Are Cabinets Necessary in a Bathroom Vanity?

Question: Is it absolutely necessary for a bathroom vanity to be made up of base cabinets?

Answer: The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are many different things to think about, if planning to do this. Find out what aspects to plan, if deciding to create this design.

The first thing to consider is that, generally speaking, the bathroom vanity is made up of base cabinets that provide most of the storage. If the bathroom includes a linen closet or cabinets in another location, some storage can probably be given up under the bathroom sink.

The lack of a base cabinet vanity in this photo shows that other arrangements can been made. The towel rack has been installed directly onto the counter. Typically a base cabinet vanity hides the plumbing of a sink. In this case special care for installing and concealing the pipes must be made. 

If you decide to create a vanity without cabinets, you could consider adding wall shelves near the vanity. Extra storage has to be made available in this space. Toilet paper and fresh towels need a sensible place to live within this room. If you prefer to have these items concealed, perhaps you can find a place to fit in upper cabinets into the space. Upper cabinets could be added on top of the vanity in between two sinks. Their depth should not exceed twelve inches, as to keep the focal point balanced and not look top heavy.

Another option with a lack of cabinetry is the use of accessories that have storage capabilities. A basket full of towels, a stylish trunk for less attractive items, or a free-standing shelf for stylishly placed necessities (think cotton balls or soaps) are all wonderful additions to a simply styled bath.  You may never even miss those under sink cabinets!    

This particular design style is interesting and unexpected. Make sure careful planning goes into finding an alternate storage solution if you decide to give up the base cabinets in your bathroom vanity. 

Why Walk in Pantries Work

Having a walk in pantry instantly makes your life more organized and easier, if they are kept tidy and clean. Find out how to make the perfect pantry and how to use it more efficiently.

Often there is a closet near a kitchen used to store brooms and mops. It makes perfect sense to turn it into a pantry. If you want a walk-in pantry but lack the closet, you may want to have one built. It will be worth the effort and may add resale value to your home.

Install shelving, racks, and organizational products that are right for your needs. All pantries need ample shelving. Make sure to add as much shelving as you can comfortably fit into the space. This will help you neatly organize food and dry goods. The pantry is also a great place to store extra dishware and kitchen equipment.

Paint the interior a fun color. A nice earth tone green is the perfect paint color for this space. Simply leaving the walls white can brighten the area, but it tends to make the space feel utilitarian. Painting it a fun color will make you want to keep it neat and organized. The paint color can also inspire you to whip up healthy meals. Green seems to inspire one to cook healthier meals that include delicious veggies.

Don’t forget to utilize the space on the back of the door. This is a perfect place to install shallow shelving where all types of spices can be kept. It is best not to hang items on the back of the door, for the simple fact that they will be knocked around as the door is opened and closed.

In order to know what types of storage organizers to install, first write down exactly what you plan on keeping in the pantry. Make a quick sketch and plan out what items you need to store. This will get the ball rolling so you can research the type of organizers will be best for your needs.

Good luck with your new space!  It is sure to add quite a bit of enjoyment to your kitchen.

Pros of Banquette Seating

Banquette seating is the name for built in seating around a table in a kitchen or dining room. Basically the custom seating is built buy a carpenter, to specifications of the space you have to work with. The typical shape is either U or L shaped. The banquette is built and a table is place in front of the built in.

This custom seating project is typically made of wood and topped with seat cushions and back pillows are placed against the wall. Extra seating can be added to the open side by pulling up chairs or adding a bench. These specific built ins can be made with accessible storage below, by hinging the wood part of the seat to the base. Simply remove the cushion and open the lid.

The amount of storage that can be provided can add ten to twenty cubic feet of extra storage. This is a good place to store seasonal dishware and decorations and possibly even cumbersome cooking equipment. This type of seating is also very functional because it can seat four or more people very comfortably, depending on the size of the area. Banquette seating is perfect for eat in kitchens for a family of four or more.

Make sure to hire a professional to complete this custom project. Most cabinet makers can make this for you. A professional should come to the home, find out your seating needs, take measurements and come up with a design for your approval. This project is not something you should take on yourself.

The back and seat cushions will need to be made by a custom upholsterer. The seat cushions should be rectangular with a foam insert (called poly core) at the center and wrapped with upholstery wrap. Stay away from down ticking for dining seating. Down ticking is a more luxurious material for formal living rooms. Any spills on the cushions would be absorbed by the down and cause mold to grow. Select a stain treated upholstery fabric that will keep spills from being absorbed.

The table can be store bought and the seating can be made specific to the table height. The other option is to have the cabinet maker, build a simple table out of wood with a sturdy pedestal base. The pedestal base is key for comfortable leg space under the table. The table can be made with legs, but once you add legs, the amount of extra chairs that you can add to the banquette becomes limited.

A Country Kitchen

When you think about reimagining your kitchen, do you imagine it a place full of warmth and comfort? Is it where you go to cook your meals for your family and it fills up with the smells of cooking and laughter? If you are thinking about redesigning your kitchen and that is how you would describe your vision you may want to consider looking into your options for country kitchen design.

 

The focus for country-styled kitchens is to use natural, hand crafted materials to create a lived-in feel to the room—a place where your guests will feel comfortable pulling up a chair at the table and chatting while you cook dinner or a place where your family comes to gather and share their stories. The focus here is to use uniquely designed wood for your cabinets, chairs and tables to create a rustic look. You might even add paneled glass to the front of some of your cabinets so that your dishware and stemware show through.

 

Speaking of, these utensils, dishware and home appliances are a great way to give your kitchen that lived-in country feel. Mixing and matching different glazes and designs on your plates and bowls can add character to your kitchen. It harkens back to when most people had a mix and match of dinnerware, and can look as though you might buy one here and there at the local farmer’s market. If you used that glass paneling in your cabinets then your efforts will always be on display. Consider using mason jars as glassware as well, as they can also add to the overall design.

 

There are certain design patterns as well as color schemes that are more common in a country kitchen as well. Warmer colors are a must although blue is also commonly found, usually within a pattern or as tiling. Plaid and gingham patterns can be used as dishtowels or tablecloth to add a touch of pattern. If you are unsure about the color or pattern you want to use, imagine if you think it would fit in to a kitchen you would see in a traditional farm setting.

 

One of the most powerful statements in a country kitchen is the floor.  The right choice of flooring material can pull the room together and set a tone of cohesiveness in the space.  Think about the materials that would be used in a farmhouse setting: wide plank hardwood or large stone tiles are great choices. 

 

A country inspired kitchen is a place where your family and guests can congregate and spend quality time together in a space where you have intentionally created an ambience of warmth and invitation. It is a great way to add life into your kitchen!

Accommodating Homes

The desire for a lovely home for homeowners and their family is important, but equally important is a home that can accommodate certain requirements.

For people in wheelchairs, there are requirements that can make a home work well. Basic elements such as halls and doorways wide enough to allow for wheelchairs to pass through are a must.  Open floor plans often help provide the space for wheelchairs to maneuver among furniture and architectural elements.

Flooring is also important. The best choice is tile for a number of reasons. First, the smooth surface makes it easy to move through a home in a wheelchair. The sturdy nature of tile also means that it will hold up under some potentially rougher than usual traffic. Finally, it’s one of the easier materials to maintain.

Kitchens and bathrooms require some special consideration. They have to be large enough to handle a wheelchair, include a shower with easy access and toilet that is set higher. A lower sink with space underneath works well, and drawer storage is obviously better than a traditional medicine cabinet.

For a kitchen, upper cabinets are not particularly useful, although most homes include them. Plenty of lower cabinet or open shelf space within reach from a sitting position is critical. Having a prep/work surface at table level will make fixing meals much easier, and a faucet with a pull-out spray helps with cleaning up.

Today’s designers and home suppliers are addressing the needs of people with wheelchairs. If this is a concern for you or a member of your family, let us know if you would like more information.

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Creating a Cottage Style Bathroom

We wanted to finish up Bathroom Blogfest 2012 with a  traditional, warm bathroom design.  This design can work for both newer and older homes.

Cottage style is a charming choice for the bathroom.  Cottage style can work with traditional and farmhouse architecture as well as cottage homes.  These bathrooms favor traditional elements and surfaces and often reference vintage and antique elements.

This bathroom features one of the timeless classics of bathroom design: the claw-foot tub.  These antiques are classics because of their deep soaks and cast-iron construction that holds the heat. Antique claw foot tubs can be found restored to their original condition, and can also be customized with color on the exterior.

The pedestal sink is a nice vintage touch that fits perfectly with cottage style. While these sinks don’t provide storage, their narrow profile is ideal for a small bathroom. Additional storage can be created with a small vintage cabinet, bookshelf, or hanging cabinet.

You could add penny tiles or hexagonal tiles on the floor for a classic vintage cottage style.  Typically, white and black, today’s penny tiles and hexagonal tiles can be found in an array of colors to suit any taste. A soft throw rug next to the tub is a stylish and smart addition to create a soft place to step out of the tub.

Wainscoting on the walls is a great touch in a cottage bathroom. Subway tiles, in classic white, would work nicely on the walls in a cottage bathroom, as well. Charming vintage art and the simple framed mirror complete the cottage look in this bathroom. The wainscoting dark color framed by the white trim and patterned area rug adds visual interest to this bathroom.

We hope you all enjoyed reading about bathrooms this week as much as we did! We’re so grateful to have participated in Bathroom Blogfest 2012 and cannot wait until next year’s group blogging adventure.  Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the Bathroom Blogfest writers below:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

 

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Ocean Inspired Colors in the Bathroom

Let the bathroom blogging continue! We hope you’ve had a chance to look at some of the other participants’ blogs; they’re all amazing with great, helpful tips.  There’s only a couple more days left of this year’s Bathroom Blogfest so get your reading glasses on and enjoy the designs!

The colors of the ocean just seem to work in a bathroom. It could be the connection with water that makes these colors work so well. We’re not sure why so many of us are drawn to the colors of the sand and sea when designing our bathrooms, but we are. Blues, creams, beiges, greys and greens in soft hues can all work in a sea inspired bathroom.

Whether you choose to design your bathroom in coastal style or not, you can still use ocean inspired colors in the bath.  Floors, walls, shower curtains, towels and mats can all be found in beautiful shades of the ocean and sea. Colors inspired by sea glass, soft blues, greens and white, are a lovely combination for the bathroom that is neither masculine nor feminine. If you have a bathroom that has white tile on the walls and floor, you can add these colors as accents as either paint for the wall or vanity, or in smaller doses by using colorful towels and mats.

Colorful glass tiles inspired by the ocean are beautiful in the shower or on the floor in a coastal or ocean inspired bathroom.  Mosaic tiles used as a border or on the floor can also bring in ocean colors. Mix these colorful tiles with neutral stones like white marble or travertine to bring in another layer of natural beauty.

If the ocean does not inspire you, think about your favorite outdoor space. Mountains, lakes, meadows and deserts can all be color inspiration for your home.

Check out more Bathroom Blogfest 2012 entries here:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Using Marble in the Bath

We are participating in the 7th annual Bathroom Blogfest! This year’s theme is “Still Coming Out” and it is a great way to bring together bloggers from all over the globe to talk about bathroom designs.  Take a look at who’s participating this year and get the inside scoop on everything bathroom.

There is just something classic about marble in the bathroom. Marble counters and sinks are traditional designs that continue to be popular today.  But there are new ways to use marble in the bathroom in addition to the classics.

Marble tiles can be applied to the floor, walls, and shower stall.  New tile sizes and patterns make this centuries old material feel contemporary.  Laying the tile in a horizontal pattern, rather than a traditional vertical pattern turns these classic tiles into a contemporary style.   Oversize horizontal tiles, like in this bathroom, are another way to put a contemporary twist on marble tiles.

Marble can be polished, honed and tumbled for shiny and matte surfaces.  Honed and tumbled are better choices for flooring as they are not as slick when wet.  Placing a bath mat down can help absorb water and prevent slips.

The tile is a neutral color, which allows a homeowner to have versatile options for the sinks, countertop, and bathroom accessories.  This homeowner chose to keep the bathroom sinks and countertop clean and neutral by choosing white, but they always have the option of adding a pop of color with towels or candles. Another great option for marble tile choices is classic white marble with grey veins.  A mix of white fixtures and marble has a crisp feeling that makes us think of a luxury hotel or spa.

Covering the walls and tub surround in the same marble tile gives this bathroom a uniform look and only adds to the luxurious spa feeling. Using the same material throughout the space makes the room feel even larger.

Even a little marble can make a big impact. A marble counter in the bathroom would take a small amount of stone and could fit most budgets. You could also add a strip of small marble tile for a sink’s backsplash in the bathroom.  It will add detail and interest to your bathroom.

Read more about Bathroom Blogfest 2012 from other writers:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

 

Black & White Flooring Options

Are you unsure what flooring to use for your home? Do you have a bold streak and want something unique? Then you might want to add a bit of pizzazz to your décor with black and white flooring. This color scheme creates drama in any room as it makes everything else in the room stand out. Often chosen for bathrooms and kitchens, we’ve recently seen some designers use it throughout the home.

One way to execute a black and white scheme is by implementing the checkerboard design where black and white tiles are placed alternately on the floor. This is one common way of using these two sophisticated colors together.

Another way to implement a black and white scheme for your flooring is by laying black and white tile squares on the diagonal to make a diamond appearance. This look will make your room look shiny and clean.

A mosaic black and white tile can also be a sophisticated choice, though a bit expensive and complicated, if you want patterns and textures for your tile in your entry or hallways.

Another design option that you can do is by adding a single tile of different color in the middle of the room that has black and white flooring. This will give added drama and will create a pattern that will stand out.

The pinwheel design is also a great pattern to follow when implementing a black and white scheme. To do this, single black tile is surrounded from all sides by white tiles or a variation of this pattern is using a white tile instead, with black tiles surrounding it.

If you want a bold, clean and unique look for your kitchen and bathroom, then a black and white color scheme is the way to go.

Design Inspiration: The Colors of the Mediterranean

Deep blue seas, terracotta tiles, golden sun yellow, olive green, rich ochre—these are the colors we think of when we think of Mediterranean style.  These rich, vibrant colors take their inspiration from the sea, land and sky around the Mediterranean Sea.  Found throughout countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco, the colors of the Mediterranean can be incorporated into your home for a beautiful color palette.

Terracotta flooring is great in a Tuscan or Spanish inspired kitchen. These warm reddish brown tiles can be paired with white or wood cabinets.  Terracotta tile can also be used in entryways and bathrooms. Moroccan tiles that are typically colorful with bold patterns are another choice for flooring or backsplashes inspired by the colors of the Mediterranean.

Plaster walls tinted with a hint of yellow ochre are also wonderful ways to bring in a bit of the Mediterranean to kitchens, bathrooms, living or dining rooms.  Ochre is a warm, golden yellow that looks amazing paired with deep blues and olive greens.

For more Mediterranean color inspiration, look to the textiles of these Mediterranean countries. Provencal fabrics from the south of France offer great color pairings and inspiration for walls, floors and furniture colors.

You can be inspired by the colors of the Mediterranean even if your style is not Mediterranean. Accents in these vibrant colors can work with most styles of decorating. Use these colors as a jumping off point for your own style décor and the result will be colorful and cheerful.