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What could be more relaxing than taking a long bath after a rough day? But creating the perfect bathroom can be challenging.

Designing a bathroom could mean starting from scratch, which includes laying out the space and determining locations for plumbing fixtures, or it could mean renovating existing facilities.

Whatever the case, it’s important to plan for comfortable traffic flow and color coordination.

Here are some tips to help you design a modern, stylish and comfortable bathroom.

1. Plan it on Paper

You may have heard the expression, “If you can see it, and believe it, you can achieve it.”

When it comes to planning your bathroom, ‘seeing it’ means putting a plan on paper before you put it into action.

This ensures you’ve covered all the bases — and there are no surprises!

First, come the basics: All bathrooms must have plumbing, vent stacks, a toilet, a tub or shower, a sink and faucets (which could be the space’s crown jewels!)

Next, determine the room’s wet walls. Think of wet walls as walls that feature water-producing fixtures.

For one wall layout, the toilet, sink and shower line up along a single wall. In another option, the toilet, sink and shower line up along two walls.

As a third option, you could place the toilet, sink and shower along three walls.

2. Select a Sink

Bathrooms generally have two types of sinks: undermount, which is placed beneath the countertop, and self-rimming, which you drop into an undersized hole in the countertop.

Undermount sinks offer a sleek, seamless design; they have no lip that could catch dirt and they offer increased countertop space.

But that countertop also will be exposed to water. And undermount sinks tend to be more expensive than drop-in sinks.

Drop-in sinks are easier to install and more affordable than undermount sinks, but they also take up more countertop space.

Both undermount and self-rimming sinks have their pros and cons, so weigh those factors and choose the option that works best for your home.

Also, consider the sink’s design. For instance, vessel sinks are a throwback to primitive wash basins and offer visual interest and dimension not seen in builder-grade sinks.

3. Choose a Toilet

No bathroom is complete without a toilet, but did you know there are multiple options to fit your budget and lifestyle?

One-piece toilets offer a sculpted, seamless design, but two-piece toilets are less expensive; toilet bowls also come in round or elongated shapes and toilet seats have varying heights.

It’s important to consider these factors and match a toilet’s features with your household’s needs.

And don’t forget about water usage! Some toilets, such as dual-flush options, are built to save you money.

4. Let There Be Light!

Proper lighting provides visibility in dark rooms, but a comfortable bathroom should feature more than task lighting.

It should have lights that add ambiance and help create a spa-like atmosphere.

Traditionally, bathroom lights are fixed on ceilings — particularly in builder-grade homes — but mounted lights have grown increasingly popular.

For enclosed showers or bathtubs, use vapor-proof downlights, which are usually not affected by high moisture levels.

You can also use accent lights that spotlight features throughout the bathroom, providing all the illumination you need while adding ambiance.

5. Set Storage Space

Bathrooms can quickly become disorganized — especially in shared bathrooms — if you don’t ensure everything has its proper place.

Storage spaces could include the vanity, a window seat or a toilet topper cabinet. Floating shelves can provide an easy, affordable solution as well.

The key is to avoid freestanding shelving units that fill the room’s footprint, particularly in small spaces.

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