A Crash Course in Bathroom Faucet Finishes

Article By: Michelle Gann

Choosing a bathroom faucet finish often stumps people. What’s the difference between brushed and polished nickel? What are the benefits of satin brass versus satin bronze? Fear not. Here’s a crash course in faucet finishes that will elevate your knowledge in less time than it takes you to brush your teeth. 


Keep in mind that most faucets have a lifetime warranty when it comes to finishes, so if you have an old favorite faucet that’s looking drab, try calling the manufacturer to see what the warranty policy is.

If you’re new to selecting finishes, it’s a good idea to get all the other fixtures and accessories in a matching color. Some finishes are a standard color, such as chrome and most brushed-nickel finishes, but not all finishes from different companies look the same. 

To ensure you are getting the exact same finish, buy all the fixtures and accessories from the same company. When shopping for additional fixtures, take a sample with you to match.

Polished Brass

An all-time favorite. A polished brass faucet helps give the bathroom shown here a vintage look. 

Advantages: Easy to clean and easy to find. A durable finish. Easy to match with accessories and other fixtures.

Disadvantages: More expensive than other finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel.

Styles it works with: Polished brass is actually coming back in style, so it looks great in modern, traditional and eclectic settings.

Contemporary Bathroom

Satin Brass

A nice twist on polished brass, the brushed-gold look has a lot of class. It’s bold without being too showy. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot more of this color in bathroom remodeling. 

Advantages: Offers a nice accent color without the polished look. Durable. Being a matte finish, it won’t show fingerprints and water spots.

Disadvantages: It’s hard to find and more expensive. It’s also difficult to match accessories and other fixtures to satin brass.

Styles it works with: Piggybacking off the success of polished brass, this satin counterpart is going to be increasingly popular. Great settings for it are traditional, modern and contemporary.

Traditional Bathroom


New York Interior Designers & Decorators

Shane D. Inman

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

A great aesthetic alternative to standard chrome and brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze gives the bathroom a more traditional look and feel. 

Working on a budget? if you don’t want to purchase all the matching accessories and you have other brass items in your bathroom, such as an old light switch plate or cabinet knobs, you can always use a brass darkening solution to make all the hardware match.

Advantages: Durable, easy to clean and easy to find. It’s also easy to match oil-rubbed bronze with accessories and other fixtures. It won’t show water spots or fingerprints.

Disadvantages: More expensive than other finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel.

Styles it works with:Oil-rubbed bronze goes hand in hand with traditional and Tuscan or Mediterranean settings.

Eclectic Bathroom


San Francisco Architects & Designers

Andre Rothblatt Architecture


Copper is unmistakable and bold. It gives the bathroom a rich feeling, especially when mixed with a subtler material, such as marble on a countertop. 

Advantages: Copper has natural antibacterial properties. It’s fairly easy to find and also has the ability to “heal” itself. Over a short period of time, a scratch in copper will become darker and eventually blend with the patina.

Disadvantages: A shiny copper finish might require a little more maintenance than brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome, but if you let it age naturally, copper will develop a beautiful patina. It’s harder to match accessories and other fixtures to copper, and it’s not as durable as other finishes.

Styles it works with:Tuscan and farmhouse. And, of course, steampunk.

Industrial Bathroom


San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Satin Bronze

Satin bronze has a nice, smooth finish that’s in between copper and oil-rubbed bronze. Having a subtler color gives this finish more flexibility for different bathroom styles and settings.

Advantages: Durable and easy to clean and maintain, this is a great alternative to copper and a lighter option than oil-rubbed bronze. Water spots and fingerprints won’t show.

Disadvantages: Hard to find and more expensive. It’s hard to match accessories and other fixtures to satin bronze.

Styles it works with: Traditional, eclectic and Mediterranean.

Eclectic Bathroom


Fairburn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers

Change Your Bathroom, Inc.

Polished Nickel

If you like a smooth, shiny finish but are tired of chrome, try polished nickel. It’s darker than chrome, and with different levels of lighting, it can appear to change in color. 

Advantages: Easy to clean. A durable finish. A great alternative to brushed nickel.

Disadvantages: More expensive. It’s hard to find matching accessories or fixtures for it.

Styles it works with:Like chrome, it looks great in a variety of settings: modern, contemporary, traditional and eclectic.

Modern Bathroom


Edison Kitchen and Bath Fixtures


Brushed Nickel

The soft metallic look of brushed nickel has stood the test of time. 

Advantages: This is one of the most durable finishes; it has a tendency to keep its finish longer than oil-rubbed bronze and chrome. It doesn’t show wear, fingerprints or water spots.It’s easy to clean, easy to find and easy to match with accessories and other fixtures. It’s relatively inexpensive. Brushed nickel tends to be pricier than chrome but does not cost as much as oil-rubbed bronze.

Disadvantages: Does not coordinate well with stainless steel; it blends in instead of being a statement piece.

Styles it works with: Almost every style.

Contemporary Bathroom


Saint Paul Interior Designers & Decorators

Indicia Interior Design


Chrome is currently one of the most popular finishes because of its versatility. 

Advantages: It’s generally the most inexpensive finish. It’s a very easy finish to clean and maintain. It’s durable, easy to find and easy to match with accessories and other fixtures. 

Disadvantages: Shows water spots and fingerprints. 

Styles it works with:Almost every style.

Contemporary Bathroom


La Canada Flintridge Window Treatments

The Art of Room Design

Matte Black

Black faucets are becoming increasingly more popular in the bathroom, because of their ability to match other items, such as vanities and accent pieces.If you want to make a classy statement, or you are just doing a small renovation that doesn’t involve changing all aspects of your bathroom, matte black may be the perfect finish for you.

Advantages: Easy to clean. Does not show dirt, fingerprints or water spots. It’s easy to coordinate a matte black faucet with bathroom accessories.

Disadvantages: It’s hard to match other fixtures to it, hard to find and expensive compared with more popular finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel. 

Styles it works with: Modern and eclectic.

Modern Bathroom


Phoenix Interior Designers & Decorators

Red Egg Design Group


Looking for a clean, brilliant finish? Go with a white faucet as a contrasting statement piece or something that blends beautifully in an all-white bathroom. The white finish comes from durable plastic or porcelain. 

Advantages: Easy to clean. Does not show water spots or fingerprints.

Disadvantages: Porcelain fixtures are more fragile than metal, which makes them more prone to chipping. Porcelain can be expensive, too.

Styles it works with: Farmhouse and modern.

Universal Design for Kitchens

A Few Simple Changes Can Enhance the Functionality for Any User

Unlike universal kitchens designed years ago, universal design today doesn’t mean boring design, but quite the opposite. It is important to note that universal design practices are broader than that of barrier-free design, and are in fact universal. Almost without exception, features or flexibility added to a product to accommodate individuals with temporarily or permanently reduced abilities in some areas have proven to be beneficial to users in general. In many cases, more people without a disability will find features useful than the number of people in the original target audience.

A curb cutout is a good example. First, they were implemented for people in wheelchairs; however, they are used much more often by people on bicycles, baby strollers, pushing grocery carts or wheeled luggage than by people in wheelchairs.

If you’ve been designing kitchens with your clients’ needs in mind, you’re probably utilizing universal design. Your clients most likely have specific needs for their families. When designing a universal kitchen, you have to keep in mind the capabilities of each person utilizing the space. In most situations, we are dealing with families with small children, parents and in some cases, even grandparents, so we will take this scenario into consideration. Following are some simple ways to incorporate universal design into a kitchen.

Photo: KraftMaid | Passport Series

Surfaces: make sure they’re firm and stable. If there are overhangs on countertops such as snack bars, make sure they are supported well enough for anyone that might use it as an aid for getting up from their chair.

Dish Storage: the bottom shelf typically is the only shelf accessible to average-sized women, and it can also be too high to get a stack of dishes in and out of easily. Utilizing base cabinet drawers as dish storage will make dishes more accessible to people in wheelchairs, shorter people, elderly and for children. When possible, bring wall cabinets down to countertop height to allow more wall storage for dishes. 

Dishwashers: when able, raise the dishwasher 6 to 12 inches from the floor by adding a drawer below or by using two dishwasher drawers mounted side-by-side or on either side of the sink. 

Cabinet Pulls: there are several different options you can use for this application. The touch-latch option for doors and drawers on full overlay or European door styles make the doors longer than the cabinets to create a lip where you could put your hand behind the door to pull open. Knobs and pulls remain good options as long as they are not petite and smooth. Look for larger pieces with plenty of room for your fingers. 

Appliances: some refrigerators are extremely difficult and take way too much strength to open. If designing for somebody with little upper body strength, I would avoid large appliances with heavy doors. Microwave and refrigerator drawers would be better options. 

Light Switches: switches with large flat panels will work best.

Lighting: create well-lit space using combinations of under-cabinet lighting, general lighting, task lighting and decorative lighting. A dimmer switch on each fixture will allow adjustment for every user.

Counter Edges: A countertop that is a contrasting color from surrounding cabinets and the backsplash or countertop, with a contrasting front edge, makes for a visual aid to determine where one surface ends and one begins. 

Wall Ovens: Mount double ovens side-by-side rather than stacked, and mount them at about 30 inches above the floor. 

Faucets: choose faucets that have levers you could operate with a fist, or better yet, faucets with touch control options. Avoid faucets with controls that take a lot of finger strength or dexterity to operate.

Flooring: slip-resistant and non-reflective floors, distressed wood and slate are two examples of universal flooring.

Counter Heights: consider a table height for children, people in wheelchairs, and for those that find sitting and working easier. Create a standard countertop height for an average user, taller heights for taller people and for people that have difficulty bending over. The taller counter height can be anything higher than 36 inches and should be determined by the user.

The Latest Looks You’ll Love for 2013

Which design trends are interior decorators seeing as the “next big thing” for 2013? Chevron patterns, glass backsplashes and retractable towel rings are just a few making their way into the latest remodels. Keep in mind that as much as you may want to incorporate the latest design trends in your home, it’s important to choose ideas that are practical and will stand the test of time. Here are some suggestions on the freshest finds out there.

chevron pattern.jpg

Photo: Chevron Pattern | MoenThe time for bold, yet neutral Chevron has come! This pattern is showing up everywhere: on kitchen walls, backsplashes, floors, throw rugs, pillows and shower curtains. Most Chevron patterns alternate black then white then black, but by playing around with alternative colors, you can lessen the impact of the design and achieve a more serene look. 

Another surprising look involved the resurgence of wallpaper and the introduction of wall decals. Since the 60s, people have been using wallpaper to add an accent and some personality to a room. Both wallpaper and wall decals are now removable and a popular option to spice up your home. 

When it comes to spicing up your kitchen, you’ll find that creative and beautiful backsplashes are a great way to go. Large, back-painted glass panels require no grout and are one of the hottest looks right now. In the past, backsplashes were a purely functional surface that protected a kitchen or bathroom’s walls from sprays and splatters: but today, they’re an easy and attractive upgrade.

Photo: American Cabinet & Flooring | Designer Clay Bernard

Photo: Moen MotionSense FaucetIf you’re looking for a convenient and eco-friendly upgrade, consider Moen’s MotionSense faucet. With just a wave of your hand, you’ll trigger the flow of water. Wave your hand again, and you’ll turn it off. Its state-of-the-art technology helps to maximize performance, minimize waste and make everyday routines faster and easier.

For another green option in the kitchen, check out the many advantages of bamboo flooring. It’s easy to clean, ideal for allergy sufferers and long-lasting. Environmentally friendly (a quick renewable crop). It has extremely low formaldehyde emissions and makes an excellent floor for a healthy home.


Photo: Moen Retractable Towel RingHead to the bathroom for a smart innovation that’s quickly growing in popularity: Moen’s Retractable Towel Ring. If you’re tired of hand towels cluttering countertops, doorknobs and floors, this is your solution. The ring secures your hand towels in place, expands out to 11″ and effortlessly retracts back to its original position. It works well in every room with a faucet, including bathroom, kitchen, utility room and garage.

Rounding out our list of updates is the new nature-inspired bathroom. Think rustic tiles. A rock wall in the shower. Wicker baskets. A range of earthy patterns and colors. They’re all designed to achieve the feeling of a relaxing, private spa. It’s easy to create a beautiful room that feels like you’re entering an enchanted grotto or canyon.

These ideas represent just a few of the trends tat are destined to become traditions. You can feel confident knowing that as current as they are, these improvements will easily stay in vogue for years to come. Buying Guide: Sinks

Getting Started

Most people tend to fall in love with the look of a sink first, and then think about functionality. That’s the opposite of what they should be doing, according to kitchen designers.

Forget Brand Names

Months of testing showed that a kitchen or bathroom sink’s maker isn’t as important as its material. Similar materials performed similarly across brands, so the based their evaluations of sinks entirely on materials.

Count the Holes

Most kitchen and bathroom sinks come with mounting holes drilled for faucets. If you’re buying a new faucet for an existing sink or vice versa, you’ll need to match the hardware to the number and spacing of the holes in the sink. You can install a base plate to cover an extra hole in the sink or countertop, but don’t try to drill additional holes in an existing sink or countertop.

Think About Installation and Repairs

Replacing a faucet and sink together is easier because the faucet can be mounted in the sink or counter before the sink is put in place. Most kitchen and bathroom faucets come with a lifetime warranty that covers leaks and stains. But if you have a problem, the manufacturer will give you just the replacement part, it will be up to you to install it. 

Kitchen Sinks 

You may not cook everyday, but is there ever a day when you don’t use your sink? We subjected more than 20 double-bowl sinks from major manufacturers to a barrage of hot pots, scouring pads, dropped weights, and stain. The results of the sink tests are as follows: 

Stainless: Gauge doesn’t matter

More people buy stainless-steel kitchen sinks than any other type. We tested 18-to-23-gauge sinks; the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. We also listened to the noise made by running water and dropped weights. We found the gauge had little to do with performance and sinks with sound-absorbing pads, placed on the exterior’s bottom and side, were quieter than those with a spray coating. 

Enamel: Colorful and Easy to Clean

These sinks, sold in two versions (enamel on cast iron or lighter, less expensive enamel on steel), are available in many colors and are easy to clean. Our hot-pot test didn’t damage them, but when we dropped a 5-pound weight, similar to dropping a heavy pot, enamel-on-steel sinks chipped or cracked. Enamel on cast iron chipped when we dropped a sharp, light object, similar to a knife, on them. Damaged enamel can cause the metal underneath to rust. Acrylic sinks might look like enamel but they scratch more easily and heat can be damaging. Our hot pot melted the surface. 

Solid Surface: Sleek and Seamless

These sinks can be paired with counters made of the same material for a seamless look. In our tests high heat and dropping a sharp, light object, similar to a knife, damaged solid surfacing.

Count Inches

Double-bowl sinks let you soak a pot in one bowl while you rinse in the other. Just be sure that at least one of the bowls is wide enough to fit large pots or roasters. The easiest way to do this is to take a large pot with you to the store to check size. Sinks that are rectangular shaped are standard, but D-bowls have a curved back and offer more space, front to back. 

Think about Depth

Bowls are usually 6 to 12 inches deep. The deeper ones reduce splashes, but depending on your height, it may be uncomfortable to reach the bottom of a very deep sink. Remember that under-mounted sinks will be up to 1½ inches lower than a drop-in.

Types of Kitchen Sinks

While it may not be as fancy as the appliances or the cabinets, the kitchen sink is the focal point of the kitchen. In this case function is certainly as important as form because you’ll be using the sink all day for everything from hand washing to scouring pots and pans.

Moen Double BowlDouble Bowl

Double-bowl sinks have a partition that separates them into two sections. A rectangular shape is most common, but D-shaped sinks with a curved back are also available. They’re handy because they let you perform two tasks – say, soaking and rinsing – at the same time. But a single bowl may be more practical where space is tight. The narrower sections of a double-bowl sink may not accept large pots or roasters.

BLANCO Apron FrontFarmhouse

Also known as apron front, farmhouse sinks usually have a deep single bowl with the faucet installed in the countertop or wall. This stylish choice can provide a traditional or country-kitchen look, and stainless-steel versions can work well with modern designs. But they’re expensive and require a special cabinet. Water can drip on and damage the cabinet. 

Top Mount Moen Top Mount Double Bowl

Also called drop-in and self-rimming, these sinks are lowered into the counter, with the lip overlapping the countertop. On the plus side, they work with any countertop material and are relatively simple to install, so they’re a good choice for a tight budget. But a top-mount sink can detract from the look of a fancy countertop. Grime can build up around the lip of the sink.

trough sink (kohler).jpg


These are best for use as prep or bar sinks. They’re narrow and long, from 8 to 14 inches wide and up to 50 inches long. If you don’t mind sharing, the longer versions can be used by more than one person at a time. But trough sinks are expensive and more fun than functional. And because they’re narrow, they may require custom cabinetry.

Under Mount BLANCO Under-mount

Rather than being lowered onto the counter, under-mounted models are raised into place from below. Under-mount sinks provide a sleek look and easier cleanup. Because they sit slightly below the surface of the counter, you can wipe spills and crumbs from the countertop directly into the sink. Also, there’s no lip or crevice to catch dirt. But under-mounted sinks are more expensive to buy and install. The faucet may need to be installed in the counter or mounted on the wall. And because they are up to 1½ inches lower than top-mounts, they may require you to bend slightly more. And they shouldn’t be mounted on a countertop that isn’t waterproof, such as laminate or most woods. 

Bathroom Sinks

Move over, porcelain: Glass and even stainless steel are among the choice of materials that are changing the style and shape of bathroom sinks. 

Vessel sinks, a modern twist on the original bowl and pitcher, sit on top of a counter or cabinet. You’ll find them in glass, stainless steel, and other materials. 

Some of these new materials can cost about the same as standard porcelain, known as vitreous china, and several materials were better at resisting spills, and other mishaps. But most have at least one Achilles’ heel. You can also install the sink beneath the countertop for a sleek look that emphasizes the countertop itself. These under-mount sinks are also easy to clean since there’s no lip to catch debris. 

Glass: Tough Up to a Point

Drain cleaner, nail-polish remover, and other tough staining agents didn’t leave a mark on our tempered-glass sinks. Heat and scouring wasn’t a threat. But these sinks shattered into small shards when we dropped a pointed 2.5-ounce dart from a height of 20 inches.

Pick the Mount

Under-mount sinks make cleanup easier. They sit below the surrounding counter, so there’s no lip or crevices to catch dirt. But they cost slightly more, are harder to install, and usually require a waterproof countertop. So consider your countertop, then the mount.

Don’t Forget the Faucet

Consider the height of a vessel sink when buying a faucet. Make sure that any faucet extends well into the sink to avoid drips onto the counter. Don’t choose a large faucet for a small sink, which can cause splashing. We also suggest faucets with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) finish and a lifetime finish warranty. These finishes mimic copper, nickel, and other materials and have performed well in our faucet tests. 

Types of Bathroom Sinks

Replacing a bathroom sink can be a good way to freshen the room without spending a lot of money. Here are the types of bathroom sinks to consider. 

Kohler Pedestal Sink.jpg

Kohler Pedestal SinkPedestal Sinks

Some homeowners prefer pedestal sinks for smaller bathrooms such as a half bath that may seem crowded if fitted with a vanity. Pedestal sinks come in many styles, from old-fashioned to sleek and modern. But while a pedestal sink may make a small bathroom seem more open, you lose storage space beneath the sink and counter space above. 

Top Mounts Top Mount Sink

Also called drop-in and self rimming, these sinks are lowered into the counter, with the lip overlapping the countertop. On the plus side, they work with any countertop material and are relatively simple to install, so they’re a good choice for a tight budget. But a top-mounted sink can detract from the look of a fancy countertop and grime can build up around the lip of the sink.

Under Mounts

Under Mount Sink

Rather than being lowered onto the counter, under-mounted models are raised into place from below. Faucets are installed in the counter or mounted on the wall. Under-mounted sinks provide a sleek look and easier cleanup. Because they sit slightly below the surface of the counter, you can wipe water from the countertop directly into the sink. Also, there’s no lip or crevice to catch dirt. But under-mounted sinks are more expensive to buy and install. The faucet may need to be installed in the counter or mounted on the wall. Because they’re lower than top-mounts, they may require you to bend slightly more. And they shouldn’t be mounted on a countertop that isn’t waterproof, such as laminate or most woods. 

Vessel Sinks

Vessel Sink

These above-mount models, the latest style option, rest proudly atop the counter. You’ll find them in glass, stainless steel, and other materials. Make sure that the faucet extends well over the sink to avoid drips onto the counter. The style is the big attraction. But vessel sinks may require new faucets and other changes that are likely to add cost. 

Sink Features

What a kitchen or bathroom sink is made of is the main factor that determines how well it stands up to everyday use. Some materials are sturdier than others, but most have some drawbacks. Here are materials to consider:

Enamel Over Cast Iron or Steel

enamel over cast iron sink.jpg

These materials come in many colors are are easy to clean. In our tests of kitchen sinks, neither enameled cast iron nor enameled steel suffered any damage in our hot-pot and scouring tests. But when we dropped a 5-pound weight, similar to dropping a heavy pot, on enameled-steel sinks they chipped or cracked. Enameled cast iron chipped when we dropped a sharp, light object similar to a knife.

Our tests of bathroom sinks found that enameled cast iron wasn’t as good as enameled steel at resisting stains and chipped when small objects were dropped on it. Damaged enamel can allow the metal underneath to rust.

stainless steel sink.jpg

Stainless Steel

This is the most popular material for kitchen sinks and it’s becoming more popular in the bathroom. It tops both our ratings of kitchen and bath sinks. Stainless steel comes in different thickness, or gauges. While thicker metal typically costs more, gauge made little difference in our tests. 

Solid Surfacing

A skillful fabricator can integrate a solid-surface kitchen or bathroom sink with a countertop made of the same material for a sleek, seamless effect. But if either is damaged you’ll have to consider replacing both. Solid surfacing resisted stains but heat was a problem. A hot pot and a hot curling iron marred the sinks. 

Karran Meridian Acrylic Sink.jpg


It may look like enamel, but it scratches more easily, and a hot pot melted the surface and a hot curling iron left a visible mark. 


Believe it or not, a tempered glass bathroom sink can take a beating. Drain cleaner, nail-polish remover, and other tough staining agents didn’t leave a mark on the glass sinks we tested. But the sinks shattered into small shards when we dropped a pointed 2.5-ounce dart from a height of 20 inches, similar to what could happen if a pair of scissors or nail clippers fell out of your medicine cabinet.

Vitreous China

This is a fancy name for old-fashioned porcelain. Vitreous china is still popular for bathroom sinks, even though some newer materials are tougher without being more expensive. Dropped objects are a particular problem with vitreous china. The surface chipped when we dropped a small, pointed dart on them.


This material offers a choice of colors. It withstood stains, scouring, and heat in both our kitchen and bath sink tests. But resisting chips and cracks from dropped objects was a challenge.

In our kitchen-sink tests, the fireclay cracked severely when we dropped a 5-pound weight on it, similar to dropping a pot. Our tests of bathroom sinks found that pointed darts, weighing only 2.5 ounces, chipped the fireclay.

You can spend as much or as little as you want on a sink. But keep in mind that the more you spend on the sink, the less you’ll have for other parts of your renovation. Match the style of sink to your space, needs, and budget!

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.

Bathroom Remodeling Tips

A single bathroom remodeling tip could inspire fresh thinking for your entire remodeling project. Trends area always being updated, so it’s useful to know what’s new in home bathroom design. You’ll find bathroom remodeling advise and inspiration here.

Express Yourself

Choosing Colors: A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to give your room an instant face-lift. Single color schemes make small rooms larger and a neutral palette can expand your space more. Or, add drama with colors like deep reds, eggplant, ochre, and dark blues or greens. 

The Personal Touch: Collections and objects that express your personality or your family history will make your home interesting to your guests and more enjoyable for you. 

Imported Ideas: Consider letting a favorite hotel or restaurant, or an outdoor spot that you enjoy, provide the inspiration for your bedroom, dining room or bath. 

Planting Style: One beautiful plant can be a strong design statement. Your style sense will determine whether a dramatic green plant or a bright floral bouquet is best for you.

Dynamic Design

The Right Finish: Now more than ever, you have choices for kitchen and bath fixtures. While matte or polished chrome are always popular, homeowners are choosing darker finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze and wrought iron. Consider the look and feel you wish to create when deciding. 

Bright Ideas: Halogen downlights and scones provide whiter light and fresh designs. Visit the lighting section of your home improvement center to get a better idea of these styles.

Quick ‘n Easy: Multi-purpose rooms need to switch moods easily. Today’s high-tech dimmers let you fine-tune your lights – even dim or raise them with a remote. 

Mix It Up: Today’s larger kitchen has room for variety. Mix-and-match styles and wood types for an eclectic feel that adds a unique look, from baseboard to hanging cabinets.

Packs a Punch

High-Performance Shower: Today’s shower design offers unprecedented opportunities for adding deluxe features – massaging vertical spas, rain shower showerheads and luxurious materials such as glass, tile and stone. 

Organized Kitchen: Specialized storage systems, appliances and fixtures speed meal preparation and keep entertaining organized. Choose open shelving for quick access. Locate a faucet next to the range to fill big pots quickly and conveniently.

Design Focus: A single, dramatic focal point for a room you’re remodeling makes the improvements more obvious. Try a special piece of furniture, an interesting piece of art or one wall that’s boldly colored.

Double Duty: Lighting is a sculpture as well as illumination. Choose light fixtures in shapes that are pleasing to look at – whether they’re switched on or off.

Works for Me

Getaway Baths: The bath can be a relaxing, serene environment. Add massaging or rain showerheads, a deep Zen soaking tub and even music and candles to enhance the revitalizing experience. 

Counter Space: If your bathroom is being shared by the family, counter space is critical. Consider a vanity with cabinets for extra storage and organization.

Ageless Amenities: Features usually associated with older homeowners – easier access, brighter lighting and convenient handholds – are helpful at any age. Adding them with your remodel could improve your home’s resale value.

Bed and Breakfast: Adding a morning bar to a master bedroom with an elaborate, built-in countertop and sink is a great way to add luxury and functionality.

Practical Approach

Finding Your Design: Start a scrapbook of design ideas you find in magazines and online. This will help you establish a foundation for your remodeling project. 

Sketch Your Layout: This will help you understand how you would like your new room to look and help you change the little things that you don’t care for in your current design.

Set a Budget: By outlining how much you can spend on each phase of the project you will be able to see if you can splurge on the extras; like a contractor or if you need to cut and do it yourself.

Set a Timeline: This will help you keep on track and allow you to achieve your remodeling goals.