Bathroom Design Strategies That Increase The Value Of Your Home

When it comes to adding value to your property, the experts in real estate will agree that to capitalise in the bathroom and kitchen almost certainly guarantees profitable returns.

If you’re considering making your home appealing to potential buyers, then one of the first places to start is in the bathroom. With countless accessories and appliances on the market, making a decision that will ultimately allow you to reap the rewards is daunting.

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When it comes to bathroom design, what is it that most people really want? Would choosing a spacious whirlpool bath above a traditional bath be financially beneficial in the long haul?

Wouldn’t designing your bathroom be a much easier task if you were armed with a guideline of what tickled the fancy of potential homebuyers? If you’re going to design your bathroom get it right the first time round to avoid flushing away hard-earned pounds.

Hello simplicity

From as far back as the 1960s much focus was placed on bold colour in the bathroom. Patterned wall tiles of nautical creatures and over-the-top colours were the trend, along with plastic. Plastic bathroom décor was the craze, from bold orange, olive green, mustard yellow and chocolate brown coloured toothbrush, soap and towel holders, to thick patterned plastic shower curtains that screamed colours of the boldest nature.

As the times moved on, the 1970s and early 1980s became a period when gold bathroom fixings and furnishing, such as taps, towel rails and toilet roll holders, were considered very stylish. These ostentatious gold trimmed features were all the rage, and bathroom décor was ‘loud’. Added to this were those once delightful bathroom suites in colours avocado, coral pink, and chocolate brown. Bathroom colour has changed dramatically over the past decade, and shades have become more neutral, sometimes with a hint of colour that adds a complementary vigour to the overall scheme.
Of the many hundreds of people who took part in Plumbworld’s recent bathroom survey, an overwhelming 82 per cent said they “hated” the once glorified avocado and coral pink bathroom suites, colours remnant of 1970s and 1980s, which are typically characterised as being dark and dull.

According to the survey, chrome bathroom taps were much preferred to gold.

So, when designing and decorating your bathroom keep those dark colours at bay, consider white suites, and opt for chrome fixings and furnishings instead of flashy gold.

Shower power

When planning the design of your bathroom, one of the most important aspects to consider is placing a shower. Some bathrooms don’t have adequate space to include a shower cubicle, so assess your options. Consider installing a shower over the bath if space is limited.

The survey showed that 94 per cent of its participants believed that a shower in a bathroom was very important, and 81 per cent said they preferred a separate shower enclosure in a large bathroom. Almost 65 per cent said their ideal would be a power shower, while 27 per cent preferred mixer showers, and only 12 per cent opted for electric showers.

If you have chosen a shower over the bath, then think about placing a fixed glass screen instead of a shower curtain. It may cost a few extra pounds, but more than half of the survey’s contributors preferred a fixed glass screen to a shower curtain.

Choosing your bath tub

Contrary to common belief, adding a whirlpool bath to increase property value doesn’t always do the trick. So if you’re contemplating selling your property, try to avoid purchasing a whirlpool bath in the hopes of gaining additional profit.

The survey revealed that close to 53 per cent of its participants were not phased by them, while only a small 38 per cent of participants “loved” them. Surprisingly, 62 per cent said they had “no strong view” towards corner baths either, which means the traditional rectangular baths still hold clout against their spruced up counter parts.

Bathroom flooring

Try to avoid the urge to place carpets on the bathroom floor, according to the survey it is not too favoured. The survey showed that the preferred floor covering was tiles, with 75 per cent saying they “loved” a tiled bathroom floor. Popular vinyl flooring has not yet lost its place in the bathroom, with more than 61 per cent saying they didn’t have any strong likes or dislikes towards it.

When choosing your bathroom flooring, tiles is the favoured option, but if the budget is tight, then vinyl flooring won’t let you down.
Apart from the flooring, make sure your windows look appealing. When it comes to dressing your bathroom windows, steer clear of those bathroom nets and fabric curtains. The survey showed that 94 per cent said they favoured blinds in the bathroom to curtains.

Keep it clean

If you are planning to put your home on the market, inspect your bathroom for those small generally unnoticed flaws, like mould on the silicone sealant around the bath, and even on your shower curtain if you have one. Potential homebuyers may notice these small faults, which could send then running!

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Patio Design – Expanding Your Home Outdoors

A patio can be just like another room in your house. Effective patio design can mean that your increase the floor space of your home, by adding an outside room that allows you to entertain like never before. A patio can just be a rectangular slab of concrete with some plastic chairs and griller, but it can also be so much more.

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What comes to mind when you think of a patio?

Patio design gives you the opportunity to create an outside living area – an extension of your home – for entertaining and relaxing all year round. For instance, people who like to entertain may want to consider a patio with an undercover kitchen and dining area. By adding a barbecue grill, a built in fridge and some quality outdoor furniture, the patio can, in itself, become a feature of your home.

When commencing a new patio design, it is important to remember that your new outdoor entertaining area does not need to be expensive. There are a variety of different patio surfaces to fit a particular style or budget, including concrete pavers, natural clay stones and bricks. There is no need to stick to one type of paving or surface – experiment.

Pebbles, gravels, bricks and tiles, can all be incorporated. A contrasting brick edge can also be effective. Similarly, patio shades need not be extensive, just enough to cover the main cooking and eating areas; after all, why block out the view of your gorgeous garden in the midday sun or the stars in the sky on a clear night.

Consider textures, colors, and materials before starting

One of the most important considerations of patio design is landscaping. Plants help to soften the hard surface of a patio floor by providing color, texture and fragrance and they set the mood for an outdoor living space. Further, you might also like to consider the use of a water feature and some soft low voltage lighting or candles, to create a stunning patio setting for night time entertaining.

Finally, selecting the right furniture is the key to the perfect patio design. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on the right setting; more importantly you want to select items that are durable, basic in color and rich in style and sophistication. Consider resin coated wicker or rattan pieces that can be dressed up with different cushions and throw rugs. These items can be changed regularly to cater for a themed party or more simply, to match the changes in your flourishing flower beds.

A patio design can be as elaborate or as straightforward as you want it to be. Patios can be arranged in any shape and size and can be refreshed regularly just like the interior of your home. Outdoor entertaining is an increasing pastime – enjoy it with family and friends!

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Add a Dynamic Design Accent to Your Home with the Right Staircase

Stairways are a wonderful thing. They suggest a path to things unseen, hidden destinations, secret lives. If you have a multistory home or are planning to build one, take a few minutes to think about the stairs.

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By choosing to include a beautiful stairway instead of a mundane one, you can change your home atmosphere from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you choose filigreed iron, steel, glass, or traditional hardwood, the right stairway for your home can serve as a compelling design accent, the focal point of a room, at once utilitarian and beautiful.

If you have an urban industrial loft, you may be thinking of taking one large, high-ceiling room and creating a number of living environments on different levels. If so, you’ll be incorporating a bunch of staircases. You may even be lucky enough to have an existing industrial staircase made of rugged steel. If so, you have a decision to make. Are you aiming for a high-tech industrial look, with stainless steel commercial kitchen appliances and exposed electrical and plumbing elements on the ceiling?

Then your steel staircase fits right in. If you’re looking to emphasis natural colors and textures, however, a sort of Zen retreat, you might want to incorporate the natural beauty of hardwood stairs into your design. A straight, sturdy staircase leading to the upper levels can make a powerful statement; a curving stairway winding around the center of your loft adds elegance and a feeling of flow to your environment.

Historical homes, particularly in the eastern U.S., almost demand the inclusion of hardwood stairs. Your antique home may have a staircase in need of repair, or the existing staircase may need replacing. Either way, you’ll need the services of a company specializing in custom-designed staircases. In fact, whether you’re creating your own unique home or restoring an antique home, custom designed and built staircases are a must because of the exacting nature of the measurements required.

When you go looking for a company to build your staircase for you, make sure you choose a firm with an experienced staff of designers. A designer should be willing to visit the site, take the appropriate measurements, and present you with design suggestions and advice on materials and costs, as well as troubleshoot the site and the design for possible problems.

They also should be willing to supply you with detailed photographs of their work for other clients. Who knows? You may find inspiration in these photos and use them as a jumping off point for your own creative ideas.

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Home Design Tips

Home design is not only a big business; it can be very enjoyable for you the homeowner. When you’re building your home, or just giving your present home a makeover, taking the lead role in your home design can be a very rewarding experience.

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Doing your own home design allows you to express yourself in a way that no one else can do for you. Choices not only become easier when you do your own home design, but you’ll find that you have more of them than if you’d hired a professional to do it for you.

One of the first things you should consider in your home design project is the function of the room you’re working on. Function is a key home design factor. It will dictate the majority of what items will go into the room.

Two major points in function to consider is the intended use of the room and who will be using it. Naturally, a room which will receive high traffic would need more resilient flooring and furniture than a room which would not get as much traffic. Knowing what the room is going to be used for and by whom is the first step in home design.

Style is another key factor in home design. After the function of the room is determined, you’ll need to decide the style of décor you’ll be incorporating in your home design. Certainly a family game room would have a more modern style with clean lines, while a country kitchen may have more of a cottage style or rustic home design.

Fabrics like furniture, drapes, throws and pillows would play a major role in the feel of the room. Colors used properly in home design can alter a person’s mood upon entering the room. Earthy tones and light blues have a calming effect, while bright reds and contrasting colors can create a sense of excitement. Style when used properly can make any room a success story.

The placement of items and objects in a room will always alter the flow of movement to both the body and the eye. Flow is yet another key factor in home design. The flow of the room is crucial, as you don’t want the room to be awkward to navigate.

This not only applies to the person moving across the room, but also the eye of the person moving from one part of the room to another. Of course the physical flow in home design is achieved by the placement of furniture such as sofas, chairs and tables.

The eye flow of the room can be controlled by the decorative items placed in the room, as well as how the room is painted. Colors which flow easily into each other create a nice even sense of movement to the eye from one area to another.

Home design should never be a daunting challenge, but rather an enjoyable experience to those who wish to do their own home design. By following the three major factors of function, style and flow, every home design project you complete will be a successful one.

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Restoring a Home? There Are Lots Of Design And Materials Decisions To Make

When building a new home or renovating an old one, there are innumerable choices in commercially produced building and finishing materials; but when you want to restore an old home, particularly one built before standardized building materials were widely available, you may need help from a custom millworks. Stairways in old houses are narrow and steep, rooms are off square, and dimensions vary tremendously from home to home.

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How do you incorporate a modern, functional kitchen, for instance, into the design of a home restored to its original 1850s design?

You may have the expertise or the research capability to make the design decisions yourself; otherwise, hiring an architect who specializes in the restoration of antique buildings is a must. Many antique buildings, particularly in New England, were built and renovated over a period of centuries, with additions in different styles (sometimes compatible, sometimes not) tacked on to the original building.

You probably don’t want to remove the additions, particularly if they’re a substantial part of the building; but do you restore them to their original state, or do you impose the style of the original building onto the addition? If embellishments were added to the original structure, do you keep them or get rid of them? If your house is a hodge-podge of different styles from different eras, can your architect incorporate a new design which will blend the warring styles together? And do you want him or her to do that, or are you enough of a restoration purist not to want to add modern elements to the design?

Antique buildings were most often created using materials locally available at the time of its construction; but some materials may have been imported from far away; by the nineteenth century, New England ruled the seas, importing goods, including exotic woods, from places as scattered as Ireland and Southeast Asia. Whether originating locally or abroad, these antique materials may or may not be readily available from local sources now.

Maple, oak, walnut, cherry, ash, hickory, mahogany – all may be found in an antique home, and all may need to be specially purchased. You or your architect will probably need to communicate with manufacturers of custom building materials; so be sure to choose a millworks company which has experts on staff who can provide design and specification assistance. These millworks companies should be able to provide custom milled wide plank flooring, individually designed stairs, historically accurate reproduction moldings, and special lengths and widths of lumber.

Antique homes offer a fascinating look into the history of a region and the lives of people who lived through various eras. The story of a particular house may span centuries of building, rebuilding, and renovations, making each home a unique connection to the past. Restoring one of these gems to its original beauty can not only extend its life to another generation of residents, it can contribute to the legacy of a region.

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