By Teri Olcott
I’m planning a major bathroom remodel. I’ve been planning it for years. My bathroom is small and boring and hasn’t changed since the day I bought the house, which was almost 30 years ago. One of the reasons why the remodel is always in the planning stage is because a new bathroom is a big job and because I’m not sure how I really want it to look.
I’m a very visual person, meaning I need to see something to, well, see it. Someone can describe a color scheme or layout to me, but without something to look out, it’s all just a blank room waiting to happen.
I’m not an interior designer or planner by any means. I like certain colors and certain styles, but I have no real feel for what goes with what. I have never used online interior design tools, but I can click a mouse as good as anyone. Seeing colors on a screen makes that visual part of me happy and also takes the guesswork out of what will look good next to what.
With laptop in hand, I traveled to HouseTipster.com to check out their virtual rooms and see what kind of trouble I could get into.
What is a Virtual Room?
A virtual room (VR) is a photorealistic 3D room that has all the basic features you would typically find in that room. Kitchens have sinks and cabinets. Bathrooms have tubs and vanities. With a click of the mouse, you can change the flooring, wall material, and mix and match colors and textures to your heart’s desire. Some rooms let you change the angle by giving you a 360-degree camera option.
I chose the Lohja Residence Bathroom which had 11 components that I could customize. There’s a pulldown menu on the right side of the screen, or you can use your mouse to select the objects you want to change. By changing an object, I mean changing its color or what material it’s made of. You can’t change an ottoman into a couch.
Let the Fun Begin!
Start Small: I started with a small wall towards the center of the room. When I clicked on the wall, a multitude of options came up: granite, marble, glass, onyx. There were literally hundreds of choices. I finally settled on Bardiglio which is an exquisite marble from Brazil. A description appears at the bottom of the menu section to tell you a little about your selection.
Walls: For the main walls of the room I had the option to change the color. There were 750 colors to chose from. After clicking through a bunch of colors, some sensible and some not so sensible, I chose Sky Watch because I like blues and it seemed to go well with the small marble wall.
Large Wall: For the large wall behind the sinks I had over 500 options to choose from. In sticking with the marble theme, I chose something called Cippolino Ondulato which is a rare and exquisite marble. It’s also most likely very expensive but I will be paying for it in VR dollars so who cares?
Vanity Area: In the vanity area, I could change the color of the faucets, sinks, and the vanity itself. For the faucets, I had a choice of chrome or matte black and chose black. The sinks were available in white or black, and I again chose black to match. For the vanity under the sinks, I went a little crazy and picked sulfur yellow. With 427 color options, why not go with something bright?
Then I came to my senses and picked a more pleasing Water Blue.
Floors: Probably one of the biggest decisions in a bathroom remodel is the floor. I had hundreds of floor options and went through a lot of them before deciding on Blue Damasco marble. Remember how I said I like blue? More VR dollars, but I think it will be a good investment.
Ottomans: This bathroom had three ottomans which aren’t something I would put in a bathroom, but they let me see how colors went with the walls and the floor. I had 417 color options and chose Flame Red just to give the room a little color.
Final Features: The last features I could customize were the tub faucet, which I left chrome, and the wall outside the bathroom, which I changed to teak (because I like teak). I had 114 other choices.
When I was done, I had the option to save the final result using the little menu buttons along the bottom of the screen.
Using House Tipster’s interior design tools was amazingly easy. The site currently features 18 virtual rooms where you can change the look and color of the room with a click of the mouse. If your brain needs to “see” things to truly understand them, like mine does, this tool will prepare you for that next big remodel and arm you with all the information you might need before you start spending real dollars.
The writer of this article was compensated for their review.