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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 Scoop On White Kitchens

White kitchens have definitely stayed a trend for homeowners over the last 20 years and is continuing to rise for the next few years to come. All white kitchens tend to have a timeless quality and are almost able to camouflage their age. Since it is such a universal color, white is appropriate for any style of decor, whether it’s traditional Victorian, modern contemporary, retro and vintage, mid-century, or industrial. The versatility is another reason why white kitchens are so popular, it tends to be appealing to most people due to being both basic and bold, vivid and dramatic and not too flashy. They could also be considered a template for additional personalization if you choose, such as adding colored accents or material to make the space your own.

While white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets. The two-toned look started catching on in 2017, in which cabinet colors were mixed and matched in the kitchen. For example, the bottom cabinets might be a darker color, such as gray, and the upper cabinets then all in white. Having a color that is bolder for the kitchen island contrasts the rest of the kitchen and makes a statement. This is why white has many benefits because then you can play with color in unique ways. White is such a basic color, that you can go along way with design and it also makes the space feel light, airy and clean. White can also make your small space look bigger than what it really is.

In kitchen remodeling, cabinets receive the highest allocation. They take up a lot of real-estate and are costly to manufacture and install. White cabinets avoid the decision of having to select a wood finish that dates a home quicker than is needed. You can also rest easy knowing that your kitchen can easily be updated with accessories and appliances while keeping the cabinets longer.

 

Versatility

Whether your kitchen has an upscale or shabby chic vibe, white cabinets are workable. This adaptability can be appealing to potential home buyers. While they may not see eye to eye with you on your kitchen decor, they know they won’t have to completely gut the kitchen when they move in. White plays well with nearly every other shade, making it convenient to coordinate countertops, appliances and lights fixtures, and backsplashes.

Warmth

Even though white is the name of the game, one mustn’t forget that the kitchen is part of the house and therefore in its design, it must project warmth and preserve an inviting appearance. In order to prevent a cold and sterile feeling, it is recommended to select a number of elements that will disrupt the monotony of the cold white and that will provide splashes of color and warmth to the space. Herbs of an intense green color, placed in a decorative vase on a white work surface would do the trick wonderfully. Adding paintings with splashes of color will give your kitchen an inviting look without cluttering the countertops. Even adding colored appliances might warm up the white monotony of the space.

Natural Light

High electricity prices and environmental awareness contribute greatly to energy-saving LED lamps. This trend is welcomed but full of potential home-lighting catastrophes in the form of white fluorescent bulbs. In order to prevent an office atmosphere in your kitchen, choose lighting with a warm color, not fluorescent. Warm natural light completes and emphasizes white surfaces without creating a cold feeling. If you are able to, try to plan your kitchen ahead of time so that during the day, those sitting in your kitchen can enjoy natural light entering through large windows which are essential for the ventilation of an active kitchen, among other things.

Wood

In order to generate interest and break the uniform appearance of the space, you can incorporate segments of wood (butcher) into your work surface. The segment can be a part of the work surface that is integrated creatively such as in a zigzag formation or a portable element such as a large cutting board that can turn into a hosting platform in an instant. You can always integrate into the general kitchen design cabinets made of wood and create a complex design combining materials.

Color

A color’s character is often determined by the material on which it “lies”. When designing a white kitchen, it is important to remember that for different materials, different finishes influence the manner in which the white reacts to the material, and what amount of light will reflect from it. A glossy finish, with a reflective characteristic, gives depth to the white color that will also be affected, among other things, by the colors of the elements around the space that reflect off the white. On the contrary, a matte white finish, which absorbs the light, allows, relative to the glossy, for the white color to appear as a single unified piece.

 

 

How to add color to your white kitchen

  • Get furniture with color to add a pop to your white space
  • Add wood to your white space to help add contrast
  • Add a dark color to window treatments will add a pop to the white space and you can change them out when you want to update it.
  • Be Bold! Give your island a pop of color.
  • Put a splash of color in the backsplash to break up the white concept.
  • Add a dark flooring or dark countertops to a white kitchen
  • Get stone white countertops with excessive dark veining to add texture to your white space without taking away from the white concept.
  • Make your oven hood the centerpiece of your white kitchen by making it extraordinary. Think copper or a wood material.
  • Embrace black stainless steel appliances or even colored.
  • Paint the walls using color to make your white kitchen pop with warmth.

 

     

 

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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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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What To Do With A Galley Kitchen

What is a galley kitchen? A galley kitchen is a narrow usually small kitchen with one long aisle lined with countertops, cabinets, & appliances on either side. Below gives you a general idea of a galley kitchen layout.

 

 

Small kitchens aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If the space is designed correctly you will find a galley kitchen is functional. If your kitchen is an outdated galley kitchen then yes it was probably badly designed and creates a hectic workspace. Fear not remodeling your galley kitchen can help make the space more efficient and give you just as much storage as a large kitchen. It truly is an effective space and makes the most for a true chef as long as you have the right designer in place to give you what you are looking for. With the long aisle and parallel counters, this is designed exactly how the professional kitchens are in restaurants. The only thing you may not get in a galley kitchen that you do with a large kitchen is the open concept. When you entertain an open kitchen gives you a chance to mingle with your guests while still working in the kitchen, this is less likely to occur with a galley kitchen but isn’t impossible if it’s designed right.

Look at the positive side of a galley kitchen. If you love to cook this is an ideal way to control traffic flow in and out of the kitchen. It’s ideal for one person in the kitchen so it’s a great asset if there tends to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Tidying up a galley kitchen is usually easier because the design is minimal. It keeps the cook organized and utilizes the space around them. It also follows the design technique of the “kitchen triangle” which is an invisible line that is drawn between the sink, stove, and refrigerator creating optimal efficiency.

Getting ready for your galley kitchen remodel. The vertical cabinet is a great way to utilize space. Getting bins and baskets to store extra cooking tools and various accessories like cookbooks can be stored up higher while the necessities can be stored at arm’s length. Get rid of countertop appliances that you don’t use much and invest in multi-use appliances. Pot racks are another good addition to save on cabinet space and can add some style to the kitchen.

Choosing a style. Choosing the right style for a galley kitchen can be tricky, first of all, remember that galley kitchens can be dark and dungeon-like because of the space confinement. It is best to go light and bright when designing your galley kitchen. This will help make the kitchen feel open and spacious. Making sure to have a lot of natural light is important so, make a larger window or add skylights will help open up the kitchen. Choosing lighter paint colors will reflect the light in the space also. White is the trend for kitchens now so this will also add a timeless look if you are trying to sell. To add depth pick out colorful accents to make the space inviting. Under cabinet lighting is another nice feature especially for cooking.

Dining in a galley kitchen. It might be hard to dine in a galley kitchen but you can possibly create a breakfast bar or nook that will give you somewhat interaction with your guests. This is popular in large kitchens also but usually, it is an island in the middle of the kitchen.

 

 

 

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 Kitchen

In Feng Shui, kitchens are one of the most important rooms. They represent the heart and home, a place where friends and family gather to connect. Using feng shui to organize and calm a kitchen can increase health and happiness.

The Meaning Of Feng Shui

It’s an ancient Chinese science of creating happiness and abundance by altering or modifying the movement of chi energy and by balancing the effect of elements and directions. However, as per now, just understand that it’s the science that creates positivity and suppresses negativity.

A kitchen is a place where healthy, nutritious and yummy food are cooked; the same food once consumed gives you and your family the energy and stamina for day-to-day chores. Furthermore, a kitchen has a lot of fire element involved and it’s always better to keep the “fire element” under control. This is why you must make it feng shui compliant.

When you combine Kitchen and Feng Shui you get a kitchen that can and has all the ability in the world to ward off any or all negativity while, simultaneously, enhancing positive energy in your home. The same positive energy then spreads into your home making you and your family happier, healthier, optimistic and everything good that you can think of.

 

    

 

Tips For Adding Feng Shui:

  • Mirrors are good if you position them to reflect the stove burners; doubling the burners is believed to boost finances.
  • Copper attracts positive chi. This could be decorations or copper pots.
  • Potted plants or herbs bring prosperity but be sure to place them along the south and east walls of the kitchen.
  • Fruits and vegetables indicate prosperity also and using pictures will increase the sensation of abundance.
  • If the laundry room is in or beside the kitchen then don’t allow dirty clothes to pile up.
  • Keep pantry doors closed at all times.
  • Don’t leave brooms and mops out, store them in a closet to keep clutter minimal.
  • Don’t place the oven or range in the northwest sector known as “Heaven’s Gate.” Good luck energy resides in the northwest direction.
  • Don’t let dirty dishes pile up.
  • Don’t hang a dish towel over the oven handle.
  • Keep entries clear and uncluttered to invite opportunity in.

Feng Shui Color and Their Meanings:

Keep the following in mind as a guide, but always remember to tap into your own mind, body, spirit needs and goals, as well as your own visceral reaction to each color.

Red- Acts as a stimulator.

Orange- Uplifting color that promotes happiness.

Yellow/Gold- Symbolizes power, stimulates health, patience and wisdom.

Pink- Represents love, romance, and partnership.

Green- Represents growth and new beginnings, as well as healing and freshness.

Blue/Greens- Represents youth, new beginnings, and inspires confidence.

Deeper Blues- Infuses wisdom and introspection.

Purple- Inspires spirituality, adventure, and prosperity.

Black- Contemplative color that encourages reflection and mystery.

White- Cultivates clarity, precision, and communication.

Gray- Invites helpfulness and represents a harmonious union of black and white.

Brown- Offers stability and security.

 

Important Considerations For Feng Shui Kitchens

There are several key feng shui elements to which you need to pay close attention when working with your kitchen layout. Placement of your appliances needs to follow feng shui principles of fire versus water and hot versus cold. The placement of your appliances is sometimes more important than the actual direction. If you are remodeling your kitchen and starting fresh then here are some tips you can follow to make your kitchen Feng Shui.

  1. Try to place the kitchen towards the back door of the home.
  2. Keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered at all times.
  3. Keep the kitchen well lit and ventilated.
  4. Face east while cooking in the kitchen.
  5. You can have windows in the east or west walls of the kitchen.
  6. Make sure to keep lightweight things in east and north of kitchen.
  7. You can have a sink in north or north-east of the kitchen.
  8. Keep the gas stove/burner a few inches away from the wall.
  9. Keep at least 1-2 feet distance between stove/burner and the kitchen sink. If there is no option then place small plants/herbs or green decorative glass panel stove and sink. You can also place a green color decorative glass panel between the stove and sink.
  10. Above also applies to refrigerators too; you must keep 1-2 feet distance between stove and refrigerator in the kitchen.
  11. Repair all leaking taps and faucets in the kitchen that is an indication of draining away all money and wealth from the house.
  12. You can place a dining table in the north-west or west of the kitchen.
  13. Try to use yellow, orange, rose, chocolate or red as floor and wall colors for the kitchen.

 

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How to Choose a Bathtub

Bathtubs aren’t simple anymore. In today’s modern day bathroom, tubs are becoming outdated especially if you have two or more in the house. Losing a tub in the master bathroom isn’t going to devalue the house especially if you want to put in place a giant walk-in shower. But if you want to have that classic master suite bathroom there are many types of bathtubs to choose from that fits your family’s needs. There are two basic kinds of bathtubs but many styles, sizes, and materials come in those two styles.

 

Freestanding Tubs

This type of tub stands alone and is usually finished on all sides. They are usually more expensive than built-ins, depending on the fixture choices. They are becoming more affordable than before because of their popularity. Plumbing can be harder to hide and be more extensive. They also take up more space in the bathroom, so make sure space is compatible with this choice of the tub.

 

Built-in Tub

A built-in tub is a bathtub that is unfinished on at least two sides and is installed against a wall or within a pre-built tub surround or enclosure. Depending on the choice of material for the surround it can become more expensive than the freestanding tubs. Usually fairly easy to hide the plumbing in these types of tubs.

 

Types of Materials

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the least expensive type of material, also called fiberglass-reinforced plastic or FRP. It is made by forming layers of fiberglass into the shape then coated with something called Gelcoat resin. Fiberglass does scratch easy so there is more maintenance involved, which is why it isn’t the number one choice on the market anymore.

 

Porcelain on Steel

Another name for this is called enameled steel, which is another inexpensive type of tub and very common. This type of tub is stamped from a thin sheet of steel, then finished with a layer of porcelain enamel. These are very durable, easy to clean, and little to no maintenance. Americast is a little better of a material where it is reinforced in a molded composite backing. The finish is resistant to common chemicals and will keep the gloss for quite some time. This is a heavier style of tub, than fiberglass or acrylic, and can rust and chip under impact. One downside is it is limited to shapes and sizes compared to other tubs.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic is fiberglass sheets that are reinforced by an underneath vacuum-formed sheets of colored acrylic. They are very similar to fiberglass but are more expensive and more popular in terms of maintenance.The finish can scratch or discolor over time but the better grades of tub finishes have now reduced that problem to a minimum. There are a variety of choices on shape, sizes, and colors. It’s a very good choice but doesn’t appear high-end for some people.

 

Cast Iron

This material is very long lasting. They are made by pouring molten iron into a mold of any shape, then it is smoothed and coated with a thick layer of enamel. It is one of the most durable tubs available and the type of finish used is resistant to chemicals, chipping, scratching, and denting. The heavy material holds the water’s heat and is available in many colors. They are extremely heavy and may require extra labor and often a floor reinforcement to install. This is the one of the most expensive material on the market and has been around for ages.

 

Solid-Surface Materials

This is a new type of material in the bathtub market. It’s very durable and retains heat well. A variety of materials are used, some examples include minerals, polymeric materials, resins and then finished with a Gelcoat finish. They come in a variety of natural-looking colors, shapes, and sizes. Repairs can easily be made to the finish if needed.

 

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is crushed limestone mixed with resin and then finished with a Gelcoat. You have so many options for color, size, and style. The Gelcoat used with cultured marble is more durable than the one used with fiberglass and the price is in between acrylic and cast iron.

 

Ceramic Tile

These tubs are made on site to whatever size and shape desired. Your design options are more array than any other but you will have to deal with more maintenance because of the grout and some people complain about the irregular interior surface is not comfortable on the bare skin. You can choose an acrylic tub and have it encased in ceramic tile to make the comfort level better. This will create a higher end look and reduce the cleaning.

 

Stone and Wood

This type of tub is custom ordered from a variety of natural stone materials including granite, marble, onyx, travertine, basalt, sandstone and other materials. They are extremely heavy and require special structural framing to support the weight. Wood usually also custom-ordered and is made from teak wood which is a tropical hardwood tree species.  Some other woods can be Hinoki wood or Port Orford Cedar. Wood tubs do hold the heat longer than any other tub material. As you can imagine these custom tubs are going to give your bathroom a “wow” factor but it also comes with a price tag that isn’t cheap and maintenance will require a lot more to preserve the beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

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Choosing A Kitchen Sink

When choosing a kitchen sink, it’s important to do your research so you can make a good decision on what’s best for your lifestyle and your family’s needs. Kitchen sinks come in so many varieties of styles, materials, and colors now that choosing one can be overwhelming. Whether you want the standard timeless look or be a little unique with your style below are some ideas of what’s on the market so you can make a better choice when the time comes.

Kitchen Sink Styles

Farmhouse Sink- One of the most trendy styles today. The front of the sink is exposed and typically is a rectangle shape. They are very deep and heavy which you want to make sure your cabinetry and countertop can support it. Farmhouse sinks can come in a variety of different materials and it is one of the more difficult sinks to install so a professional would be important when installing it.

 

Drop-In Sink- If you’re looking for an easier installation sink then these are number one. These sinks are mounted above the counter and are more affordable. This style comes in many varieties also.

 

Undermount Sink-This is the most popular sink because of the varieties of colors and materials. This type of sink is installed under the counter and creates a cleaner look. It is also a lot easier to keep up with everyday maintenance when cleaning it.

 

Bar Sink-This kind of sink is an addition to a regular sink and is usually used for entertaining. Good for prep work or a quick rinse. Usually, they come in round or square shaped.

 

Sink Basins- The way your kitchen functions is how you should consider what type of basin to get for your kitchen. They usually come in one, two, or three basin varieties. More basins don’t mean more room to wash. A single basin is the most versatile and can come in variations like a small compact drop-in sink or a farmhouse sink. These are perfect for large pots and pans. The most common is the double basin sink, which also comes in a variety of depths for your needs. Triple sinks are not as common for residential homes but are useful if you need multiple purposes. After choosing your style of sink now you have to make a choice of what your sink is made out of and the color choice.

 

Stainless Steel- For a more affordable choice and to keep a timeless kitchen look go with the popular stainless steel. This is a little more care when it comes to cleaning but now they come in a variety of finishes like brushed or mirrored to match your kitchen.

Cast Iron- These type of sinks are durable and affordable. They are heavier and require more care as they can chip over time. They are also easy to maintain and show fewer watermarks than other sinks.

 

Acrylic- Because the material is a lot lighter, Acrylic offers more affordability and ease of installing. It is unfortunately not very durable and scratches easily over time. It is best to sand it as a maintenance routine to keep the smooth look.

Fireclay- This is one of the most durable sinks out there. It is popular in the farmhouse style sinks to create the vintage look and is one of the most expensive sinks on the market but the maintaining of it is minimal.

Here are some different types, styles, and colors of sinks:

 

 

Bathroom Remodeling Trends

When it comes to remodeling, bathrooms are a good investment. It will boost the value of your home and a bathroom is a big renovation, which in return will be rewarding when it’s all done. A lot goes into planning a bathroom remodel. First and foremost you have to decide what you envision your new bathroom to look like. Then you have to research a remodeling company that fits your budget. Here is a great way to start planning your bathroom remodel, check out the trends for 2018 below.

 

Navy Blue Paint Color- Neutral colors are still timeless and will never go out of trend but Navy blue paint is becoming popular with white and silver accents.

Rainfall Shower Heads- It’s exactly how it sounds, relaxation is key. It is one of the most popular trendy accessories to add to your bathroom. Of course, popularity comes with a price tag. This item will run $150-$250 so if that is at the top of your list, make sure to budget it for your project.

Industrial Lighting- Industrial lighting is definitely making a statement in 2018. Soft spa-like lighting once was trendy but now with vintage and rustic coming back, the industrial lighting adds to this trend.

Large Natural Stone Tiles- You would think with all the subway tile on HGTV channel that, that is the new trend for bathrooms nowadays but you’re wrong. Larger stone tile is taking over bathroom trends because of the less maintenance aspect. Natural stone now comes with a 15 years sealer that protects grime build up and therefore homeowners are cleaning a little less. That is definitely right up my alley, I don’t think anyone really likes to clean. The larger tile is more popular because there is less grout to be cleaned but also mixing and matching different size tiles can turn out beautiful if you want to break away from a standard look.

Greenery- Some plants thrive in the bathroom. This is becoming a popular trend adding a nice decorative feature. It is an affordable upgrade that adds warmth to your bathroom. Some plants that do well indoors are Spider plants, Pothos, Bromeliads, Philodendron, Air Plants, and Aloe Plants.

Warm Metal Faucets & Fixtures- Warm metals in this year including brass, bronze, copper and even satin nickel. It adds a softer touch and then pairing these metals with bold colors like dark blue or black really make them pop.

New Bathroom Technology- Technology advances each year and is now in almost every area of the home. The bathroom is definitely no exception. One of the must-haves in 2018 is a digital shower control. This device gives you the right setting for the water temperature every time. The latest models are sleek and are easily disguised in your bathroom’s decor. Some shower control models even come with a feature where you can turn on the shower from your phone. What will they come up with next?

Large Showers- The industry is starting to get away with the standard shower and tub master suites. Even though having a tub in the house is a good resale value for families with children, we are starting to see tubs less and less in the master suite and instead large spa shower are replacing them. One idea I saw that was interesting if you want to keep your tub in the master suite is having the tub enclosed with the shower. It keeps the tub from being bulky and taking over the room.

 

 

Popular Trends From the Past That Aren’t Popular Anymore

Tranquil colors and white bathrooms were at the top of the list last year but now it’s changing to deep, bold colors. Another item that is out is medicine cabinets. I love medicine cabinets so I found that you can buy ones now that flush with the wall and just look like a giant mirror so if you still love them you can look into those and still be up to date with the trends. Some other trends that are dying out this year are subway tile backsplash, granite counters, chrome faucets & fixtures, oversized bathtubs and floral patterns.

 

Interesting Storage Ideas

Shower Niches- These are very popular in bathroom remodels. A place to put your shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Ones that wrap around a corner add a little more depth and space to keep extra stuff in.

Hidden Cabinets- The trend now is to maximize space and bathrooms need it the most since they usually are tight anyway. Homeowners are finding innovative ways to hide storage instead of hiding their belongings in storage. One clever way is building pull-out cabinets in the walls, nooks, and crannies.

 

Here Are Some Trends To Avoid

  • Oversized Tubs: Big bathtubs are going out of style like there is no tomorrow. Tubs, in general, are becoming less used as it is with the exception of families starting out and needing it for children. As long as there is one tub in the household usually the other bathroom tends to have an extra large walk-in shower instead. This adds luxury to a master bathroom giving the homeowner more space and still giving relaxation to a fast-paced lifestyle. They are also quite expensive too, you are better off investing in a quality water saving shower.
  • White-On-White: Light colors might make the bathroom seem larger but a bathroom that is completely white might not be a seller for another buyer if you plan on selling. Not everyone is up to the task of keeping white tile and flooring clean. After a while, if it isn’t cleaned constantly the wear of the bathroom may show up faster also. Instead, go with a varied color palette using other neutrals like grays or beige and bring a pop of color with accents. This will be very complimentary and catch eyes of future buyers quickly.
  • Tacky Colors: Make sure to choose color accents that are more common. Choosing shades like mustard, salmon or avocado can be a turn-off.  Keep your color scheme tame by using a mix of three timeless, muted colors in a 70/20/10 distribution. Use the lightest color for 70% of the room; the second lightest for 20%; and accent the room with the boldest for 10%. A grayed white, pale teal and charcoal gray are one of the most popular mixes of color for 2018.
  • Subway Tile & Nickel Finishes: Subway tile and trendy metallic finishes, like nickel and chrome, are fading in popularity. Go figure that modern looking brushed gold is making a come back. Black finishes are also becoming quite popular. Large format tiles and geometric tiles are also safe to go with especially in a large bathroom. Plus the natural stones now have a product that seals the tile for 15 years to keep cleaning to a minimal.
  • Open Master Concept: Open floor plans are very popular in the main living area but when you create that in the master suite it tends to turn off some people when you go to resell it. It isn’t very appealing to be sitting in bed and see your spouse sitting on the toilet. Be sure to think about the design layout when you are updating your bathroom.

 

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Time to Celebrate Halloween with Retro Pro!

 

  

 

  Halloween is a day for being creative, having fun, and bringing out the inner kid. Did you ever wonder how the holiday came to be? Why were we encouraged to go around the neighborhood and beg for candy when we could just go buy it at anytime? Historically strangers giving you candy was always considered a bad thing. So, it’s no wonder you may think Halloween is a strange holiday but it is no stranger than say Valentine’s Day; where you give candy to your loved ones. Halloween has changed so much over the years that I want to give you some facts on how it was celebrated in the beginning.

 

    This day originated from a Celtic festival for the dead called “Samhain.” They believed the ghosts of the dead roamed Earth on this day, so people would dress in costumes and leave “treats” out on the front door step to appease the spirits. Instead of wearing costumes made from fabric and plastic, ancient archives noted, traditionally they wore costumes of animal heads and skins so they could connect to the spirits of the dead. Talk about creepy!

 

   And did you know Jack-o-lanterns which were invented by the Irish Celts were mostly made out of turnips, beets and potatoes instead of the pumpkin. Also, later on the tradition of going door to door on All Hallow’s Eve became more of a job and dancing was a custom in order to receive treats. You can see how far we have come in this spooky tradition. Now it is time to have fun and be creative on this one night where all the traditional rules are placed on hold so kids can be kids…or adults can be kids too!

 

 

Recipes from the Kitchen

Here at Retro Pro we are getting ready to celebrate Halloween this weekend. From the tradition of trick or treating, decorating with ghosts or goblins and stirring up some all time favorites in the kitchen; we are excited to celebrate in our favorite place…the home! So take a look at some of these spooky tricks and treats and experiment in the kitchen this Halloween.

 

   Rice Krispy Treat Pumpkins

 

Ingredients:

6 cups of rice krispies

Food coloring red & yellow

1 bag of Marshmallows

¼ cup of cooking oil

¼ cup butter

1 bag of M&Ms green

1 bag Mini Rolos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Heat the butter in a pot big enough to hold 6 cups of rice krispies. Add marshmallow when the butter is completely melted. Mix together until marshmallow is smooth and then add food coloring to the mixture. The amount of food coloring you need is about 6 drops of red and 12 drops of yellow but experiment with a drop at a time is best. Start with the yellow drops and then add a few drops of red until you get your desired color of orange. Then add your rice krispies to the mixture and stir together using a spatula. Having a small bowl of cooking oil to rub your hands will make it easier to roll the rice krispy treats into a ball without it sticking all over everything. Be sure to reapply with each pumpkin for best results. Place the pumpkins on parchment paper. Make a little indent at the top of the pumpkins and place a mini Rolo candy in it. Lastly place the green M&M upright next to the Rolo.

 

 

   Vampire Hot Chocolate

 

Ingredients:

(hot chocolate)

3 cups of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz. white chocolate in tiny pieces

½ cup mini chocolate chips

Red food coloring

(whipped cream)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp fine granulated sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

(for sugar blood)

½ cup light corn syrup

½ cup of water

1 cup fine granulated sugar

Red food coloring

 

 

 

Directions:

For the whipped cream part add 1 cup of heavy cream, vanilla extract, and 1 cup fine sugar into a bowl. Whip with mixer on medium high until stiff peaks form. For the hot chocolate add the whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla, white chocolate, and mini chocolate chips to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the chocolate is melted and the it starts to simmer. Do not let it burn or boil! Stir in a drop or two of red food coloring. For the sugar blood combine water, corn syrup into a saucepan. Pour fine granulated sugar and stir. Heat on medium heat WITHOUT stirring until the sugar mixture reaches about 300 degrees on a thermometer. Once it reaches the desired temperature then add food coloring and stir. Let it cool for just a second and then dip the rim of the mug into the sugar mixture. Dip to coat and then immediately sit it upright so the sugar blood will drip as it hardens. Pour chocolate milk into mug and top with whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts

 

Ingredients:

1-2 pkg of Strawberries

1 bag White chocolate

Candy eyes

Wax or parchment paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Melt white chocolate in a saucepan. Dip strawberries one at a time in melted chocolate. Drag out some of the chocolate on the bottom to make a ghost tail. Set on wax or parchment paper. Place candy eyes on front. Store in fridge to set desired hardness before serving.

 

 

 

 

How to make the perfect pumpkin seeds

 

 

Ingredients:

Seeds from 2 large pumpkins

½ tsp. Of Lawry’s seasoned salt

½ tbsp. Of olive oil

Dash of salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Clean your pumpkin seeds well. You want to wash them using a colander  and discard any pumpkin fibers. The cleaner they are the better they will taste. Let soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes on the counter or overnight in the fridge is fine also. Drain the seeds when ready to use. Fill a pot of water with a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Place seeds into the boiling water for about 10 minutes. This helps cook the inside so when you roast them the pumpkin seeds get the perfect crunch.

Drain the seeds and place back into the bowl. Add olive oil and toss until coated. Lay seeds on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Sprinkle with Lawry’s salt and place in oven for about 40 minutes but check on them every 10 until roasted. Look for them to be firm and no longer soft. You don’t want any dark spots on them just a darker yellow color. Allow to cool and enjoy!

 

Other Ideas with food

Here are some great ideas to make your ordinary food look Halloween themed. The kids will have fun making these ideas come alive…….

Pumpkin carrots

 

Decorating for Halloween through creative food

 

Clementine Pumpkins

 

Decorating the home for Halloween

  With Halloween just around the corner there are so many fun ways to decorate your house. One popular project families are doing this year is making front door decorations. Instead of your traditional wreath or door hanging, decorating the whole door is taking trick or treating to a whole new level of creativeness. With so many different ideas below are just a few of different ideas you could use or make up a new one.

 

 

 

 

Some ideas for your kitchen

There are so many ideas to decorate your kitchen. Here are just a few to get you started.

 

Some ideas for your bathroom

The bathroom is good place to creep out your guests. They are not expecting it when they walk in so you will for sure get a reaction.