3 Bathroom Lighting Tips

Below is a guest post on the important subject of getting your bathroom properly lit.  Like any other room, the bathroom should have layers of lighting to use that is separately switched depending on the functional needs of the space at any given time.

3 Ideas for Bathroom Lighting
By Jane Blanchard

Your day starts in your bathroom. Why settle for anything less than the best? Unfortunately, most bathroom lighting is completely neglected, leaving the room feeling sterile or depressing — and not allowing yourself to see you in good light. Instead of simply accepting it as it is, use these ideas to light your bathroom to give you a bright start to your mornings.

Mirror Lighting

bath light
Via Modernize

How many bathrooms have lights directly on top of the mirror? While ceiling lights are perfect for providing good visibility, they’re hardly romantic or helpful when you have to groom up close. Because of the stark shadows they create, applying your make-up or shaving your face can be extremely hard to see. Instead, turn to lights that fit on the sides of the mirror. These include sconces, bath bars and vanity lights. They are far better for lighting the face in a way that lets you successfully groom. If there happens to be no room for side lighting, opt for a horizontal vanity light to fit across the top of the mirror. The best are those with bulbs of different shades to maximize clarity.

Daylight Model

Another way to spruce up the bathroom is to mimic natural light. Even if you have a window, the sun may or may not ever stream into the bathroom. Aside from this, daylight is what will reflect off of your clothes and hair so trying to capture its essence is important to making sure you are ready to take on the day. For this choice, you’ll want to invest in white shades that are clear, frosted and any other option. This, however, will depend on the type of bulb you use. The varying kinds render colors differently so not all “white” categorizations can be trusted. For LEDs, go for temperature ranging from 2700K to 3000K. Compact fluorescent bulbs should always have a color rendering index at or above 90 and should have the same temperature range as the LED. Finally, incandescent bulbs must be labeled “white” or have the previously indicated temperature range.

Mood Lighting

Finally, it’s important to remember that the bathroom is not always a room used for getting ready for the day. In fact, it is often used for bubble baths and other relaxing activities. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure there are at least two settings for the lights. This, however, can be achieved through more than just extra lighting fixtures strewn about. For those who like what they have, install a dimmer. With this, you can control the intensity of the lights. For those that like a lot of decorative additions, bring in flush ceiling lights or small chandeliers to act as relaxed mood lighting. Even more than this, lamps can be brought in, assuming there is enough counter top space.

To learn about more creative ways to light up your home, visit Modernize.com.

Bathroom Design Trends

S Interior Design loves remodeling bathrooms for their clients.  When we were asked to host this guest blog post on Bathroom Trends, we said YES!  Fun, contemporary design ideas to inspire you.

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Bathroom Trends: Glass Mosaic Tile (via)

Bathroom trends to me start with the tile work. In this case, one of my favorite examples is the Copper Color Bisazza Glass Mosaic Tile. It gives you that contemporary look and serene feeling to your bathroom. Other trendy styles of tile you should consider for your bathroom redesign project are natural stone, pebble tile, stone mosaic tile and stainless steel tile. If you’re doing budget-conscious remodeling, use designer tile sparingly in the form of cut-out tile accents, to give you that designer tile design cue.

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Turquoise Painted Glass Vessel Sink (via)

Vessel sinks are very much trendy these days. Walk into any high-end restaurant’s bathroom, and you’ll likely see a vessel sink. Depending on the style, they can also be very affordable. Personally, I like the above vessel sink made of glass, and painted turquoise.

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Trendy Shower Doors: Neo-Angle Frameless Shower Enclosures and Glass BathTub Screens

If you couldn’t tell from the glass vessel sinks and the glass mosaic tile recommendations, glass is in style when it comes to the bathroom. One of the reasons for that is because glass allows for the passage of light. That means a lot of glass, opens up an otherwise small looking bathroom, and makes it look more spacious. Also, if you have fancy tile work in your bathroom, there’s no better way to show off that tile work than with beautiful low-iron glass (in which the green hue has been reduced by taking out the iron content).

Nothing looks drabber than cheap, toxic, vinyl shower curtains. In these examples, the neo-angle shower enclosure is the trendiest and most expensive shower enclosure on the market. It’s frameless, so the metal hardware is barely visible.

On the other side, is the glass bathtub screen. These are very trendy in Europe, and are starting to make their way over into the United States. In Europe, people aren’t afraid of a little bit of water splashing out of their tubs. At the end of the day, both a full shower enclosure and a glass bathtub screen are great options for a trendy bathroom.

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Granite Countertop (via)

Granite countertops are a popular décor trend both in the bathroom and the kitchen. They provide the perfect backdrop for the aforementioned glass vessel sinks. And if you’re going to spend the “dough-re-mi” for a solid-slab granite countertop, utilizing clear glass vessel sinks might be a good idea in order to better showcase the granite. If you’re looking to save money, you can also do a DIY project and use a granite tile kit, which is a third of the price of buying the solid slab of granite, as seen above. They both provide that trendy, natural, solid-stone look for one’s bathroom.

About the Author

Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at www.dullesglassandmirror.com, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.

Sinks And Color Get Married

Color is back!  Kohler one of the most widely known names in bath and kitchen  fixtures  including sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets, showers  and more has partnered with renowned designer Jonathan Adler to launch a new line of kitchen and bathroom sinks in an unexpected color palette.

Johnathan Adler Limited Edition Colors

Sample Tiles

 

As stated by Adler in the Kohler Idea book : ” Your home should be happy.  You should feel like you’re walking into your favorite song on the radio.  Color sets the mood; it’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room.”

S Interior Design is looking forward to designing a kitchen or bath with beautiful white quartz counter tops and one of these colorful sinks .
In addition to the 4 Jonathan Adler special edition colors, Kohler has 29 other color options to choose from.

Kohler DemiLav Sink

 

 

Kitchen Back Splash–Do You Have One?

A kitchen back splash is a perfect example of how  design elements can be both FUNCTIONAL and LOOK GREAT.  Having a back splash will protect your walls from stove top splatter from food and oil and water.  Often people will simply add a 4-6 inch back splash in the same material as the counter top.  We encourage you to take it beyond that and extend up higher, preferably to just under the wall mounted cabinets and even higher at the cook top wall.  Similar principles apply in bathroom design.

I realize that S Interior Design is a big fan of the glass tile back splash as evidenced by the last 3 kitchen remodels we have completed for clients.  Here are a few pictures that show 3 options we have used.  This illustrates that even within only the category of glass tiles, the choices are many.  One of our favorite options is from Oceanside Glasstile as they strive to  eco-friendly in their manufacturing processes.

Sandstrom Kitchen

Hymson Kitchen

Below is  a guest post courtesy of  Erin Devine on the subject of kitchen back splashes.

Selecting the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash

Selecting the right colors and textures for your kitchen back splash can be a tricky task when you consider all of the options out there. There are as many kitchen and design choices as there are back splashes to choose from. Fortunately, knowing a few “do’s” and “don’t’s” can make the process much easier.

Keep in mind that busy patterns detract from the rest of the kitchen’s décor. If any busy pattern is to be used, it should contain colors from the kitchen to tie everything in and not create too much of a focal point. Further, the area of back splashes should not be large in comparison to the rest of the wall space.

Glass tile is one of the prettiest types of tile. Glass doesn’t attract mildew or mold, cleans easily, and offers numerous color choices. The reflective property of glass tile makes it one of the most favored of tiles because it offers an unparalleled shine and rich color.

Choose a backsplash to enrich the overall look of the kitchen rather than the space it occupies. For instance, choosing backsplashes one or two shades darker than the cupboards is wise. You can also choose a color similar to the floor in the case where the rest of the interior is of a light color. With that said, choosing colors that do not mesh create an eyesore. Glass tile backsplashes create somewhat of a focal point, however, they should not contrast so much from the rest of the interior that they’re all the eyes focus on.

Backsplashes belong under cabinets and neatly contained between other fixtures. Moreover, back splashes look best when placed underneath the cabinets. On the other hand, if pulled out onto a joining wall without a cabinet to frame them, the look is awkward. Keep back splashes underneath or butting cabinets or choose one in a color one to two shades within the shade of the wall so that it blends in. However, where cupboards frame the back splash, it is safe to go with a darker color.

Avoid drastic colored tiles where the rest of the décor is neutrally toned and colored. Whatever colors are present in back splashes should tie in well with the rest of the kitchen. In the instance of a multicolored kitchen, choose small tiles with each color to create a mosaic or opt for a simple design with a dramatic border.

The idea of back splashes is to accentuate the beauty within the kitchen—to pull everything together. The idea is to add to, rather than detract from, the overall appearance of the kitchen. When things don’t “look right,” people know it. Whether a person has an eye for interior design, colors or creativity, they quickly notice if things are off. Not to mention that home is a place for self-expression, rather than being overly concerned with how others perceive their choice of décor. For this reason, establishing individual preferences is key for any interior project. Back splashes are beautiful and functional and are meant to be enjoyed, so make sure that you choose a back splash that reflects your taste and accentuates the design of the rest of your kitchen.

 

Erin Devine is a guest writer for Floor & Décor Outlets, a flooring and tile retailer with a do-it-yourself attitude and an eye for style. She loves writing and maintaining her own interior design blog, DIY Home & Floor.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Ideas

S Interior Design is pleased to bring you this guest post on ideas to help make your bathroom environment eco-friendly.  Like any room or space in a home or office, using materials derived from nature (cotton, linen, plant-based), versus chemical compounds is taking a step in the right direction.  So forego the PVC vinyls and harsh chemical cleaners.  When it is time to replace your toilets, look for low water usage or dual flush options which are readily available.  And don’t forget your lighting options-go LED for long-lasting beautiful light, and whenever possible day light from windows or Solatubes.

How to Keep your Bathroom Eco-Friendly

If living in an eco-friendly world is important to you, then it’s time to start with your own home. Which room do you utilize the most? Other than the kitchen, the bathroom comes in at a close second.  This is a great place to start, though you may not consider it at first.

TheEnvironmentSite.org suggests, “… You will be amazed how much you could do to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly.  This can start with the cleaning products you use end with how much water you use for flushing your toilet.” From cleaning supplies, to your basic bathroom items, you can go green from every angle.

DIY Cleaning Ideas

 Photo Credit: onyxdistribution.com

If you feel ready to take this project into your own hands, get ready to make your own cleaners. Utilizing many products that you may already have in your house, this is an easy task that’s worth taking on. Not convinced? Care2.com says, “Ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart.”  Time to get started; here are your basic formulas.

  • Shower: Baking soda and water or lemon juice and vinegar.
  • Mirror: Mix vinegar and water – 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a whole gallon of water.
  • Clogged drain: Put half cup of baking soda into your drain and wash it down with 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Toilet cleaner: Baking soda, washing soda, distilled vinegar, liquid soap and tree oil

Buying the Right Cleaners

If DIY cleaning isn’t your thing, you can head to your local grocery store to find some eco-friendly products. Because environmental awareness is on the rise, almost every bathroom cleaning company offers recycled or earth friendly options. Before making your purchase however, look for these key ingredients.  Greenhome.com suggests looking for:

  • Avoid any cleaner with phosphates or chlorine, which are harmful to people.
  • Look for plant born ingredients such as d-limonene or lauramine oxide.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Items

 Photo Credit: theuptown.net

While you may consider keeping your cleaning supplies eco-friendly, it’s important that your bathroom is green all over. That means you want to be stocked with all the right products. You can find all your basic bathroom necessities in organic, recycled or bamboo materials which are better for your bathroom, your family and the environment.

  • Natural fabric shower curtain: The plastic curtains that eek that ever-recognizable “plastic smell” are made with PVC and should be avoided. Find naturally made curtains in your local home goods store.
  • Recycled toilet paper: Many mainstream companies now offer recycled version of their traditional product, such as Seventh Generation.
  • Towels: Find bamboo and organic materials. According to Bliss.com, “Both are better for you and the environment because they aren’t made from plants sprayed with insecticides and pesticides and often use low-impact dyes.”

If you’re serious about going eco-friendly in the bathroom, there are a number of ways to incorporate bits and pieces or go the whole way. From cleaners to your everyday necessities like towels, you can do your part for the world while making a healthier environment for yourself, your family and visitors.

Sara Fletcher enjoys learning about all aspects of the home ranging from affordable double vanities, interior design, and green furniture. She one day hopes to build her own dream home, complete with luxury bathroom vanities.

 

101 Designer Secrets — #19, #21 and #22

101 Designer Secrets–#19, #20 and #22

The May issue of House Beautiful magazine has a 4 page spread of 101 Designer Secrets.  We read them and decided to share along with some commentary.  Not all 101 will be shared, but you can click on the link above to HB, or subscribe to their hard copy magazine to read them all if you wish to.  Here are some related to bathroom design.

#19: Never use a sconce over a mirror in the bathroom–it will cast unflattering shadows across the face.  Sconces that flank the mirror will give  a more realistic and flattering light-Ron Southern

Commentary:

Yes, yes, yes.  I am endlessly trying to eradicate the world of light bars or recessed lights in bathrooms over mirrors for this reason.  While that is true, there are instances where the architecture will not allow for sconces to be placed flanking a mirror.  Here is one example of what S Interior Design did to work around that issue.  The light is a flexible track mounted to the electrical box above the mirror and curved to flank the mirror.

#21: I recommend a height of 36″ for a bathroom vanity instead of the standard 30″.  It’s much more ergonomic and comfortable all around – Jason Bell

Commentary:

This is absolutely the  truth unless of course you are 5’0″ tall.   We always use a 36″ high vanity unless height of the user dictates other wise.  In shared bathrooms with one partner being extra tall, we have even installed 42″ high vanities.

# 22:  Instead of a towel bar, mount 5 robe hooks 68″ high for towels and robes-Robert Stilin

Commentary:

 We very often recommend using hooks instead of towel bars.  Sometimes the functional needs and space dictate that a combination of the two be used.  How annoying is it to have to reach far out of the shower to reach a towel bar mounted 2-3 feet away?  Absolutely add the hooks!  Hooks mounted in a bathroom at child friendly heights are also a good idea to keep towels off the floor in bathrooms kids will be using.

Peek Inside Celebrity Bathrooms

For some reason we like peering into the private lives of celebrities.  Well, thanks to this guest post, you will have the opportunity to check out 10 master bathrooms of the stars!!  Hopefully they will provide you with some inspiration to make over your very own bathroom this year and express your STAR power in your master bathroom! Continue reading

More Easy Ways To Update Your Bathrooms

There must be a voice somewhere whispering “refresh and update your bathrooms” as this is the second guest post in a week I am sharing on this topic.  don’t worry, it is not a repeat of the prior post, so take a read and perhaps get inspired to do some bathroom updating yourself this weekend!

Bathroom Updates

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to Suffolk Rentals, NY Rentals, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

If you’re looking for an easy home makeover project to do this weekend, look no farther than your bathroom. With these easy tips, your bathroom will be looking fresh and chic in no time.

Bring in some bold or neutral splashes of color (depending on the wall colors) in a simple way by buying a new shower curtain and new towels. Your towels do not have to always be out of sight and can be folded over a bar, washcloths can be folded on the vanity, or you can have an extra towel or two on the back of the toilet. Don’t forget your bathmats and window curtains if you have them.  Toothbrush holders, soap dispensers or dishes, and bathroom cups will also add a nice accent of color if you match them with the towels and bathmats.

S Interior Design would say that your accessories don’t need to strictly match, but rather coordinate well with one another. 

Make your vanity look modern with some new hardware. By changing the handles and knobs, you can modify the look of your cupboards and drawers in minutes. Add a new, modern mirror and update the sink faucet. Change your old lighting fixture to a stylish modification. If you do not want to change the sink or faucet, bringing in a large mirror that covers most of the wall over the sink, and adding bright new light bulbs is a quick and easy update.  How many times have you gone into a bathroom and found the lighting is just awful for sprucing up and getting ready for the day.  Lighting makes a huge different when it comes to a bathroom. ]

We could not agree more with the lighting commentary!!

If you want to change up the entire color of your bathroom, bringing a new color to your walls is a simple afternoon project that can result in a major room transformation for little money. Your bathroom is a small room in comparison to the rest of your house so deciding to paint it is not as much of a time and money commitment as it may be in another room. Since the room is small, experiment with a bold color. If you don’t like it, it’s easy enough to change it to something else. If you decide to change the color of your bathroom, choose a neutral color for all of the accessories mentioned above.  If you decide on a neutral warm tone, spice it up and definitely add those bold accents.  Remember though, that since it is a small room, staying away from dark colors is a good idea to keep your bathroom feeling open and fresh.

S Interior Design  varies from this opinion on staying away from dark colors…..we say go bold, go dark if that is what your design scheme needs.  Small will not feel any smaller.

 

With these simple steps, you’ll be surprised at the dramatic changes your bathroom can go through in a weekend. Share any other smart and chic ways to update a bathroom here!

Easy Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Below you will find a guest post from Valerie Gravel representing Smart Tiles on the subject of bathroom renovation.  Smart tiles are a fabulous option for  a home owner who is a DIYer!

Before

After Smart Tile Installation

After the kitchen, the bathroom is the room you use the most every day. It’s where you get ready in the morning before you dash off to work and where you take a few minutes to relax in the evening while soaking in a hot bath or a shower. If you’re thinking of giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover, here are a few trendy tips you might want to take into consideration.

Merging one room into one:

People need more and more room to escape the fast paced society in which we live, that’s why the size of bathrooms has increased over the last few years. Merging two rooms into one like a bathroom and bedroom is a trend that has been exported from the hotel to the home and it is catching on quickly in the home renovation world.

Going digital:

Technology is all around us and we rely on it almost 24 hours a day. You can have a television in your refrigerator door now, so why not do the same for your bathroom. Imagine watching your favourite movie or television program in your bathroom while you soak your worries away in a bath. What could be more perfect than that?

Heated floor tiles:

Tiled bathroom floors are cold all year round. Heating them with a radiant floor heater is a good idea because not only will the heat prevent you from getting cold feet; it might actually help you save money in the long run. It’s true that installing a heated floor may raise the cost of your renovations, but once tiles have been heated, they retain their heat for a long time and they continue to warm the room even after the heater has been shut off. Therefore, a heated floor might help you save a couple of dollars from your heating bill.

Multiple mirrors:

Even if the trend dictates that bathrooms are becoming larger, not everybody has the space to double the size of their bathrooms. People who live in smaller houses or in apartments might want to put multiple mirrors in their bathroom to create an illusion of grandeur that will make the room look bigger than it actually is. Also, mirrors come in some many different shapes, sizes, and frames nowadays that they can look great in any type of bathroom decor.

Going green:

Renovating while still being kind to our environment is a trend that has been catching on not only in bathrooms, but in every room of the home as well. Imagine recreating a spa like atmosphere in your own bathroom. With the help of wood furniture and even by encasing your bath tub in a wooden frame, you could relax in spa without ever having to leave your home. It’s also quite eco-friendly to install low flow toilets and energy-efficient lighting while renovating your bathroom.

Painting with neutral colors:

Bathroom colors have always been neutral, and that trend never really went away. While I am not condemning the use of color in the bathroom, neutral colors should be your palette of choice if you plan to add a new coat of paint to your bathroom. It’s better to favour relaxing colors like beige, olives and pale tones. If you’d like to add contrast to your pale room, use dark furniture or colored accessories.

Choosing the right lighting:

A bathroom shouldn’t be too bright. Since the room is used for different reasons throughout the day, different types of lighting should be installed to keep things lit up or tone them down when you need to. Consider installing a dimmer switch to set the proper mood when you want to relax in the bath or the shower and install bright lights where a woman would normally put on makeup.

Changing without spending a lot

If you’re not considering to have your whole bathroom made over, you could just change a few existing elements to refresh your existing decor. Custom sinks and counter tops are all the rage and self adhesive tiles  used as a frame for your mirror or as a backsplash will add diversity to your bathroom without the need of contractors invading your home for weeks to come.