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Bathrooms over the last 100 years

Introduction

The idea of a room in a home dedicated to personal hygiene and grooming is, strictly speaking, a recent one. For the most part, houses built much before the turn of the century didn’t have bathrooms. So, in the span of about 100 years, the modern bathroom has evolved from a novelty into an almost-universal residential fixture. But there has always been a need for disposing of human waste, as well as a need for providing facilities for bathing and grooming. How those human needs evolved into the modern bathroom is a story about both technology and culture. 

 

  

1920’s

In the 20’s was the start of using color in bathrooms. Bathrooms not only became functional but they became fashionable. Kohler was the first company to introduce colored fixtures of toilets, sinks, and tubs. They came out with 6 colors: Horizon Blue, Old Ivory, Spring Green, Lavender, Autumn Brown, and West Point Gray. This was a major innovation since before then every fixture was white and no one ever thought to change that until now. In the 20’s a lot of the sinks were attached to the wall without a vanity or pedestal sinks.

 

Other features typical of 1920’s bathrooms include:

  • Vitreous china pedestal sinks or mounted sinks with thin chrome legs
  • Formica countertops and sparse counter space
  • Wood cabinet storage spaces
  • Chrome fixtures with rectangular shapes and rounded edges
  • Rectangular bathtubs with low or no showers
  • Big, boxy wood vanities
  • Vinyl-topped stools
  • Built-in accessory holders such as toothbrush holders, magazine racks, and soap racks

 

1950’s

In the 50’s thru the 60’s pink and mint green were the most popular colors in the bathroom and not just as accents or paint color but the entire bathroom including the tub, sinks and tiling. Pink, the color of optimism was a reflection of the postwar America. After Mamie Eisenhower wore a silk ballroom gown that had 2,000 rhinestones on it to the inaugural ball in 1953 it became a must for bathroom styles all over the country. Bathroom decorations stemmed from summertime garden colors. They would even put built-in planters in the windows on the inside to create the garden feel.

 

  • Vinyl flooring was popular in the 60’s but went out of fashion in the 80’s because of asbestos. Now it has become popular again because they are making it asbestos-free and due to its affordability, durability and easy maintenance.

 

 

1970’s

 

The color scheme only got more extravagant in the 70’s and carpet on the floors became very popular which nowadays is a big turn off and is only thought of as uncleanliness. Nothing was ordinary in the 1970’s bathroom. Shag carpet with rugs and toilet covers plus brightly patterned wallpaper and window coverings.  It was more like an invitation to a birthday party than a bathroom break. Tub enclosures also became a popular thing with decals of patterns on it of course.

 

  • Wood paneling was popular in the 70’s because it was inexpensive and easy to install and then went out of style because it was too common. It has become popular again but painting it white is more common in the 21st century.

 

Today

It’s all about a luxurious spa-like feel in bathrooms today. The white, clean and clutter-free look that was once seen in bathrooms before 1920’s is back but now it is popular to have state of the art technology and be a place to get away from the everyday stresses of the 21st century. Tubs aren’t as popular as they were in the 1990’s but they are still seen in them once in awhile if done right. Homeowners who don’t use tubs are opting out and saving the space for large walk-in showers that have double shower heads or a bench to keep their fast-paced life still peaceful and spa-like. 

 

  • In the 80’s glass block walls were very common in walk-in showers or used for windows to let natural light in but not be able to see into the bathroom from outside.
  • In the 90’s is when large master suites started to become popular in homes. They featured an en-suite and walk-in closets. This hasn’t gone anywhere since its popularity except master plus en suites are becoming more popular on the main floor away from the other bedrooms for more privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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The “NEW” Vinyl Flooring

The History of Vinyl Flooring

Although vinyl is the most widespread type of industrial flooring, it has just recently gained popularity in the residential flooring market. The material has been around since 1926, so it has had time to evolve. All of its industrial-grade characteristics (water, scuff, stain, and scratch resistance) are why more and more people choose it over hardwood and laminate flooring. With an increasing number of manufacturers focusing more on the luxury vinyl tiles that imitate the texture and colors of natural materials such as wood and stone, this type of flooring is bound to dominate the residential market soon. Vinyl is durable and practical but does have some flaws. 

Pros

  1. Variety of Styles and Colors- Due to the customization-ability of the manufacturing process the design styles and colors are endless. The tiles are made by turning colored PVC chips into solid sheets of different thickness, which allows for a pretty wide variety of colors and patterns that can’t be achieved with other flooring types. There is even now the option of an extra layer of polyurethane, which can be made to resemble texture and feel like stone, wood, and even clay tiles. This technology makes it very hard to tell the printed vinyl tiles from the real floors.
  2. Different Types of Flooring- Tiles tend to be the most popular residential flooring but there are other shapes and types of vinyl. It can be either rolled out in sheets or cut into tiles or planks. Sheets of vinyl are usually 6 or 12 feet wide, kept in rolls and sold by length. Using vinyl sheets makes the surface look consistent and gives it a clean look. Vinyl tiles have a standard size of 12×12 inches, but can be made bigger or smaller to fit your needs. It can also come in the form of planks. This can vary in length but are usually 4 ½ or 6 inches wide. All these different types can significantly minimize the amount of waste that’s left after installing.
  3. Softness- Vinyl floors do have a layer of foam added during the manufacturing process that’s used to cushion the sound more. It makes for a surface that’s much softer than wood or laminate.
  4. Easy Maintenance- Floor maintenance with vinyl floors requires very little effort. They are water and stain resistant so they are perfect for households with kids and pets. When installed properly, vinyl planks are perfectly flat with no cracks or dents, which makes sweeping and vacuuming much easier.
  5. Easy Installation- This is one of the biggest benefits of vinyl plank floors is that they are fast and easy to install. Most are made to click and lock into one another and depending on their backing can be installed without adhesive. When installing, the surface rarely needs to be perfectly flat and allows for minor inconsistencies.
  6. Extreme Durability- A lot of the vinyl flooring manufacturers offer 25-year or lifetime warranty to residential areas. They are produced in a way that makes them water, stain, scratch and scuff resistant, which makes for a very durable floor that takes a lot of time to wear out.

Cons

  1. VOC Emissions-This stands for volatile organic compounds which are organic chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and release dangerous emissions indoors. These compounds aren’t acutely toxic, but a prolonged exposure may lead to health problems such as asthma, eye and skin irritations, etc. Since 2010, many manufacturers reduced the amount of PVC used in the production of vinyl tiles, but low-end products often come with a high concentration of VOC.
  2. Prone to Gouging- Although this is a problem mainly associated with vinyl sheets, vinyl planks can also suffer from this kind of damage. Planks have a much harder surface than sheets of vinyl, but the polyurethane top layer that luxury vinyl tiles have is still easy to dent. Thanks to shock-absorbing ability, a glass is more likely not to break when it hits the vinyl floor but a dropped knife will leave a pretty visible, irreparable cut.
  3. Requires Skill and Experience- The interlocking mechanism found with vinyl planks might make them seem like a dream DIY product, but installing vinyl planks requires a little more experience than beginner’s level. Preparing the surface, applying a flattening mass, cutting and adjusting the shape of the plank are all things for which you might want to hire a qualified contractor to install.
  4. Marginal Effect on Resale Value- Vinyl planks are the least expensive flooring option but can be the biggest expense when renovating because of the prep work that goes into it, especially with the rollout vinyl. So, investing in vinyl plank floor won’t increase the value of the property because most home buyers prefer premium floors such as wood or stone.

 

Types of Vinyl Flooring

Self Adhesive: This type of flooring has an adhesive film on the back that you remove. This is a cheaper version of vinyl flooring but still popular due to their appearance and ease of installation.

Glue-down: Depending on the type of vinyl, those using glue-down methods will typically see more PVC and multiple layers due to there adhesive natural needed. There is a special adhesive that is needed that is waterproof.

Interlocking: This type of vinyl flooring is a locking technique used with a hammer to connect them together. No other extra adhesives are needed, it’s like a large jigsaw puzzle.

Loose Lay: This is a newer technique that creates a barrier to eliminate the possibility of moisture above the flooring. With this installation method, you can clean up any spills you have without worrying about the subfloor becoming wet. Without any adhesive, if there is a spill that has been there awhile then you can pull them up instantly. You don’t need gap expanders, and these tiles won’t contract or expand because of their clippings to the wall.

 

How to Find a High-Quality Vinyl Plank Floor

When you’re looking for vinyl planks on the price spectrum tend to look equally good, and their real-life characteristics can’t be easily distinguishable. There are a few things you should look for in vinyl planks that can help you determine its quality, and avoid buying an overpriced or a substandard product. The most important trait of vinyl planks is their thickness, which also determines their price. So mid to high range planks would be 5-6.5mm thick, while the cheapest is usually 1.5 or 2mm thick.

Another thing to look for in a vinyl plank is a thick wear layer. A thick wear layer means more polyurethane, which is a lot harder than PVC and offers better protection from scratching and gouging.

Luxury vinyl planks are more expensive than the plain variety because they have a texture almost exactly like real wood or stone. The deeper and more detailed the embossing, the better it is. Always try to pick a few random planks and check the quality of the texture with your fingers.

Although the vinyl itself is pretty durable, the entire plank can easily wear and tear if not made properly. The cheapest vinyl planks usually come with the shortest warranty and vice versa. It’s recommended you always choose a product at the top of your budget to ensure the best value for your money.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

Use a lightweight vacuum or broom to remove fine dirt and debris that builds-up on the flooring. Depending on how much traffic your flooring endures, will determine how often you will need to sweep. Everyday dish soap and warm water work great with a damp mop. If your mop has a scrub brush on it, that is fine to use for harder grime just make sure it is plastic bristles and not wired or super stiff ones, it can damage it if it’s too abrasive. Be sure to rinse with a clean bucket of warm water after cleaning. If you feel like it needs more of a deep cleaning then use white vinegar and warm water or combine dish soap and vinegar.Try to avoid strong abrasive cleaners as it can damage the vinyl over time. Maintenance over time is almost non-existent but you could coat it with polish every year or so to protect against wear and tear and brighten it up a little bit. Most luxury vinyl flooring has a 25-year warranty or longer.

 

       

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Advice

Why Remodel?

Kitchen remodels can be exciting and discouraging at the same time. There are many reasons why you may want to remodel. You may not have enough space and storage to work comfortably in your kitchen, or everything is so outdated that it is needed. Whatever the reason is, focus on your main reason so that your vision will be achieved. Also, take into consideration improving the value of your home and your budget. When it’s all said and done these two things will give you a piece of mind.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What is your objective?
  2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
  3. Do you have children or pets?
  4. Do you have allergies or health issues to consider?
  5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?
  8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
  9. What’s behind those walls?
  10. When do you want to start?

Get A Professional Involved

It is very important to not take on a kitchen remodel without a professional because kitchens are one of the more complicated projects to tackle. It also provides a relief to know it will be taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it every time you have free time that you need to spend it on your remodel.

 

A Few Things To Ask A Contractor:

Are you licensed and insured?

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Do you have in-house workers or do you sub-contract jobs out?

Do you have a designer on hand?

How often do we meet to check-in on the renovation?

How is your warranty protocol?

 

How A Project Is Sectioned Out

  • 29% cabinets and hardware
  • 22% design and installation
  • 16% walls, ceiling, floors, doors, & windows
  • 14% appliances and ventilation
  • 9% electrical and plumbing

 

Ways To Save On Your Cabinets

Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost. Websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com are good ones to check out. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

 

Think About The Details

  1. Installing multiple outlets along the backsplash or on the island is a detail that most forget. It helps to provide electricity wherever you need it.
  2. Having a cabinet for your garbage and recycle bin is very helpful in clearing space up in your kitchen and keeping the smell to a minimum, some cabinet companies are even designing a board to separate the drawer from the garbage pull-out to keep the smell contained even further.
  3. Newer cabinets are now being designed for organization and so you can find soft closing drawers, inserts for knives, pull out storage for large appliances and spice racks. Think about your lifestyle and how easy you want to make it when working in the kitchen.
  4. Another detail to think about is designing with future cleaning in mind. Find products that will keep cleaning minimal to save you time and energy in the long run. Flush-set or under-mount sinks don’t catch as much dirt and grime. Quartz countertops have way less maintenance than granite countertops.
  5. Designing wide pathways for your kitchen is important for easy traffic flow. The standard paths throughout the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide and in the cooking-zone area should be about 42 inches wide. When planning makes sure your kitchen island or peninsulas have a good width for you to get around with ease.

 


kitchen remodelkitchen remodel

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Celebrating July Fourth with Retro Pro!

History of Independence Day!

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate the Fourth of July or how the Fourth of July holiday came about? Many people think we celebrate the Fourth of July because it is the day we received our Independence from England. While those people are thinking along the right track that is not the entire reason that we celebrate the Fourth of July, nor is it the reason that the Fourth of July holiday came about.

Way back in the 18th century, the United States was not considered the United States. In fact, what we now call states were actually called colonies. The United States was actually an extension of England. People traveled from England aboard ships to settle in America, but eventually, differences in life, in thought, and in interests began to develop which caused a rift between Britain and America.

When the colonies were first settled they were allowed to pretty much develop freely without hardly any interface from Britain, but things abruptly changed in 1763. Britain suddenly decided that they needed to take more control over the colonies. Britain decided that the colonies needed to return revenue to the mother country and they needed to pay for the colonies defense, which was being provided by Britain. But the colonies did not agree with these new rules at all. They felt that since they were not represented in Parliament that they shouldn’t have to pay any kinds of taxes to the mother country, hence the saying “no taxation without representation.” When Britain continued to tax, the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to persuade the British government to recognize their rights. When this didn’t work a war was declared, which is known as the American Revolution.

After the First Continental Congress failed to persuade Britain to recognize the colonies’ rights, and war was declared, things began to heat up. Many people who were both considered moderates and radicals had decided that enough was enough and that any kind of taxation without representation was considered tyranny. People such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin, as well as a group called the Sons of Liberty decided that it was time to unite all of the colonies and to stand together against Britain.

During the course of the American Revolution, a second Continental Congress was formed. It is this group that adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. After the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, it was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before it was sent to Congress for approval. All thirteen colonies stood behind the Declaration of Independence and adopted it in full on July 4, 1776.

This is where the Fourth of July holiday comes in. The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because that is the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the full and formal Declaration of Independence. Even though we had declared that we were independent, the American Revolution was still being fought, which meant that we were still not independent. Regardless of the ongoing war the following year, people in Philadelphia celebrated a muted Fourth of July.

While celebrations on July 4th during the American Revolution were modest, after the war ended in 1783 the Fourth of July became a holiday in many places. The celebrations included speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks. To this day the Fourth of July is the most patriotic holiday celebrated in the United States.

 

Recipes

Star Marshmallow Pops

Ingredients:

  • Kraft Square S’more Marshmallows
  • Star Cookie Cutter (about 2″ wide)
  • Red Sugar Crystals
  • Blue Sugar Crystals
  • Paper Straws-patriotic colors
  • water

Directions:

Start off by laying out some wax paper to avoid a sticky mess. Grab your cookie cutter and press it into as many marshmallows as you think you’ll want for star pops. Push the paper straws into the middle (sticky part) of the marshmallow stars and set them back down on the wax paper. When you ready to start decorating, put another piece of wax paper on the counter. Press the marshmallow into a cup of water-turning it over to coat both sides with water. Then press the “wet with water” sides into the sugar crystals coating the marshmallow with the sugar crystals. Set the coated marshmallow pops onto the wax paper sheet to dry-it will probably take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then once they have had a chance to dry place them in a mason jar with rice at the bottom to hold them in place looking like a bouquet. Store in an airtight container if you want to keep them for a couple of days.

 

 

 

Red, White, and Blue Frozen Bananas

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips: red, white, blue
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Red, white, & Blue sprinkles

Directions:

Peel the bananas and then cut them in half. Place each banana piece on a lollipop stick. Freeze the bananas for at least two hours. Melt the Ghirardelli chocolates in the microwave and then use a spoon to cover the frozen banana with the melted chocolate. If you are going to decorate your red, white and blue frozen bananas with sprinkles, add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. If you want to drizzle on the candy melts, place the chocolate covered frozen bananas back in the freezer until the chocolate is completely hardened. For the candy drizzle, place 15 Wilton blue, red and white candy melts in a Ziploc bags. Place the plastic bags in the microwave.  We started at 40 seconds increments until the candy melts were fully melted. Once the candy melts are melted, cut the tip off the bag and drizzle the candy over the frozen bananas. Place the decorated red, white and blue frozen bananas back in the freezer until you are ready to serve them.

 

DIY Projects

4th of July Fireworks Decor

Supplies:

  • Variety of sticks
  • Flat spray paint Red, white & blue
  • 3 Mason jars
  • A ribbon that is red, white & blue or themed for Independence day

 

Directions:

Spread out a bundle of sticks in pile of three. Spray each pile with red, white, and blue paint. Let dry and reapply if you see any missed sections. Take the mason jars and wrap the themed ribbon around the top. Place the sticks in the jar and display as a centerpiece or mantel decoration.

 

 

Firecracker Poppers

Supplies:

  • A stapler
  • Scissors
  • Craft or needlework needle
  • Fun craft punches for making your own confetti
  • Hole Puncher
  • Toilet paper (to make the rocket shape)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Red and Blue tissue paper
  • String
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Beads (these will not show so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
  • Ribbon for the streamers (red, white, & blue)

Directions:

Cut a small square of tissue paper that will be big enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard tube (about 3” across). Cut a small disc out of a sheet of construction paper that will fit just within the radius of the cardboard tube. With some glue attach this disc to the center of the tissue paper. Let it dry a few minutes. Thread about an arm’s length of string onto your craft needle and tie a bead to the end for a knot. With this, puncture the center of your disc that is attached to the tissue paper. This will be the trap door.

Next, you will need to glue this tissue paper trap door to your cardboard tube with a small line of glue around the bottom of the tube. Make sure you attach it with the bead side inside the tube and the string side hanging outside of your tube. You can add a pull tab to your long dangling fuse or just let it hang. We added stars to some of ours. Let dry. Cover the toilet paper with decorative paper so you don’t know that it is toilet paper. The length is roughly 6.5×4.25. Attaching the ribbons to the bottom inside of the decorative covering will keep it looking more professional. Roll your paper around the tube and staple the top for strength. You can’t staple the bottom because your tissue paper trap door keeps the stapler from getting inside but I found that a couple of pieces of tape did the trick. Now you can fill your tube with confetti. We just put in a few handfuls but feel free to load this sucker up. Just think about how much confetti you want to clean up later. Attaching the cone to the top of your rocket can be a bit tedious. It’s purely aesthetic so if you opt out of this part that’s fine.

Cut a circle about 3.25 inches wide across, then cut one snip all the way to the center of the disc like you see above. Take the edges of your cut and pull them together, probably about a half an inch or more. When your cone has reached a desirable height, staple it at the base. Attaching the cone to your rocket can be a little tricky. The important thing is creating a strong holder that you can use to hang your rocket from. Since these rockets will be tugged upon, you don’t want it to fall apart before it explodes. Putting a weight-bearing string through two holes punched in the top of the rocket body works best.  

Then string the two sides of the string through the center bead and up through the center of the cone so that it comes out of the point at the top of the cone. The cone itself can’t really hold the rocket together so taping it wouldn’t work. An easy way to string the cone is to open up the stapled cut from the inside of your cone and pull your string through the gap.

 

       

Here’s a Scientific Diagram 

I found that I needed to “prime” some of the rockets to ensure maximum explosiveness. You can do this by simply poking some small holes (or cutting with a sharp blade) around the bottom of the trap door. Just make sure you don’t cut it completely out because the ripping sound of that trap door being yanked out is probably the biggest part of the fun.

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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5 Common Myths About Remodeling Your Kitchen Or Bathroom

Remodeling is not something one does every day. In fact, most people do not understand the ins and outs of home renovations or remodeling. Many homeowners are apprehensive about tackling the projects themselves or hiring a professional for fear of being ripped off. Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bath? You’ll find lots of misconceptions that can confuse your decision-making process. Below we have listed the top 5 myths behind remodeling to help you make a better decision.

 

Doing a renovation yourself, hiring a relative or your local handyman to the job will save you more money.

It’s not an easy project doing a home renovation whether it’s one room or the whole house. If you just wanted one specific thing done like flooring or installing appliances then that might be a good option but if it’s an extensive project then hiring a professional contractor will provide you with the experience and a written contract with all your expectations on paper to give you a piece of mind. Do your homework and make sure you interview at least 3 different companies. Three things you should look for in these companies is time management, price, and quality of work. Pick two that mean the most to you and go with the contractor that meets those two. A professional contractor should provide you with a written estimate of the project, a calendar of events, and will proactively communicate with you throughout the process.

Most projects run longer and end up costing more in the end.

This can be true if you decide to add more to the budget or change products to pricer ones. Another thing that can sometimes happen is things occurring that were not accounted for in the budget like plumbing or electrical problems, this is especially true if it is an older home. If you properly plan and set up a budget this is less likely to occur and if it does then change products around so that you don’t go over budget. Depending on the age of the home, you may want to have a contingency fund available for unexpected issues. Even the best contractors can’t determine these issues ahead of time until they start to dig into the project.

Doing a home renovation will trash the whole house and yard.

It really depends on your contractor that you choose for the job. Make sure to ask about the after-cleaning and site maintenance. Most of the time when your remodeling your home you plan on living in the home while it is being renovated. A reputable contractor will clean up each day and maintain a living space for you. Always check with the contractor and calendar on days when power and water might be turn off for construction so there are no surprises.

Kitchen and bath remodeling is too expensive.

Once you set a budget for your remodeling needs you can begin your research to determine what works for your kitchen or bath remodel. No matter the budget for updating your kitchen or bath it will increase the value of your home automatically. Just don’t go overboard on upgrading unless you plan on living in the home for another 10+ years. Kitchen and bath remodeling is the best investments when adding upgrades to your home, just keep that in mind.

Hiring a reputable professional contractor is too expensive.

A professional contractor is the most experienced person to remodel your home and wouldn’t you rather save time, stress and money in the long run if you choose the right person for the job. Do your homework and interview at least 3 different companies to make sure you have the right fit for you and your project.

 

 

 

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Make The Most Of Your Small Bathroom

A small bathroom remodel is a very challenging project for any contractor because your space is limited and you want to make sure to plan carefully. Functionality comes first when planning for the renovation of a small bathroom. Then plan for storage and then decorating the space comes last. Don’t plan on a full-sized home spa if you have a tiny space because it won’t look right and you might run into clearance issues when it is finished. For example, choose a round-front toilet which is 2” shorter to save space and choose a shower design with no swinging door to keep more clearance are some space saving ideas.

 

To open up the space, brightening up the room will be the best way without changing what you have. Light colors is an easy way to achieve this. It alters our perception of the space and is more inviting when it’s light. If you still want to make the room pop just buy some towels or accessories with a bold color. Another way to brighten up the space is adding natural light whether it be a skylight or making the existing window larger.

 

Some things to consider when remodeling a small bathroom

  • Choose a bypass glass door
  • Keep your colors light
  • Use over-sized mirrors to create dimension
  • Create a pattern as an accent
  • Have minimal decor
  • Use colorful artwork on the wall instead of furniture
  • Add a corner vanity or a rounded vanity to make the space a little bigger
  • Keep it simple
  • Choose lighting with a design element like pendants, sconces, or wall-mounts.
  • Consider wall-mounted toilets to help save space
  • Use pocket doors
  • Use wall space for built-in storage
  • Get rid of the tub/shower combo and have a large walk-in shower
  • Have a wall vanity to give more floor space in the room
  • Install niches in the shower for convenience and organization
  • If you choose a white bathroom, think about painting the ceiling a dark bold color. This will draw your eye up and make it appear bigger.

 

 

What not to do:

  • Don’t rush the project-Poor planning is the leading cause of cost overruns.
  • Don’t skimp on skilled labor-A good tile setter can make the low-cost material look expensive.
  • Don’t cut corners on key materials-Cheaper materials that don’t have warranties will cause a problem quicker than you expect.
  • Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow-Ensure you plan for your future lifestyle with a remodel, at least 15-20 years.
  • Don’t forget to factor in water use-Bathroom fixtures have become more water-efficient if you add more showerheads to your shower make sure your drain supports the amount of water being used.
  • Don’t forget about storage-Lack of storage nowadays is bad for resale value. Think of creative ways to include storage.
  • Don’t buy products online, see them in person first-Researching online is great for ideas and designs but products don’t always look the same on the computer screen vs. in reality. In a store, you can always see if they will match the online price too.

 

 

Where to place your accessories:

  • Towel bar about 48″ from the ground
  • Toilet role about 6″ in front of the toilet
  • Medicine cabinet about 60-66″ from the ground
  • Robe hook about 66-72″ from the ground or on a door about 6″ from the top
  • Light fixtures about 66″ high

 

bathroom before and after bathroom remodel bathroom remodel

 

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Happy Memorial Day!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children through bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” -Ronald Reagan

History

Memorial day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally it was called Decoration Day and started in the years following the civil war and became an official federal holiday since 1971. Many Americans observe the day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. It unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.

Recipes

Fruit and Feta Salad Stacks

Ingredients:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Fresno Chili Pepper, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Mint or Basil
  • Flaky Sea Salt
  • 6-8oz. Feta Cheese sliced into ¼ inch slices or crumbled
  • Star shaped cookie cutter or a knife if you’re talented

Directions:

Slice the watermelon and cantaloupe into ½ inch slices. Remove the seeds from the cantaloupe. Cut the fruit slices into stars using the cookie cutters into 1-inch cubes. Cut the  Feta cheese into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the fruit and feta on a large serving plate. Layer alternating the fruit and cheese into stacks. Sprinkle blueberries and raspberries over top. In a small bowl, stir together the zest of 1 lime and the juice of 2 limes, the honey, and the Fresno pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit. Add the fresh mint and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle extra honey if needed. Serve fruit platter chilled.

 

 

Summer Herb Chickpea Chopped Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4-8c. Butter Lettuce, chopped
  • ½ c. Fresh Basil and Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 2 ears of Grilled Corn Kernels, removed from cob
  • 1 ½ c. Tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 3/4c. Blueberries or Blackberries
  • 1 Peach, finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2c. Cooked Chickpeas
  • 1/2c Mixed Toasted Pepitas, Pecans, Walnuts and Pistachios
  • 1/4c. Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Honey
  • ½ -1 Tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • Salt n pepper to taste
  • 1 Avocado, pitted and chopped

 

Directions:

In a large bowl combine the butter lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, grilled corn, tomatoes, red pepper, berries, peaches, jalapeno, and chickpeas. In another small bowl or glass jar combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, chipotle chili powder, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined. Once ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Add avocado and goat cheese and gently toss again.

 

 

Guacamole Turkey Balls

  • ¾ # of Ground Turkey
  • 1/2c of ground up mushrooms
  • ½ Tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Cumin
  • ½ Tsp. Onion Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ Avocados
  • A few sprigs of Cilantro, diced
  • 2 Tsp. lime juice
  • ¾ Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tsp. Olive Oil

 

Directions:

Mix the ground turkey together with the ground mushrooms (this helps make the turkey juicy), chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Form into three patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook the patties, making sure they brown on both sides until they are cooked through. Meanwhile, make your guacamole. Mash together the avocados, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic powder in a bowl. Season to taste with salt. Serve turkey balls with a dollop (1 blue container’s worth) of guacamole on each patty.

 

Watermelon on the Grill

Ingredients:

  • 1 Watermelon
  • ¼ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Grated Lime Zest
  • ½ Tsp. Red pepper Flakes
  • 8 Lime Wedges, 2 limes cut into quarters

Directions:

Prepare grill. Cut up watermelon into triangles about ½ inch thick slices. Combine sugar, lime zest, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Sprinkle the watermelon slices on both sides with mixture. Rub into the watermelon to make it more of an even coating. Grill watermelon until grill marks appear and the watermelon is warmed through about 2-3 minutes on each side. Squeeze lime wedge and serve. It’s optional if you want to add a sprinkle of feta cheese or greek yogurt on it, or a scoop of ice cream if serving as a desert.

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ c. Graham Crackers crumbled
  • ⅓ c. Almond Meal
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Butter melted
  • 1 pkg. Cream Cheese
  • ⅔ c. Icing Sugar
  • ⅓ c. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • ¾ c. Raspberries or Strawberries
  • ½ c. White Chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 8 small Paper Cups
  • 8 Popsicle Sticks

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together graham crackers crumbled, almond meal, brown sugar, and melted butter until combined. Make sure it is crumbly, the mixture should hold together when you squeeze it. Set aside until ready to assemble. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in icing sugar, and lemon zest until smooth. Next add in greek yogurt, heavy cream and vanilla, then beat again until smooth and evenly combined. Place the raspberries or strawberries into blender and puree until smooth in a new bowl. Separate ¼ c. from the bowl and set aside for later. Add the remaining puree to the yogurt mixture and beat until evenly combined. Now you can start filling your cups. First, spoon about 1 heaping tbsp. Of the yogurt mix into the bottom of each cup. Next, take the remaining raspberry puree and evenly distribute it in each cup. Next, sprinkle 1 heaping tbsp.  of graham cracker mix. Add another layer of yogurt mix and then add the remaining graham mix on the top. Once the pops are assembled, place a popsicle stick into them. Then place into an 8×8 inch baking pan and place in the freezer to firm up for 5-6 hours or overnight. Now that your pops are frozen, in a small bowl microwave the white chocolate and coconut oil together to melt and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool about 10-15 minutes. While waiting, whisk together a tbsp. Extra of the almond meal and graham cracker crumbs for garnish. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out the popsicles and peel away the paper cups gently. Set the pops onto the prepared parchment paper. Dip the bottom of the pops into the white chocolate and use your finger to wipe away the excess and then immediately dip into the graham garnish. Once coated, set back onto the parchment paper. Remove pops from the freezer 5-10 min before serving to soften slightly.

DIY Projects

Table Decoration

Supplies:

  • 3 mason jars or clear vases
  • White Daisies or other preferred fresh flowers
  • Food coloring (red, blue)
  • Water

Instructions:

Fill the jars with water and add 1 drop of food coloring of the red in one jar and blue in the other jar. Leave the third one clear. Add the flowers, after about a day the food coloring will travel up the flower’s stem and change the color of the daisy to the food coloring.

 

American Twine Letter Decoration

Supplies:

  • The twine of your choice
  • Box lettering a U, S, & A
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Patriotic ribbon or bow
  • Red, Blue, or White large button

Instructions:

Start your twine at the bottom of the letterboxes and glue every so often as you twine up the letter. Make sure to wipe the excess glue so you don’t see it as it dries. When you are finished covering the entire letter add a bow or make a bow from your patriotic ribbon and glue around the U letter. Add a button and place the decoration on your mantel or on your table as a centerpiece.

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Modern Farmhouse VS. Country Farmhouse Styles

Do you like a modern farmhouse style or a country/rustic farmhouse style? The styles vary slightly but the look changes everything. 

Long before Fixer Upper on HGTV became a hit, the farmhouse style always had something about its character and rustic beauty. Nowadays, you can mix that farmhouse style with clean and modern lines that create a whole new style in our modern day.

Modern Farmhouse Style

 It’s not often that the term modern and farmhouse are heard together but the combination of design styles has become quite popular amongst homeowners. A contemporary farmhouse evokes feelings of warmth and comfort but stays classic and timeless. Not too cluttered with old stuff but more of a mix of new adding a touch of rustic woods and rusted metals. It’s a balance between comfortable furniture and decor with a hint of salvaged materials like reclaimed wood or old antiques. Everything is tactile and tangible.

 

Country Farmhouse Style

Country Farmhouse style is more casual with less sophistication. It lies heavily on accessories of old stuff than a minimal standpoint. This type of style feels more original and carries true elements of vintage throughout. The furniture and appliances are true to the style but sometimes a laminate is laid over the top of new appliances to match the cabinets. It creates more of a homey feel than a clean feel like the modern farmhouse style. Antiques and old decor flourish in this style. Everything is eclectic and comfortable. 

 

For your bathroom you could add these:

  • Refurbished old dresser for a vanity
  • Brushed metal handles (bronze or black)
  • Antique touches or knick knacks
  • Natural textures
  • Distressed wooden framed mirror
  • An old footed tub or copper colored tub
  • Barn wood accent walls

 

For Your Kitchen you could add these:

  • Farmhouse Sink
  • White cabinets
  • Beadboard
  • Shiplack
  • Rustic Table
  • Mason jars or large glass jars as accents
  • Rustic touches
  • Plank wood floors
  • Barn wood accents or door
  • Half door
  • Open shelving
  • Plate racks
  • Old photos framed
  • Old windows used as wall hangings
  • Mixing wood and metals together with furniture
  • White subway tile as a backsplash

 

 

                    

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Dreaming of a Spa Bathroom

To Dream Or Not To Dream

Inspired by dream magazines and 5-star resorts, homeowners are willing to spend the money to make their bathroom look and feel like a luxury, relaxing spa oasis. Bringing the experience to your personal bathroom is no easy task and definitely not cheap but here are 10 spa bathroom ideas you can use that will take you right to your favorite vacation spot.

 

Go Minimalist

One thing that makes resort spas so relaxing is lack of clutter. It gives you a piece of mind and room to relax forgetting about the rest of everyday life. Start with your cabinets and drawers throwing away anything you do not need. Put everything away and out of site.

 

Let in Natural Light

Natural light is the number one to getting the mind to relax. It also triggers the release of happiness-inducing hormones. It can be a large window on one wall or medium sized window next to the bathtub. If your view isn’t very relaxing you can purchase a film to place on the window to add privacy and a soft look.

Use White

Most spas are light and bright. They love to use white so use white as much as possible and accent with a pop of color to bring it all together. The lights should also complement the bathroom decor as well. If you are worried about cleaning more with white use more durable and maintenance free products in your bathroom.

Create Some Privacy

Privacy adds the true spa-like feel when you want to escape from the world and its troubles. A curtain, plants or even a divider will add depth and give it a calming and relaxed feel. It will also keep your privacy in the room if you share it with your spouse.

   

Style up the Artificial Lighting

Stylish lamps in various areas of the bathroom with create a more uniformed lighting than just a fixed overhead light. You can also make use of dimmers to lower the brightness when you want to relax and adds drama. Candles are still relazxing so be sure to place them spratically around the room for when it is time to relax.

Add Some Music

The greatest part about relaxing is involving all of the senses. Our ears are one of the senses we forget when creating a relaxing atmosphere so incorporate sound into your bathroom. Use soft music or nature sounds to create a pleasant auditory experience. There are plenty of different kinds of ways to have this: going full out or just something small and portable.

      

Keep Everything Neat

Disorganization has been proven to create stress. Decluttering your space is very important to have a zen feeling. Don’t leave a towel lying around or clutter of toothbrushes and knick-knacks all over the countertops. If you find it is a challenge, start with the first tip of going minimalists.

Pamper Yourself With Softness

Adding texture and softness to your bathroom adds coziness. Soft fluffy towels, a thick bath mat are a few things to add comfort to the space. The texture on the walls or accents can be a great way to break up the softness but still keep it cozy and spa-like.

 

Add a Piece of Art

Hanging some paintings or one large painting warms up the space and makes it more than just a bathroom. It makes its another space in the home to relax and enjoy. This is where color should play a role if you choose to have a white bathroom. It will be the center of the room, so make it stand out. If you don’t want to have a painting choose a sculpture and place it in a spot where it grabs your attention.

      

Use Plants

Plants, real or fake always warm and brighten up any room. It creates a natural relaxing feel. Some plants that do well in bathrooms are Bamboo, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp (mother’s tongue), Peace Lily, Philodendron, Aloe Plant, and Succulents.

      

Some other ideas to create a spa-like bathroom:

  • Use earthy paint colors
  • Install dimmers
  • Add faux wood tiles
  • Add a fluffy rug
  • Add a tub tray to your tub
  • Install a massage shower head
  • Add a steam shower with aromatherapy
  • Heat your towels
  • Add oil diffusers and candles

 

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Feng Shui For Your Bathroom

When the ancient Chinese system of Feng Shui was developed there was no indoor plumbing so there really is no good placement for a bathroom when it comes to true Feng Shui. Your Feng Shui bathroom should be a peaceful, beautiful space. Displaying symbols of beauty and abundance always helps us manifest these things in our life. Creating a spa-like effect in your bathroom will bring you lots of happiness and tranquility.

 

Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • If practical, keep the bathroom door closed in order to contain the qi/chi energy in the bathroom and not lose it to the rest of the home. This also keeps the germs and negative chi in the bathroom and not circulating in the rest of the home.  
  • Keep the toilet seat down at all times when not in use. The toilet is the largest drain in the house and each time it is flushed it drains the bad chi as well as the good chi. Close the lid when you flush the toilet so the germs don’t spray around the room. This will also stop good chi from being flushed away.   
  • A toilet that is partitioned is best, but it may not be practical for most homes. The partition can be done with a curtain or beads. But this works best in large bathrooms. If you’re having a home built, consider having a toilet closet built to house the toilet and include a window if possible.  
  • If the toilet is not working properly, it’s best to get it fixed since anything broken could have a lower vibration to it.
  • If you have a window in the bathroom, keep it open as much as possible in order to clear out the bad chi, keeping the air clean and pure. If there is no window, then have an air purifier in the room. Fresh plants can help to keep the air clean.
  • Keep the mirrors and any windows clean in order to avoid distortion.
  • Keep all drains closed when not in use. If need be, you can purchase a rubber drain cover in many department stores to cover the sink and shower/tub drains. This will keep the good chi from going down the drain.
  • Keep your feng shui bathroom clean and uncluttered at all times.
  • It’s best to not have a wastebasket in the bathroom. Take your trash out of the bathroom with you as you leave. Do not let it accumulate in a wastebasket.
  • Keep the bathroom appealing to the eye.
  • Natural sunlight is best for the bathroom if you’re lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom. Fluorescent lighting is bad for the nervous system, so please avoid this in your feng shui Bathroom.
  • Burn sage in your bathroom to remove stagnant qi/chi energy.
  • Never have the toilet reflecting in a mirror as this will double the effects of the toilet drain. Place something in front of the mirror so the toilet doesn’t reflect in the mirror. This could be a plant, vase, statue or whatever works for you.
  • Starting with your towels, be sure they are thick, rich, beautiful and in great condition. 
  • Essential oils in your bathroom will clean and improve the quality of air. The oils will also bring tranquility and make you feel pampered and wealthy.
  • Since the bathroom is for cleansing, display quality soaps along with some candles. Be sure to use the soaps and don’t just display them. Indulge in yourself so the Universe knows that you think you are worth it. It will know your heart and will bring you what you expect.
  • Hang soothing artwork is important too. Go online to take a look at what is usually found in a spa as far as decoration and begin to duplicate the look. Better yet, visit a spa and get a great treatment for yourself and bring away with you the image that you would like to have in your spa-like bathroom.
  • Consider having a dimmer switch put in the bathroom so you can have soft lighting when it’s appropriate like when you are bathing.
  • Stalks of bamboo bring good luck, abundance and wealth. Bunches of eight are best. Place it in front of the mirror to double the effect.
  • If your bathroom is in the center of the home, know that energy from the center of the home spreads out to the entire home, so keep the bathroom clean and sanitized and the door shut at all times.

 

Special Attention Needed

If your home is multi-levels, you want to direct chi downstairs. You can achieve this with rugs on the floor of the room above the bathroom. Other things that will help direct chi are listed below:

  • A ceiling light fixture
  • A crystal chandelier
  • A faceted crystal hung from the center of the ceiling
  • Tall lamps that kept turn on
  • A tall mirror
  • Wallpaper with a vertical pattern is positive chi
  • Placing earth objects in the corners of the downstairs room
  • An image of a bird flying up
  • A tall tree to lift the chi
  • Plants that grow straight up like bamboo and mothers-in-law tongue which happens to be a plant which thrives with minimal care.
  • Use your imagination and bring in an element that goes up, like a tall vase or stature.

 

 

If you live in an apartment or high rise building, find out where the bathroom is above you and below you and be sure to apply the proper cure.

   

 

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