Cape Cod bathroom design has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. And it’s no surprise; Cape Cod bathrooms are great for scaling a luxurious, elegant atmosphere to fit a smaller space. You see, Cape Cod style homes are often coastal vacation homes. Think small cottages and cabins on the beach poised to enjoy a cool ocean breeze on a hot day. The bathrooms reflect the smaller home size, but also the posh style of a second home on the Cape. That makes them a perfect option for anyone that wants a luxury bathroom that will fit a smaller floor plan.
Cape Cod bathroom design is a classic turn of the century style. That means, first and foremost: you’ve got to have a clawfoot tub. Okay, maybe you don’t have to. But they are the best, strongest, and most immediate way to establish a Cape Cod style. They also tend to work well with the awkward gabled ceilings that sometimes come with small, cottage style homes. Really hate the style, or simply don’t have room for a full sized bathtub? Be wary of choosing a bathtub or designing a shower enclosure that’s too modern. Cape Cod bathroom design is very, very classic; although it’s simple, it’s very traditional, and skewing too modern can really throw off the look.
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The most traditional flooring choice in a Cape Cod bathroom design is easily small white hex tile. This is really the go-to choice in almost any cottage style bathroom, and offers an iconic turn-of-the-century vibe. Basket weave and other small-format white or black and white tile work as well; any white porcelain, white marble, or black-and-white tile that creates a petite, intricate pattern so inherent to this style. If you’re looking to break from tradition, wood floors are a great alternative for a Cape Cod bathroom design. Wood can help warm up the space, making it feel more summery and adding some rustic texture. Wood tile flooring is a great way to get a weathered look without having to worry about the moisture.
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As with the floor, the most traditional option for the walls of a Cape Cod bathroom design is simple white tile, in this case subway tile. Subway tile has made a comeback in all walks of design, from old French Country kitchens to ultra modern bathrooms. So despite its turn of the century roots, this is a very trendy style right now. For another traditional (but more budget-friendly) option, beadboard wainscoting is a simple, clean, easy-to-install treatment that offers a totally classic style. For a more rustic, beachy Cape Cod bathroom design, consider another popular option: shiplap. Shiplap boards – either left bare, whitewashed, or painted blue – make for a wonderful beachy, nautical feel. This last option is slightly more expensive than beadboard, but has a maritime feel that amps up that coastal vibe.
Perhaps the toughest decision you’ll have to make in a Cape Cod bathroom design is what type of sink or bathroom vanity you’re going to install. That’s because there’s a huge range of options, and each of them create a very different look and feel. Pedestal sinks are one of the most traditional options, with a clean, sleek appearance and compact footprint. But, they tend to be light on storage. Wall mounted sinks are also very popular, especially cast iron trough-style sinks that mirror the shape of a clawfoot tub. Compact sinks are ideal for very small Cape Cod style bathrooms. But for a master suite or frequently used bathroom, bathroom vanities are practically a must. Look for white vanities with Cape Cod inspired features, like shuttered doors, shaker style cabinets, or beadboard paneling. The style that should match well with the decor while affording some much-needed storage.
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For a true Cape Cod bathroom design, you want to look for smaller beach themed decor items as well. Seashells are my personal favorite because they’re easy to incorporate; in jars, framed as artwork on the wall, displayed on a shelf, or even mixed into a mosaic tile. But don’t be afraid to get creative. Jars of sand, unique pieces of driftwood, or even more specifically maritime objects – like life savers or old wooden paddles – can add a salty seaside vibe that will bring the Cape Cod style to the fore, even if your bathroom lacks a lot of these other elements.
Cape Cod bathroom design is all about creating a relaxed, beachy, seaside vibe. While the exteriors of Cape Cod homes are all about bright, bold red white and blue, think soft sandy yellows and gentle sky blues for the bathroom. These pastels will give the bathroom an open, airy feel – especially paired with the other predominantly-white features mentioned here. Blues in particular will help draw the sky and sea into the space, but both will help warm up and give character to a white bathroom, keeping it from looking and feeling too sterile.
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