Powder Rooms: Design Tips for Small Bathrooms

glamorous powder room polka dot wallpaper decor
Photo: Style at Home

Want to make your guests feel welcomed when they visit? Nothing spells eloquence and comfort quite like a stylish whimsical powder room.

There are plenty of ways you can spruce up this tiny bathroom area and make it look like something right out of a luxury hotel. Here are some tips for decorating your powder room:

Be Daring with Design and Style

 

glam bathroom decorating black and white striped walls
Photo: Home and Fabulous

The powder room is one of the smallest spaces in your home, so you shouldn’t be afraid to get a bit daring with the design choices. This is your creative space to do as you feel. Whether you use bold colors and textures or utilize different materials, it’s a small space so bolder design choices won’t feel so overpowering.

Not sure what your personal style is or just how bold you want to go? Sometimes, looking at small pieces of furniture or home décor can help you get some ideas. For instance, a constellation mirror from Baker Furniture might give you an idea to go with an astrological theme. Another option for figuring out your personal style would be to check out nice bathrooms in person. Open houses and bathroom shows often have great ways for you to create a wow factor in such a small space.

Ditch the Neutral Tones

 

bold bathroom wallpaper powderroom decorating ideas
Photo: LittleGreenNotebook.com

While you may have tans, beige, and sand throughout your home, your powder room is a great space to go bold with your paint color. Vibrant colors like navy, black, chocolate, and even merlot can look marvelous in a small space. Or consider going bright with an energizing color like honey gold or rubine red. If you’re going to go neutral, consider a textured or patterned wallpaper accent wall to make the room really pop.

Storage

 

ikea bathroom storage diy decor powderroom
Photo: IKEA

Though the powder room is a small space, it doesn’t mean it can’t provide you with ample amount of storage. Get creative with storage options in a small space. For instance, installing a shelf over the toilet can create space for soap, hand towels, and other toiletries your guests might need. If there’s enough space in the room, you can also consider a chest or ottoman to store other items like towels.

Materials

 

marble sink bathroom powderroom decorating ideas
Photo: Dana Wolter Interiors

You know the great part about decorating a small space like a powder room? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on materials. The space is so small that you can afford to splurge on high-end materials. Whether you want stone countertops or intricate floor tiles, you can get them without worrying about a large price tag.

Accessories

 

bathroom accessories decor ideasPhoto: Brandi Sawyer

Now for the really fun part… the accessories. If you’re going to make your powder room hospitable you need to create the right vibe. Add wall art or paintings to the walls, place nice figurines or vases for the countertop, invest in a nice soap dish and lotion container and even a nice towel set. Add a little dimmer for the lighting and place a few scented candles around to complete the ambiance.

We tend to be a bit more lax when it comes to decorating the rest of our home. A space as small as the powder room is the best place in the home to really allow your creative juices to flow. Be bold, be daring, and try new things. The next time you have guests over, you’ll likely have a hard time getting them out of the restroom!

Check out our Other Posts on
Bathroom Decorating:

 

Get Your Bathroom Ready for 2016 With Our Favorite Bathroom Décor Trends

Brilliant Decorating Ideas To Make a Bland Bathroom Come to Life

These Bathroom Decorating Ideas Will Transform it into a
Luxurious Private Sanctuary

 

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Organizing the Outdoors: DIY Garden and Yard Projects

cozy backyard decorating ideasPhoto: Shapiro Didway

“The unruly oceans, the untamed forests, the uncontrollable wilderness… Nature isn’t meant to be organized ― unless it’s in my yard.” – Suzy Cacic

 

While it may only take an afternoon for your kitchen or living room to become disheveled, the front and backyard tend to grow steadily more unkempt over time, which means many homeowners don’t even realize how cluttered their outdoor spaces are becoming until the yard is a total mess.

Orderly design is just as important outdoors. Fortunately, I have a few tricks to make organizing your outside spaces easy. You can kill your yard’s clutter on the cheap with the following four DIY projects.

Outside Toy Bins

 

To prevent your kids’ favorite stuffed animal from death via water and dirt, it is wise to have different sets of toys for indoor and outdoor play. However, that means you need a similarly solid strategy for organizing outdoor toys.

The most effective toy organization in any yard is using  labeled bins. By painting a square of chalkboard paint on a number of mid-sized plastic containers, you can create a sensible storage for a variety of outdoor toys. This stops kids from scattering all their toys at once; instead, they know exactly where to find the toy they want ― and more importantly, where to put it back when they’re done.

One of the most important principles of toy storage is the regular purge. Every season or so, you and your kids should sift through the outdoor toy bins and resolve to give away any playthings that no longer see any action. The same should go for you as well: Every few months, you should survey your belongings in the backyard and ditch those that you no longer want or use. Large and ignored items, like your broken down family boat, can go to donation. As long as it isn’t in your backyard, you’ll have a more organized outdoors.

Stylish Tool Shed

 stylish outdoor tool shed shackPhoto: Harmony Design Group

The fact is, you need to put your yard tools somewhere. You could stash them in your garage, robbing the real estate your car desperately deserves. You could stack them on your back porch, coopting entertaining space and creating an eyesore. The best option is placing them in their own storage area, but prefab sheds from home improvement stores can be expensive. That’s why you should make your own.

Using these directions from Popular Mechanics, we built a shed in my backyard that was large enough to house our larger lawn tools (lawn mower, leaf blower, shovels, rakes) as well as a variety of miscellaneous items we didn’t need in the house, like hammers, paints, and fold-up camping chairs. If you don’t need as much outdoor storage space, you might consider a smaller design, like this adorable shed made of windows and doors or this little shed that costs less than $260 in materials.

Handy Hiders

 Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 6.02.08 PMPhoto: Rainbow Valley Design & Construction

No matter how beautiful your garden is, there will always be at least one blot on the landscaping. For me, that fright was the house trash containers, but for others, that might be a disorganized half of the patio or a derelict corner of the garden. Until you can repair your yard’s blemishes, you can hide them.

Most home improvement stores have outdoor privacy screens of varying sizes, but it is entirely possible to make your own. I used old closet doors like this to build a wall around my garbage bins ― but I also staked them down to make the wall more resistant to inclement weather. You could hang draperies from your patio to create a secret storage area or place stand-up screens around your yard when guests come to visit.

Decorative Touches

 

Once your outdoor spaces are organized, it’s time for the real fun: decorating. As the final step of outdoor design, adding decorative touches is essential to creating a space you enjoy spending time in. The type of décor you use will depend on your yard’s aesthetic, but I do have a few suggestions to spark your imagination:

  • Chalkboard paint. I painted a small section of my home’s wall, beneath the patio awning, with chalkboard paint to allow my kids a sheltered place to draw and be creative. Plus, I can erase their doodles and add my own when I expect more adult guests.
  • Mirrors. If your yard is small, you can make it seem larger by hanging mirrors on the back wall or fence. You should secure them firmly, so they don’t blow about in bouts of windy weather.
  • Galvanized buckets. A combination storage solution and decoration, galvanized buckets are usually my go-to for outdoor design. I have a massive bucket as the base for my patio table, a few smaller ones to hold wrapped-up hoses, and tiny ones to serve as ice buckets during gatherings.
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7 DIY Tips to Treat Your Lawn Right This Summer and Make It Super Green!

Get your lawn looking in tip-top shape this summer with our tips from the lawn experts!

The sun is rising early and setting late, giving you plenty of time for all those DIY projects you’ve been putting off. While you are busy decorating the inside of your house, think about your lawn that is out baking in the hot sun. High temperatures and irregular watering and mowing are the primary culprits that lead to fading color, weeds, insects, and disease. You may be on vacation, but your grass is alive and waiting for some TLC.

front yard lawn care beautiful wood front doors diy landscapingPhoto: Sudbury Design Group

1. Watering in Summer Heat

If you think you get thirsty when it’s hot, imagine how your lawn feels. Keeping water conservation in mind is very important in some parts of the country, but even given that, there are ways to keep your lawn well hydrated and looking good.

Water first thing. Watering in early morning gives time for the soil to soak it up before it begins evaporating under the midday sun. However, because a lawn that’s continuously wet can encourage fungal diseases, set the sprinklers to start just after the dew dries on the grass blades.

Water past the topsoil. If the water doesn’t penetrate past the top layer of soil, it will dry out before the grass can make the most of it. Watering deeply also forces the grass roots to grow as they look for moisture, which makes them stronger and better able to deal with summer stress.

Water less frequently. You don’t have to water as often as long as the lawn is getting enough water over a week’s time. An established lawn needs about an inch of water every seven days. It’s easy to check on that by putting some empty tuna cans around the lawn and seeing how much water is in them at the end of a week.

Do a simple test. If you can poke a screwdriver into the ground without much effort, your lawn is getting enough water.

2. Mow the Right Way

 

5 green grass how to diy lawn carePhoto: Golightly Landscape Architecture

It sounds like a good idea to let the grass grow long and then mow it down short so you can stretch out the times between needing to get the lawnmower out. But the lawn will suffer for it.

Sharpen up. Sharp mower blades make nicer cuts, and that’s what you want, because ragged edges are an entry point for disease and pests. You can generally expect a blade to stay sharp enough through about ten hours of mowing time. It’s a good idea to have a spare sharpened blade at the ready in case the one you’re using stops operating efficiently midway through a job.

Cut just enough. Your lawn has a recommended height range. Look up what yours is and then keep your mower set to remove just the top third of the blades . (Generally, when your grass is between 2 to 4 inches high.) Cutting the grass too short exposes the soil to sunlight and removes too much nutrients from the leaf blades, letting weeds pop up.

Don’t bother cleaning up. Since you’re only cutting about an inch each time, you get the bonus of being able to leave the clippings in place as mulch and shade for the soil.

3. Give Pests the Boot

 

Heat-stressed lawns are easy prey for insects and disease. The best summer lawn treatment includes pest control.

• In some regions, grubs are a problem, and they hatch over the summer, so consult with your local garden center to find out the best time to use grub control.
• Summer is the time for fungal diseases, so you may need to use a fungicide. Powdery mildew and brown patch disease thrive in extended periods of wet grass, so don’t water at night.

4. Manage Weeds

 

front yard landscaping how to keep your grass greenPhoto: Sudbury Design Group

You can spot-treat contained areas of weeds, but summer isn’t a good time for broad applications of herbicides because they can stress the grass. Skip the gym and get back to basics by removing weeds like dandelions, clover, and chickweed by hand.

5. Don’t Over-Fertilize

Over-fertilizing can burn your lawn, particularly under a hot summer sun. While spring and fall are the times to fertilize a cool-season lawn, warm-season turf does need extra nutrients during its summer growing season. Use the recommended fertilizer for the type of grass you have, and don’t over-do it.

6. Give Your Lawn a Break

 

green gras diy how to lawn care easy tipsPhoto: The Todd Group

Don’t over-burden it full time with heavy toys, lounge chairs, hoses, and other things left where you used them. Take a few minutes to move those objects off the lawn or stow them elsewhere.

7. Relax in Your Hammock

Cool-season grass will go dormant in dry mid-summer heat. Leave it alone and don’t force it to revive itself. The lawn will come back on its own once the weather cools. Most turf grass can make it through a dormancy of three to four weeks without dying. Be nice to it, though, and don’t mow or allow hard play or too much foot traffic on it. Deep watering will encourage root growth once the heat spell is over.
BDB Tip: For more info on keeping your lawn healthy this summer, check out The Lawn Institute.

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