Little Changes in a Bathroom – Big Impact for Your Home

It’s Spring. You are looking around your house and you feel like you need a change. Something needs to be brighter or cleaner or “more today” and you don’t know what that something is but you know it’ time for a change. How about refreshing your powder room? It’s that small half bathroom that you and all your guests use. Aside from the kitchen, it’s the place usually everyone sees when they come over. Here’s the thing, it probably doesn’t need a complete gut job that could cost you your tax refund and then some. It may just need a refresh. And before you get exhausted just thinking about it, this stuff is easy to do yourself or inexpensive if you hire a handyman to do it for you (Need a referral? Just me know at asklydia@lydiagable.com)

If the Walls Could Talk

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Go bold in color for a dramatic statement.

Painting your walls is the single most impactful change any room can make and a good gallon of paint is less than $40. If your powder room is the sage green that was so popular years ago, it’s time to lighten and brighten. Going with a neutral color for your powder room is a wonderfully safe bet. Neutrals tend to be classic and you can easily refresh it from year to year by just changing out your towels and accessories. White is making a huge comeback. More so, white walls with a white vanity/sink. If you want a clean, crisp look, white is it. A popular favorite is Cloud White from Benjamin Moore. But grab those paint chips from your local paint store to see which white is right for you. Who knew white could come is so many shades?! And here’s a few tips about using those paint chips. Never just grab one of any color. Grab at least 4 of the same color and tape them together so you can get a bigger visual of the color and then tape that larger section to your wall. Move this enlarged sample from wall to wall around the room so you can see the color from all sides because natural and fixtures lighting as well as mirror reflection can change a color based on angles and shading. Not a fan of white? Want a color more warm for you and your guests? Grey is the new neutral and it comes in a wide array of hues which is great because you can find the perfect shade that flows with the colors in the rest of your home.

On the opposite end of the paint spectrum, a deep paint color can be bold and dramatic, especially in a small, windowless bathroom. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this if you will be selling your home, but if the change is just for you, “go big or go home” may be your makeover motto. Try a navy – it goes with deep woods in your vanity or flooring or white sink and toilets.

Sink Into It

Before you go painting the walls, how’s your sink and/or vanity looking? If it’s the builder’s grade golden oak color wood cabinetry, we can bring that into “2016” so easily. Sure, you could swap it out for a terrific new cabinet. There are some great style options today with consoles that

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Painted cabinetry can be just as “new” as brand new.

have shelving and look more like nice furniture than the vanities of years gone by. But, if you are looking to keep costs low, a light sanding of the cabinetry and some paint can go a long way. Here white is the most popular choice. It’s timeless and cheerful. White walls and a white vanity can give a very polished look. White cabinets with pale gray or tan walls are something right out of the house magazines. Have you considered trying a bit of color on the cabinetry if the walls will be white or a pale neutral? Think gray or a deep chocolate color. A great idea would be a pale neutral and then simply paint the cabinetry a darker shade of that neutral – just go up three or four colors on it’s paint chip strip.

The finishing touch of a vanity makeover is the hardware. This is where you can go modern, traditional or whimsical, but please do me a favor and think outside the standard silver knob or no knob at all. Put your personal touch on the vanity with a great piece of hardware. It is a statement piece.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…and everything else

Today, mirrors are considered an accessory so make it reflect your sense of style. If your mirror goes wall to wall and from sink to ceiling, frame it out with molding and watch your powder room suddenly have go from ho-hum to chic. You can check out HomeGoods or flea markets to find a unique mirror if you would rather hang one. Just remember, taller ceilings require a taller mirror.

 

I am not even going to go over lighting since we discussed that last week. But a great new thought is pendant lighting in the powder room if it has tall ceilings.

 

When thinking about what to hang on the walls of your powder room, my favorite cheat is to look at Pinterest or Houzz to see what the designers have done and then hit Pottery Barn or Home Depot to re-create something similar. Maybe it’s a simple shelf that has a basket, a cute little plant and a tchotchke of some sort. Enlarging a photo in a great fame always works. You can do one large picture and mat/frame it or arrange several like-kind pictures together to create your own collage wall. It’s as simple as printing out some of your favorite pictures from your smart phone. The pictures could be amazing views from your last vacation, sweet shots of the kids or your pet or even a cool close-up of a flower from your garden. Experiment and have fun with it. Remember, the little stuff is easy to change out from time to time.

 

That’s it for this week. This is totally a weekend warrior project that you can make happen. The powder room in your home may just need one or two of the ideas here to make a big impact. Send me pictures at asklydia@lydiagable.com if you do decide to switch things up; I’d love to see them.

If you have any questions, please ask away! I am here for you and your home always.

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Penchant for Pancakes

It’s National Pancake Day so it’s the perfect excuse to have pancakes for dinner. You could go ahead and grab the box pancake mix, but why not try this amazing and easy recipe. I promise you, you will never go back to a boxed mix again. Oh, and get prepared for the family to sing your praises. It’s that good.

Pancake Recipe

1 cup milk

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 cup white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

2 Tbsp. melted butter

 

Add the vinegar to the milk and allow time to sour (I let it go while I get out all the other ingredients and and prepare the other dry ingredients )

Meanwhile, stir together all the dry ingredients. You can use 1 cup of regular white flour; I just use the Trader Joe’s white whole wheat flour because it makes them just a hint different and, well, slightly healthier.

Now add the melted butter and egg to the sour milk; then add the dry ingredients. Wisk together until just blended. Let the entire mixture sit for 1-2 minutes. Pour about 1/4 cup fulls of batter onto preheated and greased griddle. Once bubbles appear on the surface, flip with a spatula and then cook until golden on the reverse side.

If you have any questions, please let me know at asklydia@lydiagable.com. I am here for you and your home always.

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Little Changes in Lighting – Big Impact for your home

Have you been wanting to update your home, but don’t have a clue where to start? Sometimes even the smallest of home improvement projects are overwhelming – not knowing where to start, needing inspiration or ideas, and trying to be smart about making sure any money you spend will add value to your home. Refreshing your home in small steps is a great way to make your house the home you want it to be whether it’s for finally selling your home to move or just updating your home for you. So let’s get these projects started because little changes can have a big impact. Welcome to my news series of blogs here at www.lydiagable.com to provide you with tips of simple and relatively inexpensive ways to transform your home.

 

Since the whole unclutter your closet and get organized thing has been done and re-done, we are going to skip right over that. You have cleaned out your closets and donated unwanted or unused items, right? If you have not used it in the last year, it’s time to donate it, sell it on eBay or whatever local site works for you, or trash it. Seriously. This is basic stuff and too many times we rationalize keeping it because “you never know” when you might need it. Here’s the thing, you haven’t needed it so do yourself a favor and clear it out of your way. Now, let’s get on to more fun ways to give your home a little update.

 

Lighting can transform a room. If you don’t think so, just check out some of the homes for sale on my listings and see what people have done (or not done) in their homes. And before you think to yourself you can’t update the lighting fixtures in your home, hear me out. You can do this! Feel free to contact me at asklydia@lydiagable.com for a good electrician for the install or if you are handy yourself, have at it. There is always YouTube, my favorite place when I need a little inside information and guidance. I watch a few videos and suddenly, I have knowledge and know how.

 

Lighting Needs a Style

When you are choosing new lighting, it’s best to begin with an overall style you want to achieve. Take a look around your home. What style is the best piece of furniture or artwork in your home that you absolutely love? Capitalize of that look and feel in your lighting. Do you like casual traditional, modern glam or that rustic industrial feel? Pick your preferred style and then it’s time to decide on your finish: satin nickel, antique bronze, a wood element or something that has sparkle and glitz. All finishes have their place in today’s homes but keep the look consistent and unified. The finishes don’t have to match in as much as they should coordinate with one another.

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Possini Euro Design Glass Sphere 15-Light Pendant Chandelier Lamplus.com

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Eliana 6-light Black Linear Glass Globe Chandelier Overstock.com

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Constance 5 Light Chandelier Wayfair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All About the Layers

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Spray painted chandelier as seen on HGTV.com

The current trend in lighting is layering. The theory is no one light can do it all in a room. You need functional lighting to illuminate the space, accent lighting to add depth to the space (think recessed or track lighting), and then the wow factor lighting (a unique chandelier or a cool pendant light). And here’s when you can get your DIY on. There are many great websites for buying new, but sometimes, a crafty alteration is all you need to give the room some pizazz. Have a builders’ grade brass chandelier that you desperately want to change but it’s not in the budget right now? There are some great spray paints at your local hardware store that will give your chandelier a whole new updated look – you could go with a sleek flat black, a bright white, or even a hammered bronze to add texture. Think about using globe bulbs for a final touch and suddenly it’s a whole new look for your home.

Size Matters

Size matters. Yes, yes, it does in lighting. You want to make sure your light fixtures are in proportion to your room and furniture sizes. Below are some good general tips, but remember, if it doesn’t look right to you, go with your gut feel on height and size. And if you don’t trust your gut, flip through some home decorating magazines to get a sense of what the lighting in a room looks like according to professional interior designers.

Dining Room

  • The diameter of the chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the table it will be hanging over.
  • The bottom of the fixture should hang between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop assuming you have an 8′ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height you should add about 3″ to the suspension height.

Kitchen

  • For pendants, provide approximately 36 inches clearance above tables and countertops. Make sure it doesn’t block views from across the kitchen.
  • Space a pendant every 2 feet or so above a kitchen island and pick the right size of pendant to suit your island length. Small islands (4 to 5 feet long) can handle 1 large or 2 medium pendants. Larger islands can handle 2 large or 3 medium pendants.
  • Larger kitchens should boast medium to larger fixtures as small pendant lights will seem lost in the space.

Bathroom

  • Bar lighting is most popular and should be about 75% of the width of your mirror width and center mounted.
  • Sconce lighting on both side of the mirror offer more ideal lighting but not always possible

Foyer

  • Fixture should have a minimum clearance of 7 feet
  • When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add together the length and width dimensions of the foyer area and make that same number be inches. For example, 18 feet by 12 feet is 30 inches total so the light fixture should be about 30 inches in width.

 

Hopefully, now I have you thinking and inspired. Dare I say, illuminated on the idea? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Try changing out one lighting element and you just may be hooked to do more! Good luck and see you back here next week for another fun idea on updating your home.

 

If you have any questions, I am here for you and your home always.

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