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.

Basement Lighting

basement remodelingBasement lighting is an important aspect of any basement remodel.  You’ll want to install adequate, even lighting that lights the entire basement effectively.  There are some special considerations for basement lighting, so you’ll want to choose your lighting carefully.

Special Considerations for Basement Lighting

Your basement is unique from most other rooms in your house in that it has no windows, but is also a fairy large space.  Therefore, you’ll want lighting that is bright and also distributed throughout the space. Additionally, most basements have a relatively low ceiling, so you’ll want to install lighting that doesn’t take up too much vertical space.  For example, pendant lighting may not be the best option for basement lighting.

Can Lighting

Can lighting consists of a round fixture, or can, that is installed above the drywall of the ceiling, meaning that the trim of the fixture is flush with the ceiling.  The bulb is then placed within the can. There are many trim options for can lighting, meaning that it can be customized to your finished basement’s décor.  Can lighting can be installed on both sides of the basement spanning the length of the wall such that the entire basement is evenly lit.

Track Lighting

For the track lighting method, light fixtures are attached on a continuous track that contains electoral conductors.  This is unique from other forms of lighting, which rout to individual light fixtures. Track lighting has several benefits in that it is easy to install, effective and versatile.  Light fixtures can be evenly dispersed throughout the track, or instead focused in particular areas.  Track lighting is an excellent choice for larger spaces that require ample lighting, so it is an ideal choice for finished basements.

Safety First

Any kind of electrical work, including lighting installation, can be very hazardous if done improperly.  Serious or even fatal injury can occur during installation, and an improper install poses a fire hazard.  Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional if you’re inexperienced in electrical work and always make sure that contractor’s work get inspected by ESA inspector. This little step that most contractors try to skip will save a lot of trouble down the road.  Fortunately for basement finishing Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors available. Are you currently undertaking your own basement finishing project?  If so, we’d love to hear about which type of lighting you selected.  Give us your own thoughts on basement lighting in the comments section.

Bathroom Lighting

bathroom remodeling torontoBathroom lighting is an important but often overlooked aspect of any quality bathroom remodel.  It’s very common for bathrooms to be inadequately lit, which makes the space visually smaller and also makes the bathroom harder to use.  Whether you’re interested in a full bathroom renovation or are after a simple touch up, these bathroom lighting tips will help you make the most of your bathroom.

A good bathroom lighting scheme is comprised of a series of layers, in which ample lighting is placed where it is needed, such as in the vanity or shower, and additional lighting enhances the room’s overall ambiance.

Vanity Lighting

Vanity task lighting is a top priority, as it is needed to illuminate the head and face for shaving and grooming.  A very common mistake is to place a single ceiling fixture directly over the mirror.  This casts shadows on the face and hair, making grooming very difficult.

Vertical fixtures mounted on both sides of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face and hair.  If mounting lighting to the side isn’t an option due to space constraints, lighting can also be placed above the mirror.  Be sure that the light source spans the width of the mirror for nice, even lighting.

It’s also worth noting that fluorescent bulbs may make the skin tone appear washed out or drab.  Soft incandescent lighting may be the best choice for vanity lighting, as it efficiently illuminates the face and hair without inordinately washing out the complexion.

Shower Lighting

Shower lighting is another priority for task lighting.  In small bathrooms with clear shower doors, a dedicated shower fixture may be unnecessary.  However, in larger bathrooms or if frosted or opaque curtains or doors cover the shower, a dedicated fixture may be appropriate.  A recessed light with a glass lens works best here, as it is more durable and will not yellow, unlike plastic.

Ambient Bathroom Lighting

Ambient lighting substitutes for daylight, which bathrooms often lack.  Ambient lighting is typically supplied by a central fixture, which is ordinarily a surface-mounted ceiling light.  However, you can also get creative with options like pendant lighting or even a small chandelier.

Safety Concerns

Keep in mind that water and electricity are a deadly combination, and that the bathroom brings water closer to electricity than any other room in the house.  Be sure to consult with a certified electrician before beginning your bathroom lighting project, and discuss these concerns with your bathroom renovation contractor.

Fixtures that are close to the shower or tub must also be “wet” or “shower-location” rated.  Remember that this rating differs from the “damp” rating necessary for outdoor lighting.

Have you recently embarked on a bathroom lighting project, or are you upgrading your lighting as part of a bathroom remodel?  If so, please share your own bathroom renovation ideas and lighting insights in the comments section.

Small Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen RenovationSmall kitchen remodeling presents a special set of challenges.   Small kitchen renovations generally aim to make the most use of limited square footage and visually enlarge space.  This increases the functionality of the kitchen and generally makes it a more enjoyable place to be.

These small kitchen remodeling ideas can help you make the most of your kitchen and enjoy your time there.

Scaling Down

To make more efficient use of your space in your small kitchen renovation, consider aspects of your kitchen that can easily be scaled down.  For example, large double sinks or farmhouse sinks take up a significant amount of counter space, so a more space-efficient sink can help to make better use of valuable counter space.

Space-efficient appliances can also free up some square footage.  Side-by-side refrigerators are convenient, but a stacked refrigerator takes up much less width.  It may also be possible to install a smaller dishwasher, freeing up valuable storage space.

Also look for ways to enhance storage space.  Elongating cabinetry make more use of wall space, allowing more available storage space.  Increasing cabinets’ depth is also helpful in this regard.

Prioritizing

 When planning your small kitchen remodel, consider what aspects of your kitchen you value most.  For example, if you’re an avid chef ample storage space may be important, but if you’re more the takeout type, minimal storage may be OK.  Discuss your needs with your home renovation professional to develop a plan that best fits your needs.

 Visually Enlarging Your Space

There are many techniques that can make your kitchen feel more open and less cramped.  This visually enhances your space to make it appear larger than it is.

First, let in the light.  Installing ample lighting helps to brighten things up.  Additionally, opting for lighter walls, counter tops, cabinetry and flooring  also opens up your space.  Large floor tiles or stained concrete also make floorspace appear larger.

A qualified home renovation contractor can help you to make the most of your small kitchen remodel.  Fortunately for kitchen remodeling Toronto-area homeowners have many excellent renovation professionals available.

If you’ve remodeled a small kitchen, we’d love to hear your own suggestions for make the most of limited square footage in the comments section.