2016 Design & Remodeling Trends

When it comes to home remodeling projects, upgrades to the bathroom continue to dominate. With so many resources and options available to the average homeowner, it can be overwhelming to sort through the choices and find the ones that are right for you. The year isn’t quite over, but the 2016 design trends are already making their appearance in magazines, look books, and design websites. If you’re curious about what the New Year has in store for your bathroom décor, check out some of the hottest design trends that are right around the corner.

Modern Metallics

In 2016, metals are expected to come back with full force. Although a little bit of brass crept into the bathroom in 2015, the upcoming year is the perfect time for homeowners to fully embrace metal. Do you have your eye on a metal faucet? Buy it! Always wanted to switch out your cabinet knobs for ones with a metal finish? Go ahead! Along with brass, you’ll also find gold, silver, platinum, stainless steel, and brushed steel explode in popularity. Take a bold approach and install an oil-rubbed bronze sink, or take it easy and replace only a knob or two. The design choice is yours, but remember- metal is back, and in a really big way.

Trough Sinks

Don’t let the name fool you- trough sinks are far more elegant than they sound. Some refer to them as “double sinks”, or an extra-long sink that’s big enough to serve both you and your significant other should you both be getting ready at the same time. In addition to being large enough for two people to use simultaneously, modern-day trough sinks are handy for those who wish to hand wash larger items, including wool blankets or king sized sheets. Trendsetters and early adopters were installing trough sinks as of late 2015, but the trend is expected to be welcomed by a more mainstream audience in the upcoming year.

Shower Seats

In the past, showers were designed for use by those standing in an upright position. Lately the trend of installing seats in the shower is picking up steam. Whether it’s due to the aging baby boomer population or the fact that most people shower in the morning while they’re half asleep, shower seats are as convenient as they are functional. If you’re installing a shower seat for the seniors in your household, don’t forget to install grab bars in the shower. Although grab bars can be installed just about anywhere, the shower is definitely one of the most popular places for them - especially since the bathroom is a common place for seniors to slip and fall.

Green Plants

Eco-friendly bathrooms made an appearance in 2015, but you can take that concept a step further in 2016 by making your bathroom greener- literally. While you can feature a plant or two in a beautiful vase on the countertop of your bathroom vanity, some prefer to take a bolder approach. If you’re renovating your bathroom (or building your own home) think about adding a full green feature to the space in the form of green walls or indoor gardens. Both are natural ways to improve the air quality of your home. For some advice on which plants are perfect for the bathroom, check out The Best Plants for Your Bathroom.

Technology

You’ve heard about Google’s self-driving cars and other advancements in technology, but did you know there’s new technology for your bathroom? If you love to sing in the shower, install a water-resistant music system. These Bluetooth enabled music players can be operated wirelessly, either from smartphones or other audio devices. Plus, there’s plenty of bathroom technology that will make your life easier. For example, Optum VorMax is a new flush system technology that’s being offered by American Standard- not only does it give a powerful flush to your toilet, but it scours and cleans the toilet bowl at the same time.

The Best Cold-Weather Bathroom Luxuries

Whether it’s adding a few extra minutes to your shower in the morning or relaxing in a hot bubble bath after work, there’s no better place to beat the winter chill than in your bathroom. If you’re already experiencing sub-zero temperatures or are just dreading its arrival, it’s time to face the facts- winter is right around the corner. If you’re considering a remodel or are looking to add a few luxuries to your bathroom this winter, here are some of our favorite cold-weather bathroom accessories and fixtures.

Heated Floors

If your toes curl at the thought of scampering across your frigid tile floor after a hot shower or bath, radiant-heat floors are the perfect solution. Typically manufactured as an electric heat mat that’s installed before putting in tile, heated floors are something to consider when remodeling your home- especially if you live in an area that experiences long bouts of cold in the winter. Besides keeping your feet warm as you exit the shower or bath, heated floors can actually help you cut down on your energy usage and save money on your monthly heating bill- just make sure you’re installing hydronic floors.

Heated Towel Rack

Do you love the warmth of clothes and towels fresh out of the dryer? With a heated towel rack, you can experience that same comfort and warmth every time you step out of the shower or bath. While heated floors or a fireplace in the bathroom are luxuries that will set you back, heated towel racks are a luxury that won’t require you to rip up your floor or invest thousands of dollars into your home. They’re easy to install, easy to find, and typically can be found for under $500. So, if you’re tired of cold towels pressing against your skin, install a heated towel rack and say hello to the comfort of warm towels.

Barrel Sauna

Whirlpool tubs are nice, but barrel saunas are even nicer. Although barrel saunas are technically intended to be installed outdoors, we’ll include it on the list as saunas go hand-in-hand with spas. Plus, you can always install a traditional sauna adjacent to your shower or tub if you prefer to enjoy your sauna indoors. While it would surely get the most use during the blustery winter season, a sauna is a year-round luxury that can add value to your home. Additionally, saunas come with their own set of health benefits- saunas can boost your immune system, detox your system, and help relax you from head to toe.

Fireplace in the Bathroom

Although fireplaces are traditionally found in living rooms, dens, and bedrooms, the idea of soaking in a bathtub while a fire glows nearby is gaining popularity. While a wood-burning fireplace in the bathroom may seem like it’s reserved for the ritziest of hotel rooms, it’s something you can easily add into the floorplan of your home if you have control over its design. If you’re purchasing a pre-owned home, don’t worry- there are plenty of gas and electric fireplaces available on the market that can be nestled into an unused corner. No matter what you decide, a bathroom fireplace is a premier bathroom luxury.

Bath Warmer

If you enjoy taking especially long baths, you’re likely frustrated when the water gets cold. While draining some of the colder water and replacing it with hot water is one way to go, don’t you with there was an eco-friendly alternative? Now, there is. Warm On pebbles are sensor-fitted, heat-radiating artificial stones that will maintain the same water temperature for a set amount of time. So, whether you’re taking a ten minute bath or indulging in a half-hour soak, the water will stay the same temperature from start to finish.

Gift Guide: Bathroom Luxuries & Relaxation

If your friend or family member enjoys nights spent relaxing in the tub, skip the spa gift certificate and gift them something a little more personal this holiday season. From bath pillows to monogrammed slippers, here are some Modern Bathroom-approved bathroom luxuries that your friend or family member is sure to love. While you’re at it, throw in a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne or a bottle of their favorite wine, because who doesn’t love to sip on some bubbly while relaxing in the tub?

Bath Pillow

If your friend or family member loves to read or meditate while in the bath, they already know there’s nothing worse than having to stop because of a crick in their neck. So instead of being forced to cut their bath time in half, why not purchase them a comfortable bath pillow? The Original GORILLA GRIP Non-Slip Bath Pillow features a powerful gripping technology, so the pillow won’t gradually slip into the water with use. Ultra-soft and sooth to the touch, the bath pillow is manufactured from more than 2” of luxurious padded foam. Designed with shoulder and neck support in mind, these non-slip bath pillows are guaranteed to fit any size bathtub.

Clarisonic

Clarisonic’s line of sonic face and skin cleansing and exfoliating brushes are the perfect gift for the men, women, or teenagers on your list. Available with customizable brush heads manufactured specifically for reducing dark spots, treating sensitive skin, cleansing deep into pores, prepping the skin for shaving, or treating acne-prone skin, there’s something for everyone on your list in Clarisonic’s line of products. Clarisonic also sells gift sets so you can gift your friend or family member everything they’ll need to get started. Plus, if you sign up for auto-delivery of replacement brush heads, you’ll receive 20% savings and complimentary shipping.

Monogrammed Slippers

If you’re looking for a truly personalized gift, you can’t go wrong with a pair of monogrammed slippers- just double check the spelling of your friend or family member’s first and last name first! (We’re looking at you, Catie spelled with a “C”!) This gift is especially perfect for a newlywed couple and can easily be paired with a matching, monogrammed robe. There are a wide variety of monogrammed slippers available for sale on Etsy, and some can even be purchased in bulk or with a matching robe. For a gift that screams “luxury” head to Nordstrom, choose a pair of premium slippers, and have them monogrammed separately by a local seamstress.

LUSH Gift Set

LUSH is a company known for their line of fresh, all-natural, and organic bath, shower, and make-up products. If the friend or family member on your list is vegan or staunchly opposes animal testing, click on over to LUSH’s website as many of their products are vegan-friendly and every single one is cruelty-free. A perennial LUSH favorite is their line of bath bombs- a ball that you toss in the bath and is exploding with essential oils, flower petals, and tons of fizzy fun. Plus, if you’re too busy (or lazy!) to wrap the gift yourself, LUSH has a huge selection of pre-wrapped gifts that come fully wrapped and ready-to-gift.

Gift Guide: Bathroom Tech & Fun

Everyone has at least one tech geek in their life, so why not surprise them with a techy Christmas present instead of the usual gift card? The gadget-obsessed spend a lot of time thinking about the living room, kitchen, and home security, but an impressive bathroom is just as important as state-of-the-art kitchen appliances. Here are some Modern Bathroom-approved bathroom gadgets and gift ideas for the techies on your Christmas list. If you’re tired of gifting American Express gift cards, surprise your friends and family with one of the hi-tech bathroom gadgets below.

Simplehuman Sensor Mirror

You’ve probably heard that natural light is the best type of light for the bathroom, but what if your friend or family member’s bathroom is sans windows or a skylight? The Simplehuman Sensor Mirror uses an innovative light system to stimulate natural sunlight so men and women alike can see their full color variation. Plus, the mirror automatically lights up when a user’s face approaches the mirror and, since the cordless mirror packs a long-lasting LED that can apparently last for up to 100 years, battery life won’t be a problem. With up to 5X magnification, the mirror will allow your friend or family member to see their entire face all at once or a specific feature in exceptional detail.

Kolibree Smart Toothbrush

Perfect for younger children on your list, the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush makes brushing teeth an enjoyable experience with games, coaching, and real-time feedback. The toothbrush syncs with free Android and iOS apps to keep kids motivated with games, collectable badges, and score levels. Plus, the app will actually teach the child how to brush their teeth properly using built-in 3D motion sensors. Weighing in at less than 2.5 ounces, the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush is compact enough to fit even the tiniest hands. Good brushing habits can limit trips to the dentist and cut back on costly dental expenses- something the child’s parents will be grateful for.

CTA Digital Pedestal Stand for iPad

We all have that one friend who takes their iPad with them everywhere- the bathroom included. To cut back on the ick factor, purchase them a CTA Digital Pedestal Stand for iPad- it’ll keep their hands free and even includes a built-in toilet paper roll holder. The elegant chrome pedestal won’t be an eye-sore in the bathroom, and is sure to seamlessly fit in with all types of décor. The Bendable 10” gooseneck tube allows for multi-directional adjustment, so your friend or family member can adjust the placement of the iPad accordingly. Note: this particular iPad holder is compatible with 2nd-4th generation iPads, and isn’t compatible with iPad Air or Mini.

Kohler Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker

If your friend or family member enjoys listening to music in the shower, the Kohler Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker maybe the perfect gift for them. It delivers up to 7 hours of music, news, and more by pairing wirelessly with a Bluetooth enabled device. In addition to providing great sound, the spray face features 60 angled nozzles that deliver the full-bodied spray that’s virtually expected from a Kohler showerhead. For the eco-conscious, the showerhead is available in a water-saving spray that lets you save water without sacrificing performance (or sound!) The attractive, streamlined design of the Kohler Moxie Showerhead is the most chic and useful way to listen to music while in the shower.

Four Common Toilet Problems (& How to Fix Them)

Overflowing, constantly running, and sweating toilets can be an annoyance for homeowners and renters alike. Sometimes you’ll have to call a professional plumber for a quick fix, but there are quite a few toilet problems you can fix on your own. Whether you’re on a tight budget or are a DIYer at heart, sometimes it just makes sense to roll up your sleeves and take control of the situation on your own. From phantom flushes to leaky seals, here are some common toilet issues and how you can fix them with your own two hands.

#1: Phantom Flushes

If you hear your toilet begin to spontaneously refill in the middle of the night or when not in use, it’s not a ghost- it’s what plumbers refer to as a phantom flush. Caused by a very slow leak from the tank into the bowl, the problem is usually caused by a bad flapper or flapper seat. If you think your toilet has this problem but want to make sure, you can run a quick diagnostic test. To do so, add food dye to the tank after all the water has stopped running. Wait ten minutes and check the bowl water- if it’s colored, you do in fact have a leak. Replacing the flapper and flap seat is easy- replacements are available at most hardware stores. When purchasing a replacement be sure to take the old one with you to find a replacement that matches correctly.

#2: Bowl Empties Slowly

Also referred to as a weak flush, a bowl that empties too slowly is usually the result of clogged holes underneath the rim of the bowl. You can use oversized toothpicks or a wire coat hanger to poke gently into each flush hole to clear out any debris. Be careful not to scratch the bowl while cleaning. If the problem persists even after this cleaning, a muriatic acid wash may do the trick. Mix one part acid to 10 parts water and use a funnel to carefully pour half the solution down the overflow tube in the toilet tank. You should hear fizzing right away. Be careful of the fumes- open a window, and run the fan. Let the acid work its magic for half an hour and pour the rest of the solution down the tube. Wait another half an hour and flush the toilet. Note: if you have a septic tank, do not do this. You’ll have to disassemble the toilet completely and do this process outdoors.

#3: Overflowing Water

If your toilet is about to overflow and your usual trick of shutting the lid and crossing your fingers won’t work, there are a few things you can do. As soon as the water level starts rising, reach into the tank and prop up the fill valve (or the ball that floats on top of the water.) This should stop the flow to the toilet, avoiding an overflow but, in case it doesn’t, keep a plunger nearby. If the overflow is caused by a clog there are several tools available. A force-cup plunger is more effective than a standard plunger for cleaning minor clogs and, for serious clogs, purchase a closet auger. Insert the end into the drain hole and twist the handle as you push the rotor downward. Be sure to use caution, as scratching the bowl could leave unsightly, permanent scratches.

#4: Leaky Seals

A standard toilet has at least five seals and, unsurprisingly, each has the potential for leaking. In each case, the solution is to identify the broken seal and, depending on the level of damage, either tighten it or replace it. A break of the largest seal, located between the tank and bowl, will be the most obvious, as water will shoot out from underneath the tank with every flush. The others won’t be as noticeable, as they’re smaller. Regardless of the location or type of seal, they’re all replaced the same way. Drain the seal, remove the tank, turn the tank upside down for better access, remove the seal, and pop on a new one. In some cases, tightening the bolts or mounting nut is enough to stop the leak. Try this method first and, if the seal is still leaking, replace the seal altogether using the above steps.

Tips for Converting a Tub to a Shower

If you’re thinking about converting your outdated bathtub into the luxurious walk-in shower you’ve always dreamed of, you’re in good company. According to the American Institute of Architects, bathrooms without bathtubs are growing in popularity. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners preferred stall showers to tubs in a 2013 survey. However, there’s a caveat: most real estate agents recommend keeping at least one bathtub in your home to preserve its marketability when you decide to sell your home. So, before you take a sledgehammer to your bathtub, here are some tips for making the process as seamless and affordable as possible.

Measure the Space

Not all showers will fit in the space that’s being occupied by your bathtub, which is why it’s important to measure your bathroom as precisely as possible. Most tubs are 60 inches wide, which is a great width for a shower. Unfortunately, many homeowners typically run into an issue with the depth. You’ll want to aim for at least 32 to 34 inches from the finished tile wall to the future glass shower door. To comply with the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s guidelines for bathrooms, you’ll also need to have a finished ceiling height of a minimum of 80 inches and a shower that’s at least 30 X 30 to comply. It’s also important to record the toilet location- a distance of 15 to 18 inches from the center of the toilet to the shower door tends to be comfortable.

If the measurements of your future shower don’t fall in line, you’ll likely need to put your shower in a different location of the bathroom, which will probably require the services of a professional contractor and/or designer.

What about the Shower Door?

Many DIYers forget about the shower door until it’s too late. To avoid the headache that comes along with that, figure out your shower door situation before you plan the renovation. Ask yourself a few questions: where will you put the door in your new shower? Does it interfere with the bathroom vanity or toilet? Will there be enough room to get in and out of the shower with the new shower door? If the walkway from the vanity or toilet to the shower is too tight for a swinging shower door, there are other alternatives available on the market, including glass block walls, sliding doors, and retainer walls. Tip: if the bathroom floor is going to get wet outside the shower, choose a slip-resistant material for the floor.

Take Your Time with Fixtures

Shopping for bathroom fixtures can actually be a lot of fun, as long as you take your time and do your research. Research your options, and keep an eye out for specials and possible out-of-the-box combos. Many first-time DIYers may feel pressure to purchase all their bathroom fixtures and accessories from the same brand, which isn’t a necessity. In fact, many professional designers mix and match fixtures from a few different companies. Since bathroom fixtures are mostly chosen for their aesthetics, as long as they all look great together they’re fair game. Tip: if you’re building a custom steam shower, it should be constructed by someone with at least five years’ experience with vapor proofing.

Lighting & Tile

The key to a polished-looking shower is to consider your lighting and tile options from the very beginning. Make sure to include lights inside your shower, not just outside or around it. Depending on the size and overall design of your shower, one, two, or four lights might look best. When you remove the tub to make room for the new shower, take the opportunity to make sure the light system you chose can be installed like you had planned. Finally, don’t install the tile until you have the finished light sources already in place. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know how any lippage might look, as the lights of a shower are often quite close to the wall which will showcase any mistakes you made while installing tile.

For more information about your lighting and tile options, check out Bathroom Lighting: A Guide and Decorative Tile: A Guide.

How to Prepare Your Home’s Plumbing for Winter

Whether the deep freeze of winter is right around the corner or still a couple months away, there’s no time like the present to prepare your home’s plumbing system for the cold, winter months. If you don’t prepare your home for a drop in temperature, water can freeze and break pipes, causing significant damage to the walls, ceilings, and floors of your home. At best, the damage can be inconvenient. At worst, destructive and costly. As a good preventative measure, use this checklist to prepare your home’s plumbing for the winter weather that’s right around the corner.

Fix Leaks

If you currently have a leak in your home, it’s best to get the leak fixed before the first snow of the season, as even the smallest leak can turn into a huge problem when the temperatures drop. If you’re already aware of a leak, this step is easy. But if you aren’t, take a walk around the interior and exterior of your home and check for leaks or pools of water, just in case. If you wait for the water to freeze before getting the leak fixed, the damage to the surrounding pipes will be more significant. If your pipes are insulated, you can still check for leaks by feeling for any moisture that may have been soaked up.

Set Your Thermostat

If you leave your home, set your thermostat to 65°F or higher. If you’re out of town for more than a few days, set your thermostat to 55°F or higher. While it may seem wasteful, you’ll incur much more expense repairing the damage from a burst pipe than you will on the extra heating. Since prevention and planning are the two key ways to protect your plumbing throughout the winter season, this preventative measure should not be skipped under any circumstances. While you’re at it, reduce the water temperature of the water heater. Chances are, you can the thermostat down a few degrees and still have enough hot water for normal day-to-day use.

Drain & Disconnect Hoses

The pipes outside your home are exposed to the most extreme temperatures; therefore, they’re at the greatest risk for freezing. Since they’re the most susceptible to damage, extra measures should be taken to protect your exterior plumbing. You should drain the water from your sprinkler supply lines and swimming pool before the weather gets too cold, but remember: don’t pour antifreeze into the lines, as it’s dangerous to humans, animals, and landscaping. Next, disconnect garden hoses and put them into storage. Close the inside valves and open the hose bibs so the water can drain out. Then, leave them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. For more information, learn How to Prevent Bathroom Pipes from Freezing.

Don’t Forget the Interior

While outdoor pipes are more susceptible to damage, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your indoor plumbing. While keeping the thermostat at 55°F is a good preventative measure, you should also add extra insulation to crawl spaces, basements, and attics, check windows and doorframes for drafts, and keep windows and air vents that are located near water pipes closed. While you’re at it, feel for drafts around the chimney case or flue and repair these as soon as possible. If the outdoor temperature is extremely cold, allow cold water to drip from the faucets to keep the line from freezing.

Watch for Warning Signs

Even if you’ve taken every precaution, it’s still possible for one or more pipes to freeze. Keep an eye out for reduced water flow, as it’s often the first sign of a frozen pipe. Check faucets before you go to bed and again in the morning to make sure the flow and water pressure have remained consistent. If a pipe appears to be frozen, you can take steps to thaw it. Thawing can be done with a hairdryer, heating pad, or a portable space heater, but use caution when operating these near standing water. If you suspect a frozen pipe but are unable to locate it or thaw it, call a plumber immediately.

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally

Whether you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint or are concerned about the effect harsh chemicals may have on your family’s health, switching to natural bathroom cleansers is a great choice. Although there are tons of “green” bathroom products available in stores, in most cases it’s cheaper and more effective to make them on your own. And, chances are, your kitchen cupboard is already stocked with many of the ingredients. From cleansers made with grapefruits and lemons to vinegar and baking soda, here are some of our favorite natural and homemade bathroom cleansers.

Grapefruit & Salt Tub Cleaner

If your bathtub has unflattering rings or rust that won’t go away, try this grapefruit/salt combo on the grime. All you’ll need is one grapefruit and ¼ cup coarse kosher salt. One medium to large grapefruit will clean your entire bath or shower from top to bottom, including the fixtures. Depending on the space and severity of the grime, use a half a grapefruit or more than one grapefruit. Once you’ve cut the grapefruit in half, sprinkle the top liberally with salt. Wet your bathtub, and sprinkle the remaining salt around the bottom. From there, use the grapefruit to scrub around the tub, making sure to “juice” the grapefruit over the fixtures while picking up spare salt along the way. Once you’re done, rinse away the pulp, juice, and toss the grapefruit in the trash.

Baking Soda & Vinegar Tile Cleaner

To make a daily-use tub and tile cleaner on your own, all you’ll need is baking soda, lemon juice, salt, dishwashing liquid, and vinegar. Mix ¾ cup baking soda, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons dishwashing liquid, and ½ cup vinegar in a large bowl. Mix together and pour the mixture into a plastic container. When you’re ready to use the cleanser, simply shake and/or pour a small amount onto a rag or directly onto the area to be cleaned. Scrub and rinse with a wet rag. Note: if you’d like the cleanser to smell like oranges, lemons, or your favorite scent, add ten drops of essential oil once the liquid has been mixed.

Baking Soda Air Freshener

If you’re tired of using bottle after bottle of air freshener, try adding a simple, natural scent to your bathroom with a basic baking soda-based room freshener. All you’ll need is a mason jar, ½ cup of baking soda, essential oil of your preference, and a tapestry needle. Simply pour ½ cup of baking soda into the Mason jar and add 8-12 drops of essential oil of your choice. If you’re unsure about how much essential oil you should be using, start off by adding less oil. If it’s not strong enough to scent the room, add more. Poke holes in the lid with the needle, and you’re good to go. If you’d like to improve the look of the Mason jar, glue some pretty, designed paper to the top of the lid or tie a bow around the neck of the jar.

DIY Foaming Hand Wash

Finally, if the frequent trips to Bath & Body Works are breaking the bank, you can make your own DIY foaming hand wash using unscented castile soap, coconut oil, and essential oils. Here’s how: add 2 tablespoons of castile soap and 2 teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil into an empty foaming soap container (if you don’t have one on hand, they’re available for purchase online), add 10-15 drops of essential oil, and fill the rest of the bottle with water, leaving enough room for the pump to be inserted. Screw on the pump, shake gently, and say hello to your very own DIY foaming hand wash. Note: the holidays are right around the corner, and this makes a great, homemade gift for virtually any friend, family member, or co-worker.

Incorporating Travel into Your Bathroom Décor

Bowl of Trinkets

With limited luggage space, it isn’t always easy to bring back everything you see while overseas. Fortunately, small souvenirs can have just as much of an impact. If you’d like to trigger travel memories or inspiration for future trips, place a small bowl of trinkets or small mementos from your travel on the countertop of your bathroom vanity. If they’re shells, fill the bowl with sand. If they’re tiny packets of matches, place the bowl next to a beautiful candle. This idea can work for virtually every bathroom, even those where space may be an issue.

Vintage Suitcase Décor

Suitcases are a traveler’s must-have staple, so what better way to include travel in your bathroom décor than with a repurposed vintage suitcase? Search for a hard case suitcase at your local thrift store, put on your thinking cap, and get a little creative with the possibilities. Although this will only work in a large bathroom, you can repurpose a small suitcase as a place to keep your extra hand towels and spare soap sets. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, consider cutting the suitcase in half, decorating it as you wish, and hanging it on the wall.

Postcard Wall Art

While postcards may seem like a thing of the past, they’re perfect for travel-themed décor. Because they cost virtually nothing to buy, they’re quite easy to get a hold of. Start your collection with a postcard from nearby, and gradually build up your collection as you travel around the world. If you don’t have the patience to wait for your collection to grow naturally, visit thrift stores or browse eBay for postcards you can purchase. Once you have a decent collection, create a decorative piece of wall art and place your favorite postcard in the middle.

Travel Photography Books

Instead of leaving a messy pile of magazines in the bathroom, why not place a couple beautiful travel photography books on a table near the toilet? If you traveled to Germany and fell in love with Dresden, find a book that’s focused on the architecture of Dresden. If you love tropical destinations, find a book of tropical underwater photography. Regardless of the type of book you choose, remember to save the expensive books for a coffee table, as items in the bathroom can be damaged by water, hairspray, makeup, and humidity.

Map Shower Curtain

If you love to daydream in the shower, a map shower curtain is the perfect way to incorporate travel into your bathroom décor. Although shower curtains are more functional than decorative, they’re a great way to add a bit of personality to your bathroom without taking up any additional space. When it comes to map shower curtains, there are many variations available on the market. Spend some time browsing online and find the map shower curtain that’s right for you.

Plane, Trains, and Automobiles

Similar to the postcard wall art, this decoration idea will take some time, as you’ll have to collect the tickets from planes, trains, buses, and other modes of transportation while you’re on vacation. Once you have a decently sized collection, choose your favorites, buy a frame, and create your own piece of art. If all of your tickets are from the same state, country, or area of the world, incorporate a map of that area into the piece of art. It’ll be a nice reminder of the places you’ve been, and will act as an inspiration for your next vacation.

Halloween Decoration Ideas for Your Bathroom

With Halloween right around the corner, you may be searching for the perfect way to take your household decorating to the next level. Whether you’re throwing your annual Halloween bash or want to decorate a bit for the kids or grandkids, the bathroom is an often an overlooked space for decorating. Although it will catch many off guard, your guests and friends will enjoy being greeted by a bit of Halloween cheer when they enter your bathroom. Think outside the box and try one of these spooky ideas for decorating your bathroom this Halloween.

Stage a Murder Scene

Depending on the age of your guests, this may be a bit too scary- so proceed with caution. If your guests aren’t frightened very easily, staging a murder scene is an easy way to scare those who enter your bathroom. Simply purchase a cheap shower curtain, find an old towel, and use a mixture of acrylic paint and red food coloring to create the “gore”. Hang the shower curtain and towels outdoors, and get to work. Splatter the paint on the shower curtain so it looks like streaks of blood and, for an added effect, add a pair of hand prints to the curtain. Once dry, place the shower curtain and towel in your bathroom, and add some leftover “gore” to the mirror.

Spider Egg Sacs

Petrify your friends and family members when they open the bathroom door, only to be greeted by these home-made creations hanging in your bathroom. This inexpensive, yet effective, scare is an easy Halloween DIY project you can do with your kids. All you’ll need is a foam egg, white batting, white stocking, plastic spiders of various sizes, pushpins, and a glue gun. To make the eggs, wrap a foam egg in white batting, pull a white stocking over the ball, position the plastic spiders inside, between the batting and stocking, and use the hot glue gun to glue larger ones on the outside. Then, use the pushpins to hang the creepy eggs from the ceiling.

Toilet Paper Hands

What’s creepier than someone else’s hands holding the toilet paper roll? These “magic” hands appear to cradle your precious toilet paper, and is actually quite simple for you and your family to create on your own. All you’ll need is an old pair of mittens, aluminum foil, and a few scraps of fabric. Stuff the aluminum into the fingers of the mittens to give them a shape- for “fatter” fingers (or bigger gloves) wrap the aluminum in the fabric scraps first for some extra thickness. When your “hands” are complete, place them on either end of the toilet paper dispenser, add a brand new roll of toilet paper, and your helpful hands are good to go!

Roaches...Everywhere!

Following the theme of disgusting and creepy decorations, what’s grosser than a hoard of cockroaches running around your bathroom? Probably nothing, and that’s what makes this a great choice for creeping out your guests. You can purchase a handful of hideous roaches at virtually any Halloween store. Once you do, dab a small amount of removable-adhesive to their bottoms and stick them onto your bathroom floor, wall, ceiling, or vanity countertops. Arrange them in a way that looks realistic whenever someone turns on the light. Sit back, relax, and wait for some screams!

Decorated Pumpkins

Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with some nicely decorated pumpkins. If you don’t have time to set up the roaches or the resources to stage a murder scene, a nicely carved or decorated pumpkin is a super easy way to bring a bit of Halloween spirit into your bathroom. Whether you carve scary faces or paint a black cat directly onto the pumpkins, they can be displayed on the vanity, the edge of the bathtub, or on top of the toilet tank. Since flowers are always a beautiful addition to any bathroom, you can even carve a pumpkin and use it as a DIY vase for your freshly cut flowers.