What To Include In Your Dream Bathroom

shutterstock_243627643Designing your dream bathroom is an unforgettable experience — especially when you get to handpick everything from the floors to the fixtures to suit your tastes. The only problem? Total control is a lot of responsibility. How do you know you’re making decisions that will appeal to you and potential buyers years down the road? What features are most important, and which are just a matter of preference? How do you know what adds value to a home?

To help answer these questions, here’s a look at some top tips for what to include in your dream bath. When you want to make sure you’re designing strategically, keep these features at the forefront of your bathroom plans:


  1. Natural light. Incorporating windows that let a lot of natural light into your bathroom is both aesthetically enjoyable and more energy efficient. Windows take advantage of the existing outdoor light to naturally illuminate your daily routines.
  2. More space. If you’re still at the stage of design where you can expand your bathroom’s size, do it. Bigger bathrooms are better able to accommodate all the bells and whistles that put the luxury in luxury bath. Boost your bathroom’s floor plan with extra square footage to make it a more desirable space.
  3. Extra storage room. Along the same lines as more square footage is extra storage space. Look for ways to add storage areas to your bathroom — a closet, shelves, vanity space, etc. — in order to maximize its usability and appeal.
  4. Double sinks. Double sinks mean double the space, which means double the opportunities for keeping toiletries and cosmetics. Likewise, double sinks accommodate more users in the bathroom and more potential for use. For more minimal upkeep, look for undermounted sinks and low-maintenance surface options that are easy to clean.
  5. Separate shower and tub. A shower/tub combination is efficient and useful, but separating the shower from the tub adds more comfort, style and luxury. With a spacious shower and a standalone tub, you have opportunities to turn these features into destinations. You might go with a whirlpool tub, for example, or a shower with room for two. For a bonus tip, consider building a shower that’s big enough to not need a door. It’ll save you constant cleanup without allowing water to spray into the room.
  6. Luxury materials. High-end materials like glass, stainless steel, porcelain tile and stone are hot in more than kitchens today. Turn your bathroom in a luxury retreat by incorporating marble-topped vanities, porcelain tile floors or glass shelves. Also check out engineered stone for a natural lookalike that’s resistant to mold, mildew, scratches and stains.
  7. Heated floors. It’s hard to imagine anything more luxurious than stepping out of your bathtub onto heated floors. Likewise, when you step into your bathroom early in the morning or from the plush carpeting from your bedroom, heated floors make the transition easier. With radiant heating under your floorboards, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
  8. Eco-friendly features. From water-saving toilets to efficient shower heads, look for eco-friendly features that will add efficiency and value to your space.
  9. A private commode. Give your bathroom the beauty of privacy by putting the toilet in its own space. A separate water closet is commonplace in some parts of the world, but in America it’s a standout feature.


When it comes to your dream bathroom, your style preferences are paramount — but also incorporating winning features like natural light, high-end materials and eco-friendly features ensures you create value that lasts. When you’re shopping for designs and features for your new bathroom, keep the above list in mind. By paying attention to what features are desirable in the field, you can create a bathroom that’d be a dream for anyone.



Author bio: Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom and has 15 years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products needed for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of bathroom faucets, vanities, sinks, toilets and showers, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look. 



Get Unhinged: 3 Ways to Create Visually Striking Doors in Your Home

23703499_original(BPT) – Think of a door opening and closing.

Chances are you pictured it swinging on hinges, since that’s how most doors operate. But, more homeowners are choosing other door hanging hardware for a unique look with their interior and exterior doors.

If you’re looking for a way to make visitors to your home say “wow,” consider alternatives to hinged doors for an unexpected twist.

“Once you’ve chosen the door that’s perfect for you, it can be hung in a number of distinctive ways,” says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for Simpson Door Company. “A pocket door, sliding barn door or a pivot door can add some personality and pizzazz to your home.”

Pocket Doors

Similar to closet doors hung on a track, pocket doors slide open and closed, but disappear into the wall when closed. Popular in home offices, bathrooms and utility rooms, pocket doors save space and can make a room feel more open. Using a pocket door in place of a hinged door saves about 10 square feet of floor space, notes home improvement expert Tim Carter.

Depending on the width of the opening, you can use either a single pocket door, or double pocket doors that slide into opposite walls and meet in the middle when closed. Because they don’t seal as tightly as hinged doors, pocket doors are largely limited to use inside the home, instead of as entry doors.

Sliding Barn Doors

Barn doors are a bit like pocket doors in that they slide open and closed, but they’re hung on tracks that are visible. When opened, the doors are located on one side of the wall, instead of disappearing into the wall. For large openings, such as between dining rooms and living rooms, you can even hang multiple barn doors on tracks in order to divide the spaces.

A number of companies offer high-end barn door track hardware, in a range of styles and colors. “People like the unexpected look of a barn door,” says John Golesh, president of door hardware manufacturer Goldberg Brothers. “They’re a great way to add a rustic, yet elegant look to your home. And with the wide variety of door hangers and handles, a barn door can complement any interior décor.”

In addition to the chic look barn doors offer, homes for sale with “barn door” in their listing sold for 13 percent more than expected and 57 days faster, according to research by Zillow Diggs.

Pivot Doors

Common in ancient buildings, pivot mounted doors are virtually unseen in North American homes. For homeowners who want an element of surprise, a pivot door is a good choice. In place of hinges or overhead sliders and tracks, pivot doors rotate open and closed around pins installed in the top and bottom of the door frame. The pins are set several inches in from the door frame, depending on the door’s size.

“For high-end homes with extra-wide doors, pivots are a great way to handle the additional weight, and will be unlike anything your visitors have seen before,” Loveless says. “We are making many different super-sized doors for this exact application.”

Some of these doors are huge – measuring up to four feet wide or more. As “large, simple rectangles,” pivot doors can be designed to look like the surrounding wall, so fit well in modern style homes, notes architect Bud Dietrich. Unlike pocket doors and barn doors, pivot doors can seal tightly to their frame when closed, so can be used as entry doors.

Houses: Building Them Better Than They Used To

23243213_original(BPT) – The phrase, “they don’t build them like they used to,” has been applied to nearly everything from cars to footwear, but most often it seems people say it about houses. In fact, this sentiment has become so common, that many believe the homes today aren’t built to the standards they were 60 or 70 years ago.

People tend to believe this because there is an undeniable charm to older homes – yet, the ones they’re often thinking of were built for millionaires. It’s hardly fair to compare the mansions and manor homes owned by the 1 percent a century ago to today’s middle-class subdivisions. The truth is, there were plenty of poorly constructed houses built back then. We just don’t see them, because they’re no longer standing.

Building materials, techniques and technologies have changed. Most often, these changes have translated into better, more affordable houses. Still skeptical? A quick look at a few examples will show that this urban myth is not too hard to dispel.

A Variety of Exterior Choices

For a time, vinyl siding dominated neighborhoods. It was the choice for new construction and remodels alike. Sure it was maintenance free and far less of a headache than wood siding, and cheaper than stone or stucco, but few called it an inspired look.

A new generation of synthetic wood siding promises to add not only quality, but authenticity to home siding options. Available in a variety of styles and colors, Cedar Impressions Shakes mimic the texture and rustic beauty so many prize in cedar, without the maintenance issues that turn so many away from natural wood siding.

Another important advancement in materials is in roofing, where more homeowners are choosing synthetic slate shingles. Slate, which has decorated cathedrals and mansions around the world, is as beautiful as it is difficult to maintain and afford. Its synthetic counterpart, made from recycled rubber and plastic, creates the appearance of a stone roof, while being stronger, more flexible and easier to install. It also lasts much longer than asphalt shingles – up to 50 years.

Interior Walls

Along with engineering advancements that have improved the structural integrity and resilience of new homes, interior walls have greatly improved as well. While many people have a nostalgia for plaster walls, the new drywall technology used in Habito by CertainTeed Gypsum brings the strength and durability of plaster into a modern drywall.

Incredibly strong, Habito drywall is not only able to stand up to extreme abuse, but it’s also able hold an incredible amount of weight, up to 30 pounds on a single wood screw. This new drywall eliminates the need to find a stud or install a wall anchor, and makes decorating and redecorating incredibly easy. It’s particularly handy for today’s modern lifestyle where televisions, speakers, pictures and shelves are mounted on the wall.

Of course, these more refined and stronger building technologies are only part of the story of why homes are now built better than ever. If you want to learn more and get inspired for your next construction or remodeling project, visit HanginWithHabito.com for more information on their revolutionary drywall product.

And the next time someone says “they just don’t build them like they used to,” you’ll say that’s a good thing.

How to Deal with Mold in Your Home

shutterstock_312910916It’s estimated that up to 300,000 species of mold exist on the planet. While most of this mold grows naturally outdoors — and is actually an asset to the environment they’re growing in — when mold grows indoors, it has the potential to do great harm. Not only is mold unsightly and smelly, but it’s often the byproduct of past water damage or unidentified moisture intrusion. Aside from this, it has the potential to greatly impact the health of household residents. Symptoms of mold exposure range from the likes of increased allergic reactions to respiratory illnesses.

With this in mind, if you suspect there’s a mold problem in your home, it’s important to take action quickly — before it spreads throughout the home and continues to wreak havoc on the health of your family.

  1. Have it tested/inspected. Some mold is more obvious than others. For instance, if you see dark spots on the walls or ceilings, or in your basement or attic, it is likely mold. If you smell a musky odor, it could be the sign of mold. Other infestations are less obvious, and these often grow undetected in wall cavities. While you can buy a mold testing kit to verify mold growth, consider calling a certified mold inspector or mold remediation contractor to fully assess your situation with professional certainty. Don’t assume that you can clean up the mold or remove the mold-infested materials yourself — you may be doing more harm than good.
  2. Identify the source. As noted above, mold needs water to grow, so if mold growth is occurring in the home, it’s because water is getting into or has gotten into the home. Perhaps you have a leaky roof or a pipe is leaking inside a wall. Or, water is getting into your basement. Perhaps storm damage led to the mold growth. Whatever the cause, mold will keep coming back unless the water source has been eliminated.
  3. Call your insurance agent. If your mold infestation is significant, you should rely on a professional mold remediation contractor to remediate it. Depending on the type of mold growth — and how it occurred — remediation may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. For instance, if a storm damaged your home and led to water intrusion that caused subsequent mold growth, you’re likely covered. That said, a phone call to your agent is never a bad idea.
  4. Hire a professional. A lot of unethical contractors prey on unsuspecting homeowners, especially “storm chaser contractors” that aggressively seek business after powerful storms impact an area. Noting this, it’s important to hire a certified, credible and professional mold remediation company. Such companies are normally part of accredited organizations, such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or Restoration Industry Association (RIA), and remediate mold per the IICRC S520 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation. This work involves safely removing porous materials (i.e., drywall, carpet, etc.) that have been affected and cleaning contents and nonporous materials. It also involves proper source containment to eliminate the risk of mold spores spreading to an unaffected area of the home. Disinfection and sanitization are also included. Following remediation, testing will be carried out to ensure it was successful.
  5. Build back. Following successful remediation comes reconstruction (if applicable). If drywall or carpeting had to be removed and discarded, for instance, then a contractor will have to replace it. This work may be done by the same mold remediation contractor that did the mold removal if it is a full-service contractor, or it may be subbed out to another professional.


Bottom line? If you suspect or have identified mold growth in your home, it’s important to take action. Don’t sit on the problem, as it will only get worse over time, spreading throughout more of your home and costing much more to remediate. Of course, there’s also the toll that mold growth has the potential to take on your family’s health. Mold is no joke — and the best way to deal with it is to get rid of it.



Author bio: Bill Robinson is Vice President of Operations for DKI Commercial Solutions, where he oversees disaster relief operations for commercial large loss in the United States. DKI Services is a disaster remediation and restoration company that offers residential and commercial buildings emergency restorations. Some of Robinson’s efforts have been nationally and locally recognized in the media.