Designer's Touch: The Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is usually the room in your home where you start and end daily. Make it a distance worth spending time in by implementing a number of these cheap, functional ideas.

Castro Design Studio

1. Center stage. During your master bathroom remodel, opt for a freestanding bathtub rather than the classic wall-to-wall model, and watch as the others swoon over the mere idea of utter comfort. Nothing says “Take me away” over an old-world bathtub.

Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co..

2. Mirror mirror on the wall. Pick up a few secondhand frames at any garage sale, dust off them, paint them your preferred color and apply a mirror into the back. Install your new treasures right on top of your current bathroom mirror. You just might realize your master bathroom is going to probably be the fairest of them.

The Sky is the Limit Design

3. Going to the top. Extending your master bathroom’s vanity cabinets all the way into the ceiling is an easy solution for more storage. You will be amazed at just how much more will fit in the smallest master bathroom.

Cornerstone Architects

4. Tile that ceiling. Create that serene spa atmosphere by carrying your wall tile onto the ceiling of your master bathroom for a seamless appearance. Ceilings are not simply for the shower.

Designs for Living

5. Double your delight. If a master bathroom is bigger than you would like, add wall-to-wall mirrors around the room and watch your square footage double by reflection.

Amoroso Design

6. Shelf life. Maximize distance and arrange everything around the bathtub with easy-to-reach shelves and cubbies. Display personal things amongst your bathing requirements without the stress of getting them wet.

Dara Rosenfeld Design

7. Rock wall. Change your master bathroom to a pure wonder by installing rock tile onto the focal point. This is a great way to bring the outdoors inside.

David Wilkes Builders

8. Grand illusion. Transform your master bathroom to a zero-gravity illusion using a floating vanity that frees up your floor space. Mount a towel rack beneath the dressing table for perfect demonstration of hand towels.

Janine Terstriep/The Decorative Touch Ltd

9. Soft environment. Swaddle yourself in textiles for absolute softness inside your master bathroom. Who says the living room is the sole place for draperies, rugs, pillows, throws and upholstered pieces? Adding unexpected levels of relaxation creates shock.

Remodel Works Bath & Kitchen

10. Take it off. A simple way to save money on your own master bathroom remodel is to just take off your shower door. Place the doorless entry toward the rear of the shower to avoid overspray.

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Contractor Tips: Countertop Installation from Start to Finish

The secret to a fantastic countertop installation is prep — and installing a countertop involves a lot more than considering which materials to use. Counter installation is just one of the things to happen in your kitchen or bath renovation. Before your installer displays up to template, all cabinets must be installed nothing is able to move between template and set up.

Below you’ll find information you’ll need to be well prepared with on template afternoon and suggestions for following the counters are installed.

More: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

Amoroso Design

1. Sink and faucet installation. Consistently have your sink onsite prior to templating. For standard undermount or drop-in sinks, your contractor should make sure that they will fit in the sink cupboard. The faucet should be in the ideal place before template afternoon. The cabinet may need to be changed for the sink to match, so don’t hesitate talking about this with your contractor.

If you’re installing an apron-front sink, there may be many distinct ways to set the bowl. Think about the spot where the front edge of the counter and the sink match. Some sinks have a notch to which the counter fits. In this photograph, the counter was coped around the edge. How this detail will align with your counter overhang should be decided ahead of template afternoon.

As for positioning of the faucet, it shouldn’t always be based on the sink. The sink drain may be offset. You may want to centre the faucet onto a window along with other architectural detail on the wall rather than on the sink.

Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors

2. Wall-mounted faucets. It’s much easier to wash down a counter with a faucet. To get this piece right, you ought to know where the final wall will fall once the backsplash is installed and where the sink will be based so you’ve got a faucet that emerges above the drain. Ahead of the plumbers start roughing in pipes, every decision has to be created or you risk ending up with components that don’t work nicely together.

Susan Teare

3. Overhangs. If any part of your countertop will overhang the cupboards, think about how you’ll support this area. Overhangs of 6 to 12 inches will be possible without bracing, based on the substance, but an appealing bracket adds reassurance and peace of mind should someone jump up and sit on your counter tops.

Beautiful Kitchen Layout

4. Counter height. Different individuals and tasks need different counter heights. If custom cabinets are not in your budget, 1 way to vary the final height of the counter is to use substances of different thicknesses set on conventional cabinets. A normal kitchen counter top is 36 inches off the ground, but if you have someone tall in your family, 39 inches may be much comfortable height. Here, a butcher block place lower than adjoining tops gives the person chopping more leverage.

Jennifer – Rambling Renovators

5. Countertop support. In many spots, your cabinetry will provide the support for the countertops, but think about what will support the counter around the appliances. A slide-in range such as the one pictured includes a 2-inch strip of counter tops behind the cooking surface. Since it is tricky to move two big slabs linked by a 2-inch strip, this spot will frequently be seamed together onsite. Make sure that you put in wood blocking flush with the top of the adjoining cabinets so that the contractor can correctly attach this strip.

Another frequent trouble spot is where a countertop finishes on a dishwasher. The dishwasher can not support the counter, so provide structural support on the side — ideally greater than a 3/4-inch fill panel.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

On template afternoon, you may still need to make a few decisions.

Decide how much of the sink will show within an undermount install. If maintaining the sink clean with very little hassle is a priority, then have the builder bring the edge of the countertop flush with the walls of the sink. If you prefer the look shown here, where a few of the best flange indicates all around, allow your installer know.

Ask where the tiles are. Hardly any counters lack seams. In rock with veining, you could be able to hide a seam together a vein, and colored epoxies must make all seams difficult to spot.

Tongue & Groove

Templates are often performed in one of two manners. The low-tech way is to use strips of thin luan plywood and a hot glue gun to form rectangles that match the spaces in your kitchen. High-tech templates may use paper targets placed around the kitchen and photographs of those spaces in a procedure called photogrammetry, or your installer may use a laser templating system. Both approaches may produce flawless results.

Once the templating is completed, you’ll normally have to wait for one or two weeks to your countertops to be fabricated. Be sure you get a firm date from your installer, because you’ll want to schedule your plumber to get right after the counters have been installed.

The sink will be clamped and siliconed in place, and the faucet holes drilled, on install day, but your plumber will need to hook up the faucet and drain before you are able to use it. Silicone and the epoxy used to seam substances together give off powerful fumes, so make sure that the room is well ventilated daily.

Brennan + Company Architects

After the countertops are installed, it’s time to think about backsplash painting and installation. Your countertop sets the lower line to your tile, so although you can install the tile before templating, you’ll get a better-looking backsplash if you wait. Muscling a heavy counter into place is a difficult job, and a few walls inevitably will get bumped or dinged. Save your finish painting until after the install for this particular reason.

Buckminster Green LLC

One final tip: If you have recycled paper counters (like in the previous photograph), or ones made of soapstone or wood, I recommend Real Milk Paint’s Soapstone & Wood Sealer. This finish is created from food-grade walnut oil (meaning it’s safe for meals to touch the surface without any the fear of contamination) and T1 carnauba wax aromas. There are no solvents, meaning no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or additional fragrances.

More Contractor Tips: Installing Tile | Installing Windows | Building a Deck

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Paperless Home Offices Show Reams of Style

By now I am confident you’ve heard the term “going paperless.” When I first heard this term, I used to picture some type of future alternate world where robots dominated (insane but accurate). I’ve come to know that a paperless lifestyle is organized and efficient (anything but bare and crude). But the fact is, the paperless home or paperless office will look different for everyone.

Going paperless might mean you opt to switch to using Google Calendar instead of your paper planner. Or it could mean getting all of your invoices by email instead of snail mail. And even though I’ve wanted to rely less on paper in my home office, I’ve never committed 100%. I use an internet calendar but still get paper invoices. Along with my receipts (while filed) are overpowering, present as write-offs for my enterprise.

So in 2012, I’ve decided to go closer to paperless by substituting my “To Document” folder with a “To Scan” folder. I also invested in a Fujitsu Scan Snap Scanner for most of the paperwork I need to keep for tax purposes. Please join me as I explore ways in which we can rely less on paper and make more space for clutter-free style.

Atypical Type A

For starters, take a look around your home. Have a look at your home office, the entryway and the countertops. How great would it feel if all that paperwork should happen to evaporate? There will be a decreased likelihood of misplacing important bills, and you wouldn’t be scrambling to find stamps to mail late paperwork.

And can you imagine a universe without a file cabinet or file? Across the desk, the file cabinet systems in this image. A gorgeous plant or just open space would be a serene option to have if the paperwork in this home were online.

Janell Beals – House of Fifty

While I like the notion of getting rid of that paper, I really love the concept of living a more mobile life. That means working my business from any room in the house without leaving a trail of paper. And traveling would be a breeze, as I wouldn’t need to worry about asking a friend to catch my mail or panic about the unopened bills piling up.

Shirley Meisels

With rooms that pull double duty, it is even more important to maintain files and paper. This home office can eliminate working as a spare space because there’s no paper to clutter up the room.


A good deal of people who aren’t even technology savvy are taking the paperless plunge because it’s a greener choice. Less paper means great things for the environment — making the switch a more mindful choice. Not to mention lots of firms are currently offering incentives for customers to get invoices online and serving up penalties to people who don’t.


Among the best reasons for disorganized folks to get onboard with the paperless movement: Paper piles are not searchable, but your computer files are. Once your paperwork is cataloged online, finding it’s a breeze with a fast keyword search.

Emily Ruddo

Maybe you have some reservations about going paperless. Below are some common concerns.

• reduction of control. Imagine if you can’t find what you’re looking for?
• Is virtual storage (such as “the cloud”) protected?
• Imagine if there was a tragedy, and the electricity goes out?

These are things to think about when determining to what extent you need paper from you life. I will also be addressing these things in future ideabooks.

For People design

Similar to getting organized, you’ll want to have realistic expectations when considering going paperless. If you don’t plan toss the papers once they’re scanned, your new system won’t work. And even in the event that you request every bill reminder to come by way of email, be aware that there is a level of maintenance involved.

Ultimately, no dwelling will be totally paperless. You’re bound to still get some mail and arbitrary newspapers coming in. And there are some files that a physical copy is absolutely necessary. Fortunately those are few.


It is important to think about such things and pinpoint why you want to go paperless. I encourage you to take the plunge with me and use the Remarks section to ask questions and gain support from people looking to do precisely the identical thing.

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Although this mid-century house is perched on a mountain overlooking the bay in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, its original design did nothing to embrace its clear views and natural light. The client, half a design-savvy couple with a young son (and baby number 2 on the road), desired an open and glowing area in which to boost your family. “Their main priority has been opening up the house,” says interior designer Regan Baker. “The original house was a dark warren of clutter and walls.”

Architect Mason Miller knocked down almost every interior wall at the 1,600-square-foot apartment’s most important floor, clearing the way for a opinion in each main room. A master suite was inserted into the top floor, also Baker gave the house a unique textural blend of rustic, contemporary and retro-inspired décor. The perspective of the blue skies, the endless sea and the city “is exactly like a piece of artwork on the walls,” says Baker. “It is best seen about white walls and less clutter.”

Regan Baker Design Inc..

“The client’s love of this juxtaposition of organic components with shiny and slick contemporary components really inspired the concept,” says Baker. Walls were retained white to allow the finishes shine and keep the house feeling contemporary.

The client and her husband have been over 6 feet tall, so they desired to bring some visual height into the 8-foot ceilings. The crown molding was stripped off, 8-inch baseboards were additional and white paint was used to help visually extend the wall area.

Starburst mirror: Crate and Barrel
Couch: Andre Sofa, Room & Board
Console: Anders Media Cabinet, Room & Board
Armchairs: Gigi Chair, Room & Board
Rug: Jute Chenille Herringbone Rug, West Elm

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The stunning fireplace is tucked into a corner between the joint space. Even though the outcome is amazing, restructuring this fireplace was a small struggle. “Corner fireplaces are never a fantastic idea –,” says Baker. “We needed to minimize the awkward angle of the fireplace yet also bring in color without highlighting it too much” The heavy, textural gray of this tile was shown to be the ideal match for your surround, and it contrasts with the warm hues of this red oak hardwood flooring.

Fireplace surround: Spec Ceramics, Sentousai
Hearth: Ann Sacks, Ozone Metallic

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The fresh and contemporary kitchen is one of Baker’s favorite rooms in the house. “I love the way the graphite penny-round backsplash really frames the view of the bay in the instant you walk in and complements the walnut accents,” she says.

The husband is an avid cook, so having a big and workable kitchen was a must. A deep solitary kitchen sink has been high on the priority list, as were plenty of storage and counterspace.

Counters: soapstone, Integrated Resource
Island counter: Calcutta Oro, Integrated Resource

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The home’s unique mix of textures is especially evident in the kitchen. “Sheen and texture were very important in the color and material choice,” says Baker. “An overabundance of shiny finishes are too retro, and the contrary would be too rustic and not as contemporary. A combination helped marry both styles.”

Stove: 30-inch Viking convection array
Bar stools: Leo pub stool, Room & Board
Refrigerator: Miele KF1800 collection
Subway tile: Rittenhouse Square, DalTile

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Open shelving provides storage and effortless accessibility for frequently used glasses and dishes. The warm Boos walnut shelving plays off the trendy graphite tones of this penny-round backsplash.

Penny rounds: Waterworks

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Architect Miller functioned to optimize the home’s natural light. Like many homes in San Francisco neighborhoods that are close-knit, this one stocks two walls with houses. Getting enough natural light in was certainly an issue, as the north and south walls are the only ones with windows. To solve this, Miller knocked out many of the home’s interior walls to open up the area and put a big skylight in the center of the house.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

A high-gloss reddish gives this custom made desk a retro touch. Baker played glistening paints, fixtures and lighting to bring a couple of subtle mid-century touches into the contemporary design.

Desk: Custom by Mason Miller
Desk paint: Salute, Sherwin Williams
Seat: Enzo Chair, Room & Board

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The contemporary half-bath was outfitted with an off-the-shelf dressing table to offset price and save some time for the team. High- and – low-end tile has been mixed in across the room to extend the budget without scrimping on style. The light fixture is one of Baker’s treasured pieces in the house — the exceptional pendant is a custom combination of three individual fittings from Design Within Reach.

Tile: Pillowed wall tile, Ann Sacks
Lighting fixture: Custom made with E27 Pendant, Design Within Reach

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Baker’s initial decision to depart walls relatively bare was abandoned in a few of the home’s bigger spaces. The patterned background in the bathroom feels present but still has a old-school vibe that works nicely with the rest of the house.

Wallpaper: Winter Trees, Larsen

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Considering that the house didn’t originally have a master suite, figuring out how to configure one on the upper floor has been a challenge. This smaller area was the home’s authentic living room, so every inch counted when squeezing a bedroom and a bath into it.

Interior color: Benjamin Moore, Imperial Gray
Cabinets: Custom Ripple Fold Track Drapery, The Shade Store
Dresser: Anders Dresser, Room & Board
Mirror: Infinity Narrow Mirror, CB2
Wall pendant: BL5, Design Within Reach
Bedding: Dwell Studio

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The client had completed quite a bit of homework on substances for the bathrooms and kitchens. She understood right off the bat she desired glass tile at a matte finish, and scattering Carrara marble. Miller enjoys working with walnut, so it had been used for these custom pieces, which have been created to complement the glass and stonework in the master bath.

Backsplash: Lucian Glass, Ann Sacks
Flooring tile: Black Slate, Waterworks
Vanity counter and tub apron: Statuary Carrara marble slab, Integrated Resource
Tub and shower tile surround: Carrara tile, Integrated Resource

Photography by Odessa

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