4 Off-The-Track Ideas for Your Bathroom Renovation
Jan27

4 Off-The-Track Ideas for Your Bathroom Renovation

Is there any room in any home that’s more likely to be boring than the bathroom? Probably not. That’s partly because bathrooms have very specific roles to fill. You use a bathroom for very specific purposes. And you can get done what you need to do in your bathroom with just functional fixtures and designs. But if you’re thinking about doing some renovation work in your bathroom in the future, that’ll be a great opportunity to change things up a bit. You don’t have to redo your bathroom with just nicer, more modern versions of everything that’s currently in your bathroom. Instead, you can depart from the normal and conventional with some revolutionary new technology, or some radical new – or retro – designs and styles. Here are a few ideas: #1: Signature Sinks Before the advent of indoor plumbing, an indoor sink was usually just a big basin perched upon a countertop. Did you know that look is coming back in style? It’s true, except now the big basin is a fully functional sink. Above-cabinet sinks are rapidly growing in popularity. And they offer a very practical benefit beyond just the unique look – especially for people with bad backs. Because these throwback sinks are situated on top of countertops instead of in them, they’re mounted much higher than conventional sinks. That means that far less bending is required to use them – to the relieve of many an aching back! #2: Transitional Toilets Big tank, plastic seat, and tank-mounted flush lever. That’s been the traditional toilet design in this country for many a decade. But that’s changing. Wall-mounted toilets are now becoming quite popular, with Europe leading the way in the toilet revolution. Wall-mounted toilets either hide the tank in the wall, or do away with it entirely by assisting the flush with a pump. Eliminating the toilet tank from your bathroom will free up lots of space. It also offers you lots of flexibility in choosing seating height. Even bathroom cleaning is easier with wall-mounted toilets since they don’t touch the floor, leaving the floor open beneath. And as a fringe benefit, most wall-mounted toilets are considerably more water-efficient than traditional toilets. #3: Banish Basic Baths The traditional, boring bathtub. Isn’t it time for that to change? That’s exactly what’s happening in many bathroom renovations. One popular option is to supersize the tub into something much more roomy and spacious (check out a Japanese-style Ofuro, for example, designed for deep, hot soaking). Another popular departure from the same-old same-old is sliding wall tubs (check out the Kohler Elevance). #4: Cushy Comforts Another booming trend is to...

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Remodeling Tips for Smaller Bathrooms
Jan18

Remodeling Tips for Smaller Bathrooms

Not all bathrooms are big and spacious. Some are small and cozy. But when they become old, outdated, and faded, small bathrooms deserve some renovation love just as much as larger bathrooms. When the time for a renovation comes, there are some things you can do to make that small bathroom feel a bit more spacious. Here are a few tips for doing just that: Sink Squeeze: Why not squeeze the sink into a corner of the bathroom? Pedestal sink designs are available that will fit nicely into a corner. That will save a lot of space, and make the room seem much more spacious compared to room with a sink mounted in the middle of a wall. Just be sure to place the sink in a corner where it won’t interfere with anything else, such as the shower door. Curvy Curtain: A shower curtain is usually a better option than a swinging shower door for a small bathroom. But you can make your shower seem roomier by using a shower curtain rod that bows outward slightly. That way you’ll have fewer clingy encounters with a clammy shower curtain as you maneuver in your small shower space. Curvy Corners: Small and tight bathrooms are not great places for sharp, square corners. Wherever possible, choose fixtures (vanities and cabinets, for example) that are designed with rounded corners instead of sharp square corners. Maximized Mirror: Mount a mirror that extends across the entire wall, rather than just directly in front of the small vanity. That will reduce the twisting and turning required to see all you need to see in a small mirror. It will also make it easier for two people at once to do their primping. Special Sink: A wall-mounted trough sink will provides lots of sink space while also decluttering floor space. And yes, stylish designs are available in trough sinks. Double Duty: Choose a vanity design that incorporates a storage shelf beneath. It’s a great way to increase storage capacity while maximizing the use of space. You can do more of the same by also adding a narrow shelf above the toilet tank. Color Contribution: Choosing the right colors can contribute to making the room seem brighter and more spacious. Light colors, particularly white, almond, and off-white, are generally the best colors for helping a small space seem bigger and brighter. A Remodeled Bathroom Bonus In the end, a bathroom remodeling project will pay some great dividends in making life a bit better for your family. That applies to bathrooms of all sizes. But if you can make that small bathroom feel more like a larger bathroom...

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7 Action Steps for Making Your Home More Earth-Friendly
Jan05

7 Action Steps for Making Your Home More Earth-Friendly

It seems that there’s a growing wave of concern over the earth’s environment and man’s impact upon it. It’s a topic that generates lots of energetic discussions because not everyone agrees about the extent to which mankind’s actions impact the environment. No one can argue, though, that we don’t have some degree of impact on the health of the planet. And similarly, no one can argue that minimizing that impact is a good thing. But what can one person do? If you’re a homeowner, it turns out that there’s quite a lot that you can do. The following action steps will get you started. And as a nice bonus, most of these steps will save you money, too. #1: Plant Trees Planting trees in your landscape helps in several ways. Trees, of course, consume carbon dioxide and generate oxygen – both good for the environment. But the trees you plant will also provide you with some more direct and immediate benefits. The trees will help to shade your home, and when strategically located, minimize the impact of winter winds. You’ll save money on heating and cooling bills as a result. #2: Go Native Redesign your lawn and landscape so that you’re using mostly native plants – plants that are naturally adapted to your local microclimate. Native plants, on balance, require far less inputs in the form of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. All of which helps to keep both the environment and your bank account healthier. #3: Go Low-Flow You can help to minimize your water usage by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in your home. And in your landscape, you can dramatically lower water usage by converting your sprinkler system to a smart system, such as Hydrawise. #4: Go Solar Advancements in solar-fueled power generation have made solar power more and more viable for residential applications. It’s not right for every home, and for every homeowner. But for many it’s certainly worth considering. If you want to look into the possibilities of solar for your home, the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar website would be a good place to begin. #5: Go On Leak Patrol Is your home leaky? Drafty? Most homes are. But letting outside air leak in, and inside air leak out, increase both your energy bill and your environmental impact. So reducing your home’s leakage will be doubly beneficial. Beefing up caulking and weatherstripping where needed can make a big difference. #6: Reduce Appliance Electrical Consumption Upgrade your home’s appliances to more energy efficient models. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to discard older appliances that are working just fine. But when an appliance fails and must...

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