2011/10/25

Make a Statement in Your Bath with Stylish Accessories


Updating the Look of Your Bath is Quick & Simple

Avocado green and burnt orange are two colors you should see in the produce aisle -- not in your bathroom. If you take a step back to the 1970s every time you take a step into your bathroom, don't worry.

One of the quickest -- and most simple -- ways to update your bathroom's style is by replacing the accessories. For less than $75, an entire set of new accessories can be purchased -- including towel bars, paper holders, robe hooks and towel rings. And accessories can be installed in less than two hours -- just in time for a spring makeover. Choices Abound. Until recently, chrome or polished brass were the only finish choices in the bath accessory marketplace. Fortunately, the industry has changed dramatically in the last decade, and manufacturers now offer dozens of finish and style options in bath accessories

"The bath accessory marketplace has really come to life in the last few years," said Mike Bauer, Director of Marketing for Creative Specialties International (CSI), a leading designer and manufacturer in the bath accessory marketplace.

"Consumers today have more choices than ever before. From unique styles in oil-rubbed bronze to contemporary designs in brushed chrome and even accessories made in dramatic wrought iron finishes, homeowners have a wide variety of new and innovative design options for the bath."

With all of the new options, Americans still hold true to a traditional finish. According to a survey by CSI and Rooms of America, a consumer research organization, chrome is still the most popular bath accessory finish, but consumers' second choice, brushed nickel, is on the rise. In addition, other finishes, such as oil-rubbed bronze and wrought iron, are also increasing in popularity with consumers. In fact, non-chrome finishes now represent almost half of bath accessory sales.



Once you have selected the specific finish for your accessories, the next step is determining the style and size you prefer. Should you choose an 18-inch towel bar or a 24-inch towel bar? Towel ring, double towel bar or single towel bar, or all three? Mounted paper holder or a free-standing style? How much is too much? And how do you ensure that your bathroom doesn't look cluttered?

According to CSI, you should begin by determining your style preference. Results from the aforementioned survey found that consumers typically decorate in three primary styles: country, casual/contemporary and traditional.

In terms of specific style preferences, 38 percent of the population decorates in a casual style, often referred to as contemporary. Following closely behind, 35 percent of consumers choose a traditional style of decorating. Lastly, 27 percent of Americans decorate in a country theme, which includes secondary themes such as Shaker, Country French and Mission.

"Once you have determined your style, you should then take accurate measurements of your bath," explained Bauer. "The size of your bath will help you determine the number and type of accessories you will need.

For instance, a master bath with double-bowl sinks will require a number of accessories compared to a small guest bath." He continued, "Glass shelves, soap dishes and mounted toothbrush and cup holders can create order and keep counters clear. And well-positioned towel bars not only provide storage close at hand, but also offer a design element to hang colorful, coordinating towels."

CSI offers the following tips for placing the most common bathroom accessories:
Towel Rings Most often used in guest baths, towel rings are typically placed alongside the sink. Keep in mind that many of the new towel rings on the market feature stylish designs, making them a beautiful focal point in a small bath. Be sure to hang the towel ring at a comfort level for those typically using the bath, including children or seniors. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches below a towel ring so a hand towel can hang freely. Towel Bars Standard towel bar lengths are 18 and 24 inches. Hang the bar at a comfortable height of 48 inches above the floor, making sure to leave enough space below the bars for towels to hang freely. If the towel bar is hung in a children's bath, hang the bar at a height of 36 inches. In either case, be sure to consider the location of electrical switches and outlets when hanging your towel bars.
To add a stylish element to the bath, double towel bars are an ideal accessory. In addition, double towel bars are perfect for a family bath, as a number of towels can be hung on the accessory.
Paper Holders Today's bath accessory collections include a variety of paper holder options, including traditional wall-mounted, spring-loaded styles; pivoting paper holders and free-standing paper holders. Determining the style for your bath is a matter of taste and price. "For example, a free-standing paper holder is ideal in a bath where you don't want to drill into tile or cabinetry," explained Bauer. CSI recently innovated the paper holder category by introducing a unique pivoting paper holder -- a spring-free product that features a pivoting arm and an easy-load format. CSI introduced this accessory in a number of its new spring collections, including its Stockton line, which features elegant, detailed lines and decorative finials -- ideal for a traditionally styled bath.

Tooth Brush Holders/Cup Holders/Soap Dish vs. Shelves.
To make sure your bath looks organized and clutter-free, use your best judgment in determining the proper number or accessories for your bath. A general rule is two-to-three counter accessories, such as a tooth brush holder, cup holder and soap dish. If your bath is small, or features a pedestal sink, you should choose mounted styles, or perhaps a glass shelf. Shelves can be a handy, space-efficient alternative to cabinets and are also a good place to display decorative items, such as votive candles or potpourri.

Easy as 1-2-3 You've picked the finish, style and number of accessories to match your bathroom d├ęcor.

Now it's time for installation -- which is an easier task than most believe. To ensure an accessory is mounted in the proper location, some manufacturers, such as Creative Specialties International, offer an installation template with each product. The template can be hung and taped to the wall, giving the consumer the exact location of where the accessory should be mounted. "Thanks to the new templates and mounting hardware, the installation process has been streamlined dramatically," explained Bauer. "That's why you can change the look of your bathroom in less than a few hours. It's the perfect project for a springtime rainy afternoon." Once the template has been hung, the second step is to make sure the template is level and the accessories are in a desirable position. Lastly, position the mounting bracket over the paper template. After it is in position, screw the self-tapping dry wall screws (which are included with the accessories) directly into the dry wall. After the mounting brackets are in place, the accessories can be positioned over the brackets and tightened with a simple set screw.

Double Bathroom Sink Design


The basics of your double bathroom sinks consists of the countertop, fixtures, sinks, cabinet, and miscellaneous other parts like knobs and drawer handles.

Double sinks also come in different shapes and styles. Modern double sinks have sleek designs and are usually made of stainless steel, porcelain, glass, or dark wood. Traditional or classic sinks often use porcelain or wood. You can also buy two separate sinks that can serve as a double sink or a large single sink that can be used by two people at the same time. These sinks come in many styles such as pedestal sinks, cabinet sinks, under mount sinks, and
vessel sinks. Cabinet style has storage unit under the sink which you can use to keep your bathroom essentials such as towels, bottles of shampoo, boxes of soap, and other toiletries.

The countertop is another important consideration when choosing double bathroom sinks. If you prefer to have your toothbrush, facial soap, makeup, and other whatnots within easy reach, you should consider buying a double sink with a wide countertop. Pedestal sinks usually need a separate storage unit for these toiletries because they do not have enough room for all your bathroom needs.

2011/05/24

Powder Room Wallpaper


How to add texture and pattern without making a bathroom look too busy.

Q. I will be putting up black and white toile wallpaper in our powder room. I am thinking about putting up anaglyptic wallpaper on the ceiling and want to know two things: How do I handle the small exhaust fan located on the ceiling, and what colour should I paint the paper on the ceiling? I am thinking about either black, white, or gold. The fixtures in the bathroom are a brushed brass finish.

— Christine

A. Because the toile is already a busy pattern, think about leaving the anaglypta-papered ceiling white. The texture will be enough for interest, and mixing textures and patterns is very reminiscent of a vintage look. Stick with a more monochromatic colour scheme to unify the space and make it look richer. A black-painted vanity and framed mirror would be very smart and stylish, and in keeping with the vintage feel, install brushed brass sconces on either side of the mirror. For a twist on traditional, outfit the sconces with simple, square frosted shades. An antique-looking fan and duct cover plates can be found at many home centres. Replace your existing white exhaust fan cover with a brushed brass or white cover in a pretty pattern.

Updating Bathroom Storage


How to transform old bathroom closets.

Q. Our 35-year-old home has a bathroom with closets next to the toilet for storage. How can I update this look and create some fashion for the room? Should I take out the doors or do something totally different?

— Karen D.

A. Updating bathroom storage can be an instant room makeover. You are lucky that you have that closet in your space, as most of us are always seeking extra storage.

As a first step, remove the doors and replace or paint the existing shelving in the closet. Keep the shelves tidy, and organize and display your towels in piles or rolled in bunches. Wicker baskets provide excellent and fashionable “drawers” that can be placed on the shelves or even on the floor to hold bathroom necessities, and can be found at many retail shops like Ikea.

Depending on your own style, you could also keep your closet closed off with a door, but replace the existing door with a door that suits your bathroom style. Mirrored, paneled and paned glass are all possibilities. However, if your bathroom is small, you might want exposed shelving, which would provide easy access and save door swing space in the room.

DIY Bathroom Vanity




Turn an old dresser into a one-of-a-kind bathroom vanity.

There are two types of basins (sinks): bathroom basins, which fit 1-1/4” drains; and bar basins, which fit 1-1/2” drains. Most bathroom faucets incorporate a 1-1/4” pop-up drain assembly. Depending on the sink you choose, you may have to purchase a separate drain assembly. Be sure your sink and faucet set are compatible.

When looking for a wooden cabinet or dresser to convert into a vanity, pay close attention to the dimensions of the cabinet. Ideally, purchase your sink first so that you can choose a cabinet with the right dimensions – something that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the sink, leaving space at the back of the cabinet to fit a faucet set as well as space at the front of the cabinet so that the sink doesn’t run up to the front edge. The cabinet should also be approximately 32” high – standard vanity height.

If you’re converting a cabinet with shelves or a dresser, you’ll probably have to cut through the back and bottom of the shelves or drawers to accommodate plumbing parts and pipe. This will make the drawers somewhat unstable, so you may need to fix the top drawer permanently in place by screwing it to the frame of the cabinet from beneath, filling the screw holes and touching them up with paint or stain. If you really want to use the drawers that have parts cut out of them, consider lining them with plastic baskets so smaller items do not fall out the back or bottom.

Materials and Tools
•Cardboard
•Sink
•Pencil and ruler
•Sharp utility knife
•Masking tape
•Electric drill with 1” drill bit
•Jigsaw
•Faucet set
•Wrench
•Paintbrush, or roller and tray
•Varathane
•Water supply lines
•Drain assembly
•Chrome P trap (may be supplied with the sink)
•2-1/2” hole saw*
Step 1: Make sink hole template
Many sinks come with templates to help guide you in cutting the hole in the vanity top. If your sink does not come with a template, make one yourself from cardboard. Set the sink upside down on a piece of cardboard and trace around the lip of the sink onto the cardboard with a pencil. (See Photo 2) This will be the template for cutting the sink hole in the top of the cabinet.

Step 2: Cut sink hole
With masking tape, securely tape the cardboard template to the top of the cabinet in the spot where you’d like the sink to be situated. With a 1” drill bit, drill a hole into the cabinet, just inside the cardboard template. This hole will enable you to get the jigsaw started. With a jigsaw, cut the sink hole, following the hole in the cardboard template as you go.
Step 3: Drill faucet holes
To determine the faucet placement, drop the sink into the cut sink hole – you can gauge by eye the best location for the faucet. Remove the sink. Centre the faucet set on the cabinet just behind where the sink will sit. Mark the spot with masking tape. With a pencil, mark the tape with the location of the faucet spout and the 4” centre-to-centre tap measurement (i.e. 2” to either side of the faucet spout). Drill the holes for the faucets at those points 4” apart using a 1” drill bit.

Step 4: Varathane vanity top
With a paintbrush, or roller and tray, apply several protective coats of clear Varathane to the top of the vanity. Be sure to Varathane the cut edge of the sink hole as well; this will seal the wood and protect it from water seepage and wetness. Allow Varathane to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 5: Cut holes in cabinet back
To determine the position of the drain pipe and water supply shut-offs on the back of the cabinet, measure their locations on the wall and transfer these locations to the back of the cabinet. Using a 2-1/2” hole saw, cut holes in the back of the cabinet to accommodate the drain pipe and the water supply shut-offs. (The holes must be big enough to clear the handles of the shut-offs.) Install cabinet against wall.


Step 6: Attach faucet
Turn off the water supply shut-offs. Drop in the faucet set and tighten it into place from underneath. The faucet set will come with all the necessary parts (i.e. washers, rubber rings, etc; see our Materials picture for assembly parts). With faucet set firmly in place, attach the water supply lines. Connect these to the water supply shut-offs coming out of the wall, and tighten. (See Photo 6)




Step 7: Install drain assembly and sink

Depending on the sink you use, the drain assembly parts will be 1-1/4” or 1-1/2”. We used a bar sink, which required a 1-1/2” drain assembly. (Bathroom sinks will need a 1-1/4” pop-up assembly, which should come with a bathroom faucet set.) Set the drain into the sink, attach the rubber washer and nut onto the drain beneath the sink, and tighten. Screw on the tail piece. Drop the sink into the sink hole. Our sink had clips to hold it into place.


Step 8: Attach P trap

Attach the P trap onto the tail piece and to the trap adaptor coming out of the wall. (See Photo 8) The drain assembly will determine the size of the P trap (i.e. either 1-1/2” or 1-1/4”). Turn on the water supply shut-offs.



Step 9: Modify dresser drawers
Measure and mark on the drawers from the back of the cabinet to the front point of the P trap. As well, mark the locations and the widths of the water shut-offs; the drawer will need to clear these too. With a jigsaw, cut out the back and bottom of the drawers according to these measurements so that the drawers can now adequately clear all plumbing parts, water shut-offs and adaptor. (See Photo 9) Slide the drawers back into place. (See Photo 10).

2011/05/22

8 Creative Tips for Showroom Displays

As manufacturers outdid each other's booths to market new wares, the floor of the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas was a study in how to position products to sell based on the latest design trends and product technology.

"Showrooms need to distinguish themselves because so many people can go online and buy these things," said Mike Reffner, wholesale group product manager for Moen.

Reffner and representatives of other kitchen and bath product manufacturers offered these tips to make a trip to the showroom worthwhile.


•Mix up materials. Blend elements in kitchen displays: use steel, wood, tile, and stone together to highlight the popular trend homeowners and pros are looking for. For example, the simple steel cabinet door that jazzed up the Grothouse Lumber wood countertop display at KBIS was an easy and inexpensive way to acknowledge the style, Denise Grothouse said. Meanwhile, Daltile showed off tiny tiles with bits of metal and surrounded by ceramic mosaics and it paired glass pieces with stone.


•Install mirrors to grab attention. Pair a vanity with a matching mirror, Native Trail's Naomi Neilson Howard recommends. Not only does the setting offer a complete, easy-to-envision suite but it peaks customers' interest from anywhere in the showroom. "Some people don't have space to include a mirror but it really makes a difference," she said.



•Flow water to sell faucets. "People like to touch running water," Reffner said, so install a quiet recirculating pump beneath a faucet display to run water at no loss. Attendees could turn on a shower at the Moen booth and feel the flow the company's brochure describes, and they could try the tap-on, tap-off technology of Delta's Touch2O fixture.


•Include wood for warmth. Add a touch of wood to the display because “it softens and warms the room, specifically the kitchen,” Grothouse said.


•Create modern flare with oversized elements. Enkeboll's extra-wide and metal-painted products in its KBIS booth made the firm's traditional trim look ultra-modern. The vendor displayed its new metallic-glazed trim line as anything but trim, including a tub base, a picture frame, and a vase holder. “It's our way of showing designers you can use molding, balusters, columns, in more ways,” spokeswoman Nancy Joseph said.


•Illustrate multiple looks. Most pros and homeowners need help visualizing the finished look, so show complete options, details, and varieties of color and texture in one display. “It's important to see all the different ways they can put it together in the house,” Kohler's Vicki Hafenstein said of the firm's new 12-piece Tresham bathroom collection, arranged in a variety of setups to show off its versatility. Or do like Glastender, which stocked its stainless-steel residential bars with ice and beverages. When space is limited, compile a photo book of room scenes from your recent projects to show what the showroom cannot. “If you can help them visualize, the dealer will have a better chance of making the sale,” said Daltile's Lori Kirk-Rolley.


•Save space by pairing products. Brent Spann of Eldorado Stone, which introduced nine new lightweight stone fireplace surrounds at the show, offered one design suggestion: set fireplaces back-to-back to save showroom space.


•Take advantage of multimedia props. The story of how artisans hand hammer Premier Copper Products' sinks from blocks of copper was one of the biggest selling points at the manufacturer's KBIS booth, Melissa Riche said. She suggested mounting a TV above products that flash a slideshow of the entire product line or a demonstration of how the products work or are installed to keep customers' engaged in the showroom.

2011/01/24

Bath Towel Bars: Stylish Bathroom Accessories For Your Home

When it comes to bathroom accessories, bath towel bars should definitely be on the list. They are quite handy to use since they can carry various weights easily. Not only that, but they have good artistic value that is why they are often used in bathrooms everywhere. You don't have to worry about the quality of these bathroom towel bars since they are made from only the best materials available for your safety as well.

There are lots of places where you can get bath towel racks or bars. You can find them in your local furniture shop or hardware store. More designs are available in online stores as well so if you are not satisfied with what you see in stores near you, the best option is the Internet.

The bath towel bars that you can find in online stores are made from various materials such as brass, steel and metal for durability and strength. You should consider getting them made from these since they can last for long periods of time.

One advantage of using towel racks or bars made from these materials is that they are quite beautiful to look at. They can blend well with any type of decoration you have in your bathroom without spoiling the overall effect.

Most of them are mounted on the walls near the shower stalls for easy access. You will notice that their sizes can vary to better accommodate your needs. You can choose double bars if you prefer and some of them can be moved too like the swivel bars.

The prices for these towel accessories usually vary so if you are getting those that are made from stronger materials, you will be paying more. But don't worry since the prices are still within your budget and when you shop online, you will be able to get some really good discounts as well.

Modernizing your bathroom is easy with bath towel bars. You will definitely enjoy the look of your bathroom once you have finished installing them on your walls. Handy, easy to install and quite beautiful to look at, you will never go wrong in choosing these accessories for your bathroom.

Don't worry about not finding the perfect towel racks for your bathroom since there are lots of places to turn to. Get the right kind of look you have always wanted for your bathroom with this fine pieces of accessories today at a price that you can afford.

Most local home improvement stores do not have a large selection of bath towel bars. They only have the basic styles and types and certainly not the selection you will find on the Internet. And the good thing, most of the time not only can you get a lot better selection online but you can get them at discount prices!

Mauve Bathroom Accessories

Mauve is a color that compliments everyone, and you can locate these lovely accessories for your bathroom with just a little time and effort. Mauve bathroom accessories can update your old, tired bathroom with a brand new look; but there are some tips you want to keep in mind as you begin your search. They can be sleek and sophisticated for those who prefer a modern look, and are easy to find in styles that fit any budget. Mauve is also a color that lends itself well to a country or cottage look. A bathroom can have an exotic Asian flair with touch of mauve. You can easily find the ones that suit any style, the difficult part will be narrowing it down to a single look!

Take a long look at your bathroom and make note of the colors and styles that are already present. Many modern bathrooms sport fixtures, like tubs and toilets, that are already done in a shade of mauve. You probably don't want to overdo the color, so if mauve is already present you can accent what is already there. Mauve combines well with many different colors, so you might opt for accessories that have a touch of mauve in the design to blend in with what you already have. Towels and shower curtains are one way that you can coordinate with existing mauve fixtures for a lovely look. If you happen to love the color, there is nothing wrong with selecting mauve accessories on top of existing fixtures. Your only limit is your imagination. Tone on tone is a sophisticated way to use color in a room, different shades of mauve can coordinate to look absolutely stunning!

If you know what styles and looks you prefer, then you can search for complementary colors if you like; then you can start searching for all your accessories. Sometimes a simple addition, such as a tissue holder, hooks or towel racks are enough to update and pull together a bathroom look. Keep looking, and you will eventually find something that you will really love. They look great when paired with other colors such as black, and metals like chrome, brass or iron. Look for materials in colors that enhance the look. There are even light fixtures that will seamlessly carry through the style of the bathroom fixtures for an overall cohesive look.

Once the color palette is decided on, and you know what style you prefer the rest is easy! Selecting your mauve bathroom accessories should be something you enjoy! There are many different materials to choose from, for example a household with young children might look at break-resistant plastic or resin as opposed to ceramic or glass. You can coordinate the accessories such as tissue covers, waste baskets, light switch covers, soap dishes and toothbrush holders to match with each other. They go well with tropical colors and bring a freshness to traditional floral cottage styles as well as classic Hollywood glamor. Towels, rugs, curtains and other bathroom textiles add the finishing touches to your mauve bathroom accessories. Select classic textiles that are both soft and in keeping with the overall look of your bathroom decor. Look through online websites or visit the local home or hardware store. Mauve bathroom accessories will add style and panache to your bathroom that you will love!

Types Of Wall Art For Bathroom Decoration

Bathroom is a very important room in every home. It is unthinkable to have a home without a bathroom. This is because of the fact that we make use of the bathroom on a daily basis. Nowadays, bathroom is no longer seen as place where you bath quickly and come out. Many people do take some moment of relaxation in their bathroom while they are showering.

This is why bathrooms are highly decorated nowadays. Besides, a well decorated bathroom can increase your confidence and respect among your visitor.

There is nobody who does not appreciate a well decorated bathroom. Today bathrooms are decorated with different types of wall art such as European tapestries, metal art and glass arts works and others. The following are the type of wall arts decoration that can be seen in modern bathrooms.

Frames of Canvas Painting and Prints

Frames of canvas painting and prints are the commonest means of decorating wall today. Many families are using frames art works to decorate the walls of their homes. This practice has been given a new dimension today. Frame art works can be used for bathroom decoration. The advantages of using this type of art work for bathroom wall decoration is that it is flexible. You can remove it and replace it at will.

Bathroom Wallpaper

These come in different designs and styles. There are wallpapers specially designed for bathroom to give special art impression. If you are the type that appreciates historic scenery, you will get bathroom wallpaper designed to present historic scenery to you.

The advantages of decorating your bathroom with this type of wall art is that bathroom wallpapers can resist water. They do not easily damage. Given the above, wallpaper can help also to protect your bathroom from damp and fungi attack. It also gives it a fabulous look.

Glass and Metal Bathroom Wall Art Decoration

Decorating your bathroom wall with metal and glass art works is the best way to bring out the beauty of your bathroom. These types of arts works are normally expensive. But they give fantastic look to your bathroom. Their durability is also appreciable.

Wall Lettering for Bathroom Wall Decoration

This is a type of wall art where some memorable and wise sayings are artistically written on the wall of bathrooms. Most children and teenagers always admire this type of bathroom wall decoration especially when inscription is in line with their ideas.

Wall Painting

This is another type of art that you can use to beautify your bathroom. It is the best option for people who may not have enough money for more expensive type of bathroom wall decoration like metal and glass arts for bathroom wall decoration European tapestries. The advantage of wall painting is that you can decide on how you want the wall painting to be. If you want the painting to cover the entire wall, it is choice to make.