Monthly Archives: October 2016

Trends in Modern Bathroom Design

In the past, the bathroom was thought of as a strictly utilitarian space. You get in, take care of your business and get out. But these days, savvy homeowners are taking another look at the bathroom and finding it’s a great place to bring quality of life into the home. Bathroom design these days blends both form and function to create a space where you can relax in a spa.

Showers and Baths

The shower or bathtub is a great place to start your bathroom project. A large whirlpool bathtub is beautiful and luxurious. Manufacturers now make them in all sizes and shapes, with massaging jets, headrests, footrests, lumbar support—you name it. On the other hand, if your space is limited, stand-alone showers have come a long way. The latest trend is multiple showerheads for a more relaxing experience. “Rain” overhead showerheads are also very popular and can provide an instant upgrade for your bathroom without a whole lot of hassle.


Traditional porcelain tile is durable, straightforward and sensible, but these days, ceramic and stone are the materials of choice. Consider not only color but texture, too. Laminate wood flooring is a popular option for folks who love the look of hardwood but don’t want the upkeep. And for real luxury, nothing beats a heated floor. Electrically-heated flooring keeps your feet warm on those cold winter mornings and radiates warmth through your whole bathroom.


The bathroom vanity is the quickest and easiest way to give your bathroom a makeover. Sinks come in a range from the traditional to the ultra-modern. Vessel sinks, with basins that sit on top of (as opposed to being recessed into) the countertop, are all the rage these days. They come in marble, ceramic, glass and more, and in every design you can think of. As for the vanity itself, your choices range from French Countryside to Ultramod and everything in between. A beautiful vanity sets the tone for the whole room and is a cornerstone of modern bathroom design. And don’t forget the faucet: it’s another great way to personalize your space.


They used to be simple: rectangular, with the old rounded edges, maybe a medicine cabinet hiding behind there. But in modern bathroom design, the mirror is another great way to bring personality to your most personal of rooms. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with borders of everything from mahogany to mosaic, even snakeskin! Fog-free mirrors are the latest innovation; they save you time in the morning as you go from showering to your morning beauty ritual.


Another great, and often overlooked, aspect of bathroom design is lighting. Vanity lighting above the mirror is useful when you’re shaving or getting ready to go out, of course, but you might also consider using recessed or spot lighting to highlight certain features of your bathroom and give the place an airy feel. Lighting designs have come a long way and are the perfect finishing touch for a modern bathroom design.

When remodeling, be sure to speak with a bathroom contractor who can help you consider various aspects of the design to create a space that is truly personal and unique.

Learn More About The Guest House

Having space already set aside for those who visit is convenient for host and company alike. While a spare room is often sufficient for this purpose, having a guest house is a far superior way to quarter an out-of-town friend.

Host Benefits of a Guest House

Since every home has a finite amount of space, the inner workings of a household can get thrown for a loop with the addition of more people. In some cases, the effect can be quite tumultuous and lead to a general sense of disorder.

A guest house can put an end to all that. It is an excellent alternative to renting a hotel room or cramming more people than necessary under one roof. Generally equipped with all the necessities any traveler could need (bathroom, refrigerator, microwave, etc.), the guest house will provide everyone with enough space to keep things running smoothly and keep everyone in the same vicinity.

Guest Benefits of a Guest House

When traveling, most people can’t help but be a little turned off by the sterility and lack of warmth you find in many hotel rooms. At the same time, it’s hard not to feel like you’re imposing when staying in someone else’s home. It is often the case that the habits of hosts and guests are very different. In the same space, one or the other is often forced to change their ways for the duration of the visit.

A guest house provides company with the best of both worlds. They have a warm place near people they care about, but also enough room so that no one feels in the way. Everyone gets to socialize, but there is also a sense of privacy.

Other people aren’t the only ones company won’t want to put out. A guest house is also a plus when a visitor has an allergy (or simply an aversion) to a host’s pet.

Guest House Plans

There are many designs and guest house plans available for those who are interested in building one. They range from very simple to extremely extravagant. Some designs will provide all the basics and be relatively simple to build; others are more like a luxury suite in a fancy bed and breakfast than a cabin in the backyard.

The guest house plan you choose will depend heavily on who will be building it. A basic guest house plan is often tailored for homeowners who want to do a bit of the work themselves. A more luxurious plan will most likely require a crew of some sort for the whole process.

Whether simple or complex, guest houses are never a job for a novice (or at least not a novice who’s only got a weekend to spare). Building a house, even a small one, is still a big job. It will require many construction skills, including knowledge of plumbing and electricity.

Major Basement Remodels on the Rise

This article originally appeared in Qualified Remodeler in June 2016.

It would stand to reason that homeowners seeking more space would renovate their basements when the housing market is weak and move into bigger homes when the economy is strong. A recent analysis of HomeAdvisor data shows the exact opposite to be true.

In 2015, 6.31 percent of homeowners categorized their basement remodels as ‘major remodel — multiple rooms.’ While the percentage may not seem high it represents a 7.5 percent year-over-year increase from 2014 and a nearly 200 percent increase from 2008.

Encouraged by historically low interest rates and the strengthening economy, the percentage of major basement remodels has steadily grown year over year for the past several years. The question now becomes: Will the percentage of major basement remodels continue to increase given the drop in existing home sales and the rise in new home sales? And, if major renovations represent a small percentage of basement renovation projects, what relative jobs represent the higher percentages?

According to HomeAdvisor data, homeowners have most frequently submitted requests for the removal and hauling of waste, junk, building materials and debris over the past four years. Since this project represented 15.87 percent of basement projects in 2015, this could indicate that these homeowners are preparing for a larger remodel down the road. Other health-and habitation-related maintenance projects — such as air duct and vent cleaning, replacing a water heater and removing mold and toxins — also consistently ranked in the top categories for basement renovation.