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Decorating With Shower Curtains

We can assume that no one looks back fondly to the time when the look-and-feel of bathrooms was dictated by function alone. This was many years before designer towels and sweet-smelling candles added warmth and comfort to a once cold place. Since then, we’ve seen the passing of many new bathroom trends, from popular colors to colorful shades of lighting. In the recent past, a whole new aesthetic has overtaken this private space, adding refinement and luxury.

 

In much of the Western world, spas have become ubiquitous. Since many of us do not have a personal masseuse, the trends in the home bathroom have followed the way of the spa. For instance, the Jacuzzi® or whirlpool bathtub is a luxury that has become more common in newer homes.

But while many bathroom amenities become more technologically advanced, there are still some that stay the same — simple, functional, and highly necessary. The topic of this month’s “Little Things” is one such “thing.”

It is the shower curtain! This item is so necessary to the showering people of the modern world that most of us do not even think of it as a design element. Many people choose a color, pattern, or fabric that will fade into the background. This purchase usually occurs once they’ve moved into their new house or apartment and when it’s time for a replacement, they opt for the same pattern, and the shower curtain makes no waves, so to speak.

The aforementioned behavior is a perfect example of why interior decorators are so incredibly valuable. Living inside smartly decorated, beautiful interiors greatly improves one’s quality of life, and the bathroom should be no exception. But many people do not realize this until they experience a well decorated space.

With this in mind, imagine the bathroom decorating beginning with a shower curtain. Allow it to guide the décor of the rest of your space. Like many of our “little things,” shower curtains come in hundreds of patterns and colors. Do a little bit of online shopping and you’ll quickly realize that the vast selection rivals that of wallpaper. With all this variety, you are not only creating a color palette, you are creating a particular mood or theme. Imagine an Egyptian, Victorian, Japanese, contemporary, traditional or country style bathroom. The patterns on shower curtains, like wallpaper, do not have to simply slip into the background; they can be bold, exotic, and striking.
You can then coordinate everything else in the bathroom with the shower curtain—picking out colors from it in the same way you would use colors from the living room drapes to choose a rug. Draw attention to it. Begin to think of the objects that you’re decorating with in terms of their size relative to the overall space. What percentage of the bathroom does the shower curtain occupy? In a smaller space, the percentage is obviously large. So, doesn’t it make sense to have a curtain that not only appeals aesthetically to the eye, but also draws your eye to it because of its prominent style? This is the line between a decorated space that is mildly interesting and one that is aesthetically superior. These differentiations are extremely important and contribute to the big picture.

To create a clean, modern look, use dashes of color that add a little bit of drama to the space—like the blue curtains pictured in the stark white bathroom above. This makes decorating easier for the decorator and easy on the eyes, both of which are very important.

Decorating from one accessory, one color, or one idea steers the decorator towards creating a coordinated space. While using only the most minimal elements makes the job easier, decorating based on the shower curtain helps to simplify the job.


There are many shower curtains colors and patterns to choose from. The style you pick will depend heavily on your clients’ tastes. But, it’s your decorator’s eye that will bring all of the little details together to create a beautiful picture; maybe one worth hanging in the bathroom. Pictures in the bathroom—now isn’t that a change from the days of yore!

–Lauren Ragland Sheffield School of Interior Design


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