TIP OF THE WEEK
When you're ready to create the bathroom of your dreams, it's no time to chase fads. You want design trends with enduring appeal, concepts that blend luxury, beauty, sensibility and eco-friendliness. Striking a balance between indulgence and practicality can result in a bathroom where you'll happily spend time getting ready to face the world or decompressing after a busy day.
Rediscover cork. Chances are, if cork is already present in your home, it's part of a bulletin board or nestled in the neck of your favorite bottle of wine. However, cork has many advantages as a design material, and it's especially appealing in modern bathrooms. Cork is a beautiful natural material. With a wide variety of colors, grains and textures, each piece of cork is a unique work of natural art. It's naturally water resistant (although not water proof) and anti-microbial, so it combats mold and mildew in bathrooms. As a flooring material, it's soft, warm texture is friendly to bare feet. Finally, cork is exceptionally sustainable; it's renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and cork trees need not be cut down in order to harvest the material.
Win with wall-mount toilets. Already widely found in European homes, wall-mount toilets are gaining in popularity in the U.S. Wall-mount toilets offer many design advantages that are both beautiful and practical. Mounting a toilet on the wall allows greater design flexibility, and makes cleaning beneath and around the fixture easy. For any size bathroom, wall-mount toilets work well in smaller spaces to create an uncluttered and open visual effect.
Daylighting. The concept of daylighting -- using natural light from multiple sources to illuminate a space -- has been around for a while, and this is the year to welcome the trend into your bathroom. Incorporating natural light into a bathroom can help reduce electricity consumption, improve visibility, positively affect your mood, balance your internal clock and increase your home's resale value.
Wet rooms. For a shower that stands out in terms of visual impact and luxurious experience, consider creating a wet room. Another bathroom design concept that's popular abroad, modern wet room bathrooms eliminate shower doors, enhance accessibility, make cleaning easier and create a more expansive shower experience. To turn your standard bathroom into a wet room, you'll need to waterproof the walls and floors, and have the floor gently graded to lead to a central floor drain that carries excess water away. Whether you have a large bathroom or a smaller space, the wet room concept can make your bathroom look and feel bigger by eliminating shower stalls, doors and curtains that take up space.
Plan to list early
Although the spring is generally thought of as the peak time for selling a home, listing your home earlier can give you a jump start on the rest of the competition. One benefit of listing early is that there is less inventory for potential buyers to choose from, which can create competition between buyers and a the potential for you to get the most out of your home's sale. Listing early can also help you tap into the urgent buyer pool, as many companies transfer employees at the start of the year. If you live in a warm climate, the spring season comes earlier and your home can stand out among potential buyers living in colder climates. In 2017, listing earlier could be also be beneficial as some buyers are concerned about rising interest rates in the coming year and will want to buy sooner rather than later.
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Decorating tricks for lighting
Don't overlook the power of decor in making a room feel bright and welcoming. Light-hued walls of white, cream or pale yellow or blue not only make a room feel bigger, they evoke the visual qualities of natural light. Large windowless rooms, like a basement play room, can benefit from large framed art. Select scenes that mimic the view you might get from a picture window, such as a seascape, mountain scene or city skyline. Filtered overhead light can also create the effect of a natural light source. For example, drape light-colored, opaque fabric above a bed, so that the cloth conceals the overhead light fixture. As the artificial light shines through the fabric, it will imitate the diffused look of natural light.
Energy audit can help reduce costs
If you're hoping to reduce your energy costs at home, one of the first places to start is by getting an energy audit. Energy audits are performed by Home-performance contractors and can cost anywhere from $250 to $800, depending on the size of your home. The contractor will do a blower-door test and use infrared cameras to spot air leaks, assess your heating and cooling equipment, and review your utility bills. Through their audit, they can also detect safety hazards like indoor pollutants and carbon monoxide leaks. Be sure to find a contractor who is certified by the Building Performance Institute.
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