fixtures

DAY 24 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Light It Up

If you think I’m going say for you to go buy all new light fixtures, well you are only a smidgen correct. Maybe 5% on point because there is so much more to be done with lighting than just switching out a light fixture. Today we will work on lighting as a complete package.

DAY 24 Lighting.png

There’s a lot to be done in the lighting department. Below are the many ways you can make an impact in your home by adjusting your lighting needs.

Replace Your Bulbs With The Right Bulb, Even If It’s Not Burnt Out

Edison Bulbs

Early on in the Edison bulb craze, I realized it wasn’t for me. That’s right. No. Here’s why: many of the light fixtures that feature Edison bulbs look great in the fixture, but work horribly in the room. I once put a light fixture in a bathroom with Edison bulbs and my newly renovated bathroom felt like a haunted house. Edison bulbs are horrible for actually seeing anything as they don’t put off enough light, especially in a lighting situation where you want to see what you are doing. They also tend to be a little too orange-y/amber in color for my taste. Maybe this has changed over the years, but still, I haven’t gotten over the let down of a cool looking bulb not working the way I wished it would. I have a hard time going back to things after I have already shunned them, like capri pants and Costco.

Bright White and Blue Hued Bulbs

On the flip side, nothing feels more clinical than a bulb that shines just as annoyingly as fluorescent bulbs. The ones that come to mind are new LED can lights. I tend to stay away from LED lights in general because of this. They typically are so blue in hue that they feel like you’re getting prepped for surgery. If your room feels horrible, try switching out the bulbs for something a little warmer. It seems counter intuitive, yet you’ll thank me later.

Globe Bulbs

Instead of using Edison bulbs I like to grab round incandescent bulbs. They put out great light and have a nice shape as well. They work well in those situations where an Edison bulb would look good, but won’t work well for lighting purposes. They also work well in situations where you’ll be looking up at the bulb from below, such as in the bathroom where you don’t want look up and see the swirly CFL bulbs hanging down.

Appliance Bulbs

How annoying is it to open your freezer or dryer and not be able to see inside? Fix that shit already.

Update Your Light Fixture

Paint It

We’ve hit this in several challenges already so you know full well by now that you can paint a light fixture. Shut off the power to that fixture, flip the switch on and off to test that it is in fact off, then take that puppy down for it’s spray paint treatment. Put it back up the same way you took it down.

Decorate or Un-decorate It

If your bathroom vanity light or dining room chandelier are dumb AF, you have a few options.

  1. Replace the shades with something different. Home Depot sells shades by themselves.

  2. Remove the shades completely. Do you even need shades? Maybe, maybe not.

  3. Replace the bulbs for something a little more shapely and call it a day. Sometimes it’s just that flame bulb that is bringing the wrong vibe. Try a globe bulb to modernize it.

  4. Add something to your light fixture like beads, crystals, what have you.

Replace Your Fixture

Sometimes you just have to jump ship and try something new. I like to buy light fixtures from Amazon, Etsy, Shades of Light , West Elm, World Market, CB2 and Pottery Barn. There is always a sale going on at those box stores so keep an eye out. Here are some of my favorite fixtures I’ve used over the years.

Remove A Light Fixture

This is something I’m doing regularly now, as in I’m not putting fixtures where I would have normally. I may even remove some. For instance, for a long while pendant lights were the norm in any kitchen I would design. Now, I decide if that kitchen would benefit from them or if it would detract. My newest remodel, The Rattan Ranch, was one such case. I have rattan basket style pendants hanging above the table in the adjoining dining room. I couldn’t think of a light fixture that would compliment those lights and not compete with them. I also didn’t like the idea of more lights hanging down in my face. So, I just did without. I do still have can lights, but no pendant lights over the peninsula.

Dim It

Maybe you’re not suffering from a light fixture problem at all. Maybe you just need to be able to tone it down a little. Add some dimmers to some lights, especially the can lights. This will make your nights and early mornings much more enjoyable. See the DAY 22 pleasure post about other ways to make your home feel more pleasurable.

If you shop for a new light fixture or light bulb and if you put this plan into action, we want to see! It’s so motivating to see things getting done! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

DAY 12 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Paint Something

You know this one was coming. Today throw some paint on something.

This isn’t rocket science. Find something, paint it. Perhaps that thing you’ve been meaning to paint for a long long time. Here are some ideas

  1. A piece of furniture

  2. A door

  3. An entire room

  4. Your kitchen cabinets (google how to do this or ask someone at your local paint store. The cabinets and wall above were painted with a wipeable matte paint from Home Depot)

  5. An accent wall

  6. An appliance

  7. A railing

  8. Spray paint a light or plumbing fixture (see ones that I spray painted in this post)

  9. Patio furniture

  10. Your floors

  11. Some Shutters

  12. Door handles

  13. Cabinet Hardware

There are so many things to paint. In the link above I even painted a shower curtain rod. If you are hesitant because you don’t want to sand something, then try chalk paint which literally needs zero prep, just slap that shit on. I use this one pretty often.

If you are hesitant because what if you mess up or you are afraid of the outcome, then your job is to first go spend some time on Pinterest looking for examples. But, it’s just paint. It can be painted again.

Show me what you painted!

Bathroom Design: Rustic Modern + Funky

Want your own design? Scroll down to the bottom and click that button.

Before

Yet another bathroom in need of some serious help! The owner of this tired bathroom, Jen and her husband, are tired of the small outdated look of their bathroom. They have room in their master bedroom to extend the bathroom a bit. They also wanted to incorporate the current walk in closet into the renovation somehow. Their main focus was to expand the bathroom space with hopes of adding a garden tub. I was up to the challenge. Here's the current space. 

Master Bedroom wall with closet and bathroom entrance
Vanity wall in master bath

Layout

The current layout, as seen in the top drawing below, has a long and narrow bathroom and closet. The entrances to both rooms tie up the entire wall space of the master bedroom. The new layout, shown in the bottom drawing, bumps that bathroom and closet wall into the master bedroom space allowing the bathroom footprint to expand in both length and width. The master closet gains just 7 sf but is no longer visible from the bedroom. 

The new layout allows a ton to happen for the new rooms. 

  • The entrance to the master closet is now through the bathroom. This frees up that wall in the master for a dresser or seating area. It also allows one person to sleep in peace if the other person is getting ready earlier in the morning. No going back and forth from the closet to the bathroom. 
  • The bathroom was widened and lengthened in order to add a garden tub. It's placed at the end of the room in front of the window while a stand up shower sits next to it. They can be separated by glass in order to keep light flowing through from both directions. 
  • A sliding barn door is added to the bathroom instead of a swing door in order to keep the floor space in front of the vanities free from obstruction. This could be a pocket door if they prefer that style.
  • Because of the garden tub addition, the linen closet had to go. This is not a deal breaker in my opinion. That extra 7 square feet in the master closet could house linens and other bathroom items and could be placed directly in front of the doorway between his and her clothing areas. Another option is to add shelving above the garden tub and toilet. They may also decide to choose vanities with drawers for greater organization. 

Issues

An issue in any situation like a layout change is dealing with structural supports. I have not been in the space, nor am I qualified to make structural decisions, so Jen and her husband should rely on a contractor and structural engineer before deciding to move any walls. Usually walls can come and go, it's just a matter of counterbalancing the weight of the structure somewhere else. Plumbing, venting and electrical will also need to be rerouted. Moving and removing walls always seems so easy and fun but there is always a price tag involved.

Design

Jen wanted something modern but with some funkiness to it. I'm always looking for renovations to last fore a long time so I go with funkiness in the decor, not the renovation. I rip out too many old bathrooms and kitchens to feel good about putting something back in that will be dated in the near future. So, I like to go with good ole trusty subway tile which will be in for quite a while. The easiest to swap out is the decor. Add some funky artwork and a funky rug to spruce it up and she can change it out when she bores of it or wants a different color.

As always, I love hearing from everyone about their likes and dislikes about designs. Call it research. What do you think? If you like something let me know. If you don't, constructive criticism is appreciated. :) 

Interested in your own design but have questions? Contact me on the contact page! See your options by clicking that box below.

 



Bathroom Redesign: Modern Gray and Teal with Sneaky Storage

The Before

Jen wrote to me about her bathroom which was outdated, lacked storage space and needed to handle teenager use. The bathroom seriously lacks storage, with the only space being under the sink. I checked out the photos and quickly realized it was a small bathroom, and unfortunately, not much could be done to change it. But, with a little finagling, some storage could be added in some tricky places. Jen's budget is $10-$15,000, so there was room to add some custom elements as well as nicer finishes. She's ready to start completely over. GUT JOB! My favorite. See before photos below. 

The Design

She wanted something modern, neutral with a pop of color and worthy of teenager use. Here is the design.

The Road Map

Keeping most of the room neutral is a good call. It will allow the design to hold up over the years without becoming quickly dated. Leaving the punch of color in the decorative items, such as towels, artwork and soaps and lotions, allows you to change the color scheme easily. Tile is not as easy to change but new towels can be swapped out every season if you wished. There isn’t a way to improve the layout as that would require diminishing the size of the shower which would then be too narrow or lessening the size of the vanity, meaning less storage and counter space. I do believe some creative storage could be added next to the shower and in wall niches. Let’s dive deeper…

  1. Storage: There are two areas storage could be introduced to the space.

    1. Cubbies: Floor to ceiling storage cubbies behind the shower will add lots of vertical space to store towels. Baskets could also be added to the cubbies to hold loose items. A contractor will have to frame this to size. Accounting for the framing and drywall and leaving space for the shower, it will be pretty narrow. However,  it will be ample when considering it is utilizing the vertical space.

    2. Niches: A recessed cabinet with a full length mirror as a door will add some shallow storage space to keep items like hair products and accessories. This can fit on the wall opposite the toilet where the towel bar is currently. When the room is gutted by the contractor, they’ll remove some of the drywall and reframe to the desired cabinet size provided the wall can handle this change. If not, or if cost is an issue, there could be a smaller, narrow nook or two the size of the space between the studs. This will be a custom project so anything goes here. The new “cabinet” will be a recessed nook whatever size you and your contractor decide on. Consider white wood or glass shelves.

  2. Tile: The shower floor will be tiled which requires a mosaic for the pitch toward the drain. I recommend these marble hexagons with a gray grout. The hexagons can be carried up the back wall of the shower in a wide 3 ft. stripe to the ceiling. Consider adding a shower niche in the center of the stripe, in the same tile, for soaps and shampoos. The rest of the shower walls, as well as the bathroom floor will be in a coordinating gray plank tile. Lay the tiles in a stacked pattern for a more modern look, as well as to draw more attention to the mosaic. A Schluter strip can be used to finish off the edges where the shower tiles end on the walls.

  3. Vanity: The vanity is 36” and will sit exactly where the old one did. There is no room for improvement in size or storage here, unfortunately. The marble countertop coordinates with the accent tiles in the shower. Use the bottom shelf to store more towels, or add baskets to hold small items.

  4. Decor and Accessories: The towels, artwork and soap are your ticket to color in this bathroom. I included teal, but any color will work with the gray. The artwork is inexpensive and can easily be printed and inserted in a white Ikea frame.

  5. Toilet Seat: I added a Toto toilet seat like you wanted so we could see it in the budget and with the design. I’m not sure which one you’ll choose, but I recommend that you choose a toilet with a rounded seat. This will allow more room in front of the shower and be less intrusive in the space.

  6. Fixtures and Hardware: The finishes in the room are nickel and modern. The rain shower head will be impressive looking through the glass shower doors, as well as probably feel amazing!  The  vanity light, fan, sink faucet and towel bars all work together, but aren’t from  the same line  in order to keep from looking too matchy. Glass knobs are included in the design to replace the ones on the new vanity which don’t really work with the scheme. Their geometric shape work with the hex tiles.

  7. Paint: The paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray. You can buy this color anywhere you want (i.e. Home Depot or Lowes). Every paint store has other paint store’s color formulas.

If you're thinking about getting your own design, we have a Cyber Monday (week) discount for 10% off any of our virtual design products. Just use the code CYBER10 at check out. You can gift it to a friend or family member for the Holidays or keep it for yourself. Discount good until December 8, 2014.

Change some ugly.