When you think about all the bathrooms in your home, which one gets used the most? Most likely it’s the small powder room on the main floor. While it doesn’t have a shower or bath, it’s proximity to living space means its used by both family members and guests. The powder room, however, is often overlooked. It’s small, doesn’t have a lot to offer, and is more function than form. But it can actually be the star of your home.
1. Go bold with the walls
Small spaces tend to have the most neutral of colors, but what if you were to go the opposite way? Try a bold color, like deep raspberry or cobalt blue. Or, alternately, try wallpaper with a funky pattern. The other fixtures, like the toilet and vanity, will be neutral, so they will offset the bold walls.
While many people try to match the powder room with the rest of the main floor’s décor, this doesn’t really have to be. Most often the door remains closed, so the wall colors won’t intrude on the rest of the area.
2. Quality fixtures
With a powder room, you can invest in higher quality fixtures because there are so few of them. The bathroom taps can have a nice, sleek style. Make sure your towel rack and paper holder match. And for all your metal fixtures, stick to one style. Choose either a shiny chrome or a burnished nickel. There’s not enough room to mix and match the finishes.
3. Power up your toilet
One of the easiest ways to conserve water is with a low-flow toilet. Purchase one that meets your budget, but that will also help save you on water usage. It’s a great way for family members to become aware of the water that is used for everyday tasks. It’s also a nice reminder for guests that stop by, and might even inspire them to make more environmentally friendly home purchases.
4. Create storage
There’s nothing worse than running out of a towel while in the powder room, or worse, toilet paper. But a bit of well placed storage can help with that. Most powder rooms are small, which limits the amount of space. And, if you have a pedestal sink, then there won’t be any built-in storage. Time to be creative. Narrow baskets that fit between the sink and the wall can slide in and hold a number of items. Shelves on the wall can hold smaller objects, such as soap and hand towels. You don’t have to be limited by what is already in place. Instead, you can get creative and make the space work for you.
There’s a certain thrill when guests come to visit. They’ve made time in their busy schedule to visit you, spent time travelling, and want to create some precious memories. One easy way to give back to them is to prepare the perfect guest bathroom for them.
1. Invest in quality towels
Who doesn’t love being wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy towel after a hot shower? Show your guests that you want them to be cozy, even if it isn’t their own home. While good quality towels can be quite expensive, investing in them for guests is a good idea. If you keep them just for guests, they will be used less frequently, and as such, will have a longer life span. Purchase white or neutral colors, in case you want to change the color scheme along the way.
In addition to large size towels, stock up on hand towels and face cloths. Have a stack readily available in your guest bathroom. If there is no linen closet in there, purchase a shelf or bin to place the towels. Alternately, you can leave out a stack of towels in the guest room. Being prepared for your guests means they don’t have to worry about bothering you for extra towels.
2. Stock up on essentials
Who hasn’t travelled somewhere, only to realize they forgot their toothbrush? Have a few new toothbrushes handy for this eventuality. The same goes for toothpaste and floss. You can choose to buy sample size products, or larger, multi-use items that live in the bathroom. Put a little basket on the counter with a note saying, “Help Yourself!” so that guests know they can use the items. It’s a small gesture that will go a long way in accommodating their needs.
The same goes for other items such as shampoo and conditioner. While you can buy smaller size bottles, for these items, simply place them in the shower or bath area of your guest bathroom. Just be sure to periodically check on their contents and replace as needed.
When packing for a trip, one item that women continually worry about is the hair dryer. While this is usually an essential part of the daily routine, hair dryers can take up a lot of precious space in a suitcase, especially if you’re trying to pack for carry-on luggage only. In your guest bathroom, place a hair dryer in the vanity cupboard. And let your guests know of its existence. This way guests can style their hair without having to weigh down their suitcase.
4. Modern elements
Typically, a guest bathroom will be a smaller space. It also might not be used as often. But try not to forget about it. A few nice touches can go a long way. Whether it’s a quality vanity counter or a chrome faucet, the more luxurious you can make the room feel, the happier your guests will feel. Knowing that they are a part of your home will inspire them to come back and visit often.
We all want a clean kitchen but turning to harsh chemicals isn’t the best way to achieve this. Not only are they bad for the environment, but they are also costly. Instead, you can use natural cleaners for your kitchen. With just a few ingredients from your pantry, you can have every surface of your kitchen shiny, clean, and smelling nice.
Cutting boards should regularly be disinfected, but usually get forgotten about. If you have a spare lemon around, simply cut it in half. Then, rub the lemon around on the cutting board. Be sure to squeeze a bit so that the lemon juice can penetrate any of the deeper cuts in the cutting board. Leave the lemon juice on the board for a few minutes. Then, simply wash with soapy water. The lemon will get rid of any lingering bacteria and you don’t have to worry about harsh chemical residue on your wooden cutting boards.
If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you can know that it occasionally gets pretty smelly. Take a leftover lemon, cut it into pieces, and then toss them down the disposal. Grind them up for a bit and you can instantly eliminate odors.
Baking soda serves a double whammy as one of the best natural cleaners for your kitchen. It can both disinfect and de-odorize. If you have stinky garbage, be sure to sprinkle some baking soda in the bin to cut down on odors.
For grimy areas, such as tile grout, make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread the paste onto the grout and let it sit for a while. Then, with a cloth or even a toothbrush, start to scrub. The grout will instantly be a lot cleaner.
Chances are you have stainless steel appliances in your kitchen. And chances are those elegant appliances are covered in smudges and finger prints. Simply mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply liberally to your appliances. Then, with a soft cloth, start to wipe away the marks. You can increase the potency of the vinegar to tackle harsher dirt. You can also use a paper towel to mop up any leftover residue.
For the dishwasher, pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom. Run an empty cycle and the vinegar will help loosen hard water deposits. Include this in your monthly cleaning routine and you can increase the lifespan of your dishwasher.
There are many essential oils that you can use to help fight bacteria in your kitchen. Tea tree oil is one of the most versatile. You can add a few drops to any homemade natural cleaners. It will help to kill bacteria and germs, and also smells nice.
Using white in your kitchen is a tried and tested décor theme. It instills a bold brightness in your room. White is inviting because it is fresh and alive. It shows that you have nothing to hide and that you want the kitchen to be the focal point of your home. If you’re not sure how to use white in your kitchen, we can help.
1. Include Natural Light
To make a really bold, bright statement with white in your kitchen, be sure to include natural sources of light. This will make the kitchen feel alive. When natural light bounces off of white cabinets or reflects off white countertops, it can make the room feel larger. Natural light will open up the room and create a space that everyone will gravitate towards.
2. Play With Textures
White isn’t simple. You can choose high gloss materials for the kitchen cabinets which will give a very modern feel. You can use a dimpled white instead for a more country feel. Using white in your kitchen could include subway tiles or it could mean using small glass tiles for a backsplash. Your tile floors can be smooth or textured as there is a wide variety of white tiles available. No matter what overall design theme you want to accomplish in your kitchen, there is a white variation out there for you.
3. Pick A Side
If you’re afraid of using too much white in a kitchen, then pick one element that will be white. This could be either your kitchen cabinets or your countertop. You can pair white cabinets with a darker countertop for a bold contrast. You can also do the opposite and have dark cabinets with a white countertop. There are many materials for countertops including quartz and marble that can give you a white tone.
4. A Few Shades Of Grey
There are many shades of white and if you’re not convinced about using all white in your kitchen, then it’s ok to add a bit of grey. White and grey pair nicely together. They are often found together in quartz countertops and backsplash tiles. Break up the all-white with some grey to add a bit of depth to your kitchen.
5. Go Bold
If you love a clean, bright look, then take a deep breath and do the whole kitchen white. It might seem overwhelming, but the finished design will be breathtaking. White on white on white creates a bold look that will create an elegant, sophisticated feeling. All white in your kitchen will let guests know that you have nothing to hide. You might have to spend a bit of extra time cleaning, and this may not be the best option if you have small, messy children, but it is a decorating statement worth considering.
The holidays can bring a surfeit of visitors through your home and kitchen, which can quickly become a stressful time of year. But instead of worrying about every detail, focus on a few key hosting hacks so that you can enjoy your visitors and not have to worry about too much.
1. Stock your Pantry Wisely
Before the holidays hit, be sure to stock up on essential items that can easily be whipped out, even if you have unexpected visitors. Cheese and crackers are a great snack, and so are a few yummy spreads. Even something simple like Mandarin oranges make for a tasty treat.
For large parties, be sure to keep things simple so that you don’t have to spend all week preparing. If you are hosting a party and somebody offers to bring something, be sure to agree to this. Extra chips and dip are always needed. Or, if you are planning an elaborate meal, have your guests bring the dessert.
2. Choose Between Homemade and Store-bought
Even the best host relies on store-bought dishes sometimes. If you’ve made one type of Christmas cookie, but don’t have time for more, you can add to your dessert tray with other items from your local bakery. For more elaborate desserts, it’s far easier to pick something up from the store than trying to find the specific ingredients that you won’t have a chance to use in anything else.
You can get really nice meat and cheese platters from the store, and don’t be afraid to purchase these. You can add to them and put them on your own holiday trays so that they have a bit more personality.
3. Stock Up On Alcohol
Most liquor stores will have rotating sales on alcohol, so start by buying a bottle or two each month. This way you can take advantage of sales and not have to spend a small fortune all at once. Most guests will bring a bottle of wine, so stock up on hard liquor and soft drinks, but anticipate that most of the wine will be provided by visitors.
4. Create A Bar
As host, you will be plenty of busy during parties, so make it easier for your guests to help themselves. Just as you would have an hors d’oeuvres area, create a self-serve drink area. Put out a selection of bottles, plenty of cups, and an ice bucket. Be sure to give your guests a little tour of the kitchen and where to find the bar area so that they will know where to go to replenish their drinks.
5. Designate Helpers
It’s ok to ask for help. Assign close friends and family small tasks that will go a long way. One person can be in charge of refilling the ice bucket. Have your kids put coats in the closet or in a bedroom. This way you can actually enjoy yourself.