1. Non-Functional Issues: Determine what you do not like about your bathroom currently. Is the shower too small? Vanity not functional? Vanity too low? Not enough lighting? Water pressure? Ventilation? Drainage? Be sure that your remodel plan resolves the non-functional issues with your current bath.
2. Safety: Consider the safety of your bathroom. Stepping in and out of wet areas are trip hazards. As we get older, that last thing you want is a broken hip on a bathroom floor. Hand grab bars are looking better all the time, they are inexpensive and double as towel bars. Choose tiles that have grip for your floors. Also, electrical shock prevention: Plugs need to be GFI protected. Also new codes require 20 amp vac dedicated circuits for each bath. Who wants the toaster to blow when the curling iron is turned on?
3. Mixture of Media: Wood-Tile-Stone-Metals-Glass-Mirror: When combined right they offer dazzle to the eye. It's OK to Google up images of bath pics. You are not plegarizing! Get ideas and inspiration from other projects completed. Study these pics on line to determine your taste in woods, tile, stone, metal, glass, mirror.
4. Theme: Bath design works better when you have a theme. I hear too often, "We want to update our bath." This is the translation: "We have no idea what we want, we have no theme, but we are sick and tired of this bathroom!" Wanting a change is a great start, but you will want some punch for your spent money. So start imagineering. Bathrooms are typically small spaces that can boast big on a theme. The small room delivers a design punch when the theme is conclusive, well thought out, deliberate and delivered. We like using the same tile on floors and walls which delivers a huge statement through tile. We will tile over 2-3 walls-floor to ceiling. This is a great visual impact on 2-3 dimensions-horzontal floors and vertical multi-walls. For example we recently designed and remodeled a 5x9 bath: bamboo floors, multi-colored slate on two walls wrapping the tub-shower, new 36" height vanity with bamboo inset in recessed doors, black granite top, larger mirror at vanity, 2-pendant lights over vanity, two recessed lights over shower, vessel sink and faucet. The floor-to-ceiling multi-colored slate delivers a dramatic huge punch when walking into this small bath giving a larger than life feel. This bath was for two teenage boys. The theme was a manly bath with jungle woods, and polished accents. I will try to get some pics to add later when i learn how to add pics!
Happy bath remodeling!