Bathroom Project Part Three: Soft Furnishings, Storage and Final Touches

Topics: DIY, Bathroom

 bathroom project

 

As discussed in Bathroom Project Part One, there is always one room in a second hand house which tells you the previous owners were possibly colour blind and usually it’s the bathroom. Our previously loved home is no different. The bathroom we inherited was decorated in ghastly pink matched with snot green – one word ‘horrific’. Aside from the décor, the room had other issues: there was no storage, the shower was one of these hoses attached to the taps that you have to run around under to get wet, there was very little light, there was a leak at the bath taps and the wind tunnel caused by the draft from the ill-fitting vent was perishing mid-winter.

Having resolved the shower, leak and wind tunnel in Part One, the next step in, Part Two, was to change the colours. Now in Part 3, the final stage, it’s time to make this bathroom the throne room it should rightfully be.

Bathroom Grey

 

I started with storage. As you can see in the before pictures, previously storage in this room consisted of a wire rack beneath the sink and a towel rack beside it. This always made the room look messy because everything was on show, and, unlike the perfectly manicured bathrooms in the sales catalogue, in my bathroom the bottles are not all the same size or conveniently the same colour. However, the rack sufficed when we were just two, but now that our family is getting bigger, items that belong in a bathroom that I may have previously stored elsewhere must be returned and in general we will have more things in the bathroom.

The requirements for the storage was simple – I wanted enclosed units and as many of them as I could fit, without placing them unreasonably high. I also wanted to tackle the lighting issue with these units. Having ruled out under-shelf lighting because I was nervous working with electricity in the bathroom and didn’t want to pay an electrician, I settled on everything being mirrored. This meant that at least what light did come in through the window and from the ceiling light was bounced around the room for full effectiveness.

Initially I began my search with my old favourite, the masters of the small living space, Ikea, but I found their pieces either too big or too expensive. A scan of Woodies and B&Q gave the same result, however Argos came to my rescue. I managed to get two tall boy units small enough to fit in the space between the bath-and-toilet and then the toilet-and-sink. I also purchased three hanging units to hang on the wall at the end of the bath. Although as no trip to Ikea is ever wasted, I did pick up five hanging rails for towels (four for storing clean bath and hand towels , and one for the hand towel currently in use).  I also picked up a mirrored unit for over the sink.

Bathroom storage

Next thing I sourced was the shower curtain. Standard shower curtains are 200cm length, and even in Ikea, where everything is designed assuming it will be placed in a high ceilinged Swedish home, the longest was 200cm. I wanted a shower curtain that was at least 220cm length, because I wanted to hang the shower rail at ceiling height, thereby making the room appear taller ( or at least not making the ceiling appear lower because the rail was in eye line). A search of EBay found such the item, and in a very plain white. This meant that when not in use, I could tuck the shower curtain into an old elasticated bracelet and hang it from a hook stuck to the tiles, behind the tall boy. This prevents the curtain screening parts of the room, which makes the room appear smaller.

Bathroom Curtain and Towels

As with most bathrooms, the only soft furnishings are the towels. I was fortunate to be decorating at the time of a 70% sale in House of Frasier and made a killing on some luxury grey and white towels. These I hung in a checker-board fashion.

 

The last piece of decoration to be added was a Banksy poster above the toilet to add a splash of colour, which will be in Part Four.

 

 

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Guest Blog: Tim from Modernize with Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Home

 Image Credit: http://boingboing.net/2012/04/16/tiny-homes-by-lloyd-kahn-e.html

Image Credit: http://boingboing.net/2012/04/16/tiny-homes-by-lloyd-kahn-e.html

Topics: Interiors, DIY, Storage, Small Space

 

Today we are very fortunate to have Tim Smith with us from Modernize, a company dedicated to helping you make your dream home a reality, to give us some hints, tips and tricks on making the most of limited space. Take it away Tim….

 

 

Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Home

 

While the size of the family home has grown over the past few decades, those who live in apartments, older homes, or are downsizing, need to make the most of their space. Aside from modern freestanding homes, many other situations will encourage economy and space management to get the most from your resources. Read on for a few practical ideas to get you started on your quest to maximize your space.

 

 

Your Furniture is Not a Family Member

Many of the modern pieces of furniture are designed with those larger spaces we talked about above in mind. Great overstuffed couches, chairs that take up the same area as your breakfast table and offer less seating, bits of relatively useless furniture that just ends up wasting space. Chuck it. If you’re downsizing, unless you have a genuine attachment to a specific piece, get rid of it. Furnish your new space with furniture that fits. Older pieces you can find at antique markets usually will fare better in a reduced format than the all-new-and-improved combo deals large furniture stores have on offer.

 

 

Climbing the Walls

While you won’t want to clutter up the walls too much in a smaller space, they can be useful for mounting more than artwork. By finding the studs (a matter of moments with a stud finder) you can anchor hanging mantels or proper hanging bookshelves to the wall to hold more weight. Use the space above and behind the couch for a bookshelf or for holding essential objects to your leisure time like remotes, video games and movies.

 

This logic can also work for kitchen areas and home offices. Wall-mounted bookcases, shelving and even light organizational materials can help maximize your functional, usable space. And since flat screen televisions have become increasingly available, their price has come down. This not only allows you to mount your set on the wall, it will also eliminate any actual need for an “entertainment center.” This is often one of the big space-eaters in the modern home.

 

Think Up, Not Out

If you have a limited space, furniture and appliances with small footprints are going to be your favorites. Stand lamps are excellent for areas where side tables may not fit but you still want light. Likewise, in your closet, if you have a vast collection of shoes with which you don’t want to part, consider organizers that mount to the interior of the door or the back wall of the closet. Also, make sure you stay on top of your wardrobe — don’t keep clothing you never wear. Donate or sell it. You’re not using it, so why is it using space you need? As well, shelving that has a tall, narrow profile or is designed to stand in corners (one of the most overlooked spaces in a room) can come in handy in both your living and sleeping spaces. As well, it can help you maintain a tidy office area if you work at home.

 

Clean Drawers

A last note: make use of drawer organizers. Know what’s in your drawers and maximize their use. The same can be said of cabinets. If you have overly deep built-ins, consider a dry-erase list mounted on the inside of each door, so you know what you have.
There are a number of awesome ways you can maximize your use of a small space. While the ideas put forward above are just the tip of the iceberg, you’re definitely encouraged to get out there are see all the great concepts being developed to help homeowners make better use of less.

 

Tim Smith writes for Modernize, a company dedicated to helping you make your dream home a reality.