Modern Bathroom Blog

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

Decorative Tile: A Guide

Once upon a time, choosing tile for your home was as easy as picking from a handful of pastel ceramic squares. Would it be mint green or pale blue? What about light pink or bright yellow? Today, the choices can be overwhelming – porcelain tile can be made to realistically look like everything from aged wood to sleek Italian marble, and tiles made of glass, cork, mirror and even leather are available in all shapes and sizes. With so many options, it’s tough making a choice: here’s some tips to guide you through the decision-making process.

Create a Plan

Before jumping into tile choices, you should lay out where the tile will be. Not only will this set your plans in stone, but you’ll have a general idea of how much tile you’ll need to purchase in order to complete the job. Your plan doesn’t have to be a professional layout; a hand sketch or elevation of each wall will do. The sketch can be given to your contractor or, if you’re taking a DIY approach and shopping at a smaller tile store, the professionals there can work with your layout to help you find the perfect tile.

Alternating vs. Consistent

While in the past homeowners chose a particular tile and used it throughout the space, some contemporary design trends favor alternating between large and small tiles. Simple changes, like using two different size subway tiles, can make a bathroom more stylish and interesting without risking it looking dated in a few years’ time. Another option is alternating the thickness of the tile so some rows jut out further than others. Some homeowners get creative with grout: thick lines of grout in bold or dark colors that contrast with the tile is one way to make a statement. No matter the type of tile you choose, deciding between a traditional or more contemporary style is crucial.

Tile Types

Once you’ve created a plan and decided on a style, it’s time to choose a tile type. If your tastes lean towards modern, clean lines, consider incorporating subway tile into your bathroom. If maintenance and durability are high on your list, you can’t go wrong with porcelain: it’s virtually maintenance-free and can be used on any surface or area of your bathroom. Glass tile is especially popular in bathrooms because the reflectivity is a great way to add light to dark spaces, but it shouldn’t be used in high traffic areas, such as bathroom countertops or floors, as glass can break more easily than other tile types.

Regardless of the size of your budget or home décor, incorporating decorative tiles into your bathroom is a great way to create an upscale look in your home. If your budget is small, consider using tile in a small area of your bathroom – such as a backsplash or behind the walls of your bathroom vanity. The variety of tile styles and designs for your bathroom are vast; find the one that works for you and transform your bathroom into the stylish, upscale haven you’ve always known it could be.

How to Choose a Decorative Mirror

Gone are the days when mirrors were used only to check reflections – now they’re regarded as multi-purpose accessories that can enhance interiors and create an illusion of more space and light. Because decorative wall mirrors reflect light, they can help make even the smallest and darkest bathrooms seem more comfortable and inviting. Mirrors can hide storage space, create a focal point in your bathroom, and help you take advantage of any source of light that’s present nearby. Here’s some tips for choosing a decorative mirror for your bathroom.

Choosing a Style

Before deciding on a size, shape, or color, you must decide on the style of mirror. The style of the rest of your home should play a vital role in your choice of decorative mirror. If your home is filled with antique décor, it would be a good idea to choose a decorative mirror that’s elaborate and extensive in design and form. Similarly, if your home borders on modernity, a mirror with minimalist design elements is your best choice. For a sleek, streamlined look choose a mirror with a simple wooden, metal, or plastic frame. For a more dramatic look, seek out a mirror with an ornate, gilded frame. Mosaic-style frames are perfect for those interested in a fun, eye-catching look without taking too much of a design risk.

Deciding on a Size

The size of your decorative bathroom mirror should depend on a couple factors – the size of the wall you’re placing it on, and how big of an impact you’d like the mirror to make in the bathroom. If you’re hanging the mirror on a large wall and would like to make a bold statement, opt for an extra -large mirror measuring between 25 and 31 inches on each side. While large mirrors can make big statements, the mirror should not be so large that it overshadows other elements in the room. On the other hand, a mirror that’s too small may go unnoticed and fail to create the type of design impact you intended.

Selecting a Shape

While square and rectangular options are the most common decorative mirror shape on the market, it’s possible to find wall mirrors in a variety of shapes. While square and rectangular mirrors offer the most traditional look, choosing a mirror in an unusual shape can immediately bring attention to the wall, even if the mirror lacks a flashy, decorative frame. If your bathroom is a bit on the funky side, a triangle or diamond-shaped mirror can add a quirky touch. If the bathroom in question is for children, a mirror in the shape of a butterfly or flower is a fun way to add character to the room.

Picking a Color

When choosing a mirror with a decorative frame, pick one in a color that works with the rest of the room’s décor. A basic black or white frame can work with virtually any color scheme, while metallic colors like gold and silver can add a posh look to a modern bathroom. A colorful frame with trendy drawings and an eccentric shape can liven up a bathroom, while mirrors in subdued colors will blend in with the rest of the bathroom’s fixtures. Regardless of the shape, size, color or style of mirror chosen, ensure that it’s durable, easy to clean, and resistant to bumps and scratches.

Bathroom Accessories: The Best of the Best

Life’s all about the little things – crisp bed sheets, clean towels, a new bottle of your favorite shampoo, and long showers where the hot water doesn’t run out. Whether you’re looking for a chic update to your guest bath or are putting the finishing touches on a total bathroom renovation, here’s some of our favorite bathroom accessories you’re sure to fall in love with. From stylish shower curtains to aromatic candles, you’ll find it all right here.

Hancock Large Rubber Vase

Ideal for bathrooms frequented by small children and guests, these rubber vases are both stylish and practical. While the material gives the impression of fragile ceramics, these rubber vases won’t shatter to pieces when accidentally knocked over. Available in colors that include black, red, and green, this 8”x 7” vase is a foolproof way to display bouquets of flowers cut fresh from the garden.

Smooth Antique Votive

These antique votive holders are the perfect way to welcome fall into your home. The subtle ribbed texture makes for a beautiful display day or night, and can easily be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth. Available in gold and smoked and in three different sizes, these votive holders can hold more than just candles – flowers, knick-knacks, cotton balls…use your imagination!

Icon Bath Trays

Perfect for bathrooms with an antique vanity or traditional feel, these icon bath trays come in three different patterns: pig, bunny, and fox. Guaranteed to bring a bit of character to your countertops, these ceramic bath trays feature fun designs and are super functional. Whether you use them as a soap dish or place your rings on them while you wash your hands, these are the perfect accessory for your bathroom.

Apothecary Shower Curtain

Whether you’re a barber by trade or simply love the design, the apothecary-themed print of this shower curtain is perfect for a bathroom dominated by males. The curtain itself is biodegradable and made from polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), so you’ll be eco-friendly and fashion-forward at the same time. So, what are you waiting for? Surprise that special man in your life with this masculine shower curtain.

Duffy’s Brew ESB Shampoo & Conditioner

Crafted from medium-bodied beer from Elysian Brewing Co., this shampoo and conditioner set is perfect for self-proclaimed beer snobs. The mineral-rich hops, malt and barley found in Duffy’s Brew ESB Shampoo and Conditioner will naturally add body and shine to your hair. The products are sulphate, paraben, and phthalate free, contain no artificial colors, and are not tested on animals.

NEST Wasabi Pear Candle

Infused with the essence of Wasabi, this candle is a Lavish Body + Home top seller and staff favorite. With Anjou pear and fresh, ozonic watery notes, this candle is made of premium, soft, cosmetic-grade wax to optimize burn and fragrance diffusion. Designed to complement the beauty of its surroundings, the glass vessel’s classic shape and modern stripe etching is sure to complement any bathroom décor.

Mr. Steam Essential Oils

What bathroom would be complete without a spa transformation? For over fifty years, Mr. Steam has been creating well-designed and durable steam products made of earth-friendly, water-based organic oils that don’t pose a hazard to you or the environment. With fragrances that include Invigorating Orange, Green Harmony, and Celestial Blue, you’re sure to find just the scent you’ve been looking for.

Accent Walls: Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to add a bit of dramatic style to your bathroom, creating an accent wall is the perfect way to liven up a room while creating an immediate focal point. Typically known as painting one wall a completely different color, accent walls aren’t necessarily limited to paint – some accent walls include patterned wallpaper, mosaic tiles, and other decorations. If you’re interested in revitalizing your bathroom with an accent wall, here’s some tips.

Pick a Wall

Before you settle on a paint color or material it’s important to decide which wall you’d like to accent. Typically, walls that feature a large piece of furniture or a large bay of windows are the natural choice. If there’s no clear architectural feature in your bathroom to build your accent wall around, don’t worry – an accent wall can create drama on its own. In situations where there’s no specific features, the most common choice is the wall directly across from your bathroom’s entrance. Once the accent wall is complete, you can add more interest with mirrors, décor, or a piece of artwork.

Choose an Accent Material

Whether it’s a coat of paint or adding a design, the next step is choosing the material you’d like to use. If you’re a minimalist at heart, consider a solid coat of paint. If you’re on the more ambitious side, the only limitation is your imagination. Textured wallpaper, geometric patterns, wall murals, weathered wood planks and chevron paint patterns can all be used to create an accent wall. For a contemporary look go for patterns in mid-century geometrics and bright colors. If the rest of your bathroom is traditional, try a subdued damask paper design.

Decide on a Color

When most people think of accent walls, bright oranges or reds probably come to mind. If that level of commitment scares you, you’re not alone – a wall doesn’t have to be bold for it to be beautiful. When choosing a color for your accent wall, it’s important to decide what color temperature you’d like. If you’d like your room to be cozy and inviting, colors like red, orange, and yellow produce warmth. Cooler colors, such as blue, purple, and green, tend to transform bathrooms into cool, restful, and serene spaces. Repeating a color already present in rugs and accessories can also help you decide on a color.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

For an accent wall with a bit more character, try experimenting with a graphic wallpaper pattern, tiles, or color blocking. Some companies’ custom make wallpapers to work with the other colors in your room, so if you’re worried about your interior decorating skills, they can offer advice. Additionally, adding decorative tile to the space behind your vanity is a cost-effective way to make a statement in your bathroom. Finally, it’s important to remember not all accent walls have to be a solid color – you can get creative with color blocking by using striped paint or wallpaper patterns for your accent wall.

The Top Five Remodeling Apps

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of planning a renovation project or are already midway through, DIY project guides, calculators, and color matching swatches, would all come in handy, right? Lucky for you, there’s an app for everything nowadays – including home improvement, design, and renovation. With these helpful mobile apps in your virtual tool-belt, you’ll be able to tackle virtually any project without having to get your contracting license.

WikiHow (Android, iOS)

This free app is like Wikipedia for the DIY community. Within the app you’ll find thousands of how-to-guides ranging from life hacks and quick repairs to DIY projects and food recipes. Users can browse by category, search by term, check out featured articles and bookmark how-tos for offline reading – all from the comfort of their own home. If you’re using the iOS version, there’s an additional perk: a collection of first aid and survival guides that come preloaded for offline use – because you never know if you’ll hurt yourself while at the hardware store.

Houzz (Android, iOS)

Often referred to as the “Wikipedia of Interior Design”, Houzz is a popular social network dedicated to interior design and home improvement. Their official app is the home of thousands of articles, discussions, and photographs intended to inspire and motivate DIYers to take the next step in renovating their homes. Whether you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, this is the app for you. When the time is right, the app includes a directory of local professionals including architects and contractors.

Home Improvement Calcs (iOS)

Perfect for homeowners interested in forecasting the costs of certain renovations, the Home Improvement Calcs app includes a variety of helpful DIY calculators and estimation tools. The database includes over 74,000 present functions that range from mulch coverage to attic insulation volumetrics. With the amount of explanatory illustrations found in Home Improvement Calcs, you’ll be able to make your way through the flooring section of Home Depot with ease.

iFixIt (Android, iOS)

This DIY-oriented app focuses on do it yourself repairs, and includes repair and teardown guides for a variety of categories and devices, ranging from vehicles and smartphones to common household appliances and furniture. Whether you’re fixing a leaky sink or replacing your cell phone’s battery, this site can help. Users can browse by category, check out featured guides, and even create their own guides straight from within the app. If you don’t have the necessary tools or parts, the app includes a handy link to iFixIt’s own online store.

House Maintenance Schedule (Android)

So, you’ve installed a new vanity sink – but will you remember when to deep clean the oak? Now, thanks to the House Maintenance Schedule app, you’ll be reminded when it’s time to give your vanity a little TLC. Anything from flushing the water heater and inspecting fire extinguishers to changing HVAC filters and cleaning the rain gutters can conveniently be scheduled using this app. Over time you’ll find that remembering miniscule maintenance tasks can prevent them from becoming large and expensive issues.

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