TIP OF THE WEEK
Coffee bars, TVs in mirrors, smart toilets and pet-friendly amenities - a growing number of homeowners are requesting such upscale features in their bathroom design, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Is it any wonder that association members report the average cost of remodeling a bath is between $10,000 and $30,000? However, you don't have to spend that much to update your bathroom stylishly and easily.
Transitional is trending. According to a poll of remodeling professionals, the vast majority agreed that "transitional" was the most-requested style in bathroom settings. Transitional design allows you to blend elements of both traditional and contemporary styles. The result is a blend of sophistication and simplicity that is easy to create with only a modest investment.
Neutrals have staying power. Long favored for their ability to create an easy-to-customize color foundation, neutral hues remain in vogue in the bathroom. Whites and grays are the most popular color schemes, NKBA reports, although these colors aren't confined to walls or floors. White continues to be the most popular color choice for toilets, tubs and sinks. In bathrooms with these pristine-toned fixtures, you can cost-effectively play on the neutral trend by adding pale gray to the walls.
Superior showers. The shower is becoming a highlight of the bathroom, with many renovators reporting that homeowners want customization such as lighting, built-in seating, benches and hand-showers installed. Remodeling your shower can be as simple as replacing an old-style, static showerhead with an upgraded, more luxurious model.
Aging-in-place amenities. Home design experts have long predicted that as baby boomers grow older, demand will increase for home features that will allow seniors to stay in their houses throughout their golden years. NKBA members report evidence of this trend, with more homeowners asking for aging-in-place upgrades such as grab bars, higher vanities and chair-height toilets. Aging-in-place upgrades are among the most useful and cost-effective bathroom improvements. Following this pattern can be as simple as installing grab bars in showers and tubs, and next to toilets. Replacing knob faucets with single-handle or lever-style faucets allows people with dexterity challenges to easily and safely function in the bathroom.
-- Brandpoint/American Standard
Importance of listing photos
Listing photos are one of the most important aspects of selling your home as more and more people research homes for sale on the internet. Although hiring a professional photographer might not be economical for everybody, just grabbing your phone and snapping a few pictures could prevent your home from selling quickly. If you have made the decision to take your own photos be sure to take a shot from the curb to show your home's curb appeal, create the sense of welcome with a photo of your front door left open, capture your home's selling points including any recent updates or renovations, stage each room, show off any views your home may have, show off any architectural details and take a photo of your home at night with the lights on.
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Shake up your photo displays
Displaying pictures of your family, friends and pets gives your home a personal touch. Although displaying your memories and loved ones is traditionally done by hanging frames on the wall, you can give your photos new life by finding new places to showcase your pictures. If you have ledges, layer two or three photos on the ledge, move your pictures to the floor and lean them agains the wall or use a table top easel to set a cherished framed picture in. If the wall is still your preferred method of displaying photos, you can give them a fresh look by using photo clips instead of frames. Using photo clips can also give you the option of creating a snapshot of a family reunion or a family vacation.
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Get rid of that second refrigerator
Many people keep a second refrigerator or freezer in the garage or a utility room to hold beverages and left-overs, but keeping an extra fridge or freezer can keep your utility bill high. According to KeepMyPlanetGreen.com, extra fridges and freezers released between 1990-92 can add more than $283 to your utility bill annually, while ones released between 1993-2000 can add an additional $189 per year. If a second fridge or freezer is necessary for your home, look for Energy Star appliances that were released in 2009 or after, which will only cost and additional $90 per year.
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