Organizing and Cleaning Your Shower

14420915_SYou just completed a beautiful remodel of your bathroom. You have heated floors, subway tile, plate glass shower doors, toothbrush holders, towel storage and lots of cabinet space. But your shower floor is littered with shampoo bottles, shaving supplies and body wash. It’s time for a bit of shower organization. And just for good measure we’ll also talk about how to keep your plate glass looking clean and sparkling.

If you were really thinking ahead you would have had shower shelves or niches built into your shower walls. If you’ve already completed your remodel or you have inherited a shower without such features, fear not.

You can use caddies to store everything from shampoo and conditioner bottles to shaving supplies to toothbrushes and bath toys. Look for deep pockets and baskets to keep knickknacks from slipping out of the caddies and getting underfoot. A wire mesh or large drainage holes are required for proper drainage. A number of racks will hold bottles upside-down like ketchup so you can easily get that last squirt of shampoo or conditioner.

There is even a shaving pedestal that can be mounted two feet off the floor of the shower to help women shave their legs. Other products combine mirrors with storage racks for razors and shaving cream. Mounted soft soap and shampoo dispensers put those products at your fingertips, and covered bar soap dishes can keep the bars from melting. Brilliant!

To keep those glass shower doors sparkling clean plan on mixing one cup of white vinegar and one cup of dishwasher soap together. Use a scrubby and wipe down the glass. Rinse with water. This should do the trick but if there are a few stubborn spots use a good glass cleaner.

Now not only do you have a beautifully organized and functional shower but a clean one as well!

Building a House…I Wish I Had Thought of That! (Part Two)

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.36.28 AMAs promised we have added more helpful tips that will hopefully keep you from saying “I wish I had thought of that!”

  • Bathroom: I wish I had thought of this one…when designing your cabinets for your bathrooms, think about longer drawers and fewer cabinets. The storage in drawers can be so efficient. Adding draw organizers is sure to make anyone happy!
  • Rounded Corners: Round corners create a smooth custom look throughout your home, which is sometimes easy to miss when you’re thinking about the design of your home.
  • Wall Texture: have you ever noticed the wall texture on homes that you have visited? Some are rough, others a little textured (referred to as knocked down), and then there is smooth. Think about the style of your home and remember there are options when it comes to wall texture.
  • Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 1.30.12 PMHardwood or Ceramic Floors: You don’t have to pick one or the other, you can have both! Combining wood floors and ceramic adds texture and style to any home. Just remember that the transition from one material to another can make or break a design. Make sure you have a clear-cut line between the two rooms; adding a border in the wood creates a very clean look.
  • Basement Ceiling:  The average basement ceiling is 8 to 9 feet tall. To make your basement feel more open and like the rest of your house consider 10-foot ceilings. You will pay a little more but at the end you will be happy you did it!
  • Interior Doors:  Solid 8-foot wood doors throughout your home will make a statement. Larger doors bring a custom feel to your home that you will enjoy for years to come.

Building a house takes a lot of time and planning. Try to put things in perspective and prioritize what is important to you and your family.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Megan for spending her time and sharing her home building insight!

Building a House…I Wish I Had Thought of That! (Part One)

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.37.00 AMWe would like to introduce Megan, one of our readers who has been kind enough to share her story and advice on building a house.

If building a house is in your future there are many things to think about and consider. Below are some helpful tips that will hopefully keep you from saying, “I wish I had thought of that!”

  • Window Shape: When I built my house I was set on having bamboo shades. It wasn’t till after I moved in that I discovered bamboo shades couldn’t be customized to an arched window. This actually made a lot of sense, but I had not thought about it when we were designing the window shapes in the house.
  • Master Shower: This is a brilliant idea instead of installing shelves in the corners of the shower for your shampoo.  You can do pocket shelves on the same wall as the shower knob. This provides a dry area for all your shower essentials and keeps things neat, tidy, handy, and dry!
  • Hallways: For an added touch use arch niches in your hallway. This is great for a picture or plant. Don’t forget the accent light!
  • Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.35.58 AMEntry Area: An insert of tile or slate is the perfect solution for keeping your wood floors from getting moisture from rain and snow. It’s easy to maintain and worry free.
  • Carpet:  Make sure you get a good carpet pad. A good pad will extend the life of your carpet and you’ll be able to feel the difference on your feet!  Also, go one step further and research carpet beyond “base grade”.

You don’t want to miss next week’s post! Megan has even more information she’d like to share.  Stay tuned.

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: 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/

 

Bathroom Meets Wet Room

A separate shower and bathtub, preferably a soaking tub, have been standard in a master bathroom for quite a while.  While showers and tubs have become fancier over the years with more spray and deeper soaks, the layout is pretty standard.  With freestanding soaking tubs becoming more popular, we’re seeing a change in the layout of large master bathrooms.  One of the changes we’re seeing is the creation of a “wet zone”.  Have you seen these? Do you have one in your own master bathroom?

A wet zone puts the shower and tub in a single area in the bathroom.  This one has a glass enclosure that contains both the shower and tub. If the glass goes all the way to the ceiling, a sort of steam room is created.  The shower can be a step up from the rest of the bathroom or simple divided from the room with the glass partition; a tiled wall would also work to delineate the space. Continuing the same flooring, whether it be slate, tile, or marble, throughout the bathroom and wet zone helps unify the room. For the wet zone, a textured flooring surface will prevent slips when showering or getting out of the tub.

The remaining area of the bathroom can be dedicated to a large vanity with double sinks and storage. A water closet for the toilet keeps that separated as well. Containing the wet zone and steam is ideal for a master bathroom that opens onto the walk-in closet or dressing room.

Decorate Your Powder Room

When it comes to interior decorating, people can often forget about the powder room.  Just like your kitchen or living area, the powder room is important to incorporate your own style.  Keep in mind it’s one of the most utilized rooms in a home and is seen not only by you, but also your family and guests.

Bathroom designs used to be restricted by the usual basics – a toilet, sink, and mirrors.  More often now, homeowners are breaking out and experimenting with different design ideas.  There are always great deals and finds happening, which can make this design process much more affordable just in case you don’t want to go out and splurge.

Here are a few decorating choices for a Powder Room:

  1. Wall Paper. Install subtle wallpaper or add dramatic patterns to give your powder room a distinct look. There are an endless variety of wallpaper choices so you can cater to your personal style. Choose gorgeous wallpaper that will match the overall theme of your home and one you can enjoy.
  2. Lighting. Hang a chandelier or a chandelettes at the center of the powder room or directly above a vanity set to give your powder room that wow effect.  By adding nice lighting or a detailed fixture can really enhance the overall feel of the room since some powder rooms can be smaller in size.
  3. Sink. Use a cabinet or vanity sink for more storage.  You can find many different types and styles.  If it’s a small space, try a pedestal sink. They’re simple, and can add an element of design into your powder room.
  4. Art. If you have a big empty wall in your powder room, hanging a piece of artwork will give it an added identity.
  5. Flooring. The flooring can dictate the mood and theme that you want to set for your powder room.  There are so many choices between hardwood, ceramic tile, stone, laminate, etc. Don’t forget, you can always make a pattern out of your floor covering choice.

Gone are the days when the mirror is the only decorating piece that you can add to your powder room.  An added tip: try drawing inspiration from a wonderful hotel powder room you’ve seen before.

Tips for Adding Glamour to Bathrooms

Adding a little glamour to a bathroom, master bathroom or powder room can be done with a few simple and easy additions. If you want a more glamorous bathroom, you don’t have to start from scratch.  After quick changes and a few additions you’ll have a more glamorous bathroom.

 

One of the easiest ways to add glamour to the bathroom is to add a beautiful mirror. In this bathroom, a Venetian style mirror is hung above the free standing soaking tub.  The mirror adds sparkle and brings in additional light to the space. Adding molding around a wall mounted mirror or replacing the builders’ standard with two smaller mirrors can add a glamorous touch as well.

 

Luxurious materials like marble and crystal can instantly give a touch of glamour to the bathroom. While marble floors and counters would be gorgeous, if you aren’t renovating the bathroom you can still add luxurious touches. Thick bath towels and bath mats can add texture and soften the straight lines of the bathroom. Monogramming the towels with your initials personalizes them as well as adds a touch of glamour.

 

Reflective surfaces can also add sparkle and glamour. The soaking tub in this bathroom has a rich metallic finish on the exterior. Chrome and shiny nickel on fixtures are good choice for extra glamour. Add a bit of crystal in a chandelier or wall sconce. Sparkling glass and silver containers for bathroom necessities can add glamour to the counter top.  A small nosegay of flowers is the finishing touch of glamour for the bathroom.

Two are Better than One: Bathroom Sinks

The standard for master bathroom design is to have his and hers sinks. In newer homes the master bathroom is the largest bathroom in the home and can accommodate a counter top long enough to fit two sinks. In older homes and smaller homes that lack en suite master bathrooms, two sinks are a luxury.

 

Two sinks ideally mean that you each get your own sink. This can be true in some homes while in others the extra sink is rarely used other than to store makeup and hair dryers.  Sometimes one sink with extra counter space is a better option. Even a vanity or make up area would be preferential to the second sink for some couples.

 

If you do have a bathroom that has enough space for a long vanity and two sinks there are many sink options available.  Vessel sinks continue to be popular as do undermounted sinks. Vessel sinks’ smaller footprint will allow more counter top to show around the sink. Vessel sinks may allow you the space to install two sinks on a smaller counter top space.  Wall mounted faucets can also save precious countertop space. Atypical shapes like these rectangular sinks are popular in contemporary and modern design.

 

Because double sink vanities are such large elements in a bathroom, coordinating the sink color and material with the counter and flooring helps give a polished looking design to the room. Matching the counter top with the stone or tile of the bathroom floor can unify these two design elements.

Design for Awkward Spaces

This bathroom is a great example of working with the space you have to design a beautiful room. Not every room will have perfect proportions, ceiling height or perfectly placed windows.  Most homes, and bathrooms especially, have their quirks and awkward corners that need to be incorporated into the design or designed around. Utilize the entire space and maximizing the positives.

 

The pitched ceiling in this bathroom makes us think it is probably a converted attic or other garretted space on the top of the home. A walk up attic is the perfect space to carve out a master bedroom with en suite bathroom in an older home. Small homes in the Cape Cod or Dutch gambrel style may also have sharply angled ceilings on the second floor, including in the bathroom.

 

Maximizing the height of the ceiling where it is most needed is key in an awkward space. Keeping the toilet and shower in the tallest part of the bathroom ensures you won’t bump your head. Splitting a double vanity into two separate vanities means they can be tucked under the roof line. A large rectangular mirror and simple wall sconce make the vanity nooks feel more spacious.

 

Light wood flooring and a skylight make the overall space in this bathroom feel larger. Natural light through windows and sky lights make the room feel more open as well.  Skylights are a great feature for second floor bathrooms, especially ones that do not have a window.