When managing a remodel it can be easy to rely on popular true-isms like “everything has to match” or “fixtures have to be white.” Fixtures and finishes are often the last decisions on the quest to your dream bathroom, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice the design elements that will truly personalize and elevate your space. Much like any other rules, design rules are meant to be broken. Want to know which rules to break? We asked two design experts how they defy these outdated guidelines and help clients create the space they truly desire.


Rule 1: Everything Has To Match

When designing a space, many people tend to believe that everything has to match. While defaulting to one style might make the process easier, there are so many other options and combinations that can really elevate your space — from cast iron sinks to gold faucets.

“Many people feel they need to match their plumbing fixtures throughout the house,” explained Carla Aston of Designed With Carla Aston in Texas. “That definitely is not true. I like for each bathroom to sort of have its own identity.

According to Aston, carrying the same fixtures and finishes from one room to the next is not necessary, which means you can incorporate different elements throughout your house. You can experiment with mixing metals and bold colors to create a design that speaks to you.

“I never try to sell something that is super trendy, but I do push them to stretch their design so they don't feel like they could have gotten their new bathroom fixtures at the neighborhood hardware store,” added Aston.


Rule 2: Fixtures Have To Be White

“Coordinate fixtures, hardware finishes, and styles, but have fun with color and pattern,” said interior designer CeCe Barfield. “Colored ceramic vanities and toilets can also add panache to a bathroom!”

When it comes to fixtures, white is often the go-to choice. While going with an “unexpected” color or material, like Kohler’s Derring under-mount bathroom sink or Dutchmaster sink in floral print, might feel like a risk, the pop of color can actually give your space a unique look and feel that is better fitting to your style than the standard white. Making you happier in the long run.

As Barfield points out, untraditional doesn’t have to mean trendy. “Unexpected fixtures create unique and sophisticated spaces,” she said. “Just like in fashion, pretty pieces never go out of style.”

Even if you prefer some traditional white fixtures like Aston, there is still room to experiment.

“I prefer white toilets, but sinks and tubs are really where you can make a statement,” said Aston. “I especially love unique sinks that help elevate the design and customize a look.I do love to use Kohler's undermount sinks in master baths. Iron Plains, the Devonshire, and Memoirs offer just a bit of a custom touch that is not seen in every bathroom and satisfies that client that doesn't want to go too bold and is concerned about resale.”


Rule 3: Faucets Should Always Be Chrome

Like white fixtures, chrome faucets have become the default for many people who are remodeling their bathroom and kitchen. But today there are several design-forward options from matte black to rose gold, that can make your space feel new, but still timeless.

“I am loving matte black fixtures now, it offers some punctuation and definition in a space and makes a bathroom feel very current,” said Aston. “It's so nice to have all the finish options available these days. I see more and more coming out every year and it is so exciting to see.”

Barfield agrees. “Unexpected fixtures create unique and sophisticated spaces,” she said.

Whichever “rules” you choose to break, remember that the space should be filled with design elements that you love.