Bathroom Ideas You Can Use, 2nd ed., by Chris Peterson (2018)

Bathroom Ideas You Can Use, 2nd edition, by Chris PetersonAs in the Kitchen Ideas You Can Use book, this update from the first edition (2013) is photo-packed, offering suggestions of what to consider in your bathroom design, whether it’s a new-build or a renovation. It’s not a do-it-yourself guide in the least, but rather it provides inspiration for designing your bathroom, giving information on the latest styles, surfaces and fixtures, and drawing your attention to matters of comfort, beauty, luxury and accessibility as you design the space. The book is just under 200 pages, and most facing page spreads feature four to six photos along with helpful explanations and tips to guide you in making the best choice for your family life, style preference, and budget. The book opens with a general review of three kinds of bathrooms, organized by size: powder rooms and half baths; detached and guest bathrooms; large and master baths. I found myself disregarding the sizes and instead simply looking for examples of my preferred style; for that reason, I would have preferred an organization by style rather than by size. Following this section, there are seven chapters that each address different aspects of bathroom planning: surfaces, storage, tubs and shower stalls, fixtures (toilets, bidets, and sinks), hardware, lighting and then a final chapter of extras such as mirrors, windows, accessories, etc. The photos offer the reader a lot to consider in terms of style – tile, stone, vinyl and even wood floors, modern glass suites, detailed tilework that brings to mind an Italian villa, plumbing in gold, chrome and nickel, and of course, a wide variety of fixtures and vanities. This makes it a true browsing experience, in which the reader explores the images to find the elements that appeal. There is a lot of information packed in here, helping you choose the best materials – because they can scratch, glass tiles may work for a guest bath but are less suitable for an active family bathroom. Grout needs regular cleaning, so keep that in mind when choosing flooring for a high-traffic loo. And there’s even a factbox on cleaning grout. See? Useful. The design lessons are embedded throughout the book, too. When discussing wall tiles, Peterson’s selection of photos show how to marry your choice to both floor and countertops to create a cohesive design. The section on storage is pretty cool, offering ideas from hidden hampers and pull-out drawers to wall-mount baskets so you can keep your lovely loo looking its best while still letting you keep your daily hygiene tools close at hand. This edition includes a full dozen pages on designing for accessibility, which was great to see. There are pages upon pages devoted to tubs, and the chapter on fixtures is quite interesting. Who knew there is an ongoing debate on round versus oval toilets? Bidets also get some attention, raising North Americans’ awareness of this fixture found in most of the rest of the world. While budget designs get a bit of facetime here, most of the focus is on designing a luxurious bath space. Peterson points out that much of this new luxury is growing more affordable for regular homeowners, but I am astonished by the idea that people seem to expect to spend so much time in what has traditionally been the smallest room in the house! Today’s modern, luxe bathroom might be spacious enough to permit a separating wall between the soaker tub and the vanity, a walk-in shower stall large enough for two, with multiple shower heads and – wait for it – bluetooth speakers so I guess you can stream music, continue with a phone call, or maybe finish that podcast? My thanks to publisher Cool Springs Press for the digital reading copy provided in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this book:


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