4 Bathroom Renovations That Add Space

There are plenty of ways to make your home’s interior look and feel bigger. Rearranging your furniture, using large mirrors, and getting creative with storage are all ways to create (or at least give the illusion of) more space. This is a bigger challenge, however, when it comes to the smallest room in your house: the bathroom.

If you share a bathroom with other people, you’re probably very familiar with the frustrations that come with a cramped space. Your bathroom has to not only serve all of its obvious functions, but it also has to store everyone’s toiletries, medicines and linens with easy access.

Most of the time, creating more functional space in a bathroom means remodeling. If knocking down a wall is not an option, the next logical step is to replace those space-hogging fixtures like sinks, tubs and toilets, with newer models that are either physically smaller, appear smaller, or provide more space for usability. Here are some great options that are available now.

Curved Front Bathtubs
It used to be that in order to have a larger bathing space, you’d have to have to install a monstrous bathtub, but not anymore. American Standard’s Ovation Bathtub is an extremely durable, solid acrylic tub that is compact enough to install into a standard 5 ft. x 30 in. bath alcove, but has a curved front apron that gives you extra bathing room. Along with providing extra comfort and elbow room, the Ovation tub also pairs perfectly with curved shower doors and matching wall surrounds for extensive storage.

Ovation tub in bathroom

Diminutive Sinks
One huge space-saving bathroom renovation you can do is replacing your hulking cabinet-and-sink combination with a diminutive sink. These smaller options, which include wall-hung, corner and pedestal sinks, save a ton of space and are visually appealing as well. It may seem like a given, but if you choose one of these diminutive sinks, pay very close attention to the faucet. Make sure that you can actually fit your hands under it to wash them!

One-Piece & Rounded-Front Toilets

Replacing your toilet is another smart way to give your bathroom more space. The main aspects to focus on when planning for a new toilet are the rough-in measurement, seat shape and tank design. The rough-in is the distance between the wall and the center of the toilet drain. In older homes, rough-ins are generally 10 or 14 in., while in newer homes they are 12 in. If you have a 10 in. rough-in, opt for a smaller fixture with a rounded seat because it will take up less space. In terms of tank design, one-piece toilets have lower tanks, which make them appear smaller, but they actually take up the same amount of space as two-piece toilets.

The final space-saving bathroom change is not a fixture replacement, but rather a smart addition. If you swap your cabinet and sink out for a diminutive sink, you lose a ton of storage space. The solution here is a bathroom étagère, which is a piece of furniture with small cabinets and shelves that goes over and around your toilet. These are perfect for storing toilet paper, towels and wash cloths, beauty products, and anything else you need easy access to.

What changes will you make to add space to your bathroom?  Check out these beautiful bathrooms for some inspiration!


***Sarah Kellner writes about DIY home projects, including bathroom renovations, for The Home Depot. Sarah provides tips to homeowners on saving space and creating storage. A selection of bathroom space savers available at The Home Depot can be found on the company’s website.

Our Top 5 Tips for Home Office Organization!

With all of the technology of today, working from home is becoming more and more popular. We’re able to be connected to everyone around the world with email, texting, gotomeeting.com, etc. that it’s easy to work from anywhere!

With that said, those who work from home take on the challenge of creating their own home office. Some of us may put hours into determining the best way for our home office to be organized and decorated, but for others it may not be something that we put much thought into.  You wouldn’t want your boss making a surprise appearance to find you working on the kitchen table with left over food, kids homework and all of your personal mail all over your work station, would you?

To help those who may need some friendly home office organization advice we have put together our top 5 tips to help get the process started!

  1. Dual Purpose Office?  A lot of people have a home office that is being used for a dual purpose. The most common is a guest room and an office. You may need to have that extra bed for those out of town visitors, but is it taking up too much space? Something to consider is purchasing a murphy bed. This allows you to still have a space for your guests but allows you to pack it up the minute they leave, leaving you with additional space in your office to move around.  Or consider a day bed, looking more like a couch during the workweek!VIRG_EG_Claremont_BEDROOM_2
  1. What makes you smile everyday? Is it a specific picture, your pets sleeping at your feet or hearing your favorite music in the background? Make sure to highlight that specific thing that makes you happy everyday. Post photos of your pets (or even get them a nice bed for right next to your desk), frame your favorite pictures to hang above your desk or make sure that you always have a way of listening to your favorite songs throughout the day. A happy person is a more productive person.Cinci_RegencyPark_Jasmine Model_study
  1. Too many office supplies? A lot of us will stock up on office supplies during back to school time where items are extremely inexpensive. However we don’t think of all of the space that those items take up. If you have a closet in your office make sure to add shelves, cubbies, boxes and labels to help get these items out of the way, but still organized. Don’t have a closet? Is there a space in the garage, attic or basement that you can store bulk items until you need them again? If you don’t own a label maker, it might be time to purchase one!
  1. Get Motivated!  Do your office walls scream “motivation” or do they scream “boredom”? A dreary atmosphere will definitely not motivate you to do your best. Splurge on some new paint, window treatments or lighting to make this space a motivating space for optimal productivity.CHIC_BRC_COMM_Den
  1. Declutter! It’s amazing how much paperwork we tend to hold on to that we realize really isn’t necessary. How much stuff do you have in your office? Here are some suggestions for helping to “purge” these items:
      1. If you can access this information online – Throw it out (or shred if needed)
      2. If you can store it at your main office – Send it to them!
      3. If you can scan this information and file it on your computer – Do it!
      4. If it’s really old, personal information that you don’t need – Shred It!

Tips on Making Small Spaces within Your Home Appear Larger

Even though you might not have a large and spacious home it does not mean that you cannot make small spaces work for you. Moreover, with a few tips and tricks you can make small spaces seem larger than they really are. But, you will need careful and precise planning and design to make small spaces work for you. It can be challenging to arrange everything in your living space to seem visually larger and bigger, but playing with the right color combination or with lighting you can really achieve great results.

Color Design

Opting for bright colors in small spaces will make them look bigger, but you have to be careful which colors and shades you choose because different colors can influence the mood of the room, as well. If you also arrange the room to have lots of light then you will have a winning combination in visually expanding your small room.

Be careful, though, that the bright color choices are not too aggressive as it will seem that your room is cramped. Moreover, too intensive colors and too much contrast will only create chaos and anxiety in a room; it is a good idea to match the colors with your furniture, or to at least make the colors compatible.

Multi-practical Furniture

Perhaps the biggest issue to tackle in a small living area is where to store all your belongings, and that is why it is great to own multipurpose furniture which can be used to store some of your stuff. Installing shelves and drawers on walls is a great way to put away some of your stuff, but be careful not to clog up pathways from room to room.

It is important to look for furniture which will allow you to maximize your space and that will not take up too much space on its own, we learn from renowned Sydney-based project management specialists.  Arrange the furniture and newly installed shelves in a way that will make the room feel less cramped, and most importantly: avoid clutter.


It is important to have your small rooms well lit and to avoid darkness at all costs. Lights for small rooms will help in making the room seem bigger and more welcoming. You should however focus on letting in as much natural light as possible, in small rooms avoid using heavy draperies and curtains that will choke the light out.

Installing artificial lights should be done in way to stretch the walls and to make them bigger and longer than they really are. You do not have to use lights which are too big nor do you have to use lights which are too big.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to create the illusion of a bigger room is to use large wall mirrors. By reflecting light and the contours of the room, your room will feel a lot bigger and more spacious. It is best to fill in empty walls with big mirrors and by doing so your room will look bigger and it will feel as if everything is utilized.

Keep Everything Organized

Having everything organized, from your furniture to the small details on shelves and desks can really mean the difference. It is vital that you keep small spaces clutter free and they will immediately feel bigger. Moreover, it is also important to decide what is worth having on display and what you can get rid of; by neatly organizing every detail in a room, you will create the illusion of it being more spacious.

Author Bio: Lillian Connors is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast ever so keen on doing various DIY projects around her house and passionately writing about them. She is also an online marketing consultant, closely collaborating with a number of companies from all over the globe. You can check her out on G+, Facebook and Twitter.

M/I Homes Interviews Kay Green Design, Inc.

M/I Homes takes pride in our models. They are one of the first impressions for a homebuyer touring our new communities. Well- merchandised models give potential homeowners the feeling of being at home, along with great ideas for their own homes.

Kay Green Design, Inc. based in Winter Park, Florida, was the key interior design firm for the Aberdeen and Bradford models in our Bellington community. The company has been working in the model home merchandising industry for nearly 40 years.

Jerry Collin, vice president of Kay Green Design, Inc., was gracious enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about interior design.

M/I: What is trending now and how is that used in each of the models?

JC: We are seeing two particular cabinet choices becoming the most popular – white cabinets paired with white back-splashes, and dark espresso or Kona-colored cabinets. Another trend is a flex room that we’re showing as “fem dens” or spaces for moms.

We also see families wanting multi-use spaces that the entire family can enjoy at the same time. They are using a den as an additional TV location. In the kitchen, buyers want kitchen islands that are all on one level, instead of having a raised bar.

M/I: What was your inspiration for the colors used in the Bellington models?

JC: The latest color trends are moving towards a more neutral color pallet of beiges or warm, soft gray tones, and then adding pops of jewel tones. Jade and gold in the Aberdeen and royal navy and raspberry in the Bradford are good examples of what homebuyers are leaning towards.

 M/I: What did you like about each plan?

JC: The Aberdeen offers a first-floor master bedroom, which is always a hit with homeowners. At Bellington we carried the Mullican Hickory Champagne wood flooring throughout the main level to help add some upscale luxury to the space. The second floor loft, with double doors that open to a shared office, helps keep the family together. There are also a lot of great outdoor spaces, including a side porch off the kitchen area.

The Bradford has a very appealing feature in the optional kitchen extension that can be used as a morning sitting area. The angled entry door is stylish. An oversized fifth bedroom with the extra-large walk-in closet creates another flex space that can be used in many ways. We chose to make this space another multi-use room for the entire family. This plan offers a lot of great natural light as well.

M/I: What was the best room to merchandise?

JC: We always find the master bedroom one of our favorite spaces to merchandise by creating a sanctuary for homeowners, offering them a retreat any time they need a relaxing getaway from the day’s activities.

M/I: Why do you like merchandising new homes and models?

JC: One of best parts of being in new construction is staying on top of the latest trends in floor-plan function, interior lighting, the growing home animation systems, kitchen appliances and new home finishes.

 M/I: What inspired you to be an interior decorator?

JC: I have always had a passion for touring builders’ model homes, which lead me to the business. Katie Trentley, one of our senior designers who was also instrumental in Bellington, has wanted to be a designer since she was 5 years old.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Roman Shades: The ‘Just Right’ Window Covering

Roman shades are a stylish and practical alternative to standard-issue window treatments, and they come in a wide variety of styles and looks. Made simply of fabric panels that are raised or lowered with the help of a cord system and rings sewn onto the back of the fabric, they warm up windows while providing privacy and protection from the sun.

These classic shades are a designer favorite for many reasons, but the fact that they’ve literally been in use for hundreds of years makes them a perfect illustration of timeless style. Simple and efficient in both operation and look, we love the clean lines and finished feel that Roman shades add to any space. Just pull the cord, and the fabric draws itself up into a tidy series of pleats. Here’s everything you need to know to find the right Romans for you.

Window coverings 1

Finding the Right Look
Speaking of pleats, the first thing you want to consider is the volume of the pleat. If you’re going for a clean, contemporary look, you’ll find Roman shades in a flat fold, pressed cleanly with a straight, flat edge. The swag style is also popular and offers a more billowy, traditional look. You can get Roman shades in nearly any kind of material from damask to bamboo, so play around with the pleat and the fabric to find the right mix for your space. That’s the other reason we love Roman shades so much — their versatility. Reed or jute, cotton or canvas, silk or linen, printed or plain, Roman shades can add a pop of personality, or fade into the background.

You can also get Roman shades created in custom fabrics that match or complement furniture or other accessories in the room –and with even a little experience behind a sewing machine, you can make them yourself. BONUS — they even come as blackout shades. The fabric is printed or attached to a flexible vinyl or vinyl-coated fiberglass material that keeps you in the dark when you want to be!


Roman Shades Window Coverings

Installation Options
Another advantage of the Roman shade is that they can be mounted inside or outside the window frame. Hung inside the frame, you really get that custom-fitted and clean look that Romans are known for. But if you’re working with a tiny window or two, and would like to give the illusion of a larger window, you can purchase a shade that’s larger than the frame and mount it accordingly.

If you have children or pets around the house, it’s worth mentioning that Roman shades are also available with safety cords that are either hidden or inaccessible to the smaller residents of the space. Of course, these days, they can also be mounted for automated opening and closing so that they open from the top, or the bottom, and do it all from your smart phone or tablet!

*Guest Blogger and Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly  writes on all styles of window treatments, including roman shades, for Home Depot. Kerrie is the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. For Home Depot’s selection of roman shades, you can visit the company’s website.


@mihomes via twitter

© Copyright 2012, M/I Homes, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers