Thursday, August 25, 2022

4 Fatal Bathroom Trends That Will Slash Your Home’s Resale Value

Large blue bathroom with soaking tub and towel warmer.


Bathrooms are not cheap to renovate, but they are one of the most important rooms in the house that can immediately attract or repel potential buyers. Nobody wants to walk into a bathroom that has dirt in the grout or cracks in the bathtub; in essence, a bathroom that looks and feels a little too lived-in is going to turn buyers off. 

But beyond an unclean bathroom, there are actually quite a few bathroom design trends that will instantly slash your home’s resale value. Though they might’ve been popular at one stage, the following list of design mistakes can make your home seem outdated and really decrease interest in your home. 


Large, open bathroom with bathtub and shower combo.

1. Carpeted Floors


That’s right – people are still putting carpet in the bathroom, and buyers are still absolutely hating it. While this design mistake was most popular in the 1970’s, the comfort it may give your bare feet when hopping out of the tub or shower is not enough to outweigh how much a carpeted bathroom will hinder your home’s resale value. In a room that’s humid and regularly wet, carpet will only stimulate mold growth and mildew – a fact that will definitely make buyers’ skin crawl.

Try this instead: Depending on your budget, there are plenty of bathroom flooring options that can be easily installed. If you want the nicest-looking but cheapest solution, peel-and-stick vinyl flooring is a great way to go. If you have more to spend, porcelain tile is largely considered the most pristine bathroom flooring (and is also incredibly water-resistant and durable). 


Unique pedestal sink that hides plumbing without having to put it behind the wall.

2. Hidden Plumbing


Any plumbing set up that puts your pipes behind the wall may be a red flag for potential homebuyers. When plumbing issues arise and those pipes are behind drywall, you can guarantee the repairs will be expensive and messy. 

Try this instead: So that you (and future owners) have easy access to all bathroom piping and plumbing, ensure plumbing is accessible with an opening that exposes pipes. Cover it with a door to keep out dust. Or choose fixtures that keep plumbing in the open like TOTO's Promenade. You could also go for a modern option that makes a real statement, like this funky pedestal sink by Fresca shaped like the number seven, or this Modern Glass Bathroom Pedestal Sink.


Unique freestanding sink in glass and chrome.


3. Extreme Colors (like avocado)


Another bathroom remodeling trend to avoid is painting the space an overly bold color. While this design mistake really applies to every room in the house, a bathroom is supposed to be serene and calming – think seafoam green or soft beige. 

Repainting your bathroom bright red or mustard yellow will only shock potential buyers – and not in a good way. Interestingly, a survey found that 62% of people deemed an avocado-colored bathroom as the biggest turn-off in a home. 


Neutral colored bathroom with combo tub shower and vessel sink vanity.


4. Badly Designed No-threshold Showers


Again, another seemingly luxurious design element that’s found in many hotel bathrooms is the no-threshold or curbless shower. While they are extremely functional for family members of all ages and easy to clean, some may feel that they deliver too-little privacy. Also, if it isn’t designed correctly, water will end up all over the bathroom each time you shower. What may seem spa-like will likely lead to messes, which buyers will probably recognize.

Try this instead: There are ways to make your shower more open concept that still includes a threshold. For instance, you can create an open, inviting feel with this Frameless Hinged Tub Door, which keeps water in without compromising on style.



If you’re only wanting to make one change to your bathroom that will have a big impact on potential buyers, focus on redoing the vanity. Here are several tips to successfully update your vanity.

Learn How to Buy a Bathroom Vanity


Thursday, August 18, 2022

What Are the Best Rooms to Remodel for Resale Value?

Beige bathroom with floating double vanity and trough sink.

In a hot seller’s market, it’s not uncommon to wonder which remodel projects will get you the most bang for your buck. If you’re considering putting your house on the market, invest your time and money into improvements that will yield the most value. 

We turned to expert real estate agents to find out what are the best rooms to remodel for resale value. Here’s what they said. 


Close up of side-mounted faucet on a soaking bathtub.


Bathrooms

Any kind of bathroom, from the powder room to the primary suite, increases your home’s value. It should be a top contender when you ask what the best rooms to remodel are to increase your home’s value. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, you can plan on about 54-60% ROI when you remodel bathrooms.

Standard Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom remodel can return as much as 60% of your investment. A midrange budget will bring the biggest return. Be sure to update the floor, all fixtures, and the backsplash. A new vanity can change the entire look of the space without you having to tear out any walls. Top it off with on-trend faucets and you’ll cement your home in the minds of buyers. 

Adding a few perks to the bathroom increases buyer interest. Smart mirrors, rain shower heads, and jetted tubs make excellent additions. You could also consider converting your bathroom design to a universal/accessible layout (yields a 57% ROI). This makes your bathroom attractive to seniors who want to age in place, families with wheelchair accessibility needs, and anyone who appreciates a more modern wetroom type design.


Sleek wood floating vanity in a gray and white tiled bathroom.


Primary Suite Remodel

Suites are big sellers. Any bedroom with a bathroom attached can increase the selling price of your home, but the primary suite does so to the tune of a 54% return. Big sellers for the primary bath include walk-in closets, freestanding tubs and separate showers, and spa-like design. 

The primary suite can always benefit from some luxury. Put some extra attention on lighting to make the space feel special. Add a shower with body sprays. Splurge on a chromatherapy tub. Or forget the tub altogether and create more of a wetroom design with double showerheads. 


Front Door

Changing out your front door is one of the most cost effective ways to get a boost in your home’s value. It returns up to 65% on your investment. To get the most out of this update, get a 20 gauge steel door and update the jambs, stops, threshold, and locks as well.

If you feel so inclined, you can widen your front door and add a sidelight or two. Half or full glass adds some curb appeal that makes your home memorable to prospective buyers and could give the price a boost too.


Large kitchen with modern styling and long island.


Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is often at the top of prospective buyers’ wish lists. It’s another top contender for the best rooms to remodel for resale value. Buyers want something that’s ready to roll and doesn’t need any updating. 

A mid-range renovation brings up to a 72% return. Today’s families appreciate open format living spaces with one great room for the kitchen, dining, and living areas. Some could even skip the dining room if the kitchen has good eat-in functionality. 

Hit the big three when updating the kitchen: floor, cabinets, and countertops for the biggest return. Look for high-quality perks like soft close doors and drawers, stone or concrete countertops, and a statement-making backsplash that’s neutral enough to welcome any style but still draws attention. 


Outdoor Improvements

With the staycation at an all time high, livable outdoor spaces are in high demand. Upgrades don’t have to be big or expensive to increase the value of your home and give you a return (up to 92%). Patios, pools, decks, and outdoor kitchens are always a hit, but even some simple landscaping and seating will do the trick. 

Improvements to the outside of the house gives a boost to your curb appeal and makes a great first impression. Siding, window, and roofing replacement all bring up to 69% return on your investment. Manufactured stone veneer brings a whopping 92% return.


Garage Door

The garage door, like the front door, is another high yield investment that’s fairly easy and cost-effective to do. It has a 93% return on investment plus adds to that curb appeal that buyers love. 

Garage doors with some detail are the best investment. Carriage house style is popular or something with small windows across the top of the door. This is mostly a cosmetic improvement so if your motor is in good shape, you can keep the old one.


Make your investments work for you by choosing the projects that bring the best returns. When you prioritize your dollars into the best rooms to remodel for giving your home’s value a boost, you’ll soon have prospective buyers rolling in.

Want more remodeling ideas? Check out these. 

9 Ways to Remodel Your Bathroom


Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Ultimate Lighting Fixture Guide



Dining room with unique chandelier over the table.


Looking for new lighting fixtures and not quite sure where to start? Our lighting fixture guide will help you get off on the right foot. Whether you want to add some mood lighting to the bedroom or need to fix a too-dim kitchen, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started with the need-to-knows. 


Lighting Basics

Knowing the best lighting fixtures starts with an understanding of how lighting works. There are three kinds of lighting. When you use the three together appropriately, you’ll be able to enjoy a well lit space in any room of the house. Here’s an overview.

Ambient

Ambient light is a general light that acts as a foundation layer on which all other lighting is built. It includes recessed lighting, track lighting, large lamps, and natural lighting.  

Task

Task lighting is more specific lighting for specific tasks and functions. It includes desk lamps/smaller lamps, pendant lights, and under cabinet lighting. 

Accent

Accent lighting is artistic or stylistic lighting that highlights a certain aspect of the room or creates a mood. It includes dimmer lights, picture lights, and colored lights.


Two lamps next to a couch and window in a living room.


Every room needs all three types of light to be successful. Even though it seems like accent lighting isn’t a necessity, it makes a big difference in the overall feel of the space and how you interact with it. Task lighting is also very important. No amount of ambient lighting in the living room will give your eyes enough light to read late into the night safely.

You should also take into account the size and shape of the room, ceiling height, the color scheme, traffic pattern, daylight, shadows, reflections, and energy efficiency. Each of these will affect what and how much lighting is needed. 

Larger rooms need more light. The colors and finishes in a room may produce a light absorbing or reflecting effect that will play into the overall lighting. High traffic areas need more light than less trafficked areas. Daylight takes care of many lighting needs during the day, but you still need plenty of lighting for the nighttime hours. Logistical considerations like your electrical set up and efficiency will also play a role.

Let’s take a look, room by room, at the things you should be considering as you plan for lighting and how to pick the best lighting for your home. 


Dining room with large chandelier over the table.


Kitchen

The kitchen is the ultimate multitasking room of the house. It’s your food prep, dining, entertaining, homework, office space and the lighting has to be ready to take on any one of those situations at any time of day or night. 

Key Kitchen Lighting

Task lighting is key in the kitchen. Be sure you install lighting in all your work spaces appropriate to the task at hand. Under cabinet lighting is needed for food prep. Island lighting is needed for homework, dining, and clean up. 

Decorative lighting over the dining table or eating area makes the space usable and draws in both family and friends. 


Pendant lights over a bathroom vanity.


Bathroom

The bathroom is a detail-oriented area but also can be an oasis of relaxation. It is also a room of moisture and lots of running water that warrants some safety measures when it comes to its electrical components. 

Key Bathroom Lighting

In the bathroom focus on lighting for highly-detailed tasks with a healthy dose of mood enhancing accent lighting. Light over the vanity is probably your most important area. 

Get creative with the vanity and go beyond bar lighting. Instead try sconces or even a lighted mirror to bring light right to where it’s most needed. Include a pendant light or chandelier over the bathtub to add some mood and a spa-like feel.


Sconces on either side of a mirror over a bathroom vanity.


Bedroom

The bedroom is the only place you can get away with skimping on ambient light. It’s a space that’s meant to be dim and relaxing. That gives you a lot more room to play with mood-creating lighting.

Key Bedroom Lighting

The key for bedroom lighting is to focus on creating experiences. Examine your bedtime habits and build your lighting around that. If you like to read in bed, be sure to include a bedside lamp sufficient for reading. 

If you like a cozy feel, be sure to use lighting with the warm glow of incandescent bulbs. Like a little more mood? Try lights with colored shades or unique designs.


Living room with recessed lights on the ceiling.


Living Room

The living room is where family and friends gather. It’s another multitasking room, like the kitchen, that has to meet many needs. Think carefully not only about how you use the living room but also how light changes throughout the day when planning for lighting.

Key Living Room Lighting

When it comes to living room lighting, think in zones. Your zones may be made up of where different activities happen: TV viewing, reading, games, conversation. Or your zones may be made up of natural boundaries in the space: where the couch is, where the dining area ends, where traffic patterns naturally fall. 

Create lighting for each of these zones. Lamps for reading zones, sconces for walkways, and a bit of ambient lighting for the TV viewing area.


Sconces on a hallway wall.


Halls & Entries

The primary purpose of a hall or entryway is to move people from one place to another. Though practicality should be your first thought, you can also add lots of style with your lighting  choices in the halls and entryways. 

Key Hall & Entry Lighting

You want to have enough lighting in your halls and entries to ensure you can see where you’re going, but for the most part, you can focus on style with your lighting choices. 

Mid-size ceiling lights or small chandeliers in the hallway or even some large, statement making sconces transform a boring space into an interesting one. 


With a little help from our lighting fixture guide, you can get started finding all the right lighting for every space in your home. Need more lighting ideas? 


Get More Lighting Ideas


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Handy, Dandy Buy Guide for the Bathroom Vanity

Wood vanity in a modern style in a neutural, open bathroom.


Take a step back and think things through before you select your bathroom vanity. Like any remodel project, you need some planning before you charge ahead.

What’s your budget? Timeline? How big of a vanity will fit in your bathroom? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself. 

As experts in all things bathroom design and d├ęcor, we’ve put together a bathroom vanity buying guide so you can have a successful vanity update project. 

Consider the following. 



Glossy, modern double vanity in a light, airy bathroom.

What’s Your Footprint?

The vanity might be the largest single item in the bathroom, taking up a good chunk of real estate in your bathroom square footage. Starting with your bathroom’s footprint or layout is a key first step. After you have the general measurements of the room, make note of any doors, drawers, or points of entry/exit where you’ll need clearance. Be mindful of the flow of traffic in the room and be sure not to put things in the way that would interfere with that pattern of traffic. 

It’s also helpful to take in the visual footprint of your bathroom. This goes beyond its actual measurements to how big or small the space feels. More open bathrooms can take larger vanities, while more enclosed feeling bathrooms are better suited to smaller vanities.


Small, white corner vanity in a white powder room.

Where’s the Plumbing?

Though you might want to adjust the location of your vanity, check out where the existing plumbing is before doing so. Moving plumbing is an expensive undertaking and adds considerable time to your remodel schedule. Keep costs to a minimum by using the plumbing you’ve already got and finding a vanity to suit that. 

On the other hand, if your current plumbing situation causes problems for the layout of the space, is too old, or is insufficient for the size of the space, you’ll need to plan on an update to the plumbing too. This will allow you to select a vanity that fits the bathroom and fix the plumbing to match. 


Single vanity in navy blue in a white bathroom.

What’s Your Style?

When it comes to style, there are lots of considerations: single, double, wall mount, floor mount, corner, pedestal, etc. It helps to know your design style before starting the vanity shopping process. 

Determine Your Design Category

Though there are numberless design styles, they can be grouped into three categories: traditional, transitional, and contemporary. Start with your design category and you’ll have plenty of options. 

Your design category will help you narrow down some of your other options too. Modern, or contemporary favors wall mounted, minimalist looks. Traditional styles tend toward floor standing cabinets. 

Think About Color

Color does a lot for style. Transitional styles often use a lot of white or gray. Traditional loves richer colors or wood tones. Contemporary tends toward high contrast, high gloss, neutral colors. 

Some of today’s design mashups like Modern Farmhouse, Wabi Sabi, or Hygge embrace warmer colors like off whites, beiges, and warm woods. Whatever you choose, color helps you cement the vibe in your space. 

Select Format & Size

Sometimes the format you choose is determined by the footprint of your bathroom space. A pedestal sink may be all you have space for in a powder room. A huge double vanity is just the ticket for larger owners’ suites. 

Format can also be determined by need. A child’s bathroom calls for a lower vanity while the owners’ suite needs a taller vanity. If you need wheelchair access in the bathroom, a wall mounted vanity is probably your best bet. If the plumbing is in a unique position or the bathroom is really small, a corner vanity is best. 

Then again, the format and size might be a matter of preference rather than need. A wall mounted vanity is very trend-forward and suits a contemporary styled bathroom well. Maybe instead of a vanity with a countertop you like a minimalist approach and go for two pedestal sinks instead. 

One thing that is definitely a matter of taste is the vanity top and sinks. You have lots of options here including: integrated sink/countertop, undermounted, vessel styles, and top mounted types. 

Vanity sizes range from barely 12 inches across to nearly 100 inches. Depths can be 14 inches on up past 26 inches. Heights come in 30 to 36 inches. Look back at your measurements and traffic flow patterns as well as considering more stylistic aspects when you decide on size. 


Dark wood double vanity with lots of storage.

Which Features Do You Want?

What’s more fun than picking out a vanity? Picking out the details to go with it. There are both functional and aesthetic things to consider when selecting knobs, pulls, faucets, and more. 

Choose Your Metallic

Most of the time, you’ll be looking at metallics for your faucets and cabinet pulls. There’s no wrong choice here and it’s mostly determined by your taste and your design style. 

Cozy styles like Hygge or Farmhouse lean toward matte metallic finishes. Contemporary favors glossy, chrome finishes. Gold is trending in all categories. Look for matte champagne gold tones for a more understated look or bright brass for a more stand out look. 

Don’t Forget about Shape

The finishes in your bathroom are like jewelry to a well composed outfit. They give it life and complete the statement it’s making. 

Shape is a big player in those finishes. Curving shaped faucets and cabinet pulls have a more organic feel that’s cozy yet dignified. Something more geometric speaks to a more minimal and contemporary vibe. 

Creating Emotion

Little did you know that the finishes and features you choose can create a feeling in your bathroom. But it’s true. If you want a relaxing spa-like atmosphere, you’ll choose rain shower heads, body jets, and luxurious hardware and faucets. If you want a no nonsense space that puts function first and stays out of your way design-wise, you’ll choose simple fixtures that meet your needs and are easy to use. 


Though there are many things to think about when updating, our buy guide for the bathroom vanity will help you sort through it all and find the vanity that is perfect for you and your space. 

Want more tips for buying a vanity? Read on.

Guarantee Your Vanity Success