Interior Design on Your Own Time

Archive for the ‘Bathroom Design Ideas’ Category

Last week I penned an article about 5 inappropriate uses for appliance pulls, which really gave me a chuckle (and I hope it had the same result for my readers).  Inspired by the goofiness as well as the suggestion that some of my favorite home accessories can be recycled for other uses, I decided to share with you my ideas for alternate uses for towel rings.  Unlike other things I’ve suggested on this blog, these suggestions are made in jest, but the ideas could theoretically be done- if you’re adventurous!

1-      Towel rings as exercise rings.  My kids love climbing on the rings on their monkey bars.  Imagine how classy they’d feel swinging on their own oil rubbed bronze towel rings!  Sturdier than plastic, bronze towel rings can truly create a classier and safer swinging experience.

2-      Towel rings as door knockers.  If you’re tired of those hideous lion faces that hold a door knocker, maybe it’s time to consider using towel rings instead.  Simply screw them into your door and have them knock against the door instead of forcing your guests to bruise their knuckles in search of entrance to your palace.

Home 6 3/4'' Towel Ring Brushed Chrome,

3-      Towel rings as the base for crib mobiles.  I don’t know about you, but the mobiles that I’ve attached to my kids’ cribs have fallen, shifted, and come precariously close to crashing down on my little angels.  It would be better if crib mobiles could be suspended from the ceiling so that they were more secure and wouldn’t fall when grabbed by children.  Imagine screwing a towel ring into your ceiling and then tying strings with toys or bells down to your desired height above the crib.  Not only would the added height create a dramatic centerpiece for any room, but it would provide the extra security that every parent wants for their new baby.

If you’re feeling as frisky as I am right now, I’d love to hear your ideas about how you’d use towel rings to enhance your home in creative ways.


Let’s be honest for a moment- have you ever used the public handicapped bathroom to avoid the discomfort of using a cramped bathroom stall? I know that I have- or, more often than not, I’m secretly relieved to have a child in a stroller with me which can only fit into the larger bathroom stall. The sad truth is that small bathrooms in both public areas and private homes are often the least preferred when other options are available. Maybe it’s because there’s something luxurious about a large bathroom, or because small bathrooms often seem more like a cramped closet than a space to be used and enjoyed. Still, as anyone who has ever lived in a small apartment can tell you, small bathrooms are still a critical part of most homes- and they deserved to be decorated with love and care. That’s why I felt it necessary to take a moment to offer some small bathroom decorating ideas that can tranform this neglected space from a functional area to a fashionable one.

The first thing to consider undertaking a small bathroom decorating project is what functions your bathroom needs to fulfill. Do you need a shower stall or bathtub in there? Do you need storage space? Does a window provide light but take away valuable wall space?

One of the most obvious small bathroom decorating ideas is to consider replacing a full bathtub with a shower stall (even one that is larger than standard size). This will create more space instantly and make your small bathroom feel significantly larger. Next, remove anything from your bathroom that is not absolutely critical. Do you have a footstool taking up valuable floor space, but a child who seldom uses the small bathroom? Do you have a large piece of art taking up valuable wall space? The key to successful small bathroom decorating is to choose every item in the room with a minimalist eye, so that each piece has an impact without overwhelming the space. Choose small pieces of artwork (maybe 1-3 photographs or prints of your choosing) instead of a large portrait. Consider an over-the-toilet storage rack instead of a freestanding cabinet which may close in the space.

Of course, picking the right color scheme is also a fundamental part of small bathroom decorating. While dark colors may make the space feel smaller, light colors and warm colors will reflect the light well and create a more spacious feel. If you do feel strongly about having a dark color, add it on only one wall instead of painting the entire room. Or, consider a patterned or sponge-painted design that blends your favorite color with a lighter one. A final (and easy!) small bathroom decorating idea is to replace your dingy or dark shower curtain with a lighter style or with transparent shower doors. Getting rid of a dark shower curtain will instantly add depth to the space (inexpensively).

Stay tuned for more small bathroom decorating ideas- coming soon. Or, feel free to share your favorite tips with us!

Now that I’ve spent a few Sundays at the beach watching the kids collect a million seashells, I must admit that I’ve gotten a bit caught up in summer styles.  And not just the latest bathing suit styles, but summer interior design trends.  Specifically, I’ve noticed that a lot of manufacturers offer sea-themed cabinet hardware.  At first I was skeptical- who would want to create such a summery space all year long?  But then I started wondering- if so many brands offer beach-inspired designs, there must be a reason.  And I suddenly realized that installing this type of cabinet hardware is a great way to remember the summer fun all year long.

As I began researching these unique cabinet hardware designs, I found that Anne at Home offers some of the most popular beach-themed cabinet hardware on the market…and for good reason.  Anne at Home offers an extensive line of pewter hardware, which is known for it’s longevity as well as its style.  More importantly, Anne at Home offers customers the unique opportunity to choose their own hardware style and match it with the finish of their choice, to create a custom look for any space.  With over 30 colored finishes to choose from that range from green verdigris to an orangey-copper tone, homeowners can create something that is subtly colorful, without being overly garish as many colored cabinet hardware styles tend to be.

Anyway, I digress.  Because pewter is a soft metal that is easy to work with, Anne at Home is able to offer sculpted cabinet hardware that is more than just a design stamped on a metal plate.  Although I’m sure that many people appreciate, oh, Liberty Cabinet Hardware’s Coastal Collection, which offers knobs with a nautical theme, I appreciate the texture and unique shape of Anne at Home’s selection.

Anne at Home Dolphin Knob

Anne at Home Dolphin Knob

Liberty Hardware Seashell Knob

Liberty Hardware Seashell Knob

But here’s the catch- pewter hardware isn’t cheap, and Anne at Home’s custom designs definitely aren’t cheap.  While I’m usually an advocate of purchasing home décor items that aren’t the most expensive, sometimes I think that buying what you love may be worthwhile.  Items like cabinet hardware are designed to last forever AND you generally don’t need more than 5 or 6 to outfit an entire bathroom.  So…despite my normally cheap tendencies, in this case I think Anne at Home is worth a splurge.

What do you think?

Since I’m still mourning the loss of Michael Jackson, I thought it fitting to discuss my favorite black bathroom accessories.  Why bathroom, you ask?  For starters, you won’t see many black bathroom accessories around, and I think that this is a pity, because black accessories have the unique ability to add drama to any room- especially to smaller spaces like bathrooms.  I’ve seen many 70’s bathrooms- mint green, powder blue, fuschia or light pink that would benefit from a bit of a modern twist.  And while not all homeowners can afford a full bathroom renovation, adding a touch of black will instantly update even the most outdated bathroom.  So here are 4 of my favorite black bathroom accessories…what are yours?

1- A modern black T-shaped knob.  Bathroom cabinets generally don’t require much in the way of cabinet hardware, so picking black cabinet hardware that will really make a statement is an inexpensive way to accent the space.  My favorite black cabinet pull is the one featured here- but you can see for yourself that any design will make a difference.

Berenson black cabinet knob

Berenson black cabinet knob

2- A fabulous black bathroom vanity.  Even installed against the oldest of solid-color bathroom tiles, a black bathroom vanity can do wonders to reinvent a bathroom.  If you have patterned tiles, however, you may want to think twice before installing a new bathroom vanity, unless you know for sure that it’ll complement the busy pattern.  I happen to love ultra-modern bathroom vanities, and choosing a black one is a great idea because black never goes out of style.  Just make sure that the dark finish won’t overwhelm your space- if you have a very small bathroom, black fixtures may overpower the space rather than enhancing it.

Double Black Bathroom Vanity

Double Black Bathroom Vanity

3-  A patterned black shower curtain. You may think that having a black shower curtain will darken your space but I must tell you that it can also do wonders for disguising an unsightly shower.  If your shower has mildew, cracked tiles, or an ugly design, you probably wish it would just disappear- and with a patterned black shower curtain, both you and your guests will have something beautiful to focus on.

4-  A black wastebasket and rug combo. OK, OK, I know these are really two different black bathroom accessories, but I think they mesh well together since they both sit on the floor.  Black trash cans are great (in my humble opinion), because they keep your eye focused on things other than the trash.  Likewise, they look terrific when paired with a black bathroom rug that will conceal outdated floor tiles and provide a plush experience every time you exit the shower.

Black bathroom accessories aren’t ideal for every bathroom, but they are definitely great for MOST bathrooms.  Without going overboard, you can add a touch of modernity to your space and transform an old-fashioned bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary.