High-End Bath on a Budget

It’s been said a million times: To raise the value of a home, invest in the kitchen and bathrooms. Updating the commode is also one of the quickest ways to add a dash of luxury to daily life, turning the confines of the four walls into a spa-like retreat within the home. Gina Bonura, the custom kitchen and bath sales manager at Alure Home Improvements, shared her best tips for turning a bathroom into an oasis.

Long Island Pulse: What additions can homeowners make to instantly add lux to a bathroom?
Gina Bonura:
I say invest in the shower. I love a long shower with hand sprayers, multiple body sprays and steam if possible. I see a lot of people put more effort into the shower than the tub because, most days, you’re taking a shower. A great shower is such a nice retreat when you come home from work.

LIP: What are some trends in spa-like bathroom design?
I see a lot of towel warmers and radiant flooring to keep the tile warm. Something that’s really nice is when they can add a dual-sided fireplace that also opens into the master suite. It’s definitely a luxury, but the effect is really nice. You should also think about a vanity, maybe with built-in wall towers, and two sinks.

LIP: For homeowners looking to sell in the next few years, what updates will benefit them the most?
Definitely the double sinks in the master suite, as well as a comfort height toilet seat. I also recommend keeping at least one tub because people always think they’re going to use it…[And] keep the colors neutral, either white, gray or taupe.

LIP: What’s the most important thing to think about before starting a renovation?
Think about how you really use the space. Do you get dressed in your bathroom? Do your makeup in there? Define how you use the space before redesigning. A lot of people think about color first, when really they should consider the layout. Spend your money getting the plumbing in the right places and laying it out how you want it. If you try to work around, it will never be exactly what you want.

Pro Tip #162 and 163:
Adding a custom shower door without the frame creates a great, high-end look. And don’t forget the lighting. Multiple switches with dimmers to soften the lights go a long way toward recreating a spa-like experience.

justine lorelle lomonaco

Born in California and raised in the Midwest, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco spent the last four years indulging her East Coast side on Long Island and in NYC. She has contributed to a variety of lifestyle magazines and websites and maintains a blog, StopMeIfYouveHeardThisOne.com. In her spare time, she loves reading, running and eating in her Astoria neighborhood.