Reinvest in your home with your tax refund. Part 1.

Aside from snow, cold and the flutter of Valentine’s Day love, for many of us February means time to focus on taxes.  If you’re lucky, a refund might be coming. What better way to use that extra cash then to put it back into your home. (Yes, of course we can think of more fun ways, but this is a design blog, we’re trying to stay focused people!)

If you’re looking to make an investment that will help improve the value of your home think flooring, bathrooms and kitchens. Aside from the feasibility of making upgrades thanks to the aforementioned tax refund, winter is also a great time to start planning if you’re thinking about selling, as the real estate market heats up in spring.

This month we’re going to focus on bathrooms – a major selling point if you’re listing and a peaceful sanctuary you visit daily if you’re staying.

How to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa my list together!

First step? Find your inspiration. Take a look around – Pinterest, magazines, Houzz – and take note of what you like and what you don’t. Make sure you don’t just think aesthetics, be sure to consider what you need. Can installing a steam shower help with allergies and dry air? Could heated tile floors warm your feet and your heart? It’s about more than the color of your towels.

For a more modern feel, classic white subway tiles with black and yellow accents makes for a cool bathroom space:

Once you have the overall style you’re going for, the next step is to talk plumbing and planning. Depending on the scope of your renovation/makeover, bringing in a contractor to look at the mechanics of what you have and what you want is critical.

From there, I suggest following my tried and true rule for everything: always go floor to ceiling! Start with your tile and then work your way up: vanity, lighting and finally paint. You get the picture.

Great, but you’re probably thinking, what is this going to cost? Well, that’s totally up to you. You can do a mini makeover for less than $500. How? Change your paint, switch out your faucet, find some new vanity lighting and then splurge on some new linens. Done and done. And if you really want to go for it? The sky’s the limit!

My one rule, don’t do it yourself. The bathroom is a space you use every day. It’s complicated and technical and I’ve seen clients try to go it alone and end up bathroomless for more than a year. Trust the professionals. You’ll get more bang for your buck and a lot less headaches.

Here are some of my favorite bathroom redesign tips:
• Splurge on accent tile. Natural stones can be expensive, so find a moderate base tile and then really punch it up with a fancier accent.

Bits of Glitz - Bathroom Tiles for Every Budget and Design Style on HGTV.. love this for the shower!
• Change your lighting. Gone are the days of the overhead vanity bar. I suggest two sconces framing your mirror. Not only does it look on trend, it’s a lot more flattering on your face. No more shadows ladies! (It is called a vanity after all…)

Love this tile going up the wall. Allows the light to shimmer and bounce. Great statement wall for a small bathroom. AltoSconce.s.jpg
• Think calm and relaxing when picking master bath paint. Blue-greens have that spa feel.

Nice colors. Beautiful spa bathroom from House of Turquoise. Wonder if it's possible to frame in a larger single mirror to make it look like 2 mirrors? Love the framing w lights.
• White linens all the way. Classy, classic, chic.

Over Age 30? 9 Items You Shouldn't Have In Your Home via @domainehome
• The bathroom can deviate from the rest of the home’s style. Want to go a little funky? Try out that wild side in a powder room. There’s a door and you don’t spend more than a couple minutes in there. It’s like the scarf of an outfit. Be bold!

Is that REAL?!?! ...pondering how I might fake it as a painted mural... maybe with a textured section cut in to create the crystal node interior... hmm... :)
• Anything can be upgraded, but it adds up quickly. Know your budget, know your taste and let an expert help you!

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