Designing and Stocking Your First Apartment Bathroom

rubber duck sitting on a soap ledge

There is nothing like getting the keys to your first, real apartment and finally moving in. The possibilities almost hang in the air, and it is incredibly exciting to have your own home. Many people select an abode so they can tackle renovation projects, namely in the kitchen or in the bathroom – spaces that are highly trafficked and utilized. So once the dust has settled and the boxes have been recycled, it is time to think about how best to redesign your first ever bathroom. Here are some tips to consider:

Start with the essentials
First, it can be extremely helpful to discuss your plans with a professional at a Kitchen & Baths Classics Showroom. He or she can point you in the right direction in terms of feasibility and budget; no one wants to discover that their dream room is unattainable. When you know what you would like to do, be sure that essential elements are covered. You may want to initially change the shower head to something more soothing or something stronger. Apartment Therapy writers added that you should then make a checklist of items, both functional and aesthetic to enhance your bathroom decor. On that list might be a shower curtain is a necessary evil in many bathroom spaces, so select one that is bold, bright and beautiful to match your look. Additionally, you will have to find a comfortable – and stable – bath mat, plus wall hooks and towel hangers. A good toilet seat is something you should invest in as well.

apartment, bathroomYour first apartment bathroom is full of renovation possibilities.

Choose your colours wisely
When you are ready to tackle the larger projects such as tiling or replacing the sink, think about the environment you hope to create. According to For Rent, it is a good idea to enhance the feeling of space, particularly if the room is a small one. Rather than installing a sink with cabinets below, look for a pedestal sink, preferably in a muted shade. If you have white tile, select a sink to match, otherwise look for something beige or off-white. You then have the opportunity to play with the background colour, but only if it makes sense: If the walls are darker, the room may feel smaller and more cramped, particularly if it does not have a window. The source noted to keep things airy and roomy, yellow is a good color to choose if white is not your thing.

No matter what, your new space will be uniquely yours, so have fun decorating. Let the bathroom be an expression of your personality; reflect it through the colours you choose, the decor you select and any quirky elements that speak to who you are.

A kitchen doesn’t need to be “smart” to be modern

neutral colour palette kitchen design


Whether you opt for an electronic assistant like Alexa or have your thermostat programmed to work remotely, it is highly likely technology has moulded parts of your home. In fact, you may be considering kitchen renovations to incorporate more automatic or remote-controlled appliances into the space, such as a stove that can be adjusted to perfectly match your cooking needs. Recently, Builder Magazine explored whether it was essential to have such “smart” accoutrements in a thoroughly modern kitchen. The magazine’s conclusion: while some gadgets can make life easier, design is what truly reflects whether space is contemporary or traditional.

Smooth and sleek
Designer Michael Schluetter was interviewed for the piece in Builder Magazine, and it was his opinion that simplicity was key when creating a more current kitchen area. Instead of shiny, glossy kitchen countertops, faucets and fixtures, the trend is to have matte, smooth surfaces. Refurbished wood and solid oak elements add an earthy vibe to the space, and have also been appearing in kitchen decor.

In addition, Schuetter noted that having connected appliances and the ability to control things remotely was an interesting perk, but not really something upon which a modern kitchen would hinge. It was more important to have a simple, neat space without too many bold patterns and general clutter in the room.

kitchen, laptop, couple Does a “smart” kitchen signify modernity?

Using nature as inspiration
Similarly, Kitchen and Bath News reported that materials either sourced from or inspired by nature were key elements in designing an up-to-date space. The countertop is perhaps one of the best ways to showcase the overall aesthetic because it needs to be large enough for food preparation and perhaps echoed in the room’s focal point, the kitchen island. Since the eye will be drawn to whatever material is selected, the source suggested looking for a kitchen counter with neutral shades. For example, a soft grey or even a smooth oak surface in the aforementioned matte finish will be on trend. Homeowners also want surfaces that are easy to maintain: The space can be multi-purpose to accommodate high traffic and should be relatively painless to keep clean.

It seems, then, that the consensus is a modern kitchen reflects what is popular in design currently, and not the technology it contains. While having a “smart” kitchen may be fun, you are likely better off working on a design that incorporates simple, muted elements. For inspiration, meet with a professional at a kitchen and bath showroom who can help you find the right pieces to create a contemporary and trendy space.

Combining your kitchen and office

woman working on a laptop at a kitchen island

More people today have flexible work schedules or choose to use their home as their office. And why not? With a myriad of options to get online and stay connected, working from home is a benefit of modern technology. The hard part, however, is deciding where in your house is the best place to set up shop when you don't have a dedicated room in which to toil away. Thanks to more homes being open concept, it can be entirely possible and thoroughly practical to establish your personal office right in the kitchen.

Think downtown chic
Enabling the flow of energy and light between several rooms in the home is reminiscent of large loft apartments in big cities like L.A. and New York. As old factory floors were renovated into apartment, some chose to keep the expanse of space for a minimalist, modern feel. Dwell featured the work of one architect whose kitchen renovation project involved using the space in a Soho loft to unify a kitchen fit for a chef and a multimedia office space. The space was divided by a sleek, black kitchen island in which the stove had been seamlessly incorporated.

An office in your kitchen can be practical and improve the flow of your home.An office in your kitchen can be practical and improve the flow of your home.

Divide with cabinetsSpace to stand up
When sitting at a desk, it can be all too tempting to slouch over a computer keyboard during the day. Some people find that working standing up is better for their body and posture. As a result, the kitchen could be the ideal place for a standing desk. If you don't have room for an actual desk, This Old House advised creating a stand-up message center in the corner of the room. In this example, its surface is of the same material as the rest of the kitchen countertop, yet the backsplash is made of cork board so messages and notes can be tacked up. Below the workspace, the homeowner added kitchen cabinets so storage room was not sacrificed. To give the area an office-like feel, bookshelves were added above the space to store cookbooks and also binders and other work-related items.

The kitchen island is not the only way to separate the kitchen from the office. Like the example outlined on Modspace, you can install additional kitchen cabinets to create a wall. The homeowner's desk is right in the kitchen, but thanks to two stacked cabinets that jut out slightly, the furniture can be placed in what essentially is a recessed nook. To conceal the work area, the surface matches the countertop and the desk drawers are the same material and style as the cabinetry. You can't really see the space unless you look for it, which can be an option for those who want a smooth aesthetic and seamless flow from kitchen to home office.

Creating a place to work in the kitchen provides the opportunity to multitask throughout the day, which can be helpful for those who have equally hectic personal and work lives. Some people also feel that the kitchen is the center of the home and it is helpful to be working right where everything is happening. However you choose to incorporate your office into your kitchen – and if you even make that decision! – talk to the professionals at a Kitchen & Bath showroom to discover your options and how to create the right kind of environment.

Keep Pre-holiday Kitchen Upgrades Manageable

family gathering in a kitchen for a meal


Entertaining this holiday season? Chances are, you might like to freshen up your kitchen space before everyone comes over. After all, you know that people will gather in the food preparation area, hang out, snack and generally socialise. If you would like to make some small changes to your kitchen before that holiday party, you should plan out your upgrades and start work sooner, rather than later. A large overhaul is not recommended so close to the celebratory season: You want everything to be finished and settled before it is time to play host. So, consider some small kitchen projects to tackle before it is time to deck the halls. Here are some realistic ways to give your kitchen a facelift, and to avoid cutting the transformation too close to the festivities:

Re-tile the kitchen backsplash
Naturally, if you are cooking dinner you are going to be using your stove, and any helpful friends and relatives will also be stirring up delicious dishes in this area. Why not choose some new kitchen tile to update the backsplash? The Heritage Builders blog suggested looking for inexpensive and understated tile to clean up the area without going overboard. It would take more time to plan out an intricate pattern, seek tile, cut the tile and then lay it. Instead, just pick white subway tile, which is always a classic design, or look  for imitation stone if it fits your aesthetic sensibilities.

Jazz up your cabinets
You do not have to rip out your kitchen cabinets to make them look more stylish. Consumer Reports suggested giving them a fresh coat of paint or looking into refacing the exterior. Essentially, this involves adding a skin to the cabinet doors, and this covers up whatever existing finish is already present. If you need advice on which design route will be easier and  better suited to your kitchen, check in with a professional at a kitchen and bath showroom. He or she can point you in the right direction and offer tips to maximise style.

kitchen, decor, holidaysSimple updates to your kitchen will keep you smiling through the holidays.

Switch out your faucet
Noticed that your faucet and fixtures are looking a little tired? Consider upgrading to a sleeker, more modern model in a brushed metal finish. If it fits in with your overall design, look for gold or brass for a more unique appearance.

Add a place to gather
Want to keep everyone away from the cooking space but still in your kitchen? Maybe it is time to add that kitchen island you have been eyeing. Consumer Reports said you first need to carefully measure your space and be sure that you can make it work. Then, to save time and money, the wisest option may be to select an island you can assemble at home with relatively little hassle. A custom-built island will be likely more expensive and take longer to make and install. Finding a kit will save time, plus give you the option to add your own touches to the material, should you so decide.

No matter how you choose to give your kitchen a facelift, be honest with yourself and what you can handle. The world will still rotate on its axis if you decide an island is too much work this year, and you would rather swap out hardware or your faucet instead. But adding a fresh, new element to your space before the holidays may help you feel more settled, prepared for guests and like you have done something nice for yourself before the big rush.

An Industrial-Style Bathroom

bathroom tub with industrial design inspiration

When remodeling your bathroom, it can be too easy to go down the simple and plain path just to get the job done. All-white lavatories can be painted quickly, and you know that you can find a bathroom vanity in this nondescript shade. However, bolder amateur designers should stray from the norm and consider an industrial-style bathroom for something a bit more funky and interesting.

Find the Right Tub
If you're looking to marry an industrial vibe with something a bit more vintage, you might consider a claw foot tub. According to Decoist, which profiled one Brooklyn-based industrial bathroom, you can find a model in monochrome colours, which will eliminate the old-Hollywood feeling of a more traditional tub with this kind of feet. If you're looking for something entirely industrial, seek out a stand-alone bathtub or one in an unusual shape. To find the perfect place to bathe, stop by a kitchen and bath showroom so professionals can show you what is possible within your budget and space constraints.

bathroom, tubLook for a granite or black tub for an industrial feel.

Keep It Black and White
Anything steel can lend an industrial aura to your bathroom, so feel free to look for vanities and cabinets that have brushed steel handles – or that are actually made of the material. In terms of the rest of the decor, Houzz featured several bathrooms decked out in black and white. Subway tile around the room was paired with large glass panes in the shower. These panes were square in shape, and each one was surrounded by black trim. The overall effect presented a curious starkness that evoked a city or former factory. If possible, you can couple this look with a granite sink.

Go ahead and pair up this kind of tile with any black trim or a black marble countertop to complete the industrial feel. You can also look for shower curtain rods in a brushed black metal to complete the utilitarian vibe, like some of the others highlighted by the source.

An industrial-themed bathroom can look extremely modern and polished. Take your inspiration from the geometry of the city, a refurbished factory, and other utilitarian edifices, and your room will certainly shine.

A kitchen redesign inspired by Sherwin Williams’ Colour of the Year

kitchen renovation idea with blue and bold cabinetry

When people are planning a kitchen renovation project, they seek inspiration from a variety of outlets. It can be helpful to look through design magazines. Even if some of the kitchens presented are out of budget, you may be able to find less expensive alternatives, in terms of material and products. Sometimes it can be fun to look through other people's finished projects on Pinterest. People often share their renovated kitchens, bathrooms and other work that they have done on their home, and either link back to a personal blog or the source where they found the initial idea. This can be a treasure hunt, of sorts, finding the right designs to suit your home.

Others take inspiration from the past, and some look to the future. Being on trend can be important to those who want their decor to be contemporary, and it can be a good idea to heed industry news like the announcement from Sherwin Williams where the company presented its colour of the year.

According to the the paint maven, it has selected Oceanside SW 6496 as its annual shade offering. The hue is a bold blue with hints of jewel-like green tones and can be applied in a variety of rooms to evoke different moods and themes. It is rich enough for a Mediterranean-inspired space, the source noted, and modern enough to complement contemporary kitchen decor.

Jazz up your kitchen with some eye-popping coloursJazz up your kitchen with some eye-popping colours .

Incorporate colour into your kitchen
A popular hue need not take over an entire room. In fact, it can look classier to add an accent wall, some bright tile or even just a kitchen countertop in a unique shade to brighten up the space. Those considering redoing their tile to complement a new kitchen sink, for example, do not have to dramatically change the room. Better Homes & Gardens advised that accenting with a bold colour can make a room outstanding, whether it is incorporated into a tile pattern or takes over an entire wall. Such a move can draw attention to a seemingly serviceable room like the kitchen, and make it into a place where people want to gather. Using this technique may be helpful if you are considering a new kitchen island. People like to spend time socializing and hanging out in the room if there is a space for them to do so. Both this piece of furniture and some attractive decor can make the kitchen more inviting.

Use kitchen cabinets to feature bold hues
Many people do enjoy a more basic kitchen, but selecting a daring shade for kitchen cabinets can make them stand out and can present a retro vibe. According to Architectural Digest, if you want to stick to a budget but make your kitchen more exciting, consider painting over your existing cabinetry. The source said that this design decision can give the room significant style, yet can also be a fairly simple undertaking.

Whatever you decide, it can be helpful to discuss your options with a professional at a kitchen and bath showroom. He or she can guide you to the right transformation for you and your home: A bit of guidance is always a good thing when embarking on a home improvement project!

Go ahead, make that master bathroom spectacular

master bathroom in an all white colour scheme

If you are lucky enough to have a master bathroom, it does not have to merely be an afterthought. Often seen more as a convenience than a symbol of decadence, the master bathroom can be seen as perfunctory and thus overlooked. You do your business in there, you know it is the one space where you can leave all your personal care items and know they will not be moved – especially if you happen to have children – and it can be nice to shower uninterrupted, not to mention convenient for middle-of-the-night necessities. But why just relegate the master bathroom to be a well-placed room, far from the eyes – and use – of guests and others? Your next bathroom remodeling project can turn this space into a spectacular private space, if you are ready.

Make the shower magnificent
Having a soaking tub can be wonderful, but many people prefer to have a high end shower. According to the 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, homeowners want that gorgeous shower – and they are making it the top master bathroom feature. Over half of those who participated in the Houzz survey are making their showers larger and 81 percent said that they are remodeling their bathroom to fit a more modern, luxurious shower. And people want fancy features in their showers. Of those surveyed, 12 percent of respondents indicated that they were going to install mood lighting or digital controls. If you want more inspiration, it can be helpful to know that alcove showers are homeowners' current top pick, as 55 percent indicated as such. So go ahead and add that great shower to your master bathroom: 42 percent of respondents chose to do the same.

bathroom, bathroom renovation, bathroom decorIt can be a great project planning a new master bath together

Choose a freestanding tub
Depending on the space, you may want to look for a free-standing bathtub and take inspiration from some of the homes featured by Architecture Art Design. These tubs not only look glamorous, but also can often have a unique shape, which elevates the master bathroom profile. A more curved, bowl-like bathtub as featured by the source can present a soothing, spa-inspired vibe, whereas something more square can give the room a modern feel.

Don't be intimidated
Renovating a bathroom can feel a little daunting at the best of times, TMS Architects noted, so take the space in portions. Adding more expensive but small elements to the room can also give it the level of luxury you desire. For example, if tiling an entire shower sounds scary, think about adding marble or quartz-topped counter spaces, chance the paint to softer, more muted colors, or upgrade the bathroom fixtures to more contemporary models. For more advice, you can speak a professional at a kitchen and bath showroom, who can help you decide where to start.

Making your master bathroom more special can be a fun project. While so many parts of the home are very public, your efforts can yield a special space where you can relax and know that it is truly yours.

Bathe in luxury – even on a budget

shower installation with a curtain rod

Ah, the bathroom. No home can be without one, yet many are simply unexciting. This most functional room in the house often does not receive as much love and attention as it should. Those who are budget-conscious often do not want to spend a great deal on custom or fancy toilets, and many toilet options end up being white. Then, they may just match the tile to the toilet and then all you have is a plain white bathroom. But if you are ready to spruce up your lavatory, why not make it exciting, attractive and maybe even with a spa-like feel?

Time for a shower
If you have a tub that's barely used in your home, why not convert it to a beautiful walk-in shower? After all, most people prefer showers to baths for the purposes of regular hygiene. HouseLogic's recent spotlight, dubbed "Stop Hating Your Bath," offered an array of advice for how to improve your bathroom. One suggestion outlined how to swap out a tub wisely. If the only bathroom in the home has a tub, it is not the greatest idea to remove it. This may devalue the home in the long run. Also, it is not the best plan to put a walk-in shower if the existing tub already has a window above it. The source advised that this may cause mould issues in the long term. And finally, be sure that you make the correct measurements and tile your shower so it fits the space. Those seeking more guidance can stop in at their kitchen and bath showroom to speak with professionals.

spa, bathroom, faucets, tubEnjoy the spa? Bring that feeling to your bathroom

Get that spa feel
If you do not want to entirely re do your bathroom, you can make small changes to prompt the feeling of luxury. Swap out outdated bathroom faucets for those that look sleek and modern, or perhaps install a new rain-style shower head. Alternatively, look for a height-adjustable shower fixture that enables everyone in the house to get clean in comfort. The Huffington Post added that other details can boost the spa-like ambiance in your bathroom, like picking up a towel warmer or bringing some plants into the space. Try out some unique colour palettes to bring in more natural, earthy tones. A pale blue shade of paint can feel soothing, and grey tile may also look trendy and reminiscent of rocks under water.

When you have settled on shower, tile and fixture options, feel free to accessorize the space. Some neutral artwork or photography can elevate the room, while attractive storage options can personalize the space to you and your loved ones.

What kind of kitchens do millennials favour?

Millennials may prefer a sleek kitchen like this 16001529 40043444 0 14139355 500

Love it or loathe it, millennials make up a significant number of the population. They help shape trends, they introduce new ideas and they are among some of the world's most innovative beings. They also have their own set of likes and dislikes, which has driven fashion, technology, music and home decor.

Whether you are a millennial looking to outfit your first kitchen, or a parent trying to understand your offspring's generation (and perhaps want to update your kitchen decor) here are some trends and kitchen renovation ideas for the young as well as the young at heart.

Time-tested styles
Houzz's 2017 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study noted that millennials tend to prefer farmhouse-style or modern kitchens. By modern, Houzz meant kitchen decor with a contemporary feel, namely in shades of white and grey. Looking to update your kitchen? Try a white kitchen countertop matched with grey kitchen cabinets. The sleek, futuristic appearance will put you on trend, also contributing to a minimal, clean feel in your space. For ideas on what materials to select for your kitchen countertops and cabinets, visit a kitchen and bath showroom to chat with professionals who can work with your budget and your desires.

Stainless steel is the preferred finish for appliances in millennial homes; it matches the contemporary vibe. The source also noted that 72 percent of those surveyed would opt for this material. When considering new kitchen fixtures and faucets, you can match your appliances by opting for a brushed metal finish.

Millennials have some kitchen and home decor ideas of their own.Millennials have some kitchen and home decor ideas of their own.

Plenty of quirksAll about the island
Millennial kitchens tend to center around the kitchen island. It's a gathering spot, place to enjoy happy hour and breakfast, and a multipurpose space that can help the kitchen feel larger. Home Building and Remodeling Experts stated that this generation appreciates the ability to entertain in the kitchen as well as the increased counter space and storage – a must in smaller homes and apartments. Individuals may also want to add electrical outlets or use the space for addition in-kitchen seating, if possible.

This generation which has experienced and embraced many different kinds of technology enjoy unique home features. USA Today featured a kitchen designed by millennials and intended for them to use, which was based upon the results of a German survey querying 18 to 29 year-olds. The biggest takeaway is that millennials like useful accoutrements that can be hidden away. For example, a drawer underneath kitchen cabinets pulls out and has space for pet food and water. Inside another door hides a cereal dispenser. And the kitchen island design has baskets for food storage in addition to a hidden compost machine. Your kitchen remodeling project can have such features, as long as you account for the extra space or the extra cabinets required.

A cereal dispenser may seem overboard to some, but a classy, grey and white kitchen may give the room a contemporary boost. Any kitchen renovation will be a fun project, and maybe you can modernize it, just a little, in the process.

Modernize your kitchen with quartz countertops

Want new kitchen countertops Consider quartz 16001529 40043397 0 14095366 500

Bringing your kitchen up-to-date may not require a major remodeling project. In fact, taking the renovations one step at a time can be better for both time and budget purposes. A slower approach allows you to focus on each element you aim to change in your kitchen, and you can also ensure that you are selecting exactly the materials, fixtures and faucets that will make your kitchen shine. In other words, you will feel less overwhelmed.

When it comes time to update your kitchen countertops you may find that you have an incredibly wide range of materials, styles and colors from which to choose. While there are merits to any and all of these materials, perhaps you can consider using quartz. It is modern, fashionable, and built to last.

Quartz is eye-catching
Some people choose to upgrade their kitchen with the hope of selling their home. According to an article on, installing quartz countertops can be extremely appealing to potential buyers. Among its assets, quartz is thoroughly a beautiful material. It can often look extremely similar to granite, according to the source, which can elevate a kitchen's appearance. Simply put, quartz can make your kitchen look more expensive and professional, whatever the purpose for your upgrade.

Quartz is extremely durable
According to HGTV, more modern quartz kitchen countertops are made from around 95 percent ground, natural quartz combined with 5 percent polymer resins. This material is extremely hard, low-maintenance and often has the natural look of stone, but can be found in a wide range of colors. For inspiration, you should head over to a kitchen and bath showroom to see samples and get advice on whether quartz is ideal for your needs. And if you're worried about your quartz kitchen countertops withstanding eager home cooks or children's energy, the source added the perspective from an independent home improvement contractor who deemed the material to be essentially indestructible.

countertop, kitchen, kitchen decorConsider quartz for new countertops

Quartz is great for a busy kitchen
Have a big family? Like to cook often? Today, the kitchen is not solely reserved for food preparation; it's a place where people gather for homework purposes, large baking projects and simply to hang out. It experiences more traffic. Quartz is antimicrobial in addition to being able to handle great forces, said This Old House, which makes it helpful for preventing bacteria from collecting, plus mold and mildew find it more difficult to grow on the surface. The source added that it is also extremely easy to clean and this can be great for intrepid home chefs or those with small children.

Quartz is very heavy, but it can be installed in slabs, said This Old House. This means it can be incorporated into the kitchen seamlessly in many cases, avoiding a less-elegant piecemeal feel to the countertops. However, because of the material's weight and foibles – until installed, it can crack if not handled properly, the source noted – it is best to hire a professional for assistance. However, if that is your greatest concern about using quartz for your kitchen countertops, it is honestly a minor thing when all its benefits are considered. Talk to your kitchen and bath showroom representatives for more help, but don't count out quartz as a classy, strong material to use for your new kitchen countertops.