Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tips for Designing Your Dream Bathroom

Keep these smart tips and ideas in mind as you plan and design your dream bathroom.
Aqua Tile in Bathroom  
Plan an Efficient Layout
    Even the dreamiest bathroom has to deal with plumbing drains, water lines, and vent stacks. Bathroom floor plans generally fall into one-, two- or three-wet-wall layouts. A one-wall layout lines up the sink, toilet, and shower along one wall as in this bathroom. It's the most cost-effective design, but it's also the most limiting.
After: Past in the Present  
More Bath Layout Tips
    A two-wall layout gives you more flexibility. The sink and toilet can be plumbed on one wall and the tub and shower on the other. The three-wall layout is the most versatile and also the most complicated and expensive. Working with a certified bathroom designer or architect can help you avoid costly mistakes and make the best use of space.
Bathroom Vanity  
Choose the Right Sink
    In the world of bathroom sinks, vessel units win the beauty contests--and with good reason. It's hard to make a more dramatic style statement than with sculptural sinks mounted on a furniture-style vanity. But before you invest in bathroom sinks, think about how often the sinks will be used and by whom. Remember that every time you wash your hands, water will drip as you turn off the faucet and reach for the towel.
Colorful Baths  
More Bathroom Sink Tips
    Integral bathroom sinks (one piece with the vanity counter) and undermount bathroom sinks make it easy to wipe messes from the counter into the sink. Self-rimming bathroom sinks, on the other hand, are the most economical and the easiest to install, but the perimeter lip can collect grime.
Bathroom Lighting  
Design a Bathroom Lighting Plan
    The most critical area for bathroom lighting is the mirror. Ideally you should have wall-mount lights at each side of the mirror at about eye level, with a third light above the mirror. This arrangement illuminates your face from both sides and above, eliminating shadows.
More Bathroom Lighting Tips
    For general bathroom lighting, use ceiling-mounted fixtures or add style and mood with chandeliers or pendant lights. Enclosed showers and tubs usually require enclosed vapor-proof down lights. Accent lights can spotlight a collection or an architectural feature and contribute sparkle and mood.
Make a Statement with the Tub
    Bathtubs are the natural focal point of a bathroom and have a powerful impact on the decorating style. Freestanding bathtubs may rest on claw-and-ball feet or a pedestal base (like this one) or they may be streamlined and straight-sided like a piece of sculpture.
bathtub by windows
More Bathtub Tips
    A platform bathtub has an unfinished exterior and drops into a supporting boxlike structure. The top or decking is usually a waterproof material such as tile, marble, or limestone, and the sides may be paneled in wood or covered in tile or stone to match the decking. Whichever type you choose, you can opt for a soaking tub or a whirlpool tub to maximize your relaxation the bath.
white bathroom shower  
Design a Spa Shower
    Luxury showers replicate the spa-resort experience in a dream bathroom. Plan on a variety of spray heads. Ceiling-mounted rain shower shower heads soak you from above, while body sprays (vertical rows of shower heads) create a crisscross pattern for a water massage. Handheld showerheads allow you to direct the spray for washing your hair, rinsing off, or even cleaning out the shower stall. For a custom-made stall, choose your favorite waterproof material to cover walls, floors, and ceiling. Frameless glass doors showcase stunning tilework, like in the shower shown here.
Express Your Style with Cabinetry
    The modest single-sink vanity cabinet has given way to a host of options, from double-sink vanities to custom storage hutches and wall-mounted cabinets. Bathroom cabinetry merges form and function and carries the style statement you want to make, whether it's contemporary, traditional, vintage, or Old World.
Bathroom Vanity
More Bathroom Cabinetry Tips
    As with kitchen cabinets, you can purchase bathroom cabinets in stock units or with semicustom options, or you can have them custom-designed and built. Stock cabinets are typically least expensive and custom the most expensive, with price ranges for each depending on the material, construction, finish, and accessories.
Tile and Pebble Flooring  
Select Floorings
    Bathroom floors need to be hardworking, impervious to water, and slip-resistant--but they also need to be attractive. The most luxurious choices are stone tiles and ceramic tiles, but highly polished stone is slippery when wet. Choose a honed flooring finish for better traction.
Limestone Tiles  
More Bathroom Flooring Tips
    Ceramic tiles rated "impervious" are the most waterproof and are ideal for bathroom use. Tiles designed for floors are extremely durable; they resist water, stains, and wear, and are easy to care for. Select tiles with a slip-resistant finish and seal all grout, because otherwise it's difficult to clean.
white fireplace with cabinets above  
Pamper Yourself with Amenities
    To make your dream bathroom an in-home retreat, include features that take it from utilitarian to pampering.
    • A gas-insert fireplace communicates that this is a place to linger.
    • In-floor radiant heating takes the chill off of stone or tile floors.
    • Television, sound systems, and a beverage center will make your master bathroom so comfortable, you may never want to leave.
Colorful Baths  
Create Mood with Color
    Color has the power to energize and to soothe, to wake you up and calm you down. Consider the mood you want to evoke before selecting your palette of materials. As you develop your bathroom color scheme, remember that color comes from more than wall paint and fabric. The hues in the cabinetry wood and in the stone or tile you choose for floors and walls play a major role in creating an overall color personality. Even the sink and tub contribute to the bathroom color scheme, whether they're made of white porcelain, dyed concrete, or stone.
Add Softness with Window Treatments
    Bathrooms are mostly hard surfaces, so dressing the windows with fabric allows an opportunity to add softness and absorb sound. The treatments also let you introduce color and pattern. Bathroom window treatments should resist moisture and humidity, and they usually need to provide privacy and light control. That's why simple shades, blinds, and shutters are the most popular bathroom window treatments.
Shower and window treatment  
More Bathroom Window Treatment Tips
    Valances, balloon shades, and modified Roman shades also work. Depending on the layout of your bathroom, even draperies can provide a frame for your windows. Consider using the new all-weather acrylic fabrics to make bathroom window treatments. Designed for outdoor use, they're moisture and mildew-resistant and come in an expanding range of interior-quality patterns and colors.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nature-Inspired Master Bathrooms

Exotic Safari  

Let the natural world into your bathroom with a nature-inspired bathroom makeover.  Take a lesson from these baths, inspired by different parts of the natural world.
Exotic Safari
    After moving from South Africa to Atlanta, these homeowners redesigned their bathroom to bring a bit of their former country into their new home. The look was achieved by sticking to a simple and natural palette of stone, wood, and metal. Their redesign resulted in an organic and natural-looking master bath that evokes the feeling of a luxurious five-star lodge at a South African game reserve.
walk-in shower  
Shower Space
    Set between the private toilet compartment and the shower, a ladder functions as a towel rack and also complements the organic environment of this exotic master bath. The ladder is the perfect way to bring in a simple and functional accent piece. Large travertine tiles on the floor and wall create a unified design in this master bath.
Statement Tub
    Placing the chiseled-marble tub in front of a bay window creates an instant focal point in this bathroom. In order to install the 1,200-pound tub, the windows were removed and a steel support beam was added. The bay window sets the tub in the perfect place for natural light and outside views. The zebra-pattern rug adds to the African design inspiration.
Basin Sink 
Basin Sink
    The 10-foot trough sink in the master bath is made of engineered quartz and was designed to resemble the water basins found at safari camps. Above the vanity, a recessed medicine cabinet in a dark walnut finish falls in line with the streamlined look of the bathroom.
bathroom faucet  
Sleek Fixtures
    To add sleek style without detracting from the safari theme, single-lever brushed-nickel faucets are used in the master bath. Brushed-nickel finishes are easy to clean and resist smudges and water spots.
Tree-House Inspired Bath  
Tree-House Inspired Bath
    Playing up organic tones that complement the natural world outside was the inspiration behind this master bath makeover. The open and sophisticated master bathroom boasts beautiful natural views of dark Douglas fir trees growing right outside the window. The exposed beams used in the bathroom create an organic connection to the trees. Large windows over the tub maximize the beautiful views and can swing open easily to let in fresh breezes.
Flooded in Light  
Flooded in Light
    Bringing natural light into the bathroom was one of the key design changes in making over this master bath. Opaque glass panels now run the length of the room. These panels let light from the south-facing front of the house into the back of the house. The glass also reflects the natural light that enters from the windows over the tub, making the room feel large and open. A custom cross-checked quartersawn-maple vanity cabinet provides ample storage.
Sleek Vanity  
Sleek Vanity
    The bathroom makeover features an above-counter sink that rests upon creamy Thassos marble. The marble is tumbled, not polished, giving it a softer, more natural look that fits the theme of the master bath. Subtle quartz flecks in the Thassos marble capture the sunlight streaming through the windows, creating a shimmering effect.
Tub Deck  
Tub Deck
    The 6-foot-long white tub in this master bathroom sits 10 inches above the floor on a deck made of recycled wood. The deck adds to the natural and woodsy feel of this treetop-inspired bathroom. The deck also provides a nonslip surface for getting in and out of the tub and is a convenient place to put towels and other bath essentials.
Accent Lighting  
Accent Lighting
    With natural light serving as a major focal point in this bathroom makeover, finding the right light fixtures to complement the natural light was key. Above the vanity, these simple pendant lights with ribbed-glass shades sparkle in the sunlight and illuminate the bathroom with a soft glow in the evening.
White and aqua bathroom 
Beach Chic
    East Coast meets West Coast in this waterfront bathroom makeover. Blending the classic Cape Cod style and casual California feel resulted in this bright, beautiful, classic, and comfortable bathroom. A soft color scheme mixed with bright white cabinetry and vintage fixtures adds to the classic feel. The bathroom was gutted and replaced with freestanding pieces to make the space look larger. The wooden vanity is painted white and topped with Carrara marble. Twin sinks, ample counter space, and storage underneath make the piece both stylish and functional.
Tub with a View  
Tub with a View
    A deep soaking tub is located in an alcove at one end of the bathroom. Surrounded by natural light from a skylight and the two windows overlooking the beach, the tub is the focal point of the room. The alcove gives the tub its own space and helps create a relaxing atmosphere in this long, narrow bathroom.
Calming Colors  
Calming Colors
    The vintage style of the fixtures used in this beach-inspired bathroom gives it a classic, old-fashioned feel. The deep soaking tub features polished-nickel fixtures. A band of shimmering jewel-tone mosaic tiles adds a playful spot of color. It also defines the white subway tile on the bottom portion of the bathroom walls from the sea-green paint on the upper walls.
Hotel Luxury  
Hotel Luxury
    The light beach-inspired color scheme opens up this narrow bathroom. This makeover also includes some hotel-style luxuries, such as radiant heat in the floors, a private toilet compartment located next to the shower, and a heated towel rack that ensures quick-drying towels -- a must for humid beach locations.
Dressing Room  
Dressing Room
    A dressing area attached to the bathroom continues the same clean and soothing ocean color scheme from the main part of the bathroom, but black-walnut flooring visibly separates the area. Keeping the color palette the same allows the room to function as a whole, but changing the flooring gives the dressing area its own space within the bathroom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traditional Bathroom Ideas

Add Interest with Texture  

From beautiful tubs to furniture-style vanities, 
traditional bathrooms offer classical elegance.
Add Interest with Texture
    Texture adds exotic flavor to this stately master bathroom. The rich walnut-stained cabinets and granite countertop initiate a dignified, traditional look. Then, grass-cloth wallpaper, a carved wood mirror and vanity legs, and the hammered-nickel sink bowl lend interesting dimension for a unique twist on tradition.
Vintage Style for Today Vintage Style for Today
    Certain design elements convey a nostalgic look back while maintaining a fresh modern-day edge. Wide-plank beaded-board wainscoting finished with extra-wide molding captures timeless traditional style in this bathroom. A pedestal sink, oval freestanding tub, and retro-style fixtures compliment the vintage look with modern amenities.
Updated Traditional Design  
Updated Traditional Design
    This cheerful bathroom makes fresh use of traditional patterns and colors. Toile wallpaper enlivens the walls above crisp white subway tile. Bright yellow accent tiles embellished with a raised scroll lend further provincial influence to the room?s decorative scheme. Furniture-like fixtures -- a double-pedestal sink and cabinetry that looks like a freestanding hutch -- add classic traditional touches as well.
Ultimate Feminine Bathroom  
Ultimate Feminine Bathroom
    An arched alcove flattered with generous windows sets up a bubble bath haven in this bathroom bursting with classic femininity. Lush floral fabrics and sweet pink tile pour on the sugary touches. The claw-foot tub with matching vintage-style faucet rests on a mosaic tile floor with crystal chandeliers glowing overhead.
Furniture-Like Vanities  
Furniture-Like Vanities
    These custom-designed built-in vanities, with shapely legs that support the extended sinks, pay homage to freestanding furniture traditionally found in French bathrooms without sacrificing precious floor space. The tiered cabinetry features abundant storage and unique visual design with varying depths.
Plentiful Bathroom Storage  
Plentiful Bathroom Storage
    An expanse of built-in cabinetry adds much-desired storage space in this bathroom. The beautiful blend of inlaid mahogany and bird?s-eye maple woods lend dimensional interest that breaks up the mass of cabinets and drawers. White marble counters and gilded fixtures complimented by reproduction 19th-century damask-print wallpaper reflect the home?s Victorian roots.
Red with Tradition  
Red with Tradition
    Bold and bright yet rich and sophisticated, red is the perfect color to enliven a bathroom while complimenting its traditional character. True to tradition, this bathroom features classic molding and fixtures, dressed up with red walls and a few soft touches of fabric on an ottoman and area rug.
Simple Powder Room  
Simple Powder Room
    Warm chocolate brown balanced with cream wainscoting and crisp white fixtures make this powder room feel welcoming and spacious. A classic Roman shade, clean-line molding, and a pretty pedestal sink add decoration without overwhelming the small space.
Decorating Tips from Other Rooms  
Decorating Tips from Other Rooms
    Elements from other rooms of the house make this bathroom?s design more intriguing. A large framed mirror, like one that might enhance a formal dining room, stands in for a medicine cabinet behind the chest-of-drawers-inspired vanity. Plan ahead, asking your contractor to create openings through the glass for lighting and plumbing. The generous bay window is dressed with floor-to-ceiling draperies, adding a decorative backdrop to the tub, as they might in an eating nook.
Built-in Dressing Table  
Built-in Dressing Table
    When space allows, a dressing table area is a desirable feature in a traditional bathroom. Cabinetry, trimmed to match the rest of the bathroom, is used to create the private grooming space in this bath. Upper cabinets feature angled sides inset with mirrored doors, creating the look of a trifold mirror, with bonus medicine cabinet storage behind.
A Classic Wall Treatment  
A Classic Wall Treatment
    Wood paneling offers a timeless, traditional look. In this bathroom, rich mahogany with a matte furniture finish gives the classic design element a sophisticated modern appearance.
The Timeless Appeal of Marble  
The Timeless Appeal of Marble
    Gleaming white marble makes a stunning style statement. For this spacious master bathroom?s double vanity, the homeowners used the upscale stone not only for the countertop, but to fashion a decorative and practical shelf above. The finished look gives a vintage nod to a 1950s hotel.
Bathroom with Victorian Roots  
Bathroom with Victorian Roots
    Keeping with tradition was critical to the homeowners who added this master bathroom to their 1880s San Francisco Queen Anne. The key was combining Victorian design with modern functionality. Custom-designed console sinks offer more counter space with the airy appearance of pedestals. Marble floor tiles gain warmth from radiant flooring. And plentiful storage comes from a cabinet built to fit salvaged, 100-year-old beveled, leaded-glass doors.
Dressing Up a Functional Room  
Dressing Up a Functional Room
    While function is of primary importance in the bathroom, this master bath demonstrates that there is also a place for decoration. From the elegant wallpaper and draperies to the charming chandelier-style light fixture, decorative touches add a comfortable elegance to this bath. Even furniture -- such as this freestanding dressing table -- can fit in a functional bathroom.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Master Bath REdesign week.

This week, we'll be covering the topic of the Master Bath Re-Design. In the next few days, expect to see articles that I found in relation to master bath renovations. Useful tips, gorgeous samples and a bunch of ideas. Enjoy and pass it on to anyone who might be interested.

All About Cabinetry - Learn the basics about cabinet styles, shapes, and finishes.

Learn the basics about cabinet styles, shapes, finishes and box construction.

The Power of Cabinetry
No other single element in your kitchen has the transforming power of cabinetry. In style and color, cabinetry defines the look of a room and often influences the feel of the entire home. Selecting the right cabinets to suit your tastes can be daunting. This guide to cabinetry provides the information you need to select high-quality, beautiful cabinetry for your home.

Types of Cabinetry 
The first decision to make when selecting cabinetry is which type fits your needs and budget. There are three types of cabinets and they come at different price points.
An example of stock cabinetry. 
Stock Cabinetry -- available off the shelf at your local home improvement center. This is the most budget-friendly option, but sizes, styles, and colors are limited. Chinese made cabinetry offer the best possible prices for this type of cabinets. Mostly they are offered in white and a few colors in maple and some times cherry. However, keep in mind that adding too many options to these cabinets will quickly place you in the price point of Semi-Custom Cabinets. These cabinets are usually in stock and can be installed in a short period of time such as two to three days. With experienced installers, a few custom additions are possible, just remember, you will have to pay additional for that. Having a creative kitchen designer, will work in your favor and will allow you to better utilize available options.
An example of Semi-Custom Cabinetry

Semi-Custom Cabinetry -- built to order based on available sizes, styles, colors, and accessories. Most of the Semi-Custom cabinets are made here in the United States with a few brands being made in Canada. A variety of options is a plus, but you'll pay more for the choices and wait longer than you would for stock cabinetry. Priced about 30% higher than the stock cabinets and a four to six week lead time are very common. More choices of wood, finishes, colors and interior options are available.
An example of custom made cabinets

Custom Cabinetry -- starts from scratch to accommodate your vision and space. You'll get exactly what you want, at a premium price. And completion depends on your cabinetmaker's schedule which usually runs eight to twelve weeks. Custom made colors, custom made doors and many interior options are a given with custom cabinets. Priced about 50 to 60% higher then Semi-Custom cabinets, you will get exactly what you want at a premium price.

Cabinetry with a Face Frame
You have two choices in cabinetry construction. One is face-frame construction, the most traditional type of cabinetry. It has a solid-wood frame attached to the front of the cabinet box. Hinges attach the door to the frame and can be either exposed or hidden. Because the frame overlaps the door opening, drawers and pullout inserts must be smaller than the width of the cabinet.

Frameless Cabinetry
Frameless cabinetry is your other choice in cabinetry construction. It offers a more contemporary appearance and slightly more space in the cabinet. When the door of a frameless cabinet is open, you see the ends of the panels that make up the box. Door hinges attach to the inside of the cabinet and are not visible when the doors are closed.

Frame Styles: Full Overlay
There are three types of cabinetry frame styles. This style is called full overlay. Here, the doors cover the entire face frame -- or the entire box front on frameless cabinetry -- leaving only a sliver of space between doors and drawers. This creates a clean, modern look.

Frame Styles: Partial Overlay
With partial-overlay cabinets, the doors cover the face frame by half an inch, and the frame shows all the way around the door. This traditional style is the easiest to construct and is the most affordable option.

Frame Styles: Full Inset
Full-inset cabinets have drawers and doors that fit flush with the face frame. Because this technique requires patience and precision during construction, full inset is usually available only in custom cabinetry.

Door Shapes: Square
Cabinetry doors can dominate the look of an entire room. Consider which door shape, insert, and finish suit your space before placing a cabinetry order. This is a square-style door shape. It works well in a modern or traditional-style kitchen.

Door Shapes: Arch or Cathedral
A rounded cathedral design (shown here) or a soft arch at the top makes a cabinet door feel a little more traditional than a square design. This style works well in a cottage or country kitchen, and in kitchens with lots of detailed woodwork and molding.

Door Shapes: Slab
Slab cabinet doors are made of a single piece of wood. They have no panel in the middle like the other three styles. This kind can be used in traditional or contemporary kitchens but is most often found in more modern applications.

Door Inserts: Raised Panel
You can change the look of any shape of cabinetry by changing the panel insert. Raised panels, such as the cabinet doors in this kitchen, stand out from the door frame and offer a traditional look.

Door Inserts: Recessed Panel
A recessed panel insert in a cabinet door lends a clean-line look, while adding more dimensional interest than a straightforward slab cabinet door. Recessed panels are popular in contemporary kitchens.

Door Inserts: Decorative Molding
Decorative molding used on a cabinet door insert adds an ornate touch. Decorative molding is popular in traditional and old-world kitchens.

Door Inserts: Beaded Board
Beaded-board inserts give cabinet doors a casual look that works well in country and cottage-style kitchens.

Door Inserts: Glass
Cabinetry doors with glass fronts add an airy feel to the kitchen by breaking up the mass of wood panels. This style lets you add a decorative personal touch, too, by displaying dinnerware and collections inside.

Cabinetry Finishes: Natural
Whether you embrace wood's natural graining with a stain or opt for a coat of paint, cabinetry color options are plentiful, especially when you add glazes or distressing. Find the perfect mix to match the style of your home. In this kitchen, solid-wood cabinets showcase their natural color and graining with just a light, transparent finish for protection.

Cabinetry Finishes: Stain
Add warmth, color, and protection without hiding the grain of solid wood cabinets by using stain. Stains are available in light to very dark finishes.

Cabinetry Finishes: Paint
You can paint wood cabinets any color you like -- just make sure the paint is a high-quality enamel. If you fancy the modern, high-gloss look, try lacquered cabinetry.

Cabinetry Finishes: Glaze
Apply a glaze over painted or stained cabinetry to add dimension. The glaze will adhere in the nooks and crevices of the wood, providing contrast.

Cabinetry Finishes: Distressed
Give new cabinets an instant vintage charm with a distressed treatment that artificially ages and wears the wood.

Integrity Cabinets, our Semi-Custom cabinet manufacturer uses the following specifications for Box Construction

1.      Face Frames – ¾” x 1¾” stiles and rails, joined with wood screws and glue.
2.      End Panels – ½” plywood, paper laminated natural birch wood grain interior.  For finished ends you must order ¼” skins that we give at no charge.
3.      Tops and Bottoms – ½” plywood with paper laminated natural birch wood grain on both sides.
4.      Shelves (where applicable) ¾” plywood with paper laminated natural birch wood grain on both sides, front edge is PVC banded.  Base cabinet shelves are full depth of cabinet and adjustable.
5.      Backs – ½” plywood with paper laminated natural birch wood grain.
6.      Toe Space – ½” x 4½” plywood on base cabinets.
7.      Drawer Box – Full length, four-sided, ⅝” solid maple.  ¼” plywood bottom grooved into four sides.  Dovetail joinery on four sides.
8.      Drawer Guides – 75 pound capacity undermount full extension for dovetail drawers only.  Soft close standard.  Lifetime Warranty.
9.      Hinges – Concealed cup hinge, six-way adjustment.  Lifetime Warranty.
10.   All joints glued and stapled.
11.   3” with ¾” plywood runner front to back.