Do you dream of a new bathroom? If a bathroom addition or remodel is in your future, keep these ideas top of mind.
(BPT) - Adding or remodeling a bathroom is a popular home improvement project in 2020. Whether it's a simple powder room, a useful three-quarter or a grand master bath, it's worthwhile to research the top trends so you can create a space that is functional while also increasing your home's overall value.
Sensational showers: When it comes to bathing options, showers are the focus. For instance, four in five homeowners upgrade the shower during a master bathroom renovation (83%) and over half increase the shower size (54%), found the most recent U.S. Houzz Bathrooms Trends Study. Some homeowners are eliminating the tub altogether, adding multiple showerheads and steam features for maximum relaxation.
Unique locations: A homeowner's bathroom location desires are no longer limited to the property's existing plumbing and drainage systems. Saniflo technologies use above-floor plumbing with features such as a macerating toilet and drain pumps that can be hidden in closets or behind walls. This means previously impossible spaces — such as in garages, pool houses and attics — can now be transformed into stunning bathrooms. The Saniaccess3 is a smart choice for full baths, and the Saniaccess2 is ideal for powder rooms.
Freestanding tubs: For those homeowners who still enjoy a good soak, say goodbye to jetted tubs with apron surrounds. Freestanding tubs are the ultimate in luxurious bathing, providing a focal point that draws the eye in any bathroom while also creating an airy feeling in the space. If a homeowner wants to install a freestanding tub where no drainage currently exists, a Saniflo system is an affordable way to complete the project in less time. Learn more at www.saniflo.com.
Color and styles: After avoiding white color palettes for some time, white on white is back in 2020, offering a clean look with sleek appeal. Mixed materials are often used to add visual interest, such as a tasteful blend of wood and metallics in the vanity or hardware choices. Contemporary styles with clean lines and open spaces are key characteristics of the modern bathroom. When a splash of color is called for, blues dominate the cool tones and salmons often infuse warm hues.
Vanities and tops: Vanities vary in size and shape depending on space. Designs tend to be modern or transitional, with elements of interest such as sliding doors that mimic the barn-door trend. Floating vanities are favored, adding an upscale feel that opens the space. Vanity tops are made from a host of materials: as granite loses steam, quartz, marble and concrete are increasing in popularity. Finally, when space allows in a master bath, double sinks are a must.
Flooring: Ceramic and porcelain tile is often the choice for the modern homeowner who can customize tile with any design they want. Large tiles are less desired, with smaller mosaic options a common choice for personalization. For those who feel tile is too hard or cold, engineered vinyl is a leading choice. It can be made to mimic the look of wood surprisingly well, but can handle the moist environment that typically comes from a bathroom.
Smart technologies: Technological enhancements have entered virtually all aspects of life, and the bathroom is no exception. This is more than just streaming music to water-resistant speakers. In 2020, more homeowners desire digital shower controls allowing temperature adjustment and flow of the water through voice commands. For those with the funds, smart toilets open and close by sensor and are self cleaning. Another growing tech trend is chromatherapy — the use of color to enhance and inspire mood — with technologies used to illuminate tubs and shower spaces.
Every year brings with it trends in home design. For 2020, the bathroom is a standout space with customizable features that simplify and beautify life. If a bathroom addition or remodel is in your future, keep these ideas top of mind.
Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
(BPT) - Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
1. Boost your insulation
You may already know what areas of your home are poorly insulated, simply by how you feel when it’s cold or hot outside. You can have a professional home energy audit conducted to help pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many energy companies provide an audit free of charge.
Start with the attic: If your attic is insufficiently insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat over the winter, which means your home is wasting energy — and money. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that boosting attic insulation can save 10-50 percent on heating costs.
2. Upgrade your heating and cooling system
Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy, so investing in Energy Star certified HVAC products can make a big difference when it comes to cutting energy costs and your home's impact on the environment.
For a new HVAC system in a variety of styles to fit any décor that can be easily installed by a contractor, you might consider wall-mounted duct-free systems from a trusted brand like LG. They offer a variety of ultra-quiet "Art Cool" options (the sleek Mirror, stylish Premier and unique Gallery, which looks like a picture frame and allows you to display your own artwork). These systems are smart-enabled, allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature from their LG ThinQ app for Android and iOS users, or with simple commands via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The most eco-conscious consumers will want to look for "Energy Star Most Efficient" HVAC solutions. For example, the Art Cool Mirror earned the 2019 designation and also features advanced "Reliable to Extreme Degrees" LGRED, heating technology that delivers 100 percent heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and continuous heating down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you warm and comfortable all winter long with remarkable energy efficiency.
3. Replace doors and windows
You may be losing a lot of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer through your doors and windows, especially if they're older. The latest energy-efficient models of windows and doors not only reduce leaks around the frames, but they're made from materials that enhance insulation.
Doors: According to EnergyStar.gov, energy-efficient doors not only fit better and have improved weather stripping to reduce air leakage, but also use improved core materials for superior insulation. Where glass is used, they reduce heat flow via double- or triple-paned insulating glass.
Windows: Energy Star qualified windows use superior framing materials, including multiple panes of glass, with air- or gas-filled space between for additional insulation. They're made from Low-E (low emissivity) glass, with special coatings to reflect infrared light. Warm edge spacers keep the glass panes the correct distance apart reducing heat transfer through the window.
4. Go solar
While most people are aware that solar power harnesses the sun’s energy to create electricity, many don't know how easy and cost-effective it is to go solar.
The newest technology behind solar energy has made it increasingly accessible and appealing for homeowners. For example, new energy solutions such as LG’s "NeON R ACe" are high-efficiency solar panels that incorporate a built-in micro-inverter (that converts DC electricity to AC) instead of a separate traditional inverter. Recessed into the frame of the solar module, the micro-inverter simplifies the installation process and allows more flexibility to create a solar array that looks attractive on your roof. When going solar, it’s important to seek out a brand you trust, one like LG that offers solar panels covered by a 25-year limited product, part and performance warranty.
Choosing just one area to upgrade will save energy, reducing your home's carbon footprint. You'll also feel more comfortable throughout the year, as you better regulate the temperature of your home.
(BPT) - The latest trends in home decor reveal a desire for a feeling of tranquility and calmness, perhaps as a response to today’s overly busy and distracted lifestyles. From Marie Kondo’s decluttering craze to a return to natural materials in home design, everyone is looking for a way to create a peaceful, less hectic inner space. When it comes to home decor, less is definitely more.
How can you tap into this yen for a little more Zen?
1. Simplify your design strategy
When revamping your room to create a more minimalist effect, choose a limited color palette, meaning one to three colors at most. Select mostly more muted or neutral colors, though you can use one vivid color in a piece of furniture or art to grab the spotlight.
Let the textures of the materials that you use for the floors, walls, ceilings and furnishings — whether they are natural wood, stone, ceramics, glass, tile, fabrics or canvas — create the room's visual interest instead of yesterday’s too-busy colors and patterns. Choose a couple of contrasting textures, like glass and reclaimed lumber, or woven fabric and stone, to highlight in the room for the best effect.
2. Declutter your spaces
Decide what items you really want and need to be in each room and get rid of the rest — or find a way to store it neatly, preferably out of sight. One of the greatest visual clutter culprits today comes from technology. It's hard to know what to do with the mass and tangle of cords from all the latest gadgets, power strips and chargers everyone uses in their homes.
To streamline the technology you use for viewing TV, movies and more, a product from LG Electronics USA can solve your cord clutter problem and turn your living room into an amazing home viewing theater. The LG CineBeam AI ThinQ 4K Laser Projector (HU85LA) creates an impressive 90- to 120-inch cinematic screen by placing it just 2.2 to 7.2 inches away from the wall, needing no complicated installation. With its streamlined and compact design, the state-of-the-art projector incorporates LG's ThinQ AI and has the Google Assistant built-in so you can control your compatible smart home devices with just your voice.
3. Choose furnishings with clean lines
When you're selecting new furniture for your minimalist rooms, look for high-quality, standout pieces designed with clean lines, with no fussy design details or busy patterns. Don't acquire more furniture than the room really needs. Chances are you can do without all those end tables and extra chairs.
Make one exceptional, stylish piece of furniture be the focal point for each room, and don’t over-furnish or over-decorate the space around it. Then avoid the urge to smother the couch or sectional with tons of blankets and throw pillows. Let the furniture speak for itself.
4. Streamline artistic expression
Instead of filling every wall with pictures, choose just one accent wall, eliminating excessive decor elements around it. Let one work of art dominate that space, reducing any competition for attention.
The LG CineBeam Laser Projector can display a chosen photograph or work of art on your accent wall. With 8.3 million pixels, it delivers impeccable precision and detail at four times the resolution of full HD, along with incredibly vibrant color reproduction. It works without the need to darken the room around it, using gentle light that produces clear images without any harsh brightness.
5. Leave plenty of open space
Resist the urge to fill every corner and surface of the room with ornaments and knickknacks. It's the open space, unencumbered by any visual clutter, that creates the feeling of calm and tranquility you're craving.
And if you're lucky enough to have a great view out the window, install only simple, streamlined window treatments — or no window treatments at all — to highlight that view.
Minimalist decor is all about making careful choices and choosing the best quality furnishings and decor over quantity of items. You can turn any room into a beautiful showcase that you'd be happy to entertain and live in, with some thoughtful decision-making. To learn more about improving your home technology, visit LG.com.
Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore. While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips.
5 Time-Saving Laundry Tips
(Family Features) Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore.
While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips from the laundry experts at Whirlpool.
Sort clothes ahead of time. One way to make laundry more manageable is to sort as you go. Instead of tossing dirty clothes into a hamper, distribute items into separate bins. While the exact division depends on your wardrobe, you’ll want to separate dark and light colors, as well as clothing that needs special care.
Pretreat stains. Once a stained garment makes its way through the dryer, chances are the stain is set for life. Protect your clothes by pretreating stains as soon as possible to help keep even the toughest stains from setting in. If you’re unsure of how to treat a particular stain, such as spaghetti sauce or grass, Whirlpool offers a Stain Guide within its laundry app that provides helpful, step-by-step instructions*.
Keep your space organized. Just like it’s hard to cook in a messy kitchen or work at a cluttered desk, you’re less likely to be productive in a sloppy laundry room. Clean and organize your laundry area periodically so you have easy access to the supplies you need and a clean surface for folding fresh laundry or switching loads.
Take advantage of technology. New smart home technology is making laundry faster and easier, such as Whirlpool’s Smart Front Load Laundry Pair with the Load & Go™ dispenser. This innovative feature allows you to skip a step in your laundry routine by eliminating the need to measure out and add detergent every time you start a load for up to 40 loads**.
Whether you are on the run or across the room, you can control your washer and dryer using an app on your smartphone or a compatible voice-enabled device for hands-free assistance. You can track how much time is left on your load while cooking dinner, assign washing settings while enjoying family movie night or begin a cycle when running errands. Touch-screen technology also guides you to the correct washer or dryer presets, or you can pre-program cycles of your own to tackle specific care settings for items like baby clothing or bulky comforters.
Finish with ease. For some, it’s not the washing that makes laundry a drag, it’s the folding. Hitting the tumble button to shake out wrinkles is one solution, but there are alternatives. Use your dryer’s end-of-cycle buzzer as an easy way to keep track of when a load needs your attention or make folding a fun game with your family.
Find more information at whirlpool.com.
*Wi-Fi and app required. Features subject to change. Appliance must be set to Remote Enable for remote control capabilities. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.
**Model WFW9620H. Based on an 8-pound load of laundry. The Load & Go™ dispenser capacity varies by model.SOURCE:
New, smart products are hitting the market every day. For homeowners savvy enough to incorporate this new technology into their homes, they’ll not only be more connected, but they’ll likely see more offers rolling in when it comes time to sell.
(BPT) - The spring home-buying season is just around the corner and that means people are busy making improvements to get their homes ready to sell. These days, home upgrades are increasingly focused on one key feature: connectivity. In 2019, buyers want smart homes they can easily control from anywhere. From smart HVAC and sprinkler systems to connected garage door openers, it’s all about creating convenience and comfort.
Security gets connected
Security systems are nothing new, but the technology used to arm those systems is changing rapidly. More and more home security companies now offer fully connected systems that allow users to protect and monitor their homes from any smart device. Whether it’s a live video feed, the ability to lock and unlock doors remotely or just checking that all sensors are working properly, integrated security systems offer peace of mind. Having the infrastructure in place can be a selling point for buyers who want to make sure their new home is as safe as possible, given they’ll only have to set up the monitoring subscription upon move-in.
Updated garages add value
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value survey, a garage door replacement is the number one home improvement project in terms of return on investment. But these days, more homeowners are taking it a step further and installing new technology to make the garage more user friendly. For example, the SilentMax Connect garage door opener from The Genie Company comes with Aladdin Connect technology built-in to improve convenience and functionality. Not only is the opener super quiet — ideal for attached garages — but the connectivity features allow you to check whether your garage door is open or closed, grant individual access with virtual keys, instantly know when someone is operating your garage door (authorized or not), and provide a log of when each opener was used — all from your phone or smart device. Thanks to this technology, you can open the garage door remotely for delivery people, a housekeeper or for your child coming home from school. Considering your garage is one of the most accessed points in your home, this functionality is a great security feature and proves that garages offer more than just storage space. With the right connectivity tools and features, they can provide convenience that will be attractive to future owners.
Save energy, increase comfort
As home improvement trends go, increased connectivity is rivaled only by the desire for more energy-efficient homes. Smart thermostats accomplish both these aims and can increase the value of your home in the process. Smart thermostats let you easily control the temperature in your home from any connected device. You can set a daily schedule for your heater, adjust the temperature in individual rooms or let the system program itself based on your usage history. For energy-conscious buyers, this kind of technology provides a way of living that’s as aspirational as it is attainable.
Lighting the way
Smart lighting has turned from a novelty to a practical tool as products have gotten more advanced. Programmable lighting allows you to schedule when your lights will come on, turn on and off lights remotely or change the lighting to improve aesthetics. With a smart lighting system, you’ll never have to get out of bed to turn the lights off downstairs, and you can always come home to a fully lit house, boosting your sense of security. With these kinds of applications, your home’s lighting can go from a ‘given’ to a must-have, attracting buyers like a moth to a flame.
New, smart products are hitting the market every day. For homeowners savvy enough to incorporate this new technology into their homes, they’ll not only be more connected, but they’ll likely see more offers rolling in when it comes time to sell.
A home is often a family’s single largest asset, so making investments with upgrades and home improvements is almost always a good idea. However, knowing when and where to make those improvements isn’t necessarily a simple decision. Budget and space most often dictate the direction, but keeping function and your lifestyle needs in mind can help create a space that makes for an all-around smart investment.
Home Upgrades that Make ‘Cents’
Improvements to boost your home’s value and enjoyment
(Family Features) A home is often a family’s single largest asset, so making investments with upgrades and home improvements is almost always a good idea. However, knowing when and where to make those improvements isn’t necessarily a simple decision. Budget and space most often dictate the direction, but keeping function and your lifestyle needs in mind can help create a space that makes for an all-around smart investment.
For expanded control over the amount of light and warmth that enters or leaves your rooms, solar-powered skylight blinds are available in more than 100 designer colors and patterns. Like the skylights, Velux solar-powered blinds are operated with the remote. The solar products and installation costs are also eligible for a 30-percent federal tax credit. Learn more at whyskylights.com.
Finish the basement.
A basement is the perfect location for expanded room to live and entertain, and if you have egress or other windows, adding extra bedrooms may also be an option. When making plans for finishing a basement, keep function first. Adding features like bathrooms can be costly if the plumbing isn’t already in place, but having ready access to those facilities may pay off if you plan to spend lots of time downstairs. Also keep climate in mind; in many parts of the country basements tend to be damp, so be sure to use materials that can withstand the conditions during the rainy season.
Create outdoor living space for all year long.
This is another area where climate will play an important role in your plans; adding a well-constructed enclosure to a patio can make it usable during all but the coldest months, while a pergola or other shading can lend necessary relief to an area that bakes in the summer sun. Aside from the hardscaping, look at other ways to soften your outdoor space and enhance livability, such as functional shade trees and flowering vegetation that attract birds and butterflies.
Add curb appeal.
Choose the Right Skylight
No luxurious home upgrade is complete without the enhancements of modern technology. High-tech and intelligent devices lend ease to everyday activities and enrich your ability to enjoy the comforts of home. With new products joining this category at an exponential pace, there’s a way to boost the smart function of every room, even the bathroom.
Tricked out with Tech: Bathroom features that take smart living to a whole new level
Bathroom features that take smart living to a whole new level
(Family Features) No luxurious home upgrade is complete without the enhancements of modern technology. High-tech and intelligent devices lend ease to everyday activities and enrich your ability to enjoy the comforts of home. With new products joining this category at an exponential pace, there’s a way to boost the smart function of every room, even the bathroom.
“When Americans hear the word bidet, most have an outdated picture in their minds of a standalone fixture, but in fact, the functionality is now built into a toilet or attachable seats, and they are simple to use. Once you try one, you won’t be able to live without it,” said Shane Allis, marketing director of Kohler Sanitary Products. “From intelligent toilets to cleansing seats that attach to existing toilets, modern day bidets are for consumers who are looking for an upgrade to their toilet routine.”
In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Kohler, about two-thirds of Americans would choose a toilet that would give them a cleaner, fresher feeling, and 3 in 5 think washing with water would give them a cleaner feel than toilet paper alone.
An overall fresher feeling and features like a deodorizer, night light and heated seat have strong appeal, according to the same survey, and those features are all offered in options like the Kohler Veil, an ultimate, one-piece intelligent toilet with integrated cleansing functionality that provides optimum hygiene and individual comfort. From personal cleansing to an LED nightlight to hands-free opening, closing and flushing – all of which are easy to control on a touchscreen LCD remote control – the toilet brings unexpected options to your bathroom. Explore the available models and learn more about intelligent toilets at Kohler.com/IntelligentToilets.
Shower with power
When you take your shower digital, you can actually bring water, steam, music and light together into one sensory experience. Beyond that, it’s even possible to configure your shower to cycle through spa programs that target different areas of your body with varied water sprays and temperatures.
With these tech upgrades and more, you can turn an ordinary bathroom into an entirely new, refreshing experience.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Teenagers are at a point in their life where they are looking to make their own mark and find their own space. You want to give it to them, but as you start considering renovation ideas, how do you create a space your teen will appreciate?
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America knows all about satisfying the needs of teenagers from all walks of life, and since 2009, they have partnered with Lowe's to renovate clubs to ensure they are safe and inspiring places for youth. In 2016, the two organizations expanded their partnership with Renovation Across the Nation, a $2.5 million initiative to renovate one club in each of the 50 states. This year the program will provide $50,000 each to 50 additional clubs — one in each state.
Many clubs that receive this money use it to update their facilities for today’s teens so they have a desirable place to spend time after school. As they plan for the renovations, they get input from teen members and have learned some helpful insights about what teens look for in their own space. You can use these tips as well in your own home renovation project to create a space your teen will love.
* Make it a colorful, distinct area. Teens desire their own space where they can retreat and feel inspired. Paint the room with bright, vibrant colors that add a youthful vibe and select accessories with pops of color you can swap out as their tastes or trends change.
* Incorporate creativity. Giving teens access to items like art supplies, camera equipment and musical instruments encourages them to tap into their passions. Pay attention to what they’re interested in and make sure it has a place in their new space.
* Technology is key. Teens are used to having technology at their fingertips. Flat screens, charging stations and computers are tools that help them explore the future and are key to inspiring innovation. Find ways to infuse new technology, such as mood lighting, into the space to make it feel extra comfortable and cool for your teen.
* Create an environment for studying. Teens need a space that helps them focus on studying. Warm lighting and comfy chairs or bean bags help create a quiet, welcoming space for them to relax and learn. Create a homework station and your teen will have everything they need to stay organized and focused on their studies.
* Design a space they'll want to share with friends. As you're designing your space for your teen, be mindful of them inviting other teens over as well. If the space can easily handle multiple teenagers, it will be a place that can help them build new friendships or strengthen existing ones. At Boys & Girls Clubs, long tables encourage group activities, but in your teen's space it could be as simple as extra seating for their friends.
Creating a great space for your teen is possible by focusing on what makes them unique. Make the space personal and functional with these five tips, and you’ll create a space that your teenager, and their friends, can’t wait to enjoy.
To learn more about the Renovation Across the Nation grants program and in-store donation opportunities to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America at Lowe’s stores, visit BGCA.org. To find products and materials to renovate a room for your teen, visit Lowes.com.
Interested in Publishing on The Home Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!