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The Upgrade: Top 8 Bathroom Remodeling Ideas and Design Tips

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas Design

There is a lot that goes on in the bathroom. And I’m talking design wise. Just for the floor alone you have so many options. Then comes the walls, the vanity, the shower area. So I’ve gone over the top bathroom remodeling ideas below to help you focus down on the important areas to upgrade and remodel – sort of like a checklist. The only thing I haven’t talked about below is the toilet – that’s just a matter of choosing a new one if you need it.

1. Adjusting the Layout and Size

If you are planning a major remodeling for your bathroom, this would be the time to create the ideal layout. Not all bathrooms have been designed to make the most of the space. Some bathrooms have the toilet and the sink in awkward places. You want to try and create a open pathway into and through bathroom, without any obstacles just like in picture (1). If you have extra space around the bathroom, this could mean you can expand the room.

2. Looking Like a Million Dollars

The whole vanity area can be upgraded during the renovations. You’ve got the option of a good looking high cost stone countertop or a more inexpensive tile one. When it comes to the sink – pedestal ones keep the bathroom feeling spacious, but they are more suited for traditional styled bathrooms, and you will also lose storage space underneath them. Built in cabinets with a sink is a modern way of going about it, and you get storage space. Go with floating cabinets, as the gap between the floor makes the bathroom feel more spacious.

The vanity is one of the key areas when it comes to lighting the bathroom. Having a well lit vanity makes grooming a lot easier. Bad lighting will cast shadows on the face, making it harder to see what you are doing. The ideal way of lighting up a mirror is to have one wall light on each side, and then a horizontal sconce attached to the wall right above the mirror. This will create even lighting over the face.

For ideas on how to design the vanity backsplash, have a look at my mood board blog post here: Vanity Design: Bathroom Backsplash Ideas.

3. Showering in a Rainforest

You’ve got all sorts of design options for a shower remodel: from going with the standard shower head to body sprays, multiple shower heads, or a rain shower head.

The way you tile the space will really impact how it looks and feels. For renovation ideas and pictures have a look at my mood board here: A Mood Board for Tile Shower Designs and Ideas.

Other remodeling ideas for the shower area include adding dedicated lighting (Bathroom Shower Lighting Ideas). While frameless glass dividers help make in the entire bathroom feel more spacious and open just like in images (2) and (3).

4. Fitting it All In

A great way to maximize the storage space in the bathroom is to have built ins. Not only do built ins make the whole bathroom look uniform, they can be built all the way up to the ceiling, or over the toilet. They can also be fitted around tricky sink plumbing.

Other creative storage ideas include using a double curtain rod – one for the shower curtain the other for your towels, or hang hooks on the back of the bathroom door. For more storage ideas have a look at my mood board post here: Smart and Decorative Bathroom Storage Ideas.

5. A Shining Light

It doesn’t matter what sort of great upgrades you do or how the before and after looks,  none of your hard work remodeling the bathroom will look good if you don’t have great lighting in the room.

Above I talked about the two key areas to light up – the vanity and inside the shower. Other than that, the only other lighting you’ll really need is general bathroom lighting that lights up the whole space brightly. Modern bathrooms will have an array of recessed lights. These are lights that are tucked into the ceiling, creating a minimalist and sleek design in the room.

You can go a step further and add in some accent lighting to create a more relaxing premium space. These accent lights can be lights that highlight a stone wall or a vase of plants, or it could be lights that create a soft glow for when you are taking a bath.

Don’t forget about the windows. Would you like to have a lot of natural lighting coming in during the day? Are your windows big enough, or do want to put in bigger ones? I have a mood board of ideas on how you can add privacy to your windows (stained glass, shutters, etc.): Light and Privacy: Ideas for Bathroom Window Treatments.

6. Tiles Galore

Probably the biggest design element that needs to be figured out is how are you going to do the walls and floors. The classic and go to choice for a bathroom upgrade is going to be tile.

Large tiles feel more luxurious and modern, but are not cheap. They require less grout, creating a more minimalist design in the bathroom. Have a look at a lot of great bathroom photos to figure out and estimate how much of the bathroom you want tiled, how simple do you want it or do you want to mix up the designs of the tile, and if you want to use insets.

For more ideas on different flooring options, have a look at my post here: Bathroom Flooring Ideas Guide: Designs and Material Options.

And don’t forget you’ve also got paint and wainscoting design options when it comes to the walls: Bathroom Color Ideas: Palette and Paint Schemes.

7. Warm Happy Feet

Upgraded bathrooms will usually have tile flooring. The only down side to this is that it will be cold under your feet in the winter. So for a house in a cold climate, underfloor radiant heating would be another great upgrade for a bathroom remodel.

8. Other Luxuries

Other luxurious bathroom remodeling ideas include: fitting a skylight to bring in a lot of natural light during the day, or how about adding a towel heater.

Design Tips: Making a Bathroom Feel Larger

Here are some quick tips on making a bathroom space feel a lot larger:

  • Use light colored materials (such as white/off white/tan/light grey paint colors, floor tiles, cabinet colors) – just like in picture (4)
  • Glossy surfaces, such as using a glossy finish on your cabinets, help reflect light around the bathroom making a tiny space feel larger.
  • Tile insets can be used to create horizontal lines in the bathroom. This makes the bathroom feel wider than it is, as it draws your eyes around the space. The same can be done vertically to make the room feel taller.
  • Having a large mirror, or a few mirrors in the bathroom, adds depth to the space and reflects light.
  • In the shower section above, I talked about using glass dividers. This prevents creating visual barriers in the bathroom.
  • Make sure you light up the whole space with enough ceiling lights, to keep the space feeling bright and spacious.

If you want more bathroom remodel ideas for a small bathroom, have a look at my mood board here: Small Bathroom Ideas and Designs.

What is it Going to Cost?

The average bathroom remodel budget will be around: $2,000 – $6,000 for services and materials much lower if you go DIY. It gets more expensive if you: are expanding the space, changing the layout as you’ll need to redo the plumbing, plan on redoing windows, want to move the lights, or are planning on using high end materials. The more tiling you want to do, the more expensive it gets because it takes a lot of time to lay down each tile, and you want it done by contractors who will do it with care since it is a major design element in the room (whether it is for the walls or the floor). So the costs of a bathroom renovation can go up towards $20,000 and above for these extra upgrades.

image credits: 1/2/3/4

More bathroom posts:

July 31, 2014 in Bathroom, Construction

Creative Magazine Storage Ideas: From Leather Rack Holders to Using Old Shutters

Creative Magazine Storage Ideas

From a magazine rack made out of leather straps, to using plexiglass to create a floating magazine holder. Any one of the creative magazine storage ideas below will not just store away your magazines, but will add a unique decor element in a room.

Storage Decor Combo

Wicker and wire baskets, or galvanised buckets and bins are some ideas for decorative magazine storage. All of these storage containers can be left out in the open as they will also act as decor pieces

Wooden crates and storage boxes, either quite minimalist in design like the one in picture (1) or a more rustic one (2), are great looking magazine storage pieces.

Going DIY

Leather straps, seen in picture (3), can be used to create an elegant magazine holder. Smaller leather straps (recycle an old belt), along with dowels can be combined to create a long magazine rack (4). This long railing can also be used to hang up blankets in the living room, clothes in the bedroom, or towels in the bathroom.

A simple leaning wall shelf can be built to store a small magazine collection along with a few decor items. For an example and a tutorial on how to build one have a look at The Mill page.

If you only want to have a few magazines stored and hung up on display, then have a look at the DIY magazine hangers idea in picture (5). It’s quite a simple DIY which you can find the instructions to here.

Over at Love Aesthetics, you can see how two sheets of clear plexiglass, a Stanley knife, and a handsaw were used to create the very minimalist and elegant plastic book / magazine display holder seen in picture (6).

Hunting and Reclaiming

Here are two elegant storage solutions that use reclaimed materials.

An old rustic wooden ladder can lean against the wall and be used as a hanging magazine rack (7). You can also use the ladder to hang up blankets, and clothes (Ideas for Decorating With Ladders). For a modern looking ladder (a DIY using dowels and black paint), visit my Mill page.

Using old window shutters is one creative storage idea. The shutters can be wall mounted, or just sit on the floor and lean against a wall. If you get a tall shutter, like the one in picture (8), you’ll have a lot of slots to file and store away magazines.

image credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

More storage and decor mood board posts:

July 30, 2014 in Storage

DIY Rustic Decor Project Ideas: From Using Logs to Staghorn Ferns

DIY Rustic Decor Ideas

Here is a collection of simple and elegant DIY rustic decor ideas.

Simple Ideas

Log Sidetable DIY

Strip the bark off a log, and sand it down to a super smooth finish for a rustic log side table. That is what Ben did over at HomeMade Modern to create the log table seen in picture (1). For other ideas on what you can do with large and small log pieces (from creating coffee tables, vases, to candle holders and book ends) have a look at my mood board post here: Home Decor Ideas: Using Large and Small Logs.

Wooden Toothbrush Holder

Take a block of wood and drill holes in it to create a rustic DIY tooth brush holder. The one in picture (2) can be bought on Anthropologie here.

Leather Closet Handles

Another simple, but very elegant, rustic DIY decor idea is to upgrade your closets, cabinets, and draws with some leather pulls. See how The Brick House made the ones seen in picture (3) here.


Rustic Ladder

Decorating with Ladders: Ladders can be used all around the house. They can be used to hang up towels in the bathroom, hang up magazines and blankets in the living room, hang up clothes in the bedroom, or just to display some flowers (4). You can see a mood board of ideas here (Ideas for Decorating With Ladders).

See if you can find, or reclaim an old wooden ladder, and use it as a hanger. In the ladder mood board post you can see how A Merry Mishap created her own elegant and modern DIY ladder. To create a more rustic vibe have use raw wooden poles. Just like the poles seen in the coat hanger in the mood board.

Rustic Room Divider

Reusing Old Windows: Reclaimed windows can be turned into a number of home decor items – from DIY rustic furniture pieces such as coffee tables and cabinets, to photo frames, and even room dividers (5). For more pictures and ideas of what reclaimed windows can be used for, have a look at my mood board of ideas here: Home Decor Ideas: Using Reclaimed Old Windows.

Getting Fancy

Rustic Coat Hanger DIY

I quite like this next DIY project. It is just the right amount of rustic. Annaleena over at Emmas DesignBlogg created a rustic DIY clothes hanger by simply screwing together some great looking wooden poles, as seen in picture (6). The leather that covers up the screws is a nice touch, along with the metal hooks.

DIY Wall Fern

If you want to add some greenery in a room, then look to The Fresh Exchange‘s tutorial on how to hang Staghorn ferns on the wall using split logs (7).

Taking it Further – The Walls

There are a few ways to create a rustic look by modifying your walls. First up are wooden walls. You can find a bunch of examples and mood boards here:

I quite like the idea of storing your fire wood pieces out in the open in a creative way. In the wooden walls post, mentioned above, you can see a white living room that has a recessed wall where the fire wood can be stacked up. This creates a unique design feature in the room.

Another DIY rustic wall design is to have exposed brick. You don’t need to have brick walls to get the look. You can get brick slices and attach them to your existing walls. For some design ideas, have a look at my mood board here: (Industrial and Rustic Charm: Home Brick Wall Designs).

More rustic mood board posts:

July 29, 2014 in Design Styles, DIY

The Walk in Closet of the Kitchen: Pantry Storage Ideas

Kitchen Pantry Storage Ideas

Having a well laid out pantry can be a luxury in a kitchen, much like a walk in closet in a bedroom. No matter if you have a big or small pantry, there is a lot that you can do to make the best, and get the most storage out of it. Here are some creative kitchen pantry storage ideas to help transform whatever sized space you have.

A Quick Look and Keeping Stock

For a lot of food items, it would be a good idea to store them in glass or see through plastic storage bins and containers. This way you can quickly see what is inside each one, but also how much is left. The same can be done with vegetable draws, just like the ones in picture (2).

Making it Look Good

With so much being stored in a kitchen pantry and it being used daily, you’ll want to keep it tidy and uncluttered. One way of doing this is to use matching containers. You can find containers that have different colored lids to help stay organized. Or use chalk board paint or printable labels to help organize the containers.

Here are some ideas for good looking storage containers: wicker baskets (3), wire baskets, glass jars, enamel containers, and porcelain containers. For more ideas have a look here: Vintage Kitchen Storage Ideas: From Milk Baskets to Wicker Baskets.

More Than Food Storage

Apart from storing food items in the pantry, you can also store things like:

  • Cookbooks
  • Recycled plastic bags
  • Serving trays
  • Occasionally used large appliances like a batter mixer
  • Have a wine glass and bottle rack
  • Extra roles of paper towels and trash bags

Or how about setting up your own mini kitchen garden in the pantry

A command center can also be set up in the pantry. This can be made up of hanging file organziers, a chalk board, and a place to store shopping lists and coupons. Have a look at this Ideas for Setting up a Family Command Center in the Kitchen mood board for more ideas.

Making Good Use of the Space

If you have available wall space inside of your pantry, then a peg board can be hung up. Hang things up with hooks, or put a plank of wood over two pegs to create a shelf.

Other smart pantry storage solutions for your walls include fitting towel bars that can store rolls of paper towels, trash bags, aluminium foil or saran wrap for easy access.

Check out the cheap DIY lazy Susan modification to the corners of the pantry in picture (4). This lets you have easy access to the items stored at the back of the shelf.

If you look at my kitchen storage mood board you’ll see how simple tension rods have been added to shelves. This makes it easy to store flat items like trays on their sides, saving a ton of space.

The back of the pantry door, and any cabinet doors can have storage space added to them. You can get over the door organizers that allow you to hang items up. Simple shelves, hooks, racks and railings can also be fitted to the back of the doors.

To take advantage of the height in the kitchen pantry, see if you can add a good looking wooden ladder or step ladder.

Built in or Free Standing

When it comes to putting shelves in a pantry room there are two ways to go about it. 1) Built in shelves or a storage system make the most of the space, as they are custom built to the layout. They can be built all the way up to the ceiling, or even over the doorway. And they create a uniformed look in the space. 2) Free standing storage shelves are inexpensive and quick to set up, but usually won’t make the most of the space.

You don’t even need much space to create a pantry. Check out the very shallow pantry wall in picture (5), with the amazing sliding barn door.

Lighting: A Better View

Another way to make the most of a pantry storage space is to have it well lit. Having a ceiling light is one option – but sometimes this light won’t reach individual shelves. A simple and cheap way to light up the shelves is to buy battery powered puck lights – either motion sensor ones or tap pucks. They simply stick to the underside of the shelves.

Wireless Battery Puck Lights

Going on a Road Trip

If you have space, a small portable rolling storage unit – just like the one in picture (6), would be a great addition. It can be used to store items that are often used to cook with. The cart can be rolled out when cooking, and stored away when it’s not in use.

Finding A Shortcut

If you are lucky enough to have a pantry that shares a wall with your garage, you can have a little door (locked from both sides) connecting the two. This way you don’t have to carry your groceries all the way through the house.

image credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6

July 24, 2014 in Kitchen, Storage

Creative Kitchen Spice Storage Ideas and Solutions

Kitchen Spice Storage Ideas Solutions

When it comes to storing spices, see if you can keep them off of the kitchen counters. Counters can easily get cluttered, so storing your herb and spices on a wall, or in a draw will help keep the kitchen clutter free. The creative spice storage ideas I talk about below will help to avoid cluttering up the kitchen.

Making it Look Good

Using matching containers, like glass jars or porcelain ones like the set in picture (1) (which is available here from Pottery Barn), will create a good looking and clutter free kitchen – since it creates a uniformed look. Using glass containers is a good idea because you can easily see what is inside and how much is left.

Other good looking storage ideas include using spice jars with hooks that can hang from a wall (2), the back of cabinet doors, or in the pantry. Test tubes are another decorative way of storing spices, just like the ones in picture (3) which can be bought from ModCloth.

Space Saving Ideas

How about having a built in spice shelf draw. Putting the draw at head height like the one in picture (4) saves you from bending down when looking for spices.

There are spice draw racks that tilt the spice bottles up to save space and provide easy viewing. Other spice storage solutions for drawers include using tension rods to divide up the draw. Or you can use matching spice storage containers like the ones seen in picture (5) to create a well organized and easy to view spice draw.

The back of cabinet doors can have over the door organziers, spice racks, railings or brackets fitted to them for space saving storage. Spice door and draw racks are available from Amazon: Spice Draw Rack 13   |   Spice Door Rack 9

Some other space saving ideas include:

  • Using a mini lazy Susan to store your spices
  • There are magnetic spice containers that will stick to a magnetic wall panel (6), which can be stuck to a wall or be used as under cabinet spice storage
  • I like the printers tray with the tins in picture (7) the best

For creative ideas on pantry storage and organisation, have a look at my post here: The Walk in Closet of the Kitchen: Pantry Storage Ideas.

image credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Have a look at these mood boards for more kitchen storage ideas:

July 24, 2014 in Kitchen, Storage

Vintage Dining Room Design Ideas

Vintage Dining Room Design Ideas

The table, chairs, and lighting. Those 3 things are really all you need to create a vintage dining room. So let’s focus on these design areas the most.

The Seating: Vintage Dining Room Chairs

Here are some design ideas for vintage dining chairs:

  • Leather Chesterfield banquette booth seen in picture (1)
  • Reclaimed, repainted wooden chairs like the ones in picture (2)
  • Upholstered tufted bench (3)
  • Industrial metal dining chairs (4)
  • Fold up metal chairs, repainted (5)
  • Leather chairs (6) (in natural brown, or deep blue or green)
  • A wooden bench
  • French iron cafe chairs (7)

Style Ideas: Vintage Dining Room Tables

When it comes to finding a vintage dining table, some design ideas include:

  • An old wooden dining room table
  • Long family style barn table
  • Carved (4) and/or tapered wooden legs. The round dining table in picture (8) is available from Urban Outfitters here.
  • If you can’t get your hands on a vintage dining table, then an alternative would be to use a vintage style table cloth just like in picture (2) (the table cloth can be lace, floral or antique patterned, or a pastel shade). You could also use a doily table runner to add some style to your furniture.

Setting the Mood: The Lighting

Pendant lights hanging over the dining table would be the best way to light up and style the dining room. Use fixtures that are styled after barn lights – these are metal enamel lights like the ones in picture (1). You can find out where to buy these kind of lights on my Deli page.

Another lighting option is to use a mini chandelier, decorated with a ceiling rose medallion (3 Unique Vintage Ceiling Design Ideas). For more vintage lighting pictures and ideas have a look at my mood board post here: Style Guide: Vintage Lighting Ideas.

Extra Vintage Styling

Those would be the 3 main areas I would focus on styling first – the table, chairs and lighting. If you get those parts right and well styled you don’t really need to do anything else. But if you want more ideas here are some that will work well:

image credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

For more vintage mood boards, have a look at my Vintage Collection Page

July 23, 2014 in Design Styles