Bathroom Design Styles

bathroom renovation torontoIf you’re in the planning stages of a bathroom renovation, your first task is to sift through the many available bathroom design styles and find a style that fits your personal taste and practical needs, and complements your home’s décor.  The sheer number of bathroom renovation ideas can be overwhelming, but rest assured that the perfect bathroom renovation design is out there.

Modern Bathroom Style

Modern or contemporary bathrooms incorporate mid-century modern design elements, and often feature contrasting color schemes and textures for an up-to-date feel.  Angular curves integrated with flowing corners cultivate an edgy, modern ambiance.

Eclectic Bathroom Design

Eclectic bathroom styles are very popular, and keep things interesting by smoothly combining seemingly incongruent elements for a unique, playful design.  This is a great way to incorporate your own personal style into your bathroom design.

Rustic Bathroom Design

Country-style bathrooms bring the outside in with design elements such as unfinished wood or plants along with traditional fixtures such as claw-foot tubs or porcelain pedestal sinks.  The homey, comfortable style of a rustic bathroom creates a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for unwinding after a long day.

Retro Bathrooms

Retro bathrooms incorporate a twist of funky flair for a unique look that’s all your own.  Many retro bathrooms incorporate a color and design scheme from a certain era, although some smoothly incorporate a range of pieces into a unique, eclectic look.

Euro Bathrooms

Euro-style bathrooms are quite popular, and incorporate a softer, more quirky design.  Modern fixtures are integrated with soft colors such as pinks, yellows or muted neutral tones.  Some homeowners even opt to include a bidet if space and budget allow.

When choosing bathroom design styles, be true to yourself and pick a style that suits you.  Do make sure, however, that your design scheme integrates well with your home’s existing décor to prevent a dissonance between your new powder room and the rest of your home.  If you’re currently planning your own bathroom renovation, we’d love to hear your own style selection and the factors that influenced it.  Tell us all about it by leaving us a comment.

 

Eight Unique Bathroom Remodel Ideas

bathroom remodeling torontoYour bathroom remodel is not only a chance to update your bathroom and make it more functional; it’s also a chance to add a taste of your own personal style.  These bathroom remodel ideas are off the beaten path, and can help make your bathroom uniquely you.

Life in Black and White

Black and white is a classically elegant yet bold color scheme.  Carry this into the bathroom with black walls, white doors and a few pops of color to keep things lively.  Just make sure that your bathroom is well lit, so that it doesn’t become dreary.

Maintain a Theme

Themed bathrooms add a bit of fun accent to your house.  Try an oriental theme or perhaps a teched-out loo for the technologically advanced among us.

Wall-Mounted Sinks

Wall-hung sinks are secured to the wall with no cabinets or visible plumbing below.  This creates and ultra-modern, sleek feel and also conserves space in smaller bathrooms.

Get Creative with Lighting

Bathroom lighting is typically pretty standard stuff, but a creative flair can add some personality.  Consider using a chandelier over the tub or perhaps pendant lighting over the sink.

Add Some Greenery

If you have the room, adding a few plants can freshen up your bathroom’s looks.  Consider species that do well in humid environments such as African violets, Christmas cactus or even bamboo.

Re-purpose Old Furniture

This is both a creative and an economical bathroom remodel idea.  Try using old furniture pieces, say an antique dresser, as storage space or even as vanities.  This adds a unique bit of personality on a budget.

Go Bold with Picture Windows

Bathrooms typically have small or frosted windows for the sake of privacy.  However, picture windows can provide an open-air feeling without compromising privacy if used in the right setting.  Only consider this option if your bathroom opens to a privacy-fenced backyard, and consider planting a thick hedge, for example bamboo, a few feet away from the window.

Add Color to Your Shower

Bold colors throughout a room can become somewhat overwhelming, but an intense pop of color here and there can add texture and personality without being too loud.  Consider boldly colored tile in the shower or tub area for a bit of extra style.

Are you currently renovating your bathroom, or planning to do so in the near future?  If so, we’d love your feedback.  What unique bathroom remodel ideas have you incorporated in your own bathroom renovation?  Tell us all about it by leaving a comment.

Kitchen Space Savers

kitchen flooringOne of the major issues with kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners face is limited kitchen size.  Kitchens are required to support a multitude of tasks, and the available workspace in a compact kitchen is frequently insufficient.  Incorporate these kitchen space savers into your kitchen remodel to make the most of your space for a kitchen that is both attractive and functional.

Work Your Wall Space

If you’re working with a compact kitchen, it’s important to use your available wall space wisely.  Hooks and racks provide extra storage without compromising valuable floor or counter space.

Knife blocks suck up a lot of space on countertops, so consider installing a magnetic wall mounted knife rack above your workspace.  Just be sure to install the rack in a place that children will be unable to reach.  You can also store other goods, such as pots, pans and utensils on hooks or racks.

Rethink Your Faucet

If you have a smaller sink, and articulated faucet can be an excellent kitchen space saver.  Articulated faucets can be folded out of the way until they’re needed, so increase your available space.  If an articulated faucet isn’t for you, select a faucet that is taller than it is deep, and in which the knobs and sprayer incorporated into the main console.  Some faucets can be wall-mounted, which saves even more space.

Make the Most of Corners

Corner space is often underused, as corner drawers and cabinets can be difficult to access.  To get better use out of your corners, install a lazy susan.  You can also install specially designed corner stack drawers.

Downsize Appliances

If you generally have a light cooking load, downsizing your appliances can free up a lot of storage and countertop space.  If you don’t often cook for a crowd, a smaller stove, oven or dishwasher may meet your needs without sucking up space.  Also be sure to install a built-in microwave, as a freestanding microwave takes up a lot of counter space.

Reconsider Trendy Extras

Today’s kitchen renovation market offers a lot of extra features that are both practical and attractive, such as pot filling faucets, kitchen islands and appliance garages.  However, if your kitchen space is limited, install these sorts of luxury features sparingly and after careful consideration.  An experienced kitchen renovation contractor can help you identify which features will truly add value to your kitchen, and install them strategically such that they take up minimal space.

If you’re currently involved in a compact kitchen remodel of your own, we’d love to hear your own kitchen space savers.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Sink Selection

kitchen remodelGourmet kitchens are gaining increasing popularity, and today’s homeowners are seeking kitchen designs that are both stylish and functional.  There are a plethora of kitchen sinks available today, and the sheer number of options can be overwhelming.  Here’s a rundown of the most popular kitchen sink options with the pros and cons for each.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel sinks are both durable and affordable, so are a great way to cut your kitchen renovation cost.  Stainless steel sinks are also easy to maintain and clean, and come in a variety of finishes to best fit your kitchen’s design.  However, because stainless steel sinks are made of a thin sheet of steel, they can be somewhat noisy as dishes and other objects brush against the side.  Additionally, they may develop fine scratches with repeated use, and although there are a variety of finishes, the color will still be silver.

Enamel Sinks

Enamel kitchen sinks, which consist of either stainless steel or cast iron with an enameled finish, come in many colors, and are also affordable.  This could be a good way to customize your kitchen remodel without going over budget.  Enameled cast iron, while heavier, may also be more durable, so is the preferable choice so long as your countertop can support its weight.  However, both kinds of enamel sinks are prone to chipping and scratching, so should be used with care.

Composite Sinks

Composite sinks are made of either acrylic or fiberglass, and provide a sleek, shiny look.  They are moderately priced, and will cost a little more than stainless steel or enamel, but are cheaper than composite granite or integrated sinks.  However, composite sinks are prone to scratches from improper cleaning or knife usage on the sink’s border.  Because of their low tolerance for wear and tear, composite sinks may not be the best choice for diligent cooks.

Stone Composite Sinks

Stone composite sinks are comprised of either granite or quartz and acrylic.  Because they are part stone, they are more durable than standard composite sinks.  They will not chip or scratch with dropped pots and pans, although harsh abrasive cleaning can still leave scuff marks.

Integrated Sinks

Integrated sinks are manufactured along with the countertop, similar to most bathroom sinks.  Integrated sinks create a smooth, seamless look, and spills can be swept directly into the sinks.  However, integrated sinks aren’t available in all of the media described above, and are typically either composite or stainless steel.

Ultimately, your kitchen sink selection will depend upon your home’s décor, your projected wear and tear level of your kitchen and your budget.  A reputable home renovation professional can help guide your decision, and can also ensure that your new sink is properly installed.  For kitchen renovation Toronto-area homeowners have many well-qualified contractors available.

Are you currently remodeling your kitchen or looking to replace your kitchen sink?  If so we’d love to hear your own thoughts.  What kind of sink did you ultimately select, and what impacted your decision?  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Bathroom Renovation Tips

bathroom renovationsBathroom renovation is a big job, but it is manageable with proper planning.  These bathroom renovation tips will help you keep your project running smoothly to create a beautiful new bathroom that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Have Everything On Hand Before you Begin

Some items such a vanities or custom-order tiles can take a while to arrive, but you’re best off waiting for everything to ready before beginning.  Bathroom renovation can be inconvenient, as your bathroom is difficult or impossible to use in the midst of a heavy remodel.  Waiting until everything has arrived minimizes the time that your bathroom will be out of commission.

Allow for Shower Storage

 Shower storage is an important but often overlooked bathroom design feature.  Planning for built-in storage in recessed nooks or ceramic shelves creates an attractive and practical design.

Choose a Curved Shower Rod

The shower rod is a seemingly trivial detail, but a curved shower rod allows a surprising amount of additional shower space.  It may be a little more expensive than a standard straight rod, but the extra space is more than worth the cost.  Additionally, a curved shower rod is screwed into the wall rather than relying on tension, so it can’t be pulled down easily.

Upgrade Your Lighting

Lighting is relatively inexpensive compared to other components of bathroom renovation, but it makes a big difference.  Select bright lighting that makes a bold statement and coordinates with your finished bathroom’s design.  Recessed light over the shower is an added bonus; just make sure that it’s rated for bathrooms.

Call a Professional When Necessary

If any aspect of your bathroom renovation is out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.  This may cost a bit more at the outset, but an improper job could cause damage to your home or even compromise your personal safety, so a contractor can save you money and heartache in many cases.  Fortunately for bathroom renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors in the area.

A well-done bathroom renovation is rewarding, and creates a space that you and your family can enjoy for many years.  Just be sure to plan carefully and you’ll be well on your way.  If you’re currently planning a bathroom remodel, we’d love to hear your own bathroom remodeling ideas in the comment section.

 

Kitchen Flooring

kitchen flooringKitchen flooring is an important component of any kitchen renovation.  The sheer variety can be daunting, as can the task of choosing a flooring that meets your practical needs, coordinates with your home’s décor and is within your budget.

This guide provides a quick description of several options. Our list includes some of the more classic tried-and-true options, but also some of the trendier, edgier media available on the modern market.

Tile Kitchen Flooring

Tiled kitchen floors are a classic, and are both elegant and durable.  There are a wide variety of colors, materials and textures to choose from on the modern market, and you’re sure to find the perfect match regardless of your décor.  However, tile is also pricier than some other options, and the grout requires regular maintenance to prevent staining.

Brick Kitchen Flooring

If you’re after the feel and durability of tile but prefer something a little off the beaten path, brick kitchen floors might be for you.  Brick pavers are thin tiles made of real clay that have the appearance of aged brick, but are still easy to install and maintain, much like traditional tile.  However, they’re comparable in price to regular tiles, and grout maintenance is also a must.

Rubber Kitchen Flooring

Commercial-grade features are a current kitchen design trend, as they lend a sleek modern look and are also very practical.  Rubber flooring is durable, easy to clean and also ergonomic.  Additionally, it comes in a huge variety of colors and designs, and can even be customized.

Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

Linoleum is a classic, and for good reason.  It’s virtually maintenance-free, comes in countless designs and is very durable.  It’s also one of the more cost-effective options available.

Stained Concrete

Most kitchens have a layer of concrete under existing kitchen flooring.  This subflooring can actually be sanded, stained and sealed to produce an attractive and durable flooring.  It’s arguably the most economical option, and can easily be installed by handy homeowners.

Are you currently involved in your own kitchen renovation?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen flooring.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

DIY Bathroom Renovation Ideas

bathroom renovationsIf you’re looking to update your bathroom on a budget, you can save a lot of money by doing at least part of the job on your own, and perhaps prioritizing the most important aspects of your remodel and leaving other features unchanged or simply repairing them.

 Unless you’re a master craftsman, it’s best to keep a DIY bathroom renovation reasonably simple.  Here we suggest a few potential features that can easily be installed by novice or intermediate homeowners.

 DIY Bathroom Flooring

 Installing your own flooring can save a substantial amount of money on your bathroom renovation.  If you wish to remove prior tiling, it will be a simple but labor-intensive job.  Laminate flooring is somewhat easier to remove.

The most simple bathroom flooring option is stained concrete, which lends a simplistic modern appearance.  If you’re looking for something with a bit more personality, laminate flooring is another good DIY option.  Tile floors are somewhat more difficult to install, but are manageable if you’re an intermediate handyman.

 DIY Bathroom Cabinetry

 Cabinetry in un-renovated bathrooms is often care worn and outdated, and many homeowners wish to replace or improve cabinetry in bathroom renovations.

Cabinets are fairly expensive and somewhat difficult to install, so if you’re on a budget you may opt to paint your existing cabinets and perhaps replace the hardware.  This can significantly update their appearance but is relatively easy and inexpensive.

If you have your heart set on new cabinets, you may need to consult a professional to design your new cabinets and determine the proper dimensions.  Fortunately for bathroom renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors available.

 DIY Bathroom Ceilings

 Popcorn ceilings were previously vey popular, and many un-renovated homes still have them.  Fortunately, popcorn ceilings are fairly easy to remove, although it’s a labor-intensive job.

To remove a popcorn ceiling, use a lawn and garden sprayer to apply a mixture of water and unscented fabric softener to soften the texture, and subsequently scrape it off with a putty knife.  Patch any rough patches with plaster and sand prior to painting.

A Note of Caution

 Although doing some aspects of your bathroom remodel can save money, some aspects of a bathroom renovation are best left to professionals, particularly those concerning plumbing or electrical work.  These mishaps can be dangerous and also do substantial, costly damage to your home.  Use discretion in this, and consult professionals where appropriate.

If you’re currently in the process of renovating your bathroom, we’d love to hear some of your own DIY bathroom renovation ideas.  Tell us all about in the comments section.

 

DIY Basement Finishing

basement-finishing-contractorIf you’re looking to make better use of your basement without breaking the bank, a partial basement renovation may be the best option.  You can also save money by doing part or all of your basement renovation on your own.

 Here we discuss some potential basement renovation options that will make your basement more inviting, but are also inexpensive and easy to install.  For a cheap basement renovation, you may also opt to only install some of the options and leave other features unchanged.

 DIY Basement Flooring

 The most important aspect for any basement floor option is that it be waterproof in the event of a flood.  This protects your investment and helps to prevent costly water damage.

Stained concrete is among the cheapest and easiest basement flooring options.  This involves prepping the surface such that it is smooth and doesn’t show seams using a sander and perhaps a thin layer of special finisher concrete, and then applying a specialized concrete stain and sealant.

If you’re looking for a more advanced but inexpensive option, laminate flooring is another potential basement flooring option.  Advanced amateurs can typically install laminate flooring, but if you’re inexperienced in home repair it may be best left to professionals.  For basement renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent basement remodeling contractors available.

 DIY Basement Walls

 Simply painting bare walls can significantly improve you basement’s appearance, and the color scheme can be customized to your personal preference.  This is an easy job even if you’re fairly inexperienced in home renovation, and can usually be completed within a day or two.

For a more polished but inexpensive look, you can also use wooden side panels or house siding.  These options are typically a few hundred dollars, and are easily installed by intermediate amateurs.

 DIY Basement Ceilings

 Exposed ceiling are actually quite stylish at the moment, so a simple coat of paint could be an excellent finished basement ceiling option.  We recommend opting for darker colors that minimize contrast.  A paint sprayer might make this job easier.  Most local hardware stores offer fairly inexpensive paint sprayer rental.

If you’re after a more polished look, you can also install a drop ceiling, similar to those seen in office buildings and schools.  This is easily installed by most amateurs, but if you don’t have much home renovation and repair experience, it may be best to consult a professional.

We’d love to hear about your own DIY basement finishing experiences and ideas as a homeowner.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Renovation Features

Kitchen RenovationIf you’re planning a kitchen remodel or are simply looking to make some upgrades, the sheer number of available kitchen renovation features can be overwhelming.  It’s important to hone in on the features you like best, and prioritize them in your kitchen renovation project.

Here’s a rundown some common kitchen features that add aesthetic appeal and functional convenience.  These kitchen remodeling ideas should have you well on the way to your dream kitchen.

Double Ovens

Double ovens enable you to have a main oven that can be accessed without bending over, and a secondary additional oven that can be used to cook at a different temperature when needed.  They also open up the possibility of an island cook top, allowing more flexibility for your kitchen’s floorplan.

Island Cooktop

An island cooktop sits flush with the kitchen counter on a kitchen island.  This allows for ample counter space surrounding the cooktop, and can also be outfitted with a downdraft exhaust system, eliminating the need for a view-obstructing range hood.

Appliance Garage

 An appliance garage keeps frequently used appliances accessible, but keeps them out of sight when they’re not being used.  This tidies up counter space, allowing a sleeker look.

Built-in Refrigerator

A built-in refrigerator is customized to your kitchen, and is flush with kitchen cabinets or other appliances.  This keeps the look of your kitchen smooth and integrated, and makes more efficient use of square footage.

Warming Drawers

Warming drawers can be used to warm plates or keep food hot while other dishes are prepared.  This adds a lot of functionality, but doesn’t require a lot of space.

Built-in Trash/Recycle Drawer

A trash and/or recycle drawer that’s built into your kitchen cabinets is very convenient, and also keeps pets and small children from accessing your kitchen trash.  This is another very convenient, functional kitchen upgrade.

If you’ve recently remodeled your kitchen or are planning a kitchen renovation, we’d love to hear which kitchen features you included or are interested in.  Tell us all about it in the comment section.

Kitchen Renovation Basics

picA kitchen renovation is a very in-depth project, and deserves some careful consideration.  When deciding whether to remodel and planning your kitchen renovation project, it’s important to keep some basic considerations in mind, not the least of which being kitchen renovation cost.

Before you begin your kitchen remodel project, it’s important to address a few basic questions.  First, you need to determine whether it’s the right time for a kitchen remodel, and whether it will be worth your effort.  Second, determine the project’s scope, and identify your specific needs.

Pros and Cons of Kitchen Renovation

A kitchen renovation can dramatically improve your home’s value, make your kitchen more enjoyable and easier to use and improve your home’s overall ambiance.  On the other hand, it’s a big job so requires a lot of time and effort and could be costly depending upon the extent of your remodel.

If you plan to move within a few years of your remodel, consider the current state of your kitchen, and determine how much a remodel could improve your resale value.  For example, if you are in an older home with an original kitchen, a renovation could be necessary to make your home easy to sell.  On the other hand, if your kitchen is in pretty good shape and a remodel would be more of an improvement than a necessity, it may be best to hold off.

Determining Scope

If you decide to move forward with your kitchen remodeling project, it’s necessary to determine your scope.  Decide whether you’re looking for a full-scale kitchen renovation, or whether you’re instead interested in a surface-level remodel.

If you’re looking to overhaul your kitchen, some aspects of the project may be best left to a professional.  For kitchen renovation Toronto-area homeowners have many well-qualified remodeling contractors available.

Identifying Your Needs

It’s critical to identify your specific goals when planning your remodel.  If your kitchen is currently in rough shape and doesn’t meet your functional needs, your first priorities in your kitchen remodel should be practical, although aesthetics should certainly play a role.  If you’re just after a more updated look, your priorities can be more focused upon design.

Consider which specific features of your kitchen you’d like to replace or improve, and discuss these with your contractor as you plan your project.  Be clear about what look you’re after, and determine what designs fit your own personal style and match your home’s general decor.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen or are currently on the fence, we’d love to hear about what factors have influenced your decision, or what got you interested in a kitchen remodel in the first place.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.