11 Ways to Age-Proof Your Bathroom

Learn how to create a safe and accessible bathroom without sacrificing style

If you’re planning to stay in your house for the rest of your life, it might be wise to renovate your bathroom with accessible design in mind. Along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the spaces homeowners use the most. They also happen to be wet zones, which increases the likelihood of slips and falls. That said, reducing slip hazards and ensuring adequate lighting and maximum comfort are vital when creating an age-proof bathing space. These 11 ideas will ensure that your bathroom is safe and easy to use for decades to come.

5 Ways With a 5-by-8-Foot Bathroom

Look to these bathroom makeovers to learn about budgets, special features, splurges, bargains and more

The most common bathroom size measures 5 by 8 feet — enough room for a single sink, a toilet and a shower or shower-bathtub combination. You may think there isn’t much you can do with an area of this size. But you’d be wrong. Here, five projects within these dimensions showcase clever ways to create virtual and literal space, and how to make big style statements on budgets small and large.

Is A Fixer-Upper Really a Good Deal?

A new study from the remodelling site Porch.com, based on a survey of more than 1,000 homeowners, shows that the majority of fixer-upper homeowners who thought they could save money actually ended up spending about the same or more than a move-in ready home.

Tips for Making Your Bathroom Remodel Worth the Investment

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the home to keep up-to-date—not just because you spend a lot of time in there, but because it can influence the market value of the entire home. That said, remodeling a bathroom can be a great investment if you do it the right way. While you want to make sure it’s a comfortable space that fits your personal style, you also don’t want to pour in so much money that you couldn’t recoup it later if you were to sell the home. If you’re considering remodeling your bathroom, here are some tips to help make it a worthwhile investment:

Making a Budget and Design Plan

The first part of remodeling your bathroom should be to make a reasonable budget. A contractor and/or designer can help you estimate total costs and choose the elements that meet your preferences while also staying within budget. Making a design plan, rather than winging it as you go, will help you ensure that each purchase has a purpose. 

If you need to cut out some things to stay within budget, consider luxuries (e.g., a steam shower, a heated toilet seat, etc.) but not essential components that will raise your home’s value. Also, be sure to factor in the cost of labor (typically about a third of the total cost), and try to leave a cushion for unforeseen issues such as plumbing, asbestos or termite damage. In general, it’s good to set aside about 10% of the estimated labor costs. The average cost of a bathroom remodel in Seattle is close to $50,000. In this case, you would budget about $16,500 for labor and $1,650 for a cushion. 

Splurging on the Low-Cost Stuff 

When you’re budgeting for the remodel, think of the entire cost scale for the items you need to purchase. Things like storage solutions, accessories, towels and other linens are the perfect kinds of items to splurge on because they’re on the lower end of the cost scale. And even though they’re the less expensive items, you can still save on them by shopping at home furnishing stores like Crate and Barrel. Moreover, finding a promo code or Crate and Barrel coupons will earn you further savings.

Things to DIY

There are some things you can do yourself during a bathroom remodel that will save you money. For instance, you can choose the fixtures and install most of them, including light fixtures, towel bars, drawer handles, sink faucets and shower heads. You can find plenty of affordable options for these fixtures (drawer handles, for example) at Home Depot. You can also bring some life to the bathroom by re-caulking around the sink and tub

One of the most significant ways to upgrade your bathroom by yourself is painting. Just use a lot of tape and take your time when painting around the tub/shower, sink, toilet, mirror and other areas you can’t touch. Lowe’s offers a variety of affordable semi-gloss paints, which are easier to clean than other types of paint. 

Things Not to DIY

There are also some things that you should not try to DIY. For example, you should call a professional for any plumbing that’s more involved than changing a faucet or fixing the flush handle. Also, any electrical work you need done should be completed by an electrician, because it’s simply too dangerous. Furthermore, it’s generally a good idea to leave the removal and installation of tubs, showers and other large pieces to the pros. 

Bathroom remodels can add comfort to your daily life and raise your home’s value. For it to be a good investment, however, it’s important to make a reasonable budget and design plan and stick with it. If possible, splurge on the lower cost items like towels and accessories, and look into projects you should and should not DIY. Planning your remodel beforehand will help the whole process go more smoothly. 

Photo Credit: Burst

10 Reasons to Consider 4-by-4-Inch Tile

Designers are embracing the once common but recently overlooked square tile in kitchens and bathrooms

The heyday of 4-by-4-inch tile lasted for decades. At one point, it seemed as if the modest square was the only widely available tile option, so it’s no surprise that many people tired of it. But 4-by-4-inch tile gets a bad rap. As Houzz has expanded to countries around the world, we’ve noticed that European designers never seemed to abandon it, using square tile beautifully in cozy English country cottages and Scandinavian modern apartments alike. And lately, savvy U.S. designers have rediscovered its potential as well. Here are 10 good reasons to consider 4-by-4-inch tile.

8 Elements of a Traditional-Style Bathroom

Evoke the past with furniture-like cabinetry, period-look lighting, ornate details and calming colors

Good things can last forever. That’s why traditional-style decor, some of which has its roots in 18th-century England, is one of the most popular styles found in homes today. But defining what constitutes it is somewhat tricky. For example, most people aren’t going to outfit their bathroom with furniture pieces built in the 1700s, or pay through the nose for antique French faucets. Instead, designers try to use pieces that are manufactured today but still pay homage to that particular time period, without crossing into the clean lines of contemporary bathroom style

“You try to get that feel,” says Jill Breed, a project coordinator at David Sharff Architect, a firm that’s spearheaded countless traditional projects in places like Boston and Newport, Rhode Island. “So we use painted, furniture-like cabinetry, traditional faucet styles with cross handles and avoid things like modern or sleek fixtures, rectangular sinks and contemporary materials like Caesarstone that would make more of a transitional style.”

Here are eight ways designers add traditional style to a bath.

7 Ways to Pair Dark Kitchen Cabinets With Dark Counters

Dare to dive into the deep for a sophisticated look in your cooking space

We often assume that dark kitchen cabinets need lightening up with pale countertops, or vice versa, but in fact a double-dark design can look dramatically stylish. Check out how these kitchens use dark cabinets and counters, and see whether the look could work in your home.

How Much Room Do You Need for a Kitchen Island?

Installing an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit

A well-planned island layout can allow a smooth workflow and provide a comfortable space for preparing and cooking food. Islands also frequently provide space for dining, working and storage. But while a well-planned layout offers much enjoyment, a poorly planned island can be frustrating. This is particularly true if there is insufficient space for an island to begin with. If you’re considering a kitchen island, follow these tips to help you decide whether you have enough space to make an island work for you. And if you don’t, discover what else you can try.

How to Choose Your Bathroom Vanity Lighting

Get tips on sconces, pendants, chandeliers, pot lights and LED strips — and find out where to place them

The bathroom vanity is a special part of the home, but one that can sometimes get overlooked. In a primary bathroom, it can be the central hub for many important parts of our self-care and the true workhorse for some of our daily routines. For this reason, bathroom vanities need carefully selected lighting that lives up to its full potential. There are many options to choose from, all of which work in different scenarios and can be used together to get the best of both worlds. Read on to find out how to pick the right bathroom vanity lighting.