Evanston Change of Pace

Evanston was the scene for one of our favorite projects in 2019. She wanted a change of scenery and purchased an extremely dated condo in a peaceful complex that was removed from the hustle of downtown. We loved this project because we had the opportunity to fully reimagine and refresh every corner of this basic condo. The client was so lovely to work with, and her two grown daughters gave a ton of input which is always welcome. They have great style and wanted the finished space to feel peaceful, bright and airy. This condo was a complete fresh start, almost nothing was brought over from her old condo.

 

Due to COVID, we were just now able to take the professional photographs. We wanted to give you a little background on the project while we anxiously await the proofs to hit our inbox!

 

We made a slight floorplan change that created a huge impact. Our client didn’t need the enclosed bonus room off of the main living space, so we decided to blow out the wall. Here is an overview of the floorplan and changes we made.

 

Original Floor Plan

New Floor Plan

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before – Different Angle

 

Dining Room looking towards living room.

 

Guest Bathroom – Before

 

Master Bedroom – Before

 

Master Bathroom – Before

 

New Kitchen – 3D Version

 

Another small change that had a huge impact on the finished space was removing the dreadful popcorn ceilings! We used furring strips and low profile LED lights to integrate recessed lighting into the ceiling and eliminate the track lighting. The existing ceilings were low, but we decided the seamless lighting and clean ceilings were worth giving up 1.5” of height. 

 

Progress Photo – View looking from the living room towards future office built-ins (where walls were removed).

 

Kitchen After Demo

 

Kitchen – Clean Slate

 

Fireplace after new firebox installation and build-out

 

Fireplace after drywall

Our client needed an occasional work space, but didn’t want to dedicate a whole room to it. Her daughters’ request was to find a way to hide the clutter and not let the workspace take over the room. We designed custom built-ins that allowed for a comfortable/bright/functional workspace that could easily be closed off when not in use. There are large sliding doors that can cover the workspace and reveal the decorative bookshelves!

 

Office built-in progress photo

 

The bathrooms are small, but we maximized the space and utilized bright/soft finishes to complete the look. The transformation in the bathrooms was dramatic!

 

Master Bathroom after demo

 

Master Bathroom – progress photo

Master Bathroom – progress photo

 

Guest Bathroom – progress photo

 

Fireplace and new flooring sneak peek

 

View From Kitchen looking towards dining room

 

We can’t wait to share the completed space with you. It is so bright and layered with different monochromatic tones and textures. Stay posted to see the reveal!

 

Basement Bathroom Upgrade at #LugbillLanding

Today I wanted to fill you in on our basement bathroom. Full disclosure… this bathroom has been a headache since the day we decided to remodel it. I had a clear vision for the whole home (including the kids’ bathroom, which will be a future project) but I could not find inspiration for this last small bathroom. I lost so much sleep over this cave of a space. I wanted it to be high contrast, a fresh take on black and white, fun, playful but not so wild that I would get tired of it in 5 years. 

 

It was clearly a DIY project completed by someone who quite possibly had never remodeled a bathroom before. Here is a look at the original state. 

 

View looking into the bathroom from the living space

 

Weird nook we discovered could be eliminated during demo to enlarge the vanity

 

Cave-like shower stall

 

Existing dark shower stall

 

View of vanity before demo

 

The space was incredibly dark and dingy, with weird cutouts and low ceilings. We are so thankful that we decided to remodel it during phase 1, because during demolition, the plumbers found massive tree roots that had taken over the pipes. We also uncovered a hole where rats were coming into the house under the old shower… the joys of city living! It was wild to see our basement in this state, with roots and debris covering the floors. 

 

The plumber breaking the news of the tree roots

 

So much debris!

 

More debris!

 

Clean Slate!

 

The bathroom originally had a shower stall. We went back and forth between installing another shower vs. a tub.  In the end, since the wall had to be removed anyways, and we needed to frame out the space, we decided to go with another tub. After all, how amazing will it be to have a dedicated tub for extra dirty jobs like giving baths to extra dirty children and dogs!

 

New tub!

 

I went through about 34 different finish combinations for the space. After one last change due to COVID stock issues, this is where I landed.

 

Basement finishes

 

I’m obsessed with the gray scallop tile. I love the large scale and the playful pattern it adds to the space. I wanted to keep the side walls very simple and let the scallop tile take center stage. For the floor- I loved the idea of a medium scale tile- but again, I didn’t want to compete with the patterned tub wall. I decided to go with a light 12”x24” tile and have it cut down to 6”x12” pieces onsite. 6”x12” stocked floor tiles are nearly impossible to find.  My tile installer was not thrilled with the extra work, but it was worth it! I had the tile installed in a basketweave pattern. It is perfect for the space.

 

Walking the tile installer through my vision

 

The 6″x12″ basketweave pattern

 

Future (larger) vanity placement

 

During the demo, we found a ledge in the foundation wall that I knew I could take advantage of. We followed this foundation line to create a wall to wall ledge in the tub. I love how it adds storage to the tub and makes the space feel larger. After so many unhappy surprises, I was thankful for one good one. 

 

The new wall to wall ledge

 

Accent tile

 

I can’t wait to share photos of this finished bathroom with you. It was worth the headaches and will be a heavily used space for years to come.

 

A Master Bathroom Retreat at #LugbillLanding

The master bathroom concept came very easy to me, but the details took a painfully long time to finalize. I was basically flying by the seat of my pants as things were getting installed. I hate feeling rushed on decisions, but it is SO HARD to find time to dedicate to my own project when I’m so busy 9-5+ working on everyone else’s projects. I’m lucky I work great under pressure, I have put that skill to the test during this season of life!

 

As a designer, there is a certain pressure to create something innovative and fresh with each new design. I’ve designed so many bathrooms that I’ve adored and would love to call my own- but I wanted something different than I had done before. It’s a bit scary to have carte blanche and know there is no one to point my finger at if I’m not happy with the results. 

 

I went out of my comfort zone and took several risks in the master bathroom. I wanted to create an elegant, timeless, bright, spa like retreat without being too fancy. I love natural materials and the depth they add to a space. Calacatta marble has warmth and dramatic veining, but is a huge risk as a tile material. Marble is generally considered a final sale item, and you are stuck with what you get. Each lot of marble is dramatically different in both color and veining. Despite the huge risk, I decided to go with a large scale 12”x24” honed calacatta marble on the floor. I ordered 25% overage and hoped for the best. 

 

I have never met a tile installer that truly sees my vision before installation and therefore I never leave it up to the tile installer to select which pieces of stone make the cut. When going with a natural stone tile, I highly recommend going through each box and sorting through prior to installation. I follow a similar process to a hoarding tv show… I make a pile of my favorite pieces that need to be showcased, a pile of pieces that are OK and a 3rd pile that are all rejects (can be used under the toilet, tub or vanity). Depending on the type of natural stone, I have been known to go to the extreme measures of taping out the actual footprint and labeling each tile with North/South/East/West instructions. I get extremely specific when I want the veining to continue through several tiles. It is an annoying (and filthy) process, but it pays off every time.

Sorting through the tile

 

Erica sorting through the tile

 

Part of my vision for the space was a line of chevron that started on the floor and continued vertically onto the vanity wall. I thought this would pull your eye up and add something special to the vanity wall. Tiling the whole wall felt over the top for my style.  I wanted to keep the chevron in the same calacatta material so it was subtle but still elevated the design. I searched high and low for the right size of calacatta to create the chevron with no success. I had my heart set on this chevron, so I was going to make it happen even if I had to cut the tile myself. In the end, I decided to have my countertop fabricator cut the custom chevron pieces to the perfect size on their huge machines. The pieces needed to be precise and it would have taken forever to cut each piece down individually onsite.

 

Creating a template for the Chevron cuts

 

Chevron tile template

 

This installation was extremely complicated, and needed to be mapped out perfectly prior to starting. Getting the chevron to line up perfectly with the center of the vanity and hit the tub where I wanted on the floor took about 4,000 iterations to the design, but it was worth it.

 

Figuring out the exact placement of the chevron detail with a laser

 

Floor tile progress

 

View of the chevron continuing from the floor to the wall, vertically before vanity installation

 

Because I’m a designer and I like to make things even more complicated (ha!), I decided that I wanted the vertical chevron accent to be flush with the drywall. This was another risk, I wasn’t really 100% sure what this would look like installed, and if they would be able to finish it to my liking. I think this risk paid off, it is such a custom look. It is such a subtle difference but I love the way it turned out.

 

Chevron detail after installing an additional 1/4″ drywall to make it flush with the wall

 

Flush chevron detail – after the cabinets and counters were installed

 

I went through all of the tiles individually, but made the mistake of not going through the chevron pieces after they were cut. Of course there was one piece that had to come out. It was bright white and all my eyes saw when I looked at the wall.  Lesson learned!

 

The picture I sent to my tile installer…this tile had to go

 

I could tell my husband, Justin, wasn’t in love with the calacatta when it was first installed. He thought it was too cold and a little busy. I was anxious as the bathroom started to come together to see if my vision would work in reality and I really wanted this bathroom to top our last bathroom. 

 

 Last week he told me that he has loved the bathroom more and more as each new finish/fixture is installed. He said each new layer adds a new dimension to the space. It felt like one of the best compliments I’ve ever received on a design, coming from my spouse. I had so much fun (and anxiety) creating this master bathroom retreat for us to share! If you need me, I will be in my new bathroom for the rest of 2020…

 

I love the contrast/warmth of the walnut combined with the calacatta marble…two of my favorite things

 

Tips for a marble tile bathroom:

  • Always order more overage material than normal so you are able to be selective in the pieces installed (this also ensures you aren’t stuck with a different lot if you run out of tile). I recommend 25% overage while the standard is 10-15%
  • Sort through the boxes prior to installation
  • Don’t forget to seal your tile!
  • Select a honed finish for a more casual/lived in look and polished for a more elegant look

Lugbill Designs Tops the List of 2020’s Most Popular Bathrooms on Houzz

The most popular bathrooms for the 1st quarter of 2020 have been featured in Houzz and this time, Lugbill Designs earned the no.1 spot!

For years, Houzz has been featuring  a compilation of the most-saved photos uploaded on their website. They just released an official list of the Top 10 Most Popular Bathrooms this year based on the number of saved bathroom photos from January to April 2020, and…drum roll please.

Lugbill Designs got the #1 1st Spot on the List of the 10 Most Popular Bathrooms on the entire site.

Lugbill Designs’ Watery Wall in Chicago ranks 1st among the bathroom designs featured in the Top 10 list. The requests for information on where the materials were from flooded the comments, as countless people wanted to incorporate this bathroom into their home.   The  blue tiled wall works perfectly in this space, no doubt..

Pro tip: This makes the space appear larger by creating a continuous sightline between the shower and the rest of the bathroom.

Another interesting aspect of the bathroom is the luggage rack for spare towels.

Read more about the feature, here.

Lugbill Designs is a Chicago interior design firm staple, with a 10+ year history of exceptional, functional design.  

The Essential Steps to Keeping Your Bathroom Free from COVID-19

The turn of events this 2020, particularly the emergence of COVID-19, has further stressed on the importance of sanitary practices. Now more than ever, you have to be diligent in maintaining a clean and well-sanitized home.

Aside from the main rooms of your house, one area that you shouldn’t disregard is the bathroom. After all, this is often the place where daily hygiene starts.

As basic as it may sound, there are steps that can be easily missed. So to ensure that your bathroom will be properly sanitized, here’s a quick and easy guide that should help reduce your family’s risk of infection.

3 Steps to a Well-Sanitized Bathroom

1. Use The Right Cleaning Materials

Normally, it is enough to use soap and water in cleaning dirty surfaces. But now with the threat of COVID-19, you have to be more particular in choosing the cleaning materials for your bathroom. Aside from soap, you should also use a solution with bleach or a disinfectant with 70% alcohol content when cleaning surfaces. This is an added measure that will also help control the spread of viruses.  

REMEMBER

For disinfection to take effect, do not wipe off cleaning solutions right away. Wait and let surfaces dry as there are wipes and sprays that need to stay wet on a surface for around 3 to 5 minutes. Once dry, rinse with water as usual.

2. Pay Extra Attention to High-Touch Surfaces

A clean bathroom means keeping spots or corners free of germs. Never to be missed are the commonly touched surfaces or those that come into contact with the hands. Make sure that they are properly cleaned and disinfected as they can easily transmit viruses and germs unknowingly. 

Some of these include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Door knobs or handles
  • Taps
  • Light switches
  • Flush handles
  • Hair dryers
  • Razors
  • Countertops
  • Toilet seat

TIP: Wipeable covers would be a good option to use on electronic devices. Since you can’t rinse devices like razors and blow dryers thoroughly with water, you can use these covers to easily apply alcohol solutions without the risk of damaging them.

3. Finish Right

Once you’ve completely cleaned and disinfected the entire bathroom, it’s time to finish the job. However, this is no longer just about leaving it dry or smelling clean. 

Finish with proper handwashing. Thoroughly clean your hands for not less than 20 to 30 seconds. If you have used hand gloves, make sure to dispose of them properly. You also have to be careful not to touch the exposed area of the gloves with your bare hands when removing them. If you do, this will be another potential cause of contamination which may lead you to unknowingly spreading germs and viruses in the bathroom that you have just cleaned up. 

When cleaning the bathroom, or any part of the home, it pays to be thorough especially at this time when the threat of COVID-19 remains imminent. Remember, virus-carrying droplets can really get around within your bathroom. Keeping it clean and well-sanitized as much as possible is one of the best steps that you can do to raise the protection of your family.

Does a clean and germ-free bathroom inspire you to give it a makeover? Get ideas on how to use hues and striking designs to transform your bathroom through this  article that features our interior design work: Blue Makes a Refreshing Splash in these Bathrooms

Did you find this article useful? Never miss the latest updates by regularly visiting our interior design blog.

6 Tried and Tested Natural Toothpaste Recipes for a Sustainable Bathroom

You might be using homemade cleaning solutions as part of a sustainable lifestyle, but have you considered making your own natural toothpaste? With more people realizing that store-bought products often contains harmful substances or comes in disposable packaging, natural toothpaste is now on the rise.

Whip up your own toothpaste, and you can have control over what goes into the recipe. Some of the ingredients may even come from your own kitchen. It helps that these organic recipes can be stored in reusable jars, which are more sustainable than disposable tubes used for commercial toothpaste.

If you want to achieve a truly modern bathroom and an eco-friendly lifestyle, you can give homemade toothpaste a try. To start you off, here are 6 natural and organic toothpaste recipes to choose from.

 

6 Natural and Organic Toothpaste Recipes to Try

 

1. Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

This natural toothpaste recipe combines the cleansing power of baking soda and the antibacterial benefits of coconut oil. Its sweet and minty taste comes from organic ingredients, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp softened coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp stevia
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

Simply mix all ingredients together and store them in a reusable container.

To use, you may dip your brush into the toothpaste or scoop it out with a popsicle stick.

Recipe from The Pistachio Project.

2. Vegan Toothpaste with Vegetable Glycerin

Concerned about animal glycerin in store-bought toothpaste? Here’s a natural toothpaste recipe that specifically uses vegetable glycerin for guilt-free pearly whites.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp vegetable glycerin
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 5 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus essential oil (pure)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the oil in a pot.
  2. Cook on low heat for five minutes or until the mixture becomes a paste. Stir frequently.
  3. Let the paste cool, and then add your choice of essential oil.
  4. Store the toothpaste in a sterile jar at room temperature.

Recipe borrowed from Mother Nature Network.

3. Natural Toothpaste with Bentonite Clay

Say hello to bentonite clay, which polishes the teeth and helps remineralize it while destroying bacteria all in one go. This recipe mixes bentonite clay with real sea salt, among others, for more scrubbing action and antibacterial power.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 2-3 tbsp filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp real sea salt
  • 10-15 drops peppermint, cinnamon, or spearmint essential oil
  • A few drops of liquid stevia (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, clay, and salt. Add one tablespoon of water first.
  2. Cream the ingredients together with the back of a spoon. Add more water to adjust the consistency, as well as some stevia to taste.
  3. Add in your choice of essential oil and then mix until the toothpaste is well combined. Keep the toothpaste in an airtight container.

Originally posted on Thank Your Body.

4. Natural Whitening Toothpaste with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a classic tooth-whitening ingredient. Coconut oil and essential oils cover its faint, unsavory taste, though you can add a few drops of stevia for a sweeter flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (liquid form, warmer than 76°F or 24°C)
  • 10 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus essential oil (pure)

Instructions:

  1. Put the baking soda in a bowl, and then add the other ingredients. Mix until it forms a paste.
  2. Add baking soda if the mixture is too runny, or coconut oil if it’s too thick.
  3. Store in an opaque container, which keeps the hydrogen peroxide from decomposing.

NOTE: As much as you may want whiter teeth, you’ll have to choose a different recipe if you have dental fillings. Hydrogen peroxide can cause your fillings to leach mercury.

Recipe also taken from Mother Nature Network.

5. Remineralizing Toothpaste for Fighting and Healing Cavities

Your teeth can stay cavity-free or heal from tooth decay faster with the help of a remineralizing recipe. Check out this toothpaste recipe which includes the trace minerals that your teeth need.

Instructions:

  • 6 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 5 tbsp calcium carbonate
  • 1-2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 20-30 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5-10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 30 drops trace minerals
  • Filtered water

Instructions:

Simply mix all the ingredients together and store it in a glass jar afterwards. If your toothpaste is too hard or thick at first, just mix in some filtered water.

Originally posted on The Healthy Home Economist.

6. Three-Ingredient Natural Toothpaste

You might have noticed xylitol among the ingredients of several brands of toothpaste. And no wonder–it fights cavities, helps remineralize teeth, and acts as a sweetener all at once! Just try to look for xylitol which is non-GMO and sourced from birch trees instead of corn cobs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Slightly warm up the coconut oil.
  2. Put all ingredients into a jar or bowl. Mix until they’re fully combined.
  3. Store the toothpaste in a small jar.

Recipe taken from Scratch Mommy.

NOTE: Sharing your homemade toothpaste with the rest of the family? You might want to have one toothpaste scoop or jar per member to prevent contamination. Also, do your best to keep water out of the toothpaste jar, or else the water may become a breeding ground for bacteria.

These 6 tried and tested natural toothpaste recipes can give you clean and healthy teeth while doing away with disposable containers or harmful ingredients. Try switching to natural toothpaste in your bathroom, and you can be a step closer to a zero-waste lifestyle!

Liked this article? Visit our blog regularly for more posts about interior design and sustainable living.

9 Bathroom Swaps for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

You might have been taking steps towards an eco-friendly and sustainable bathroom, where you can relax and pamper yourself without any guilt. However, one surprising obstacle to this goal can be your current choice of bathroom products! Not everyone is aware of how wasteful commercial toothbrushes, traditional lotion, and even toilet paper can be.

Your sustainable bathroom needs zero-waste products to match. To help you get started, here are 9 zero-waste bathroom swaps definitely worth considering.

 

9 Zero-Waste Bathroom Swaps for a Sustainable Lifestyle

 

1. Bamboo/Aluminum Toothbrush

Substitute For: Commercial toothbrushes with synthetic bristles and plastic handles

An estimated 850,000,000 toothbrushes end up in landfills in the United States every year. Sounds like a lot of plastic, doesn’t it? You can take steps toward a zero-waste lifestyle without sacrificing your oral health by going for bamboo or aluminum toothbrushes.

  • Bamboo toothbrushes biodegrade after disposal. Be sure to determine whether the bristles on your bamboo toothbrush are biodegradable as well, however. Some bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles which need to be removed before the handle is disposed of or composted.
  • Meanwhile, aluminum toothbrushes can last you a lifetime. For one, Goodwell’s aluminum toothbrushes have replaceable composite bamboo heads and bristles made of binchotan charcoal.

2. Toothy Tabs

Substitute For: Traditional toothpaste in disposable tubes

Toothy tabs are incredibly easy to use, as well as great for travelling. Just pop one in your mouth, chew, and brush away. The crushed tablet will foams up and serve as the paste.

Understandably, toothy tabs may not be for everyone. Fortunately, there are other zero-waste alternatives, such as tooth powder or natural toothpaste in recyclable containers.

3. Water Flosser

Substitute For: Traditional dental floss made with plastic

A water flosser simply shoots a stream of water to remove food bits and plaque from between the teeth. Some people may find water flossers easier to use than traditional floss!

Still like flossing the old-fashioned way? Don’t worry, you can find natural silk floss in recyclable jars made either of glass or stainless steel.

4. Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Substitute For: Plastic razors

Did you know that around 2 billion disposable razors get thrown away each year? It doesn’t help that these disposable razors are also difficult to recycle. The next time you need a razor, try out a safety razor with replaceable and recyclable(!) blades. Aside from producing zero waste, safety razors yield better, cleaner shaves.

5. Bidet

Substitute For: Commercial toilet paper, which is often made of virgin pulp and wrapped in plastic

It might not be easy for everyone to switch out their toilet paper with a spray of water. However, aside from being a great step towards a zero-waste lifestyle, bidets can make your bathroom trips much more sanitary. No need to wipe here!

Want to keep some toilet paper around for family members or house guests? Aim for toilet paper that is

  • made from recycled material,
  • produced without chlorine or bleach processing, and
  • wrapped in paper or biodegradable material instead of plastic.

6. Organic Cloth Pads

Substitute For: Disposable pads made with plastic, as well as tampons which may contain chemicals

The average woman may use more than 10,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. A single reusable cloth pad can perfectly replace such products, only needing replacement every five years or so.

Another zero-waste substitute for commercial pads and tampons is the silicone menstrual cup.

7. Homemade Deodorant

Substitute For: Traditional deodorant

You may be concerned about what goes into commercial deodorant, or how it usually comes in a disposable plastic container. Why not switch to a homemade alternative without any harmful substances? Check out the deodorant recipe below!

Instructions:

  1. Combine 3 tbsp baking soda with 5 tbsp arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch.
  2. Mix in 6 tbsp shea butter with your fingers or a fork. You should end up with a mixture that resembles crumbly dough.
  3. Optional: Add 30-60 drops of essential oil.
  4. Whip the dough with a hand mixer.
  5. Transfer your fresh new deodorant to a clean glass jar.

Recipe originally posted on Mommypotamus.

8. Homemade Lotion

Substitute For: Traditional lotion

Not only does commercial lotion come in plastic containers, but it often contains chemicals you wouldn’t want on your skin, too. Fortunately, you can easily whip up your own zero-waste homemade lotion made of coconut oil!

Instructions:

  1. Whisk coconut oil with a fork until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add 3-6 drops of your favorite essential oil for every 1 oz of coconut oil.
  3. Stir and place in a glass jar.

Recipe taken from Note to Trash.

9. Soap Bars/Shampoo Bars

Substitute For: Commercial body wash and shampoo, which come in disposable containers and may contain harmful chemicals

These bars come with minimal disposable packaging, last longer than their bottled counterparts, and run no risk of spilling all over your travel kit. Plus, they wash just as well as body wash and shampoo respectively!

Do your best to find brands that either get rid of packaging completely or use eco-friendly packaging material. For example, Lush bars have zero packaging while Bestowed Essentials products use either compostable or recyclable packaging.

ALSO READ: 15 Space Saving Bathroom Design Ideas

Have you tried any of these 9 zero-waste bathroom swaps yet? It may take some time to get used to each swap, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. Enjoy having a stylish bathroom that is both elegant and environmentally friendly!

Visit our blog for more tips on zero-waste lifestyles and interior design.

8 Eco-Friendly Tips for a Sustainable Bathroom

If you’re taking steps towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, you should include a sustainable bathroom in your home improvement plans. After all, traditional bathroom setups can be surprisingly wasteful or harmful to the environment. To help you switch to a greener lifestyle more easily, here are 8 eco-friendly tips for a sustainable bathroom.

 

8 Tips for a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Bathroom

1. Invest in a Low-Flow Toilet

Older toilets dump anywhere between 3 to 7 gallons per flush! Cut down on your water consumption by getting an eco-friendly low-flow toilet, which uses 1.6 gallons or less.

Make your bathroom even more sustainable by finding a low-flow toilet with a dual-flush feature. Push its smaller flush button to deal with liquid waste while spending just 0.8 gallons of water, or press its larger button to flush solid waste with 1.6 gallons or less.

2. Shower Smart

Traditional shower heads use up 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute. This amounts to 50 to 80 gallons for a ten-minute shower! A low-flow head will cut down this figure by half. It’ll also greatly reduce the energy you use whenever you need hot water for a warm shower.

Another tip for using less water and live a sustainable lifestyle? Shorten your showers. Five minutes may be all you really need.

3. Go Tankless

While a tanked water heater provides a constant supply of hot water, it results in standby loss, or wasted energy from always having the heater on. Switch it out with a tankless water heater, which heats only on demand.

That being said, the upfront costs of tankless water heaters may be beyond some homeowners’ budgets. An alternative tip is to fit your tanked water heater with a controller. Aside from heating water as needed, this innovative device lets you know how much hot water you have left.

4. Ditch Hot Water Circulation

A typical hot-water circulating system will pump hot water from the heater to the faucets and then back to the heater. It provides hot water almost instantly, but it also consumes much energy to heat and transport the water–not so sustainable! It’s more eco-friendly to simply wait with your shower running until hot water comes out. Place a bucket underneath to catch the initial rush of cold water, so it doesn’t go to waste.

5. Get Automatic Faucets

Ever noticed how much water you waste at your bathroom sink? Water pours out from the moment you turn the knobs. Some people may also forget to turn the faucet off while brushing their teeth, leaving the water running. An automatic faucet eliminates this wastage and only turns on when it senses your hand beneath the spout. With this sustainable option, you can also say goodbye to the gunk that often forms around faucet handles.

6. Buy a Vent with the Energy Star Label

Your bathroom needs a vent fan to dry your bathroom quickly and prevent mildew and mold from growing. Here’s a tip to remember: find a fan with an Energy Star Label, which indicates its energy efficiency. Vent fans with such labels use up to 60% less energy than their non-labelled counterparts.

7. Look for Eco-Friendly Paint

Yes, you can be eco-friendly when redecorating your bathroom, too! Purchase paint that has a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) label. While a coat of traditional paint emits dangerous chemicals, sustainable low-VOC paint contains far less of these same toxic substances.

8. Don’t Skip the Small Things

Complete your sustainable bathroom by stocking it with eco-friendly fabrics and products, such as organic cotton bath towels, all-natural hand soap, or homemade cleaning ingredients. Another tip is to switch out your old lights for compact fluorescent bulbs, LED alternatives, or a healthy dose of natural lighting.

With these 8 tips, you can soon enjoy quiet moments of pampering yourself without any guilt in your sustainable bathroom.Read more articles on sustainable living and interior design by visiting our blog.

Organize Your Bathroom with these 10 Tips

Bathrooms are meant to be comfortable places where you can relax and pamper yourself. However, the aesthetic of even the most stylish bathroom can be thrown off by crowded drawers and cabinets full of expired medicine and old shampoo. These rooms have a tendency to become cluttered, too, especially if you find yourself coming home with new towels or beauty products fairly frequently. If you often wish that your bathroom were more organized, here’s a list of 10 tips that you might find helpful.

 

10 Tips to Declutter Your Bathroom

 

1. Purge Your Supplies

Time to throw your bathroom cabinets and drawers open! Keep only what you’ll still be able to use. Toss expired medicine, old potpourri, and bulky packaging. Take the opportunity to wipe the cabinet down, saying goodbye to clumps of dust and strands of hair.

Arrange daily essentials such as soap and toothbrushes on the counter. You may be surprised at how much room will be left.

2. Put a Lazy Susan in the Closet

It can be dizzying to open a cabinet and behold a small crowd of shampoos and creams. Instead of lining up these products, place them on a small lazy Susan instead. To reach a particular item, all you have to do is spin the tray around. You’ll be able to get what you need without knocking over everything else.

3. Divide Up Your Drawer Space

Do you ever feel that your drawers can fit more than they currently do? You may be right. Fit your drawers with semi-fixed dividers, which you can adjust to hold different products and maximize space. If you’re on a tighter budget, you can also buy several plastic mini-bins for a similar result. You might be left with small bits of wasted space, but you’ll still know just where to find what you need when you’re in a hurry.

Does your bathroom dresser include too many deep drawers? Don’t just toss in razors and compacts until they pile up. With vertical dividers, you can use this drawer to store smaller items standing up.

4. Install a Slide-Out Tray

You might have unpleasant memories of having to crouch in front of a base cabinet whenever you needed the plunger or glass cleaner. A slide-out tray in the cabinet will make it much easier for you to reach these items without groping around. The tray will also be handy for storing rags or a first-aid kit.

5. Use the Wall Space Near Your Shower

If you’re about to buy a new shower head, try to look for one that comes with built-in shelves. Otherwise, you can purchase a hanging organizer. Put shampoos and soaps here instead of balancing them on the windowsill or the end of the tub.

6. Collect Your Kids’ Bath Toys

It’s nice to treat your kids to bubble baths, but it’s not so nice to have foam alphabet letters and slippery rubber ducks littered around the bathroom. Take an extra laundry lingerie bag, put bath toys inside, and hang it from a suction cup hook for the toys to dry.

7. Keep Everything in Sight

Have you ever found yourself running late because you misplaced your cream or medication in your bathroom cabinet? Or have you bought a new lip balm, only to find that your old one was hiding in the corner of your dresser the whole time? You’ll probably find clear containers handy. Buy yourself some acrylic, plastic, and glass holders so that you can quickly find what you need. Install risers on cabinet shelves to store more smaller items and keep them visible at a glance.

8. Hang Items Inside Cabinet Doors

Yes, you can get a bit more storage space by utilizing the insides of your cabinet doors. Just stick on a magnetic knife strip and a couple of adhesive acrylic holders. Clips, bobby pins, and metal nail tools can go on the knife strip while nail polish and makeup can sit in the acrylic containers.

9. Hide Your Trash

Another good way to use the inside of a cabinet door: attach a trash can. This way, you free up floor space while keeping bathroom garbage hidden. Try mounting the lid on one of the cabinet’s interior walls. Whenever you open the cabinet door, the trash can will open together with it.

10. Buy Yourself Some Baskets

For each wicker basket you purchase, you can store a few more extra bath supplies. A set of baskets can keep cabinets tidy or hide items you’d rather keep out of sight. Customize them with labels made from paper tags and string. In the case that you buy too many baskets for your bathroom cabinet, you can mount a pair above your toilet and use them as shelves for rolled up towels or fresh changes of toilet paper.

Research has repeatedly shown that clutter can actually affect our state of mind–that is, the mess in your bathroom can actually make you uneasy. Now, taking a warm shower only to be stressed out by all the clutter doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? Stay organized by following these 10 tips, and you can feel refreshed in body and mind whenever you walk out of your bathroom.

If you’re looking for more ways to upgrade your bathroom, you might also want to read up on 15 space-saving bathroom ideas.

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9 Shelving Ideas to Free Up Your Space

How do you turn a blank wall into a useful one? Simple–install a shelf system. This wall piece, or a furniture as you may call it, can be as beautiful as it is functional. There are a lot of shelves that could fit any kind of interior design. And there are many ways than one to install and stack them together. In this listicle, we give you nine ingenious shelf designs that will fit your style and needs.

 

  1. Adjustable Shelves

Adjustable Shelves

Image Source: Pinterest

This shelf idea from Apartment Therapy transforms your usual adjustable shelf into a pegboard-like one. In this shelf system, you can always add storage or free up space anytime you want using only plywoods and dowels.

 

  1. Floating Shelves

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a popular choice for a seamless storage system. What’s great about this shelving style is that it goes well with any design theme. You can work with wood planks, hardwood, log slices and whatnot.

 

  1. Modern Rustic

Modern Rustic

Image Source: Pinterest

Steel water pipe when paired with choice wood makes a modern rustic shelf. Aside from being a sturdy material, one good thing about water pipe is that it is built for twists and turns which definitely will suit whatever style you want. You only need joints to do this.

 

  1. Corner Shelves

Corner Shelves

Image Source: Pinterest

With customized shelves, you can turn your dead space corners into functional ones. This trick is useful just for every part of your home: for the walk-in closet, bathroom storage, for bedroom decor and others.

 

  1. Basket or Crate Shelves

Basket or Crate Shelves

Image Source: Pinterest

Aside from your usual wood planks, you can use a woven basket or wine crate for a shelf. Just place its base up against your wall. And voila! You get a rustic shelf design.

 

  1. Floating Book

Floating Book

Image Source: Pinterest

Stack up your favorite books afloat in your invisible floating bookshelf. One way to spruce up your floating shelves is to use your big hardbound books instead of your usual wood planks. This works best for your bookshelf. This DIY will guide you through building your own invisible bookshelf.

 

  1. Ladder Shelf

Ladder Shelf

Instead of throwing away your old wooden ladder, why not turn it into a great rustic looking shelf system. Be it a straight ladder or an A-frame ladder, you can turn them into shelves without the need for much carpentry skills. Just follow these DIY tutorials for Straight Ladder Shelf and A-frame Ladder shelf.

 

  1. Nautical Rope Supported Shelves

Nautical Rope Supported Shelves

For a nautical-themed shelf, use thick ropes to support and frame your wood plank shelf. This DIY is so easy, everybody can do this without taking much of your strength. And it works best to hold your decors, books and bathroom items.

 

  1. Window Shelf

Window Shelf

Image Source: ambivalenz

This shelf system is designed to provide storage space just when you need it. This window type shelf designed by Malte Grieb lets you close the shelves when not in use. An ingenious design indeed, this shelf is perfect for every part of your home and for any items you want to use them for.

 

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