggy grays, and soft blues. White trim, with bead boarding or wainscoting, will lend a crisp look to your overall paint scheme.
You can carry these tones into your shower tiles and backsplash. Rather than simply using a solid color, try mixing tiles of different tones, either in a random or an ombre pattern (from dark to light, like the ocean) that mimics nature. Blending both glass and stone tiles in one area offers an organic feel that you won't get with uniform tiles. You can also add subtle artwork to your wet areas with mosaics depicting images like sea turtles or waves, but you probably need to have a professional mosaic worker install this for you to avoid that school art project look.
Use Soothing Elements of Nature and the Beach
To make your bathroom feel more like being at the beach, be sure to incorporate elements of nature or things you'd find on the sand. The addition of stone is always a great way to do this in the shower or on the floors. It looks more authentic, and it won't show dirt like plain old white tiles either.
Other ways you can use nature in your bath include
- pressing shells, starfish, sand dollars, pebbles, or beach glass into the aggregate layer of polished concrete floors or countertops
- using recycled glass countertops that contain bits of tumbled glass like you'd find on the shore
- installing raised bowl sinks in green-frosted glass that resembles beach glass
- using driftwood or rough planking for walls, cabinets, or framing
Build an Outdoor Shower
You don't need to live on the edge of the sea to take advantage of an outdoor shower, although if you hate sand and salt being traipsed into your home, this idea is a lifesaver at the seaside. An outdoor shower is a relatively low-cost way to both keep your house cleaner (especially if you have kids and/or pets) and to make your bathroom feel like it's on the shore.
If you add the outdoor shower to a wall adjoining your existing bathroom, you can take advantage of plumbing that's already installed, as well as the proximity of towels and other bath supplies. If the exterior of your bathroom is too exposed, create a privacy wall with wooden fencing. Add a spot for soap and shampoo, some towel hooks, and plants, like ferns, that like a moist environment.
Give thought to adding a lower foot wash station in your outdoor shower, as long as you're installing the additional plumbing. This is ideal for cold weather beach or lakeside walks when you just want to rinse your feet, your boots, or your pet's paws.
If you can put a sliding glass door between your interior bathroom and outdoor shower, you'll be able to take advantage of your outdoor shower even when you don't need it to clean up before entering the home. You may like the garden atmosphere on a hot summer night, and it saves steaming up your indoors when the temperatures climb.
Having a beach-y bathroom can help you create a tranquil and inviting space that makes you feel like your home is your respite. Try these three elements in your bathroom remodel, and you may want to make the rest of your home feel like it's plunked down on the shore no matter where it's located.