How to Declutter Your Bathroom So It Isn’t So Gross

Figure8Photos/iStock; realtor.com

Want to learn how to declutter your bathroom? We feel your pain. Despite often being the smallest room in the house, it is also one of the hardest to keep organized. If you’ve ever been late to work because you couldn’t find that new can of shaving cream you know must be stashed somewhere, you also understand that decluttering your bathroom could seriously change your life.

We can help! In this second installment of our 2018 Declutter Your Home Guide—a series of articles that will pare down your possessions room by room—we tackle this oft-neglected space and show you how to declutter a bathroom correctly. Try some of these tips to bask in a cleaner, calmer bathroom (ahhh).

Nab every inch of space

Photo by The Painted Home

The first step is to find a home for everything: Take advantage of any place you can carve out some real estate. Consider the back of the bathroom door, the inside of a closet door, or a mounted bin or rack on the wall.

“These spots are often overlooked storage opportunities,” notes Katie McCann, an organizing pro with Maeve’s Method.

Installing shelves over the toilet is smart, too, adds Marty Basher, a home expert at Modular Closets.

If you don’t have a product shelf in your shower, pick up a caddy or small plastic basket, suggests Jacquie Denny, co-founder of Everything but the House. “This way, you can easily move items from the shower to replenish it and then back again in one motion,” she explains.

Give it a spin (or use bins)

Photo by Houzz.com

A Lazy Susan under the bathroom sink to house products makes decluttering easy, says Julie Coraccio, the organizing genius at Reawaken Your Brilliance. “Take everything out, remove what you no longer need, put your essentials back in, and you’re done,” she says.

The same principle holds for pull-out bins.

“With baskets or bins, you can stop clutter before it starts, because you’re less likely to add more items than you can hold in each one,” she points out.

Go a step further and label your containers, as seen above, or invest in dedicated drawer dividers, suggests Basher.

Break up with your makeup

Photo by bluejey024

Face it, ladies—you’ve probably got too many eye shadow palettes, and they’re getting old, too.

“Many women keep makeup much longer than they should,” notes Coraccio. Pitching expired items should be a no-brainer, she adds, and it’s an easy step if you’re having trouble decluttering this area.

Not sure if something’s too old to use? Go to the Cosmetic Calculator and find out.

Group like items

Photo by Dura Supreme Cabinetry

As you plow through each drawer and shelf, create piles with similarities so you can put them away methodically. Makeup, of course, will have its own section, and the rest should be easy to arrange, too (hair care products, body lotions, perfume).

And to keep toiletries from piling up, commit to a single item at a time.

“Half-used bottles and tubes become clutter in a hurry, so be disciplined—use and finish what’s already open before trying a new product,” urges Basher.

Check your meds

Photo by Harry Braswell Inc.

Keeping unused or expired medications in the bathroom adds to clutter and can be dangerous. Kids may sample a pill, or you might inadvertently take something in the dark when you’re half-awake. The best advice: Let those meds go.

“Why put your health at risk?” asks Coraccio.

But please don’t be lazy and toss them down the toilet.

“Make sure you dispose of medications properly as some have been making their way into municipal water systems,” she notes. Most cities and counties have drop-off locations or specially designated days when they take unused medicine (check with your local health department).

Learn the difference: Regular vs. Special

Photo by Clare Gaskin

Not every product deserves a spot on that Lazy Susan or in the bins close at hand.

“Keep items you don’t use regularly separate from those you grab on a daily basis,” suggests Basher. This means special fragrances, expensive body cream, and once-a-week hair and face masks can live in their own drawer or basket. You’ll streamline your products and won’t be waylaid pawing through the bin during the morning rush.

Corral kid stuff

Photo by timothy bell photography

Sharing a bathroom with children? Their things need an overhaul as well. Pitch toys they’ve outgrown as well as those threadbare towels, and create separate storage for the under-10 set. Wire baskets, a plastic bucket, or mesh bag that hangs over the shower rod are a few options for storing toys.

Say buh-bye to samples

Photo by Houzz.com

The smaller the product, the harder it can be to locate. We’re talking about those hotel-size shampoos, lotion samples you’ve ripped from magazines, and the tiny makeup tubes that come with larger purchases at department stores.

“Donate these unused items,” says McCann. There are many worthy groups that’ll gladly take unopened toiletries, including homeless shelters, church committees, and school drives for the needy.

 

Posted by Jennifer Geddes on realtor.com

 

 

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10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Can’t knock down walls? No problem! Work a little design magic to make even the tiniest bathroom feel spacious.

Small bathroom spaces aren’t found just in apartments and condos — they’re in our guest bathrooms and powder rooms, too. Since no one likes feeling crowded, here are a few tips for making any small bathroom seem bigger — no wall demolition required.

Brighten the room

Bring in as much light as possible. Light, bright rooms always feel more spacious than dark and drab ones.

  • Wall color. Paint the walls and ceiling the same light color to make the bathroom feel double its size. Anytime an area of the room is a different color, it chops the room into different compartments, making it seem smaller.
  • Windows. If you have a window, use sheer window coverings to maximize the natural light.
  • Lighting. Install additional flush-mount wall or ceiling light fixtures to increase the light in the room.

Add mirrors

Install larger — and more — mirrors than you typically would in a bathroom. The reflected light will open your small space into one that feels more spacious.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Install a sliding door

Swinging doors can take up almost half the room, depending on how small the space is. A sliding barn door or a wall-pocket door won’t encroach on your bathroom’s already limited real estate.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Think pedestal sink

The added bulk of a full vanity takes up valuable space, so try a pedestal sink instead. You may not have a place for soaps or towels on the vanity, but there are plenty of wall-mounted solutions perfect for bathroom accessories.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Streamline storage

Keep all storage as flush with the walls as possible, because anything that sticks out will chop up the space and close it in. Install recessed shelving and medicine cabinets instead.

Choose light-colored flooring

Even if your walls and ceiling are light and bright, a dark floor will negate their effect and close the space in. Keep the flooring light to create a space with a bright and open flow.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Eliminate clutter

Nothing crowds a space faster than clutter. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t need it there, store it elsewhere. Pare what you keep in the bathroom down to the bare necessities.

Hide the bathmat

Having a bathmat on the floor all the time can make your bathroom feel smaller. Put your bathmats away when you’re not using them to expose the flooring and make the space appear larger.

Raise the shower curtain bar

Raising your shower curtain bar all the way to the ceiling draws your eyes up and makes the ceiling seem taller, creating the illusion of a larger space.

Photo from Zillow listing.

The same goes for any window treatments. Raising sheer curtain panels to the ceiling also creates the illusion of a larger window, making the small bathroom seem larger.

Go frameless, clear, and cohesive in the shower

Clear glass shower doors make the room appear larger, while frosted glass breaks up the space and makes it seem smaller than it already is. The same goes for a frame around the glass. A frame can make the area seem choppy rather than smooth and open.

Additionally, install the same shower tile from floor to ceiling. The seamless look from top to bottom adds cohesion and openness.

Just a few changes to your small bathroom can make dramatic differences in how open it feels. Once you’ve tried these tips and tricks in the bathroom, apply them throughout your home! It’s all about creating the illusion of space.

Posted by Christina El Moussa on Zillow

 

8 DIY Ways to Redo Your Bathroom (Without Remodeling)

Ready for a revamped bathroom space, but nervous about taking on a big renovation project? These easy updates can give you a whole new look on any budget.

The bathroom is probably the best room in the house for a mini-makeover. When you realize how dramatically, quickly and inexpensively you can completely update the space without an actual renovation, you’ll wonder why you’ve waited so long.

Before you dive in, take a minute to consider what you’re going for in terms of style. Your bathroom should be a peaceful, relaxing space. Are you more soothed by rich, dramatic tones and style, or are you going for a more simple and serene spa-like space? Once you know what you want, take a look at these simple tips for getting the bathroom upgrade you’ve been dreaming of.

Source: Pottery Barn

Paint

This is obviously the place to start, since doing it yourself results in such fast and dramatic change. For the simple and serene look, choose soft and soothing tones to give you a greater sense of space and light. If you’re looking for a rich, dark hideaway, choose warm saturated tones to strike the right mood.

Hardware

Now choose drawer pulls that keep the style makeover moving forward. They’re available in all styles and at all price points, and this is another big change you can make on your own. Typically, a nickel or stainless finish goes best with the spa look, while oil-rubbed bronze tones will add the richness you’re looking for in a sophisticated atmosphere.

Storage

Because our bathrooms are also spaces that our guests may see, keeping them clutter free is essential. Organization is also important for keeping stress on the other side of the bathroom door.

A quick and functional fix here are simple storage cubbies. Stash toiletries, makeup and other beauty and grooming equipment in small caddies that you can pop out and put away easily.

Lighting

Good grooming requires good light, but when you’re just looking to slip into the tub and relax, you want something softer. Start your lighting makeover with a simple dimmer switch.

Replacing the vanity lighting fixture is easier than you think, too. To keep the job a simple and quick one, simply choose vanity lighting that covers the same space the original fixture did. You can maximize your options, though, if you tackle the lighting when you do the painting.

To take it up one more notch, consider a dramatic piece of statement lighting such as a chandelier or pendant that adds a sense of style.

Shower, sink and tub faucets

Now we’re moving into the updates that really make the space feel new. Look for sink fixtures that offer a little more height over the bowl and length extending into the bowl for the most functional effect.

Then, upgrade to a new showerhead that makes your morning feel anything but routine. A handheld showerhead that ties into the shower arm and can extend from the wall via a hose is another indulgent and functional option.

Source: KellyBaron

Mirror and medicine cabinet

Most standard medicine cabinets are not much to look at, and there are now plenty of options that will your replace your current cabinet. A simple beveled mirror version with a plastic wipe-able interior can update a rusted metal version.

But another simple fix if you don’t want to replace the whole cabinet is to build a simple picture-style frame right over your basic wall mirror. Just choose the frame according to the style you’re going for, and make sure the surface is moisture resistant.

Towel warmer

Even if you don’t have the most spacious bathroom, this is an amenity worthy of serious consideration. In case you think you just can’t spare the space, you’ll be glad to hear that they also come ready to plug-in or hard wire and hang on the wall.

Source: Zillow Digs

The final touches

New towels and a fresh bathmat can change the appearance of your bath space with little effort. Pick a monochromatic color scheme to dry off in style, or go all white for the spa-like aesthetic.

For a little added detail, consider monogramming your towels with your initials or “His,” “Hers” and “Guest.” This added touch will make all your efforts well worth the time and consideration of your bathroom update.

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow

17 Affordable Luxuries For Your Apartment Bathroom

You don’t have to be a homeowner to pamper yourself with spa-like bathroom features.

There’s no denying it: Sometimes it’s hard to turn off the water and step out of a hot, soothing shower. But your shower doesn’t have to be the only relaxing moment of your day. You may think the 10-foot-by-10-foot bathroom in your studio apartment in Washington, DC, is hopeless when it comes to Zen design potential, but it is possible to turn even the tiniest space into an oasis. Tackle these 17 bathroom DIY projects and be well on your way to enjoying a luxurious bathroom every day.

1. Dim the lights

Add a dimmer to ease into your morning or set the tone after a long day. The process is relatively easy, and with your landlord’s approval, your security deposit should be safe. Once you’re able to customize the lighting every morning, you’ll wonder how you survived without it!

2. Set a cozy mood

Creating a cozy, relaxing space can be as easy as leaving a few candles out in your bathroom. They’ll give the place a pleasant smell even unlit, and who doesn’t enjoy lighting a few candles before stepping into the shower or bath after a long day? Just remember to blow them out before you leave!

3. Add shower tunes

Catch up on your favorite podcasts or jam out to your favorite tunes while getting ready in the morning with a Bluetooth shower speaker. You can purchase a waterproof speaker for less than $20.

4. Warm your towels

You know that feeling of throwing on a sweatshirt right out of the dryer? Enjoy that luxury every day by hanging your towels on an electric towel rack that heats them up while you shower. Ahhh.

5. Keep your toes cozy

Don’t wait until you’re a homeowner to enjoy the luxury of a heated floor while getting ready in the morning. Throw a foot warmer mat by your bathroom sink on chilly mornings and enjoy getting ready without shivering on the tile.

6. Heat up the room

If toasty towels and toes aren’t enough, heat the entire space with a space heater — seek out a unit that’s small, sleek, and equipped with emergency shut-offs in case it overheats. Save money on energy bills by keeping the central heat on low and heat only your bathroom while you get ready in the morning.

7. Create the perfect pressure

Replace your rental showerhead with an adjustable rain-can version. If you’re tall, you can even add an extension to avoid the bent-over, crooked-neck shampooing experience. Pro tip: Especially if your rental has low-flow showerheads in place, you’ll probably have to get approval from your landlord before you break out the toolbox. Make sure you hold on to the original showerhead to reinstall at the end of your lease.

8. Sit pretty — and hygienic

Swap out your rental’s toilet seat with the seat of your choice, as long as you have approval from your landlord. Most are more than happy for renters to make this upgrade, and some will even cover the cost.

9. Add some art

Adorn your apartment’s bathroom walls with paintings or photography to add a bit of character. Kylee Trunck, senior staff designer at Havenly, recommends incorporating light-blue and green hues, which are known to be soothing — that’s why you see these colors at the spa! “Steer clear of fabric wall hangings that could also be potentially damaged by steam, and instead select prints that can be framed with a protective glass insert,” says Trunck.

10. Pull on pretty hardware

Replace drawer pulls and cabinet knobs with some prettier options. “Replacing drawer knobs and pulls is an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of a bathroom,” says Trunck. Look for options that are “the same size that can easily be screwed in and out” of the existing hole. You’ll also want to hold on to the old knobs, to screw back in place at the end of your lease.

11. Get a better look

Add a magnified mirror with a light to perfect your hair and makeup before heading out the door. You can opt for a free-standing version for your sink or one that screws into the wall.

12. Take in the full view

And don’t forget to check your entire reflection before heading out the door. Over-the-door full-length mirrors are a great option to save space (and your walls!), or pick a wall-mounted option with storage space inside.

13. Create a unique entry

Start by bumping the tension rod for your shower curtain close to the ceiling and invest in a longer shower curtain and liner for a taller, more luxe look. The added height will make your shower feel more spacious from the inside too. For an extra boost of design goodness, use two shower curtains instead of one to lend a symmetric, window-curtain effect.

14. Shower in a rainforest

Hang plants from your shower curtain rod or showerhead. Aloe vera thrives in hot, humid environments, and the leaf’s juice is filled with vitamins and minerals. If you have a sunny window in your bathroom, plant ivy for a natural air purifier: The plant helps keep spaces hygienic by removing mold, dust, and other icky particles from the surrounding air. Pro tip: Place the plant on a high shelf and let the stems grow long enough to elegantly trail down.

15. Add eucalyptus

Hang a bundle of eucalyptus from your showerhead to ward off colds. The plant emits a soothing smell, and its essential oils can help ease congestion. Bundles of eucalyptus can be found at flower shops and craft stores and can last up to a month in the shower.

16. Make an au naturel bathmat

Forget soggy bathmats: opt for a natural, wood mat made from IKEA outdoor decking. This “bathmat” is relatively easy to make — just click the pieces together and remove the edges once your mat is the desired size.

17. Sit back in some bubbles

Create your own bathtub shelf out of some reclaimed wood or two-by-fours and a bit of wood stain. Being able to eat, drink, and read a book in your tub? Completely unnecessary but totally worth it.

Posted by Nicole Esplin on Trulia

5 Simple Bathroom Organization Tips You Need to Read Right Now

Whether you have a gigantic bathroom or a compact one, you’re bound to have trouble keeping it neat and organized. While maintaining a tidy bathroom poses a complex problem to many people, keeping the bathroom clean is important for a lot of reasons. One reason, an organized bathroom can help you get ready quickly.

Cutting down on bathroom clutter by eliminating the things you don’t need, like that expensive shampoo that smells weird or that lipstick that’s not the right color, is sure to free up some space and help you set things straight in your bathroom. But if you’ve already done that and still have a disorderly bathroom, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are 5 simple bathroom organization tips that are sure to help you get your bathroom in order.

Plan It for Your Needs

Planning your bathroom storage space will help you organize things more effectively. Start with identifying active and accessible areas, these are storage areas that you’ll be accessing daily. Active storage areas will house items like your toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, razor, contact lenses, etc. that you’ll need every day. These areas should also be user-friendly and free of hidden hazards, think countertops, hanging organizers, and easily-reachable cabinet drawers.

Next, allocate storage areas that are neither easy nor difficult to reach to hold items that you’ll need occasionally. For example, your nail care and facial kit can be stored under the sink or in the middle cabinet drawer.

Items that you’ll rarely need can be stored in hard-to-reach areas that require you to bend, stand on tiptoes, or use a step-stool to access the storage space.

Attack Your Medicine Cabinet

If you dream of having a bathroom with a clear countertop, turn your medicine cabinet into a storage space for everyday use items. Go through your medicine cabinet and do away with expired medicines and those that you don’t have any use. Put the important stuff in a box and place it in your bedroom or kitchen cabinet.

Moving medicines out of the bathroom will prevent them from getting ruined by moisture. Most importantly, you’ll have instant storage space for all your bathroom essentials. Creating active storage in the bathroom will help you organize well and find all that you need quickly on busy mornings.

Take Care of Your Styling Tools

Leaving heat styling tools on the counter can make your bathroom look untidy, and putting them in a drawer right after using them is not recommended. A simple solution to this is keeping a metal file box or mesh basket on the counter to put your tools in. You can also hang such a box or basket on a wall or on the side of a cabinet.

Metal boxes or baskets being non-flammable, are great for storing heated appliances like curling and straightening irons and blow dryers. What’s more, they’ll also make your bathroom look neat and tidy!

Declutter the Countertop

If you can’t put all your countertop items into your medicine cabinet, don’t fret; decluttering the countertop isn’t impossible!

A common reason for the countertop being cluttered is lack of defined boundaries for items. If you leave items on the countertop, they are bound to migrate all over its surface. So buy a tray or basket with just a little height that can hold all your toiletries together in one place. Be sure to choose a material that is moisture-proof and easy to clean.

In addition to this, invest in some pretty canisters or apothecary jars to grace your countertop and store loose items like cotton swabs and cotton balls.

Maximize Storage Space

Maximizing storage space is possible if you know where to look for additional space. If you have a really small countertop and want to clear it of all everyday items, install a wall-mounted holder above it.

Further, make use of vertical space above the toilet and bath by fitting racks, open shelves, or cabinets on the walls. Plastic hangers suspended from hooks, nails, or the bottom of racks can act as cloth or loofah holders.

Maximize drawer space by using drawer organizers or trays to help you organize things neatly. Below the sink space can be made more accessible by using pull-out racks or by setting up rotating baskets. Fitting racks on the inside of the cabinet walls and door will also increase storage space while keeping the area easily accessible.

If you’ve always dreamt of having an organized bathroom, this is your chance to realize your dream! By eliminating clutter from your bathroom and using the tips given here, you’ll definitely be able to make your bathroom the haven you want it to be. This is a great time to get started on setting things in order right away and make the most of the available space!

Posted by Eva Hines on HomeZada

7 Easy Ways To Budget Kitchen And Bathroom Remodeling Costs

Pro tip: Before you tackle kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects, make sure you’ve got a thorough budget in place.

This streamlined budget technique for kitchen and bathroom remodeling will make sure you won’t be surprised at the final project cost.

Like a relationship, a home remodeling project is the most fun in its earliest stages. You get to pin inspiration photos to your heart’s content, your brain is filled with all sorts of grandiose design ideas, and you study catalogs, jotting down minor details like the virtues of brass versus nickel versus copper faucets (along with a list of SKUs for the ones you like best).

Then the word “budget” rears its ugly head. Soon, your dreams of high-end countertops and high-tech appliances come crashing down, as you mull over labor costs and not-so-exciting project elements like electricity and plumbing. Even if you can afford to turn your design vision into a reality, it’s still a puzzle trying to work out how much to allocate for the dizzying array of costs that accompany kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects.

But have no fear: We are here with a handy guide to anticipating project costs, avoiding last-second expenses (and emergencies!), and places where you can cut down on costs without necessarily sacrificing style. So don’t scrap your remodeling plans altogether in favor of searching Seattle, WA, homes for sale, thinking your dream bathroom has just got to be out there somewhere. You can do this! Here’s how.

1. Hire a home inspector

Although it adds an initial cost to your project, hiring a home inspector to take a close look at the areas you plan to renovate can help prepare you for any unpleasant surprises uncovered during remodeling. Rotted wood subflooring, anyone? Knowing what pitfalls lie ahead can help you plan for them at the start — which will help keep your actual budget closer to that original estimate.

2. Budget your remodeling costs

According to the experts at the National Kitchen and Bath Association, you can anticipate spreading your budget across these categories, so you can get a dream kitchen like the one above in the home for sale at 3414 E. Shore Drive, Seattle, WA 98112.

Kitchen remodeling:

  • Design fees: 4%
  • Installation: 17%
  • Appliances and ventilation: 14%
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 29%
  • Countertops: 10%
  • Lighting: 5%
  • Flooring: 7%
  • Doors and windows: 4%
  • Walls and ceilings: 5%
  • Faucets and plumbing: 4%
  • Miscellaneous: 1%

And if you dream of a master bath with a spectacular open shower like this one in the home for sale at 230 Tryon St., 1204/1304, Charlotte, NC 28202, make it happen with these percentages in mind.

Bathroom remodeling:

  • Design fees: 4%
  • Installation: 20%
  • Fixtures: 15%
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16%
  • Countertops: 7%
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5%
  • Flooring: 9%
  • Doors and windows: 4%
  • Walls and ceilings: 5%
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14%
  • Miscellaneous: 1%

These guidelines for budgeting kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects will help prevent sticker shock when it comes time to read bids (basically, a fixed-priced estimate) from contractors. The contractor bid sheet will give an in-depth rundown of every part of the remodeling project, including the specific costs for the job, plus a potential payment schedule. Although the contactor’s bid is in writing, it’s not set in stone — if you want to upgrade certain materials, or additional repairs need to be made after the project starts, the contractor will update the bid with a change order for you to approve.

3. Be upfront (and honest) about the total budget

Having a clear budget for a remodel sounds like an obvious first step, but being frank about finances can be awkward for some of us. “Sometimes this conversation can be uncomfortable, but it’s so easy to overspend on the kitchen and bathroom,” says Anne Reagan, editor-in-chief of Porch.com, a startup that connects homeowners with remodeling professionals. “These two rooms can be very expensive: The national average kitchen remodel cost is anywhere between $20,122 (for a midrange, minor kitchen remodel) to $119,909 (for an upscale, major kitchen remodel).” Since the timeline also impacts costs, know that having to rush product orders will quickly drive up the bill.

4. “Do I need a home permit for my remodeling project?”

Maybe. Things like adding a new gas line will definitely require a home permit. “Very often, the professional just gets permits on behalf of the homeowner, but a homeowner is responsible for making sure it’s done properly,” Reagan says. Make sure to ask about the cost of pulling home permits from the get-go and ensure they’re included in your budget.

5. Avoid scope creep in construction projects

You know how adding a piece of furniture to a room occasionally leads to even more decor purchases, because something so new ends up calling attention to the more well-loved items in the room? A single-room remodel can inspire the same makeover madness, something the pros call “scope creep.” “Scope creep can be costs involved in discovering larger issues (like major plumbing repairs, mold, or hot-water-tank issues) as well as the idea of ‘… while we’re at it, let’s also remodel this,’” says Reagan. “I can’t think of anyone who has remodeled a kitchen or bathroom and stopped right at the entrance to the door — very often the master bath remodel involves the bedroom, and the kitchen may involve the dining room.” Keep boundaries in place to avoid turning a single-room remodel into a total home overhaul.

6. Think beyond sticker price

When looking at your choices for things like countertops or appliances for your kitchen remodel, you first look at the price tag, right? But what you may not be considering is the other costs needed to get that dream countertop into your kitchen. These are the “associated costs.”

“For example, if you want marble countertops, you’ll need to purchase the entire slab (even if you don’t need the entire slab) and pay for cutting fees, finishing fees, edging, delivery, and more (costs vary by region and supplier). So not only is marble on the high end per square foot, [but also] there are other higher installation costs associated with this material,” Reagan says. The same is true for anything custom to your space, including tile, flooring, wallpaper, etc. So before you tackle a challenging kitchen renovation like the one above, inside a church-turned-home-for-sale at 653 Dolores St., San Francisco, CA 94110, make sure you’re truly up for the challenge.

7. “Can I be my own general contractor?”

Only take on the task of acting as your own general contractor on big projects like kitchen and bathroom remodeling if you can handle being solely responsible for hiring subcontractors, sourcing materials and accessories, and making sure everything arrives on time. By taking on the task of sourcing these items, you can save big — not only on the items themselves, but you can avoid any excess project-management-type costs as well. In addition to shopping sales, check out architectural resale shops for bargains. Habitat for Humanity ReStores often have everything from tiles to toilets to the occasional appliance at a huge discount (plus, you support a good cause!). While some states require that general contractors be licensed and insured, homeowners can frequently skirt these costs by acting as owner-builder — as long as you hire licensed subcontractors to complete the work.

There are always other tasks you can take on to avoid extra out-of-pocket expenses. Reagan has just a few words of caution: “I think a person needs to be very, very honest about their skill level and time to dedicate to this project … even experienced DIYers find that they need to call in an expert plumber or electrician to do certain tasks (especially the tasks that require a license).”

Posted by Brie Dyas on Trulia

 

Renter Rescue: The $100 Bathroom Makeover


Ready to spruce up your bathroom on the cheap? Try a few of these fixes.

Although you may not want to admit it, you probably spend a good amount of time in your bathroom. And when you’re on a budget and looking for an apartment for rent in Philadelphia, PA, bathrooms tend to be one of those features that are often … overlooked in the “recently updated” department. (And also? Grimy.) But renting is all about working with what you have. Luckily, the bathroom is such a small room that little changes can have a big impact — and they don’t have to cost a bundle.

Most of the 12 bathroom makeovers below can each be achieved for around $100 (or less!). Depending on what your rental bathroom needs (and your DIY level of confidence), pick a few and get to work!

1. Hang a new shower curtain and liner

There are lots of pretty, affordable shower curtains out there (Urban Outfitters and Target are both great sources). If you decide on a curtain with a design (like the one shown above at the AVA Ballard Apartments in Seattle, WA), treat it like a wall tapestry, and play with colors from the design in the rest of your bathroom decor. Consider buying a new one and washing the liner you have: Even plastic liners can be washed in cold water in the washing machine, along with some towels. (The towels help scrub mold and mildew from the liner.)

To create even more drama, hang an extra-tall shower curtain; use a tension curtain rod to avoid adding holes to the wall. Elongated shower curtains will make the room look taller, not to mention hide any less-than-fashionable tiling you’ve got in the shower.

Total estimated cost: $10 to $20

2. Swap a standard showerhead for a raincan

A raincan showerhead is the ultimate quick fix when it comes to adding a little luxury to a ho-hum shower. It can transform your everyday lather into a lavish experience, which is why you’ll almost always find them at spas and in luxury hotel rooms. Find an affordable one on sites like Amazon, install it yourself, and make sure to take it with you once you move out. (Read: Don’t toss the one you’re replacing, or be prepared to give up a chunk of your security deposit.)

Total estimated cost: $20 to $60; prices vary online

3. Get creative with temporary tile

Depending on the size of your bath, purchasing enough peel-and-stick vinyl tile to cover an entire bathroom floor could go over your $100 budget — but contact paper tile can be a quick (and temporary) way to make a design statement. Hate the border of pink tiles circling your bathroom? Cover it, and other low-traffic surfaces, with contact paper! Just be sure to thoroughly clean before you stick (and wait until the bathroom is all dry); otherwise, it may start to peel.

Total estimated cost: $20 to $30

4. Add shelving

The wall space over your toilet is prime real estate to hang shelves. But once you hang said shelves, don’t just throw your gigantic bottle of mouthwash up there. Artfully style them with bathroom canisters, soaps, rolled towels, and even extra toilet paper. Just remember: Always group items in odd numbers. Even TP looks chic when three rolls are stacked in a tiny pyramid. You can buy an over-the-toilet rack, or DIY some shelves with scrap wood for no cost at all.

Total estimated cost: up to $30

5. Update the vanity

Stuck with an orange-y oak vanity with brass hardware from the ’90s? Paint it. This one requires landlord permission, of course, but if you pick a neutral color like white or gray, you might stand a good chance of gaining approval. You can also ask to spray-paint the hardware for a quick fix, or skip the request altogether and swap the old hardware for adorable knobs or pulls from places like Anthropologie, Wayfair, and World Market.

Total estimated cost: paint, $3 to $5 (get the sample-sized paint can!), $2 to $10 for each knob or pull

6. Get a new rug

Bathroom rugs can start looking dingy pretty quickly. Make sure to replace them every year or so, and machine-wash once a month to keep them fresh. If you have a large bathroom (lucky you!), opt for a 3-by-5 area rug instead of a bath mat. And, renters with narrow bathrooms like the one shown above at Seven Apartments in Austin, TX, may benefit by searching for runners or hallway rugs. You’ll have a larger selection when it comes to pattern and color — just avoid rugs made of wool, jute, and polypropylene, which can be rough on bare feet and are harder to clean.

Total estimated cost: $10 to $20 (for deals, check stores like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls)

7. Paint your grout

Even in the most beautiful bathroom, dingy grout makes a bathroom look unkempt. The fact is, white grout can age over time; even if it’s freshly cleaned, the grout may be permanently stained. Enter grout paint. This handy invention costs less than $15 at home improvement stores, and for just a few dollars and hours of your time, you can totally transform your grout. If you have white grout, you can choose just to freshen it up with white paint. Or, with your landlord’s permission, you can paint your grout a new color — gray grout with white tile is having a moment.

Total estimated cost: $13

8. Install a new faucet

Why would you upgrade your landlord’s digs with your own money? Well, if you’re planning to stay awhile (and that ugly hardware offends your design sensibilities), the real question is why wouldn’t you? Faucets are shockingly easy to install (you just need a basin wrench and a YouTube tutorial). But if your landlord is just as particular as you are (or you’ve gotten attached to your pretty sink jewelry), hang on to the old faucet and reinstall it when you move out, so you can take your spiffy new one with you.

Total estimated cost: $10 to $40

9. Hang a (budget-friendly) masterpiece

Just because it’s a bathroom doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of wall art. Print out and frame a colorful illustration like the one shown above at NEMA Apartments in San Francisco, CA, print a free space travel poster from NASA, or opt for an original from the National Gallery of Art or The Met, both of which provide free access to thousands of digital downloads from their galleries. Pick your favorite (we vote French impressionists for a bathroom), print out an 8-by-10 or 11-by-14 photo at your local pharmacy, grab a frame, and voilà! Your reflection won’t be the only masterpiece to gaze at while you brush your teeth.

Total estimated cost: $0 (the art is free!), $3–$10 to professionally print depending on size desired, $10 for a frame

10. Match your fixtures

Many bathrooms have a hodgepodge of fixtures installed over the years: a brass toilet paper holder, white ceramic towel bar, and chrome faucet, for instance. Fixtures, unite! Pick one metal (satin nickel or oil-rubbed bronze are safe bets) and either spray-paint your current fixtures (again, seek landlord approval first) or, for a higher price point, install new ones to be removed when you leave (that is, if you can’t persuade your landlord to give you a little discount on your rent to compensate for your work). It’s oddly satisfying to have all the metals in your bathroom match.

Total estimated cost: $4 for spray paint

11. Update your lighting

First, consider updating the metal base of your light fixture to match the finish of your aforementioned newly coordinated fixtures. Once that’s complete, you can pick up new glass globes at home improvement stores for $5 to $10 each. Or, if you’re stuck with the ever-popular Hollywood-style light fixture, buy some vintage-style filament bulbs for an instant industrial-chic upgrade.

Total estimated cost: $5 to $10 each for globes, $6 per filament bulb

12. Frame your mirror

Stuck with a builder-basic mirror in your rental? Fear not. Get some crown molding (or better yet, use some free scrap wood from another project or from a crafty friend) and cut it down to the dimensions of your mirror. Paint it to match your vanity or in a fun color to add a pop to the room. Attach with some heavy-duty Velcro, so you can remove it when you leave. Instant update!

Total estimated cost: up to $20, depending on the type of wood and how much you need

Posted by Liz Olech on Trulia