Use international inspiration to liven up your bathroom

asian-bathroom-kohler2Crisp lines, a cool color palette and sleek new fixtures can turn any bathroom into a cozy modern hideaway. But not every homeowner is looking to create the contemporary American vibe.

Here are three international design concepts that will make a visit to your bathroom feel like you’re on an exotic getaway.

Head east for the perfect combination of form and function.

An Asian inspiration is perfect for those who hate clutter and are willing to think outside the box. Asian style bathrooms usually feature a large non-demarcated shower area with no doors and no curtain.

Instead of a dedicated shower cubicle, the entire floor is tiled and sloped to a single drain. To go full Japanese or Korean style you’ll completely tile every surface. With four “wet” walls cleaning is a breeze. Equipped with a long handheld showerhead you can simply hose down the entire room and the excess water will drain away.

Choosing white or very lightly colored tiles will emphasize the excess of space in your open plan bathroom. To add striking features include mirror tiles for accents and sparkling chrome high-tech fixtures.

If you absolutely must have a bath, consider a free standing claw-tooth tub for added Zen.

Go south of the border for a colorful Mexican montage

If you’ve ever been into a bathroom in Mexico then you’ve already ogled at their gorgeous Talavera tiles. Talavera are colorful, hand-painted earthen ceramic tiles that match with a range of pottery sinks.

Tile images often depict animals or scenes from around Mexico, but frequently the paintings are simply abstract designs.

Talavera is not laid to cover an entire surface, but instead they are used to highlight a particular feature, for example, around the mirror or along the edge of the counter or windowsill.

To complete the Mexican look, paint the walls with an earthy orange or burnt red, and consider stone country tiles for the floor.

Go rustic Italian

For a more masculine style, rustic Italian may give you the bathroom of your dreams. Bear in mind that you’ll need a fairly large floor space to pull off a full Tuscan interpretation.

Start with the floors. For a rough stone look go with irregular-edged Pietra D’assisi tiles. To bump up a class, think about splurging for Roman mosaic.

The bath should be as luxurious as your budget will permit and be free standing as the tub will be the focal feature of the room. Your shower should be separate and contained in a glass-door cubicle off to the side.

For bathroom fixtures think large and bold. Gold or bronze is the preferred color to carry off the look. For paint you’ll get the best effect from golden hues.

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