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Making up a mood board before you begin to refurbish a bathroom will not only help you to finalize the design of your layout, but it will also encourage you to inject the room with style, personality, and color, which might otherwise be overlooked in your search for fixtures and practical buys like tiles. Here’s a guide to follow for creating a useful bathroom mood board.

FIND PICTURES OF BATHROOMS YOU LIKE in magazines and books, and even on hotel websites. Tear out, take a color copy, or print out any you like and stick a few favorites to the board; you may want to take different elements from a few images as inspiration for your design. Note down what you don’t like about your current bathroom so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

As a starting point, think about whether you would like your bathroom to look contemporary and minimalist or you would prefer a period style, for example. 

DO YOU HAVE A KEY ITEM at the top of your wish list—a free-standing bathtub, a designer shower, or gorgeous wall tiles, or an ornate sink that you already own, for example—that you really must include? Use this piece as inspiration for the rest of your design

Your favorite item may influence whether your bathroom will look traditional or modern. 

CHOOSE YOUR FIXTURES, starting with the bathtub, which will dictate the shape and finish of both your toilet and sink and the faucets and shower fixtures, too. Before you go any further with your design, you need to finalize your choice of these items.

CHOOSE A BACKGROUND COLOR for the bathroom: if a large percentage of your bathroom walls will be tiled, pick the tiles first, since they will greatly influence other colors in the room. Your main consideration should be to make the room light and bright enough so that you can see clearly to put on makeup or shave. If your bathroom receives lots of natural daylight or you install effective lighting, you can choose darker wall tiles or paint colors.

Stick a sample tile, or a picture of the tiles, to the mood board as a color reference. Select possible colors for any untiled walls, picking either neutral, toning, or contrasting shades. 

INTRODUCING ACCENT COLORS into a bathroom doesn’t have to be complicated. Ideally, there should be two accent colors and no more than three—with the third as a washcloth, perhaps, or an arrangement of pretty bath bottles. Experiment with the proportions of the color combinations to see if they work together using tile or paint swatches and floor samples.

CHOOSE STORAGE, whether you have room for freestanding or built-in furniture or just storage boxes. Bear in mind that any mirrored or reflective surfaces will make your space feel bigger. Shapes and size are important, too: figure out whether the pieces you like will be a comfortable fit. 

Wicker baskets can be used to store clean towels and bathroom supplies and hide laundry to be washed.

ADD FINISHING TOUCHES such as towels, pictures, and bath mats. These items don’t have to coordinate exactly with your main theme, but they do need to lift the look of the room and highlight particular areas, such as a stylish sink or shower. These final touches will seal the room’s success; the mood board will help you get this last element right.

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