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bathroom home keeping kitchen

Six ways to kill the germs and it includes vodka!

Are you currently having trouble finding your usual cleaning supplies? With stores selling out of bleach and other anti bacterial products as soon as they hit the shelves, it’s become difficult to keep your home virus free. Fortunately, you most likely have some natural cleaning alternatives already on hand. Here’s a run down of non chemical based items that are easy on the environment and your own health.

Lemons: This common citrus is nature’s cleaning miracle. Due to their high acidic content, lemons have powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Rub a slice of lemon across your chopping board to disinfect the surface. They are a natural deodorizer and smell great. Use lemon sparingly on counter tops and tile though as the acid can etch the surface.

Debby Hudson

Hydrogen Peroxide: Not only can hydrogen peroxide disinfect your doorknobs, it can clean and brighten your laundry as well. It’s a great bathroom cleaner as it kills the coronavirus and mold. Use caution though, since like bleach, it can ruin bright fabrics and fibers.

White Vinegar: Like lemons, white vinegar is a cleaning powerhouse. It is a weak acetic acid that has robust antibacterial properties. It’s effective in removing stains when diluted in water and can be combined with other natural products like baking soda to clear a clogged drain or clean soap scum.

House Method

Essential Oils: Advocates of oregano oil sing its praises for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Used as a natural alternative to commercial hand sanitizer, oregano essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria. Other essential oils that have a wide range of medicinal and antibacterial properties include, tea tree, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, and patchouli. Do some research before you use on your skin, since some oils can cause an allergic reaction.

Christin Hume

Vodka: While delicious in a dirty martini, vodka can be used as a disinfectant, remove stains and kill mold. Wipe down a surface and let it air dry to sanitize. Look for 100-proof vodka for the the most antibacterial power and obviously don’t buy the most expensive brand for this task, save those brands for happy hour!

Baking Soda: With no known antibacterial properties, sodium bicarbonate, is still a great product for a healthy home. This eco-friendly and affordable cleaning supply is effective on grease, is a non toxic oven cleaner and when mixed with water is a fantastic all purpose cleaner.

Mr. H says: Cleaning and organizing is a practice, not a project-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom interior design Organization

Five projects to tackle when you are stuck at home

Take advantage of social distancing with some small changes that can make your time at home more enjoyable.

Set up a home bar. Your probably beginning to limit your public interactions now and that includes trips to the local watering hole. Treat yourself to a “quarantini” from a stocked home bar. It doesn’t have to be a large dedicated space as a bar cart can serve the same purpose. Check out our bar cart tips here.

Bar cart
Hurtado

Clean out your closet. With endless days at home, now is the perfect time to tackle your closet. Begin by taking everything out and sorting into three piles: keep, donate and toss. Return the “keep” items by following these tips from the experts at California Closets.

Create an accent wall. While tackling an entire room redo may seem overwhelming at this time, highlighting one wall can transform a room as well. Either with a splashy paint color, removable wallpaper or a gallery wall, creating an accent well can be achieved in a matter of hours.

Sherwin Williams

Organize your spice cabinet. You’ll most likely be preparing more meals at home so now is the time to get your spices in order. Spice bottles are tricky to store, especially in a cabinet, where you spend a time digging around in search of the cumin. If you have a drawer to spare, consider fitting it with a spice organizer to keep your herbs in easy reach. Shelf risers or over the door organizers are a must if they must stay in a cabinet.

KraftMade

Update Your Bathroom. Bathrooms are the work horses in most homes. Besides the germ factories they are they tend to look shabby fast. After you’ve given it a good scrubbing update the cabinet hardware and towel bars with a modern look. Install a new shower curtain and replace the towels and rugs with a fresh color.

Designers Guild

Mr. H says: Home is the place we love best and grumble about the most-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom decorating Holidays outdoor living seasons

8 Easy Design Tips for Fall

Bring that Fall feeling inside by adding cozy autumnal touches around your house with these festive and easy decor ideas.

Front porch greetings

Greet family and friends with a Fall themed wreath or porch vignette. Incorporate natural dried materials, gourds, and seasonal flowers into your display for a delightful seasonal welcome.

Fall wreath ideas
Creekside Farms

Faux Fur Pillows

Swapping out lightweight summer throw pillows to more textural ones like faux fur, velvet or chunky knits in darker jewel tones is an easy Fall upgrade.

Faux fur pillows
Grandin Road

Bring the Outside In

Add natural textures to your decor by mixing twigs, hay and gourds with pewter and mercury glass for an elegant Fall theme.

Natural fall decorating ideas
Pottery Barn

Pretty Paisley

A richly colored, set of paisley napkins is an easy way to transform your dinner table for Fall. Add a monogram for a personalized look.

Paisley monogrammed napkins
Donovan Design Linens

Chic Baskets

The warmth of natural woven baskets feels instantly Fall. Pile a basket with fruit in the kitchen or group a few on the coffee table to stash the remotes or hold magazines.

Natural woven baskets
West Elm

Copper Accents

Handcrafted copper items have a rich glow that fits seamlessly into Fall decorating. An occasional polish will keep it looking shiny or allow it to mellow into a verdigris patina.

Copper candles
Akkadian Candles

Tidy Up the Bath

Don’t get caught off guard by holiday guests. Stock the guest bath now with fresh towels, soap and scented candles.

Marrakech towels Matouk
Fine Linens

Cozy Up Outside

Enjoy Fall’s cooler evenings outside with seating arranged around a fire pit. Keep cozy pillows and throws on hand if the weather turns extra chilly.

Mr. H says: Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom bedroom color interior design

6 Proven paint colors for every room

There our countless scientific studies on the impacts of color on human beings. The color of a room affects our mood, blood pressure and even digestion to name just a few . It makes sense that the right shades of paint can enhance your quality of life. So before you head to the paint store, check out the research!

Kitchens-Butter Yellow

For the non morning person, this hue boosts your appetite while enhancing your energy levels. Eating breakfast in a yellow kitchen may motivate you to seize the day.

Sherwin Williams Butter Up
Sherwin Williams Butter Up

Dining Room-Citrus Orange

Orange radiates warmth and happiness. It is invigorating, interactive color that encourages spontaneity and a positive outlook. Perfect for you next dinner party.

Benjamin Moore Orange Appeal
Benjamin Moore Orange Appeal

Bedroom-Deep Blue

Dark blue walls provide a sense of inner security, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It slows the metabolism, prompting feelings of calmness and order, components we need to induce deep sleep.

PPG Silent Night
PPG Silent Night

Bathrooms-Light Pink

The color pink has been used, for over forty years, in detention center to keep inmates calm. Since bathrooms tend to be busy spaces, this soothing hue reminds us to breath and slow down. It is a positive color inspiring warm and comforting feelings, a sense that everything will be okay. Bonus: soft pink is flattering to all skin tones and everyone wants to look good in the mirror.

Sherwin Williams Intimate White

Home Gym-Bold Red

Red is the color that can boost physical performance, making it the perfect choice for a home gym. The color red is energizing, excites the emotions and motivates us to take action.

Behr No More Drama

Creative Spaces-Lavender

The color lavender encourages creative pursuits and assists those who seek spiritual awareness. Artists, writers, musicians and even crafty people can find inspiration in this unexpected color that promotes the harmony of the mind and emotions, contributing to mental balance.

Benjamin Moore Iced Lavender
Benjamin Moore Iced Lavender

Mr. H says: Color has a dramatic effect on your well being so choose carefully-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom design trends interior design

Steer clear of these 6 bath design trends

Enormous bath tubs

For decades we all heard we needed to have an enormous, master bath tub for resale. While you may have never get into it, the next owners will. Unfortunately they won’t either and I seriously doubt being sans tub will be a deal breaker. If you are a bath taker, opt for a smaller profile free standing tub or a standard size drop in. Under no circumstance, add steps. The safest way to get into a tub is to sit on the edge and swing your legs over.

Large tub with step

Bright colors

Some people think intense colors are a great way to jazz up a neutral bath. Bright colors can feel overwhelming and can be reflected back onto your skin or cause issues with color matching. Choose a calming spa like color that works with your tile. Some of my favorites Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt” or Benjamin Moore “Silver Crest”. Consider an accent rug or a bright shower curtain if you are looking for ways to add color.

Bright color bathroom

Busy patterns

Wallpaper in a bath can be fabulous. Bold patterns work well in powder rooms where the occupant isn’t spending a lot of time. Master and guest baths though should feel subtle in texture or tone on tone patterns.

Busy bath wallpaper

Pedestal sinks

While they look attractive, pedestal sinks don’t offer any storage, especially in a bath that’s used for bathing. Their limited surface doesn’t leave much room to spread out grooming tools such a hair dryer or even a razor and shaving cream. The most versatile and valued solution is a vanity cabinet outfitted with an under mount sink.

Pedestal sink with no storage

Protruding wall cabinets

Wall hung cabinets make an already small space seem even smaller since they project into the room at eye level. Opt for a recessed cabinet with a mirror to make the bath feel larger or even open shelves for an updated feel.

Wall hung bath cabinet

Too much tile

Decorative tile is fine in small doses, but covering the entire bathroom is too distracting. Competing tile sizes and patterns create the same issue. Tiling a bath completely, which allows for easy care, can be attractive when large format tiles of the same pattern and color are used.

Bathroom tile

Mr. H says: If you forgo a bath long enough, even the fleas will leave you alone-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom decorating

Six Easy Powder Room Updates

A powder room makeover is an easy weekend design project that can create high style in a petite space.  These are six budget friendly tips for transforming a powder room.

Add a new mirror

In a small space, a mirror can be a an amazing focal point if it looks like a piece of art.

Currey & Company

Give the walls a fresh coat of paint

Welcome guests with a new paint color.  Even the slightest change makes a big impact.

Desert Domicile

Add a rug

This colorful kilim rug turns a neutral bath up a notch.

Room & Board

Change out the lighting

While a powder room need not be over-lit, most powder rooms suffer with only a single bar light above the mirror.   In this bath, a crystal ceiling fixture applied on top of the mirror is all glamour.

Martin Design Studios

Paper the walls

While a more expensive fix, hanging wallpaper can make a dramatic statement in a small space

Thibaut “Maryse”

Include some colorful hand towels

Treat guests to a color punch with these cheerful striped towels.

West Elm

Mr. H says:  Sometimes you can find poetry written right on the bathroom wall-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom design history

History of the Bathtub

Nothing is more relaxing than soaking in a hot bath.  Throw in some essential oils and a few aromatherapy candles and you have an inexpensive at home retreat.  With the current home spa trend reaching a fever pitch,  the bathtub certainly as come a long way from the tin vessel that had to be hauled in and filled with buckets of water heated over a fire.

Kohler

Early bathing plumbing systems have been dated to 3300 BC,  when copper water pipes were discovered beneath a palace in Ancient India.  It was during the Roman Empire that daily bathing became the custom and both public and private baths were commonplace.

Water Color of a Roman Bath House by Leon F Nowak

Before indoor plumbing became the norm, portable bathtubs, were used.  These large, relatively light containers made of tin or copper were usually positioned by the fireplace and filled with hot water.  Legend has it that the phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” originates from the idea that an entire house hold would share the same bath water starting with the head of the house and ending with the baby.  Since the water would be so dark with dirt that the baby could be accidentally tossed out.

baby in tin bathtub

The wealthier the home, the larger and more elaborate these vessels became

Antique copper bathtub

By the mid-19th-century, some larger homes became equipped with water heating devices allowing the bath tub to be permanently built in usually surrounded with a wooden box.

Built in metal bathtub
The Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House

The iconic clawfoot tub, originated in 18th century Holland.  With it’s signature ball and claw design, this cast iron tub became the height of fashion bathing in the 19th century.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most early bathtubs were fabricated from cast iron with a porcelain glaze fire on top of the metal.  Cast iron had many drawbacks as it is very heavy, remained cold even after hot water was added, and rusted easily if any of the glaze chipped away.  In the early 1900s, manufactures began producing the solid porcelain tub in both freestanding and built in forms.

Porcelain tub

White porcelain was the norm as it appeared disinfected and hygienic.   That changed around the 1930’s when color pigments were applied to the unglazed vitreous finish.   Pink, blue, and green bathrooms were wildly popular through end of World War II.

Pink bathtub

Today, bathtubs come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, materials and functions.

Kohler whirlpool tub
Mark Brand Architecture

Freestanding tubs have enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years, with designs to fit all design styles.

Photo by Jared Rice

Mr. H says:  You can never have too many bubbles in the bath-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom design trends

Hansgrohe USA Aquademie

Hansgrohe USA recently hosted the ASID Carolinas Chapter board in it’s North American training facility and interactive product center, located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Hansgrohe USA

Hansgrohe Aquademie

The Aquademie features an interactive class that conveys the benefits of all the exceptional Hansgrohe/Axor products.

Hansgrohe USA faucet

In “Showerworld” guests can experience first hand over thirty Hansgrohe and Axor’s celebrated shower products.

Hansgrohe Shower World

Since 1901, bathroom pioneer Hans Grohe and his descendants, have been leaders in the showering industry.  From the invention of the first handshower in 1928 to the development of the self cleaning shower head with their QuickClean technology, Hansgrohe is constantly rethinking how we bathe.

Hansgrohe innovation

Utilizing German-engineering with American assembly, Hansgrohe produces a wide range of innovative products in their Georgia facility.

Hansgrohe USA facility

Quality finishing is completed at the corporate headquarters in Alpharetta

Hansgrohe finishing

Besides being a bathroom innovator, Hansgrohe USA also feels it’s important to develop and nurture relationships with local organizations and the community at large.  All November long they want to hear your story of giving back at #SelectToGiveBack  A winner will be chosen daily to receive a Raindance Select Handshower.

Hansgrohe Raindance handshower

A plumbing component outfit stands guard.

Hansgrohe Alpharetta

Mr. H says: Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom design trends

Bathroom Redo Tips

As we embark on our own master bath remodel here are some tips if your are considering tackling a bathroom redo.

Bathroom remodel

Sometimes cosmetic work is enough with new cabinets and counter tops. Other times a major overhaul is your only choice.  As with all design projects, a well crafted plan will help keep costs down and achieve the look you desire.

J. Rhodes Interior Design

Using existing plumbing locations will eliminate major construction issues since plumbing lines are usually in the walls or under the floor.  Moving these around means tearing into drywall and insulation, among other materials, to gain access.

Bath plumbing lines

If you are opening up the walls and ceiling it is crucial to insulate, insulate, insulate.  It won’t hurt to insulate the interior walls for noise reduction between rooms.

Insulate bathroom walls

Thankfully we are trending away from the enormous master bath especially since it is an expensive rooms to build. A large walk in shower, his and her vanities and a separate toilet area are the most sought after resale items and can fit in the most compact of spaces.

Master Bath Plan with no tub modified

Spend money on visually prominent “accessories” such as door hardware, light fixtures, and faucets.

Cabinet hardware   Bath Lighting

Bath faucet

Color has the power to transform.  For an instant, relatively inexpensive transformation try painting first.

Before and After Bath color

Mr. H says: Life is like renovating a building: if you start wrong, you’ll end wrong-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom design trends interior design

His and Her Baths

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, how is it possible to share a bathroom?  Designing a balance of common and private spaces is key to making the bathroom relationship work.

                    Photo by Fiorella Design 

Besides the ubiquitous double sinks, separate his-and-her areas that cater to gender-specific needs is key to keeping the peace.

For the ladies a seated vanity area for make up application and hair dressing

                     Photo by Cornerstone Builders Inc
 

Gentlemen will find that proper illumination on either side of the face is best for shaving while the built-in Seura mirror TV keeps him updated on the news

Seura

Private habits are kept that way with a separate toilet room or water closet

                   Photo by DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Greater Grand Rapids 

If space does not permit, a half wall offers privacy

                    Photo by Brennan + Company Architects 

Showering and bathing are more fun when there is room for two

                        Photo by Lauren Levant Interior 

Mr. H says: Design shapes the way we live so it should serve everyone-Enjoy!