Cape Cod bathroom design has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. If you ask me, it’s because out of any distinct bathroom style, Cape Cod bathrooms do the best job of fitting a luxurious, elegant atmosphere into a smaller space. You see, Cape Cod style homes are often coastal vacation homes – 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 families that can afford a second home on the Cape, making them a perfect option for anyone that wants a luxury bathroom that will fit a smaller floor plan.
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Cape Cod bathroom design is a classic turn of the century style, and that means first and foremost: you’ve got to have a clawfoot tub. Okay, maybe you don’t have to, but really they’re 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. If you 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, and although it’s simple, it’s very traditional, and skewing too modern can really throw off the look.
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, creating the same petite, intricate pattern so inherent to this style. If you’re looking to break from tradition a little, wood floors are actually 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 an especially weathered wood look without having to worry about the moisture from the bathroom.
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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 huge 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: using shiplap boards for the walls, either left bare, whitewashed, or painted blue. This last option is slightly more expensive than beadboard, but has a more maritime feel to it, rather than the more traditional country cottage.
Perhaps the most difficult 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, simply because there’s a wide 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 these are light on storage. Wall mounted sinks are also very popular, especially cast iron trough-style sinks that mirror the shape of a clawfoot tub, and smaller sinks are ideal for very small Cape Cod style bathrooms. But for a master suite or frequently used bathroom, bathroom vanities – notably white vanities with Cape Cod inspired features, like shuttered doors, shaker style cabinets, or beadboard paneling – offer a traditional style that will 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. Either of these pastels will give the bathroom an open, airy feel – especially paired with many of 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.
What do you think of these Cape Cod style bathrooms, or Cape Cod bathroom design in general? Let me know in the comments!