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Monthly Archives: February 2017

7 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Bathroom On A Budget

All you need sometimes is a change of scenery or a new look to feel refreshed. The same goes for your bathroom. Maybe you’ve been thinking about redecorating, but you’re not sure how to go about it. If you’re ready for a bathroom transformation but don’t want to spend the money on a full remodeling project, then this article is for you.

We’ve got some clever and practical ways to enhance the appearance of your bathroomthat will help you bring back that spark. See seven simple and fun ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget.

1. Accessorize

Accessories are used to jazz up an outfit, and the same goes for your bathroom. Go online or pop into one of your local home stores and find an attractive soap dispenser and toothbrush holder.

This bathroom is the perfect example of how elegant and tasteful bathroom accessoriesmake a statement. Think about what you’re currently using to store cotton balls and soap and determine if it’s adding to the style of your bathroom or bringing it down. If the latter is true, then it’s time to purchase some new ones.

2. Bath Towels & Rugs

Towels and bathmats come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Depending on your storage and display options, they’re a great, stress-free way to style and brighten up the space.

It’s easy to forget how adding little touches here and there can make such a big difference. Take the time to shop around and see what looks are a possibility in your bathroom, and then narrow it down from there. The nice part is you don’t have to stay with one look forever. Bath towels and rugs come and go, and so do trends. Have fun picking out new pieces and mix it up when you’re sick of the look.

3. Décor

Don’t overlook the weight décor carries in the visual appeal of your bathroom. Some ideas include: pictures, frames, flowers, shelving, mirrors and uplighting. Instead of purchasing a picture from the store, think about if you have any of your own images you can print and frame to add that personal touch.

The bathroom in this image is an excellent example of how décor can work to your advantage in a small space. They’ve added open shelving and uplighting to create a soft and elegant look. The large, frameless mirror is a great piece that also makes the room look bigger. As you can see, these details make a world of difference!

4. Get Organized

A messy bathroom is an unhappy bathroom. Before you do any decorating, make sure you’ve cleaned up and picked up so you’re organized prior to sprucing up your bath. Get creative with your storage. Build or buy containers and shelves that will consolidate your bathroom products.

Mirrors that open are one way to hide items you don’t want displayed and provide extra room in a small space. Take a look at the bathroom in this image. The owners installed a beautiful dark wood storage cabinet which is more useful than a picture in this spot. What a great idea!

5. Sinks & Vanities

Stylish and unique sinks are trending. Bathroom sinks don’t just come in one shape and size anymore. If you’re purchasing a new sink, think about the flow of the entire area, not just the singular piece. Mirrors, vanities and the sink’s hardware should all be taken into consideration as you plan your new look. If you need more guidance around this topic, then take a look at our guide to bathroom sinks and vanities and our installation cost guides.

6. Shower

Adding detail or backsplash to your shower design is a fantastic way to make it more glamourous. If your shower needs more love than a little detailing, then think about installing new shower tile. The cost varies by material, so make sure you do your homework before starting the project.

I’m highly confident the shower curtain was one of the first things your eye was drawn to when you glanced at this picture. This is proof that shower curtains don’t have to be plain and boring. There are inexpensive shower curtains with amazing designs that’ll help turn your bathroom up a notch. Who would have thought something as simple as a shower curtain could be such a wow factor?

7. Paint

This gray accent wall is absolutely stunning against the neutral tile in this bathroom. Look at how a budget-friendly DIY paint job livens up the space and creates sophistication. This bathroom décor comes together perfectly to showcase some serious style!

7 Painting Tips To Make Your Small Bathroom Seem Larger

Small bathrooms are a burden to us all. We could always use more space, but physical limitations prevent many from expanding their current bathroom.

A terrific, easy and cheap way to make your bathroom seem larger is with paint. There are plenty of ways to make your small bathroom feel larger, but few tactics give your bath more of a punch than paint.

If you think your bathroom is small, but want that real master feel, be sure to check out our 10 painting tips to make your small bathroom seem larger.

1. Use Light Colors

The best way to make your bathroom or any room seem larger is to use bright paint colors. Some will say that more white makes for a larger appearance, but that debate will go on for years to come.

This entire article is about optical illusion. Light and brightly colored walls are more reflective, making any space feel open and airy. Additionally, light colors help augment the effect of natural light (which we all love). As such, paint your bathroom cream, icy blue or other soft variations of green and blue. For other small bathroom paint colors, consider:

  1. White
  2. Pearl Gray
  3. Pink
  4. Yellow
  5. Aqua

Want to give it a try? See what it costs to paint an interior room.

2. Keep All Same Tone

As I will get into later, just because light colors make a small bathroom seem larger, the entire bathroom does not have to be the same color. However, if you really want your small bathroom to feel like the master that you deserve, keep all colors within the same tone.

Light color walls are great, but if you installed dark tile on the floor or in the shower, the light colors will not stand out. These types of large contrast will clog up the space and showcase how small your bathroom really is. We don’t want that.

Looking for DIY bathroom hacks besides paint? See 10 Affordable Ideas That Will Turn Your Small Bathroom Into A Spa.

3. Blend Tile Color & Wall Color

This tip jumps off the previous hack, but many don’t want the same tone all over the bathroom. Fear not, for as long as you blend the shower tile and wall color, you are golden.

Blending your wall color and shower tile makes the entire room feel like one continuous space. As you can see from the picture below, they chose to go with a darker wall color and white tile for the shower. As a result, the bathroom feels like two separate rooms.

By blending the color of the shower tile with the wall, it will show as one larger room. Luckily, if have you ceramic tile, you don’t have to replace it. You could paint your ceramic tile to have it all blend in.

4. Paint Ceiling & Wall Same Colors

As you have probably noticed, a trend of similar, bright colors is emerging. Well, the same holds true for the ceiling and walls.

One problem with small bathrooms is short ceilings. As you might expect, using dark colors for your ceilings will make it seem low. Avoid white (unless your walls are also white), which will stop one’s eyes right at the ceiling line. Using the same color for the wall and ceiling will help the eye travel effortlessly throughout the space, giving once again, the appearance of a larger bathroom.

5. Paint Vertical Stripes to Make It Seem Taller

Some bathrooms are taller and some are wider. Oftentimes, we can’t have both and are left with a wide bathroom feeling cramped or a tall bathroom feeling cluttered.

If you have short ceilings and want to make your small bathroom seem taller, paint vertical stripes on the walls. As we just went over, paint colors help guide the eye throughout the room. With vertical stripes, the human eye is guided up and around the room. This, in turn makes it feel larger than it really is.

When painting vertical stripes, stick to the same color palette as the rest of the bathroom. Simply make one shade slightly lighter than the other. Be careful, as too much contrast won’t go over well.

DIY stripes, whether vertical or horizontal, are easy. See How To Paint Striped Walls.

6. Paint Horizontal Stripes to Make It Seem Wider

There are other bathrooms with really tall ceilings, but not a lot of space around. Never fear, as the same eye principle applies.

By painting horizontal stripes, very common I might add, you are guiding the eye around the bathroom, giving it a larger appearance.

7. Use Light Colors on Doors, Windows & Molding

Light colors do not only apply to the walls and ceilings. There are many fixtures and elements of a bathroom you can paint or augment. Do not forget about the doors, windows and moldings.

Paint your wall trim, window covers and moldings in a lighter color than your walls. When you paint your moldings light, the wall appears farther back, making your small bathroom appear bigger.

Tips To Build A Bookcase

Before you dive into actually building your bookcase, your first step should be to nail down your design inspiration. Remember that the structure itself doesn’t have to be complicated. The plan just needs to be well-thought-out and the design properly constructed.

In addition to seeking out what style of a bookshelf you want to create, you should also consider its size and location. The instructions below will give you a better idea of what you need to build a bookcase and how to go about completing this DIY project successfully.

Overview & Materials

The purpose of your bookcase is important in determining the design of your project. In most cases, homeowners are looking to store books and materials, fill an empty space or add dimension and character to a room.

In this article, I’m going to outline plans for creating a pine bookshelf with open sides, inspired by the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase. I want to make it clear that this is one of many bookcase design options. I’ll be showing you images of additional ideas throughout the article so you get a better feel for what other styles homeowners are building.

The bookcase above is one of many different configurations you can choose to build for your home. This particular example is made of pine and doesn’t have any side walls. It’s a basic structure with four shelves and a backing. It stands just under 6′ tall and is decorated beautifully. Below I outline general DIY steps for getting started on your personalized Pottery Barn inspired bookcase.

General Instructions

Step 1: Determine Dimensions

The first order of business is to determine how wide and tall you’d like your bookcase structure to stand. Consider if you’re trying to fill a vertical or horizontal space, and how much time and effort you’d like to put into the building and finishing process. Documenting your measurements and purchasing the right saw for the job is key to your success. There are plenty of online resources to help you blueprint your plans and determine the right dimensions and tools you’ll need for your specific project.

Step 2: Construct Face Frames & Drill Pocket Holes

A standalone bookcase contains two face frames (front and back) that come together to form the edges of the structure. Make all of your cuts according to your documented measurement guide on a clean and level surface.

Next, drill your pocket holes using a pocket-hole jig. A pocket hole is simply a hole drilled at an angle that forms a “pocket” for the screw to sit into. The purpose of pocket holes is to connect your individual pieces together.

To achieve the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase look, drill two pocket holes on each side of the tops of the legs and one on each end of the shelf trim boards. You’ll also want to drill pocket holes around all sides of all of the shelves–it’s recommended you drill two per end, and four per front and back side of each shelf.

Step 3: Attach Shelves

As I mentioned above, the purpose of your pocket holes is to connect your pieces (shelves to the frame). You’ll want to align the wood boards that are to be joined and drive a pocket screw at an angle into the pocket hole. This will securely attach your pieces together.

When you mount your shelves, leave about a 1″ gap at end of each shelf. This extra space will be used for the end trim pieces. It’s recommended you attach all of the shelves on your front frame before adding and securing the back frame.

Step 4: Measure & Cut End Trim Pieces

It’s now time to measure and cut each of your end trim pieces. As learned in the previous step, your end trim pieces are for filling the gap you left on the edge of each shelf. After cutting your pieces, use your pocket hole screws to attach them through the pocket holes you drilled on the underside of the shelves. Your trim piece should now be attached to the structure. Repeat as necessary.

Step 5: Glue & Nail Back On

The final step will be attaching the back piece of wood to your frame. One recommended material that you can use for the back of the structure is PureBond Plywood. You’ll find it right at The Home Depot and the staff will even cut the piece down to the right size for you.

Once you have your back piece, use finish nails and glue to attach it to the rear of the frame. All of the pieces for your bookcase should now be connected and the configuration should be sturdy.

Finishing Touches

You’ve come this far, now it’s time to apply the finishing touches! Begin by filling all of the holes with wood filler and letting it dry. When the wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Be sure to wipe your project clean with a damp cloth. To get the specific look that I’ve used as an example in this article, it’s suggested you use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

5 Home Improvements Make Good Roommates

Renting a room, or a portion of your home, can be a financially fruitful endeavor. But a healthy roommate relationship, like any other, takes work. There are some things you can do, both in setting expectations and in setting up your home, that can help make cohabiting a win-win for everyone. You should absolutely treat it like a business, and use a professional renter’s applications, background check, and lease agreement. This will ensure that you clearly set up expectations with regard to rent payment, shared space, responsibility for utilities, and house rules.

Be sure to also invest in some work to make your home more comfortable to share. These 5 home improvements may help.

1. Hang a door

Your roommate tenant has the right to privacy. If you are renting a portion of your home (such as an entire level, or suite of rooms) it may be worthwhile to install a door between that space and your own, if one does not already exist. Add a lock on that door, or put one on the door of any single room inside your home that you rent. Your roommate can then feel comfortable knowing his or her belongings are secure, and can enjoy privacy.

2. Install a tankless water heater

When you share your home with a roommate, you also usually share utilities. That’s double (or more) the showers, loads of laundry, and dishwasher cycles. Be sure your utility systems can handle the demand. Never run out of hot water by installing a tankless water heater. If the size is right, you can run the dishwasher, washing machine, and have two people taking showers at the same time.

3. Make room in the kitchen

Your roommate agreement should make it clear which spaces and items are shared, and which are not. The kitchen is a high traffic area, and if you both cook, you should make some extra space that can be dedicated to your roommate’s own food and cooking equipment (if they bring any). Clear a cabinet for them to store things, or hang an extra cabinet, if space permits. A little extra counter space can go a long way toward giving everyone extra elbow room for cooking. So, consider installing a kitchen island, or adding a section of base cabinets withcounters, if your footprint allows.

4. Expand the driveway

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have ample off-street parking. You don’t want to have to wake your roommate early in the morning because they’ve blocked you into the drive. Consider expanding yourdriveway to accommodate 2 cars side-by-side. Or, go a step farther, and clear out a space in the garage so you can both pull in when winter weather arrives.

5. Add Storage

A roommate doesn’t come alone. They bring all their stuff with them, and that stuff needs a place to live, too. Do yourself a favor and re-organize what storage space you have, and consider adding more. Building a closet is a fairly inexpensive and basic home project, that can pay big dividends in mutual goodwill.

The time and money you spend upfront on some roommate-friendly home improvements, might pay off big-time in helping you maintain a happy shared home.