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Bathroom Design 101: Part 2, Bathroom Renovation Zones

Bathroom Design 101: Bathroom Renovation Zones


The bathroom is your personal sanctuary. A place to unwind and refresh after a long day. But for many homeowners, the bathroom does not spark joy. Whether you’re opening up a cramped layout, refreshing an outdated style, or repairing broken fixtures – a bathroom renovation can revitalize your home. This guide will help anyone planning a bathroom remodeling project, but for bathroom renovations in Rhode Island, look no further than Red House. In this article on bathroom renovation zones, we will break your bathroom into functional spaces to help you plan and organize your space. Check out Part 1 of our Bathroom Design 101 guide for more planning and layout tips.


Bathroom Renovation Zones

A bathroom should be designed to be functional for the number of people it needs to serve. Whether this is a shared bathroom or a private oasis, a headcount needs to be taken into consideration before planning a design. Who will be using the bathroom will dictate what features it uses (tub or shower?) and how much storage space is needed. Use our Bathroom Dream Sheet to help you plan out your bathroom based on these details.


Choosing your bathroom features ahead of time will save you surprise costs during the build. Working with a design-build team can help guarantee a seamless transition between the design and construction phases of your project. At Red House, our design-build process will guide you through the selection process well before you enter construction. Your dedicated design team will guide you through choosing tubs, faucets, tiles, countertops – everything – based on your style and vision. We will tailor a design specific to you and make recommendations based on your needs and budget. Red House specializes in bathroom renovations in Rhode Island. We’d love to hear about your hopes and dreams for your project.

To get started with the selection process, it’s important to break the bathroom down into functional zones. This keeps the space organized and makes planning easier. Let’s explore the most common bathroom renovation zones:




A shower is a staple of a full bathroom. There are many options for showers, including stand-alone showers and tub/shower combinations. If your space allows it, your master bathroom is not complete without a stand-alone, walk-in shower. This feature is a luxurious addition and a beautiful focal point for the room.


bathroom renovations in east greenwich rhode island
A beautiful walk-in shower in an award-winning historic home renovation by Red House. Photography by Aaron Usher III.

Stylish and Accessible


Not only do these showers look beautiful (check out this stunning East Side of Providence master bath), but they are more practical for those with accessibility concerns. A curbless design with no ledge to step over, built-in niches for toiletries (instead of a hazardous shelf that sticks out), and enough room for a bench seat (like in the East Greenwich master bath pictured above), these showers are the ultimate in universal design.

Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. If this house is your forever home, planning for the future is always a smart choice – but it doesn’t have to lack style.


bathroom remodel in east greenwich ri
A beautiful walk-in shower in an award-winning historic home renovation by Red House. Photography by Aaron Usher III.

And don’t forget your fixtures. Would you prefer a basic wall-mounted showerhead, a rain shower, or a hand-held unit? Why not a combination! Your designer will work with you to build the oasis you deserve.




One of our favorite 2020 home design trends is the freestanding tub. It is the perfect addition to give your master bath a spa-like experience. Free-standing tubs are unconnected to walls or any other surface. They have a greater depth than traditional tubs while also taking up less space. However, they do require space around them for maximum effect. Freestanding tubs can look antique, like a clawfoot tub, or sleek and contemporary – ideal for anyone looking for a modern update. The East Greenwich bathroom featured below showcases a beautiful freestanding tub.


east greenwich bathroom remodel
A luxurious freestanding tub in this East Greenwich, RI bathroom remodel by Red House. Photography by Aaron Usher III.

The most common type of bathtub is the alcove tub. This tub fits in a three-walled enclosure. This type of tub is often accompanied by a wall-mounted shower. A bathtub apron is the finished front-facing area of an alcove bathtub. In 2020, we will see a more ornate style in the tiling of this feature. It can be an affordable way to make your tub look high end – like in this Portsmouth waterfront home. Use the same tile as your floor or try out an unexpected material.


bathroom renovation in rhode island
A tiled alcove bathtub apron in this Portsmouth, RI master bathroom. Photography by Aaron Usher III.

Less common types of tubs include corner tubs (shaped into a corner) and undermount tubs (flush with the floor), and walk-in tubs for those with mobility concerns.




The sink is the heart of the vanity and the type you choose can determine the style of your bathroom. It’s easy to select a standard sink but there are endless choices to make your sink more unique.  To learn more about the pros and cons of 6 types of bathroom sinks click here.


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A pedestal sink against a vibrant emerald green wallpaper by York Wallcoverings. Photography by Aaron Usher III.



The fixtures of the sink are an important detail not to be overlooked. Do you prefer a single knob control or separate knobs for hot and cold water? The faucet can be mounted on the sink or directly on the wall for a unique effect. The metal of the sink fixtures often coordinates with the rest of the hardware in the bathroom (tub fixtures, showerheads, drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, doorknobs).


New sink fixtures in a master bath remodel by Red House in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Photography by Aaron Usher III.



Our next bathroom renovation zone serves an essential bathroom function: storage. If you have room for it, the vanity area usually includes a countertop, storage, a mirror, and a sink (or two). The style of your vanity can shape a room. Sleek cabinetry is best for a contemporary feel while furniture-quality vanities to look more traditional. During the bathroom design phase, your designer will customize cabinets to fit your needs. Think about what kind of storage the people using this bathroom will need. Storage should be considered for hampers, towels, toiletries, or bath toys.


bathroom remodeling in east greenwich rhode island
Plenty of storage and functionality on this double-sink vanity in a dark stain wood. Photography by Aaron Usher III

Storage doesn’t just have to be in the vanity. Built-in niches in the shower, closets, and shelving are important additions to keep the room balanced and the vanity area from feeling too heavy. For custom storage options designed for your bathroom renovations in Rhode Island, contact Red House.


Bathroom storage is an important bathroom renovation zone. Here is a custom storage closet in a master bath remodel in East Greenwich, RI.



Vanity countertops must be hardworking and durable, standing up to a daily barrage of water, soap, cosmetics, and even heat. This is no place for delicate surfaces. There are many choices for bathroom countertops, like marble, granite, wood, laminate, and tile. Quartz is an excellent option for a high-end look with a low-maintenance appeal. It holds up well to wear and doesn’t need to be resealed like granite countertops.


bathroom renovation in east greenwich ri



The toilet. It’s not the most glamorous subject, but as the most used feature in your bathroom, it’s important. You want a high-quality toilet – nothing is worse than a toilet that breaks down repeatedly, it’s an inconvenience and can be a huge waste of water. Energy-efficient toilets are now powerful and helpful to the environment.

There are three main types of toilets: one-piece, two-piece, and wall-hung toilets. One-piece toilets look sleek, are easy to clean and install, but require a larger budget as they are more difficult to manufacture. Two-piece toilets are the most common type of toilet and are what you probably have in your bathroom right now. Wall-hung toilets are space-saving and modern looking, with the tank hidden inside the wall. Because of this, wall-hung toilets are complicated and require a professional to do almost any repair.

While there are stylish options for toilets available, the toilet should not be the focal point of the room. Bathroom designers agree that when possible, the toilet should be tucked away. The toilet should not the first thing you see when you open the bathroom door. Whether partially hidden by a vanity or placed within its own dedicated area (ideal for a master bath), toilet placement does a lot for your design. It can be expensive to move a toilet, however. If at all possible, it’s best to work within the boundaries of the existing plumbing when planning a bathroom renovation.


Bathroom Flooring & Tile


When it comes to bathroom flooring, natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile is usually the surface of choice. Bathroom floor tiles are generally more textured than wall tiles in order to prevent slippage. All bathroom remodels should consider traction in their flooring choices, but it is especially important for aging homeowners or those with accessibility concerns.

A great range of style choices exists for bathroom tiles. Subway tile is a popular choice for walls and showers. The type of tile you choose for your bathroom will depend on your particular taste. Your personal designer at Red House can help you navigate through all the choices available to find one that is right for you. Pictured below, traditional black and white tile is made more interesting with a basket-weave style.


Tile flooring can be cold. A heated floor is a luxurious option but not an expensive item to add. It can elevate a bathroom to a spa-room and be a great selling point in the chance of resale. Contact us for more information.




If you get ready in the bathroom, you want proper lighting to help you look your best. A designer creates ideal bathroom lighting by layering several different types of light. Lighting can be divided into four categories: ambient, task, accent, and decorative. Ambient lighting fills the room with indirect light. Task lighting illuminates “workspaces,” like the mirror above the vanity. Accent lighting highlights specific areas of interest, like a piece of art. Decorative lighting, like a chandelier, can make a statement for the decor. The direction of light is also important. Mirrors are most flattering with eye-level lights located on each side, rather than overhead light that can cast shadows.



bathroom renovation in east greenwich
Lighting flank the sides of a double mirror vanity in East Greenwich, RI. Photography by Aaron Usher III.

Bathroom Renovation Zones Will Help You Plan

When planning your perfect bathroom, it’s essential to stay organized. Thinking about each area of your bathroom as a functional zone will help you keep your priorities in check. Use our interactive Bathroom Dream Sheet to map out your hopes, needs, budget, and more. When you’re finished, share your worksheet with us to get started on your project. Or schedule a Discover Call to speak directly with our team.

For more information on bathroom renovations, check out Bathrooom Design 101: Part 1 Planning and Layouts.

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