Just another WordPress weblog

Entries Tagged as 'Home & Garden'

Design Ideas for Bathroom Walls and Floor Tiles

Design Ideas for Bathroom Walls and Floor Tiles

Home decor enjoys a niche position as a profession today. From beautiful, flamboyantly designed homes to homes that spell class with functionality, the options are many. Interior decorators employ many innovative techniques to suit their clients and plan for interiors that match the budget without compromising on the design element.

Today, designing a bathroom is looked upon as a challenge. Gone are the days of boring white tiles and muted shades. Bathroom tile design ideas are getting better and better. This is also because of the flexibility in terms of materials used and the concepts planned by the interior decorators. A bathroom is now looked upon more than just a place where one goes to freshen up and have a wash. A bathroom is amongst the most well-planned sections of the house like any other room. Design ideas for bathroom walls and floor tiles can range from the basic to the funky kinds. Here, we shall take a look at the basics of bathroom tile design ideas, which will reveal how to tile a bathroom in your new home!

Design ideas for bathroom wall and floor tiles

The design cannot be restricted just to the wall tiles. The floor tiles can be designed in co-ordination with the wall tiles. Before you decide upon the bathroom tile patterns, there are some things you need to consider. Take a look at some tips in relation with bathroom tile designs.

You need to decide upon the materials of the tiles. From vinyl bathroom tiles to ceramic tile flooring, the options are many. Apart from these, you also have the option for stone bathroom tile designs. These can be in marble, granite, brick or even onyx. Mosaic bathroom tiles are also beautiful as bathroom floor and wall tiles.

Plan the kind of color theme you wish to have for the bathroom. Pick a color that blends well with the wall colors. Pastel shades are often popular with many. You can opt for colors such as a fresh, mint green or a beautiful pale shade of pink. Avoid overextending your passion for colors. A bathroom should not look cluttered. Tiles in light color suit bathrooms that are small in size. This is because light shades tend to make a space appear larger. Bathroom lighting also plays an important role in the way tiles may finally appear.

The size of the tile can be changed in varied proportion to create interesting effects. You can opt for differently colored tiles for the floors and walls. Due to their different size, these can be laid in different angles to create unique patterns on a particular section of the wall or floor. You can even look for specific decorative tiles.

In the recent times, stencils have proved to be an innovative way to create designs on bathroom wall and floor tiles. Here, one can choose the pattern and even use letters or wordings for the design. Stencils can be used with ease and can help one to have a precise pattern on the walls. Bathroom murals are also increasing in demand. These murals can be based on a particular theme for the bathroom. Children especially, would love cartoons and bright colors. You can even use some flowery designs for a particular section of the wall. A few elements of these can be used for the floor design to balance the overall look.

Try color contrasts for the tiles. This can work specifically in large bathrooms where you can use high contrast to create a dramatic effect. A white tiled background helps to balance anything that is dramatic.

You can opt for different textures for the bathroom tiles. This can also add a beautiful look to any design. Tile textures can be glossy, matte, glass effect or even with an uneven surface. Uneven surfaced tiles have a different beauty in its natural design.

Use these design ideas for bathroom wall and floor tiles and create a different look for the interiors. A beautifully designed bathroom flooring and wall will complete the look of a beautifully designed home.

Tips on Aquarium Maintenance

Tips on Aquarium Maintenance

Don’t you think watching beautiful fish swimming must be quite interesting and relaxing? So, why not try and experience this by keeping an aquarium. Keeping fish as pets and maintaining them is quite easier as compared to other pets. Anybody with real interest in aquariums, must educate themselves about the basic requirements of pet fish. This knowledge will help in imitating an aquarium environment similar to the conditions of the natural habitat of the pet fish. In fact, aquarium keeping is one of the most popular hobbies followed worldwide. Among the Americans, it is the second-most important hobby next to stamp collection.

Tips on Aquarium Maintenance

Regular aquarium maintenance is very important in order to create a healthy environment for the fish and other plants in the aquarium. The main objective is to clean wastes, check chemical balance, and check water pH. Maintenance differs for marine water fish and fresh water fish. Let’s see some of the common important aquarium maintenance tips, which will really help you in taking care of your aquarium.

Aquarium: First, decide about the size before actually setting up an aquarium. An aquarium may range from a small fish bowl to a large public fish tank. It is always better to prefer a larger aquarium since higher volume of water is more stable in terms of temperature, water chemistry and cleanliness. Also, overcrowding exposes the fish to more stress and pollutes the water more quickly.

Aquarium Fish: While buying aquarium fish, one should take care about the requirements and compatibilities of fish. Different types of fish have different requirements and not all species of fish are compatible. One should check the fish compatibility with the tank environment and other fish in the aquarium. Majority of the fish types can’t be kept together. Also, it is important to buy healthy fish since; even a single sick fish can infect the remaining fish in the tank. Healthy fish are active and have erect fins, clear eyes and good skin color. Even after the fish get established in the tank, regular checking should be done for any disease infection.

Aquarium Water: Water is one of the most important factors that should be maintained carefully in an aquarium. While adding water, for the first time, to the aquarium, make sure that the water is free of chlorine and other dissolved solutes and gas. It is always recommended to leave water for conditioning at least for one week, before introducing fish and plants. Afterwards, water changing should be done regularly at least once in a month. It is necessary to change only 25-30% of the total water in order to dilute the accumulated harmful chemicals such as nitrites, nitrates and phosphates. The replaced water condition should match the temperature and pH condition of the existing aquarium water in order to avoid adverse effects.

Maintaining Temperature: Maintaining optimum temperature for each fish type is important. Basically there are two types of fish - tropical and cold water. Tropical fish is comfortable in temperatures around 25ºC. Cold-water fish prefers a much lower temperature than the tropical type. Moreover, the aquarium temperature should be maintained constant as far as possible; any abrupt change in temperature will result in fish-shock and may cause diseases. In order to avoid temperature shock, many hobbyists prefer to attach a thermometer and a heater to the fish tank.

Maintaining Light: Natural light supplemented with artificial light is essential for both plants and fish. Plants need light for photosynthesis and growth, whereas fish need light for feeding and spawning. Also, suppression of harmful algae and planktons are possible only in presence of light. Optimum light requirement would be around 12 hours per day. Above all, fish look more beautiful in well-illuminated water.

Feeding Fish: Overfeeding should be avoided. Feeding twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening time is enough. Although feeding amount depends upon the fish type and population, it is advisable to feed only as much as the fish can clean up in 5 minutes time. Many people opine that fish are healthier, if they are kept hungry in between. Fish diet should be varied and should include cooked food (if possible).

Maintaining pH: Although the optimum pH for all fish is neutral (7), fish can tolerate a pH ranging from 6.6-7.4. Water, due to its dissolved minerals has its own natural buffering capacity, which can be checked by testing water hardness. Since fish can’t tolerate a fluctuating pH, it is advised to check water hardness regularly in order to maintain a near-about constant pH. It is found out that increase in phosphate level (which also indicates increase in algal growth) plays an important role in destabilizing pH. One tip for maintaining pH is cleaning water regularly to get rid of wastes and algae.

Quarantine Aquarium: Use quarantine aquarium to keep sick fish, if any. This will help to prevent spreading of disease to other fish and also, the sick fish will recover sooner. Quarantine aquarium can also be used for acclimatization of newly bought fish before introducing to the already established aquarium. It also enables to check whether the new fish are disease-free or not.

Other maintaining tips include adding maximum plants to hamper algal growth. One can also make use of scavengers like snails and aquarium crabs for consuming algae, which indirectly reduces the excess nitrates and phosphates from the tank. While cleaning, don’t empty the aquarium completely, since it can destroy the useful nitrifying bacteria. Also don’t use chemical soap or detergent, while cleaning. Water testing should be done on a weekly basis to check the parameters of aquarium water.

Well, these are some of the tips for maintaining aquarium successfully. Since you are interested in aquariums, let me mention some of the wonderful and common aquarium fish, which you might wish to watch. The list include goldfish, butterflyfish, koi fish, catfish, lionfish, rainbow fish, oscarfish, angelfish, bettafish, pufferfish, clownfish, starfish, hogfish, scorpionfish and so on. One can even add coral reefs in aquariums to make them more lively.

What is the Importance of a Community

Human being is a social being. We live in a society and like to share our feelings, happiness and sorrows with our friends, relatives and others. This wish of togetherness and belonging leads to create a community as a whole. Community is a broader term and has a larger connotation. Presently Internet has contributed a lot in connecting people through various communities. By the way don’t you want to know the value of this very term?

Importance of Community

Usually community refers to a group of people living in a common geographical location. This group of people obeys some social norms and some common value among themselves. As such, there are so many communities the world over, separated by languages, cultures, or geographical locations. However, they are related to each other in some way or other, thus making entire world a one, single community.

A sense of community is important to establish peace and harmony among the society. The division of work, feeling of association, togetherness, and cooperation - all these help in establishing a healthy atmosphere filled with unity, harmony and friendship. The sense of a community is also important in fostering a feeling of intra-national as well as international brotherhood. Let us discuss these points, in an absence of which there will be complete chaos in the community.

Sense of Togetherness

A sense of togetherness lies in the soul of every individual. This comes from our care and dependency on our fellow beings. From our childhood days to our adulthood, we care for our family members, our relatives, our neighbors and friends. This leads to a need of togetherness among people, which helps in creating a community. We tend to enjoy any festival or social ritual together. This is a kind of community feeling. Without community people will be alone, there won’t be anyone to talk to or to share with.

Division of Work

We share our work and this division of work leads to our dependency on other people working in different roles. In every walk of our lives, we have to depend on others apart from our family members. For example, the cobbler repairs shoes for us, the barber cuts our hair, tailor stitches fashionable clothes for us, butcher cuts meat for us, bakers prepares biscuits for us, engineers make houses for us, etc. All these individuals fall into a community, without whom our lives will be very difficult. Division of work is, therefore, important for a well-formed and well-functioning community.


The very idea of community comes into being because people like to cooperate with each other. The sense of cooperation begins at home and it leads to a strong feeling of international brotherhood.

Feeling of Association

In a community people live by associating with one another. The feeling of association is a common human feeling. This helps in establishing peace and harmony within a community. Without a feeling of association there will be chaos and disharmony in the society or community. Hence, this point plays an important role in making a lively and vibrant community.

Thus, with all these points in a perfect combination, a community can help in making a peaceful and progressive society. Likewise, any imbalance could give rise to umpteen problems that are disrupting peace and harmony the world over.

Pansy Flowers

Pansy Flowers

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

In fact, a flower is one the most precious miracles that God has ever created. It is Mother Nature’s wonderful gift to mankind. Life can’t be as beautiful as it is without flowers. Flowers are a part and parcel of life, since time immemorial. We have been using flowers for many reasons - in beautifying our surroundings, in expressing our sympathy and also as a source of food.

Pansy or pansy violets are one of the earliest spring blossoming plants. In warm regions, pansies flower in late winter and spring, whereas in cool regions, they flower in summer. They are biennials, but mostly planted as annuals. Pansy originally came from the French word pensie, which means, ‘thought’ or ‘remembrance’. According to floriography (the practice of assigning symbolic meaning to flowers), ‘pansy’ stands for ‘loving thoughts’. Pansy flowers have wide range of bright and brilliant colors. They also have light fragrance. They have three basic petal color patterns - first is single uniform color pattern, second is single color pattern with black line radiating from the center (the black line is called penciling) and the third pattern is flower with a dark center inside. Some people describe the dark inner region of pansy flowers, as ‘faces’. Among the three patterns, the pansy flowers with faces, are most commonly grown. Pansy plants are mostly cultivated as garden flowers.

Growing Pansy Flowers

Besides their dazzling colors, the popularity of pansies is partly due to the fact that they are easy to grow. They are regarded as a ‘plant for all seasons’. Pansies grow well in full sun or semi-shade, but can tolerate cool weather. They grow 6-10 inches high and spread up to 10-12 inches wide. Some of the tips for growing pansy plants are as follows:

  • Pansies propagate by means of seeds. It is better to sow seeds in early season, so that the flower will bloom in time. After sowing seeds, cover the bed lightly with soil, so as to enhance seed germination.
  • Thorough watering should be done once after sowing. Germination time varies according to the weather condition, but normally they germinate slowly.
  • When the seedlings reach to a certain height, transplant them into your garden or in flowerpots according to your wish. After transplantation, care should be taken in order to protect the young plants from frost.
  • Planting should be done with a gap of about 6 inches in between each plant. However, they will stand a little crowding.
  • In order to create a good color contrast pattern, you can always choose mixed varieties. Flowering time differs according to the variety. Some species flower as early as nine weeks after sowing and some may flower within the first year.

Uses of Pansy Flowers

Many of the florists are not aware about the edibility of pansies. Usually, they plant pansies for their garden value. People use pansies in flower arrangements, as wedding flowers and some of the silk varieties are used as bridal flowers. But the fact is that, in addition to these, pansy plants can be used for a variety of other purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the uses of a pansy plant.

  • Both the pansy leaves and flowers are edible and have a mild, minty taste. They are a rich source of vitamin A and C.
  • Mostly, the leaves and flowers are used as garnishes in cakes, fruit salads, green salads, desserts and soups. Many people freeze the petals in ice cube trays and use in drinks.
  • Pansy flowers are used to make syrup, honey and salad because of its strong flavor.
  • Wide range of dyes are prepared from pansy flowers.
  • It has been found out that pansy plants can be used for herbal medicinal purposes.

Taking Care of Pansy Flowers

Pansies rarely have problems with diseases and pests. However, it is always better to buy healthy and resistant varieties. Diseases to watch out for include leaf spot, stem rot and mildew. Pests like aphids, snails and slugs can attack the pansy flower. One of the causes of diseases may be due to nutrient imbalance. If any of the diseases occur, the following care can be taken.

  • If there are diseases such as leaf spot, stem rot or mildew, treat the plants with fungicide. You can also use a mild organic or chemical insecticide. For pests, use mild pest repellent. Also, remove and destroy the fallen, diseased leaves regularly.
  • Water the plants regularly. Watering should be sufficient and uniform, otherwise it will attract diseases.
  • It is recommended to water the soil deeply; watering should not be done in the plant leaves but should be done entirely in the soil.
  • Try to avoid using chemical fertilizers, instead you can apply organic compost for better aeration and moisture conservation.

Pansies are such a wonderful flower, with several values. So, the next time, when you decide to make a change to your garden, do think of planting pansy flowers. You will really enjoy the view.

1-2-3-4 Never Scrub the Bathroom Anymore

One of everyone's least favorite chores is cleaning the bath-

room. You put it off … and put it off… until it takes

nothing short of an atomic bomb to get it clean. It doesn't

have to be that way.

4 steps, about 2-3 minutes a day- and you will never have to

deal with soap scum build up or scrubbing the bathroom ever


The tools you will need-

* a shower squeegee

* paper towels

* glass cleaner

* Scrub Free

These should be kept in the bathroom. Splurge on the extra

bottle of glass cleaner and an extra roll of paper towels to

keep in the bathroom.

Here are the 4 steps-

1. When you get out of the shower, after you have dried off

and put on your lotion and such… do a once over on the

shower walls with the squeegee.

2. Take 2 pieces of paper towel and clean in this order-

mirror, counters, quick wipe over towel bars, chrome in

shower, and toilet lip. Throw paper towel away.

3. Do one of these chores each day or two-

*Spray tub with scrub free and do a quick wipe down with

wet rag or sponge, or

*Clean the toilet, or

*Do a quick wipe up of the floor, or

*Do a quick cleaning on your shower doors, if you have

them, or if you have shower curtains- spray any spots

with Clorox Cleanup.

Each of these only take seconds if you don't let it get

bad in the first place.

4. Watch for any mold, or discoloring of the grout.

Spray with Clorox Cleanup and just let it work.

That's it. Your bathroom will always look terrific, and

it'll be a lot healthier too.

Don't let build up happen in the first place. Keeping it

clean in the first place is so much easier than trying to

clean it later.

10 Things you must Know when Renovating

There are many sad cases of home renovations not going as planned - often going way over budget or schedule, or unforseen complications popping up unexpectedly and ruining even up to years of work.

Most of these situations would never have gone so awry with some careful planning and early decision making sooner in the renovation process. Below are a few issues that it is vital to think about before you begin your home renovation.

10 Things to Think About BEFORE Beginning Work

Prepare a budget

Be aware of council regulations

Find a tradesperson

Know your start and completion dates

Selecting Products

Prepare plans

Purchasing products

What should I purchase myself?

What services are available to my property?

What sort of hot water unit do I need?

Prepare a budget

Before you start shopping for your new bathroom or kitchen you must know your spending limits. Whether you are getting a loan or paying cash, you need to work out how much your project is going to cost. Some businesses also offer finance solutions for approved customers.

Be aware of council regulations

Find out all the information you can before you arrange tradesperson. If your home is heritage listed you will need to meet strict council regulations. Many renovations must be approved by the council before work can commence. Contact your local council for more details.

Finding a tradesperson

Speak with family and friends who have done renovations or built a home. It is important to find a tradesperson that you can communicate with. Make sure you understand everything they are telling you. Book a tradesperson well ahead of time, as they can be booked for months in advance. Ensure that your tradesperson is licensed. Your product warranties are only valid if installed by a licensed tradesperson. In Australia, Trades@call provide professional, reliable tradespeople for most jobs, and all workmanship is guaranteed.

Know your start and completion dates

Communicate with your tradesperson and come to an agreement of realistic start and completion dates for your project. If you have a specific date that the job must be finished by, for example you have relatives coming to stay, let your tradesperson know. Keep in mind that unexpected problems can hold up your project, no matter how well you have planned it.

Selecting Products

It may take a few shopping trips for you to decide on the products that give you the look you desire and are also practical for your needs. Browse through a print or online catalogue. Once you have decided on a style (modern, heritage or easy living) this will narrow down your product choices. Be aware of any size restrictions of the room. Print out or write down product specifications and measure up your bathroom. You may use the online bathroom planner at the Bourne Bathroom and Kitchen Centre website to layout the products you have chosen.

Talk to your tradesperson about your choices. If the tradesperson tells you that a product you have chosen is unsuitable, find out why. It may just be that extra work is required that they don't want to do. Remember, it is your home and you need to be satisfied once the job is complete.

Prepare plans

It is important that you draw up plans of your bathroom or kitchen. Discuss the plans with your tradesperson. Let him know what sort of products you would like, so he will know what work needs to be done. For example if you have chosen an inwall cistern, the tradesperson will need to know so he can set up the plumbing correctly before the tiling is done. It is best to have specifications of all of the products you have chosen so the tradesperson knows exactly what work is required.

Purchasing products

When selecting products, find out how long it will take for delivery. Some goods such as tapware and toilets will be in stock, while others such as spas and vanity units are custom made and can take up to 1 month to order in. Often these custom made products are non-refundable so confirm your product choices with your tradesperson before ordering. Find out from your tradesperson which products they will required first. Generally, the first products needed are the shower base, bath or spa and mixers if they are being installed on the wall.

As an owner builder, what should I purchase myself?

If you are owner building, make sure you purchase all of the main products for your bathroom, kitchen and laundry. This will ensure that you make all of the decisions and achieve the result you want. There will be things you will not think about when placing an order, such as different handle types on a vanity unit, the pump position of your spa, that you will need to decide on. It is important to make these decisions yourself as they will affect the overall result of your project. Smaller fittings for plumbing can be purchased by your tradesperson.

What services are available to my property?

It is important to know whether you need gas or electric appliances (hot water unit, cooking appliances). If you live further out from the city, you may need LPG appliances. If you currently have electric appliances and you want to change to gas, speak with your tradesperson to determine if this is going to be cost effective and worthwhile in the long run. If you are building a new home, decide on the appliances you want before building begins, as the plumbing will need to be roughed in based on your product selection.

What sort of Hot Water Unit do I need?

There is a wide range of hot water units available and it can be quite daunting to try and choose one. If you are replacing an existing unit your choices can be limited, so speak with your tradesperson. The instantaneous hot water units are popular at the moment, but they use a larger gas line than the standard storage units. This can mean major plumbing changes which can be quite costly, though in the long run the instantaneous systems are cost efficient. See the Bourne Hot Water Selection Guide for more detail.

Many of these points seem somewhat obvious, but the problem arises when you start taking things for granted. When you don't make sure that all your bases are covered, you may find that you have invested a lot of time, effort and money in a home renovation that you may end up unhappy with.

5 steps to complete a successful ceramic tile installation

If laying ceramic tiles is totally new to you, “5 Steps to complete a successful ceramic tile installation” is a set of basic but important tips that you will help you avoid making costly mistakes on your next bathroom or ceramic tile installation.

” Plan which Tile

” Shop around if you want to save

” Prepare the surface for a long lasting job

” Lay the tiles

” Finishing touches

Plan which Tile

This step is often underestimated and sometimes even forgotten (can you believe it?). Planning your ceramic tile installation from A to Z is probably one of the most important steps for a smooth, easy going and problem free bathroom tile installation.

Some things to take in account are;

” Suitability of the tile

” Pattern /colour of the tile

” Size of the tile

” Size of the area to be tiled. (This is important data that will be vital to know how much tile, grout, etc, you have to buy)

” Adhesive, mortar or grout to suit your needs

Not all ceramic tile installations are the same, different tiling installations may require different mortar or grout. DO NOT feel shy about asking the suppliers for advice or help in calculating how much you need. They will gladly help you, as they are likely to make a sale.

Shop around if you want to save

This isn't as difficult as the first step, however when the budget is tight it can be tricky to find the right tile for the ceramic tile installation you want. You are going to have to make some compromises and so don't get carried away by the beauty of some of the ceramic tiles. Prices can vary a lot between different tiles, so some end up rather expensive for only a few square metres.

Always shop around, it has never been easier. Just sit in front of the computer and use the Internet. Use local directories to find the suppliers close to you and pay them a visit.

Before making your final decision always check the chosen tile under different lights as the results can be surprisingly different.

Prepare the surface for a long lasting job before laying the ceramic tiles

The surface to be tiled (floor, wall or any other) will often need to be prepared, this can include work like filling, levelling, smoothing, priming and sometimes water proofing.

The right preparation will be directly affect the lifespan of the ceramic tile installation. Unless you want to be tiling again soon, you want to get this right from the start.

This is probably the most important point to ensure a long lasting tiling job. Don't rush it.

Laying the ceramic tiles safely

The technique of laying ceramic tiles is not especially difficult. It only takes a little bit of practice before anyone can easily master it. Clearing the room to be tiled before starting will help you to do the job safer and easier. Don't forget to wear your safety goggles when cutting or chipping tiles.

Laying ceramic tiles can also be a bit messy, if you don't want dust all over the house we suggest sealing the room you want to tile whenever possible. A large piece of plastic tacked to the door frame will do the job quite well.

Try not to allow any adhesive to get on your skin and never forget to read the manufacturers directions before even opening the tin. If some ends up on you, just clean it with water as soon as possible. Even though tile adhesives aren't usually abrasive, if you leave it for some time it may cause an allergic reaction.

Use a spirit level to help you with the depth & level of the tiles and spacers to maintain an even distance between them.

The finishing touches

Once the tile adhesive or mortar has cured (dried) and the tiles are firm and even, you can start with the finishing touches.

You'll have to fill the spaces between tiles with grout making sure you don't leave any gaps as these cause damp problems, in a shower for example.

The technique is very simple, use a rubber faced trowel to spread the grout and a cotton cloth to clean the excess grout from the tiles afterwards.

There are many different types of grouts; you'll have to choose the right one depending on the surface and chosen tile.

Now that you have your ceramic tiles laid down, you only need to take care of them, usually manufacturers provide information on taking care of their tiles and only minimal effort is required. Most household cleaning products will do the job well, if some particular stain is stubborn, there are many commercial stain removers, just make sure you use the right product for the right tile.

You are now closer to discovering how satisfying it can be handling a tile installation yourself; just follow these 5 steps to get the best result.

9 Ways To Inexpensively Decorate Your Bathroom

The bathroom has evolved over the past decades from a strictly useful and functional room to one that is similar to a spa. And just because there aren't thousands of dollars available for decorating doesn't mean that a bath can't be unique, dramatic and thoroughly satisfying. Here are nine frugal ways to spice up any bathroom.

1. Collections of inexpensive mirrors add both light and space to any bathroom. They reflect colors, faces and other decorations and add character and interest . Mirrors are much more effective when grouped together rather than being a scattered mass simply hanging on a wall.

2. Pictures or prints can be massed on a wall. For maximum impact hang them closely together rather than separated. Pictures can be striking if they have a 'theme', such as:

* Black and white photos - no color

* Older shots - from the 1930s or 1940s, for instance

* The frames are all an identical color

* The frames or photos have a uniqueness in common - oval shapes, women only, pets

This decorating tactic works best in a powder room, rather than a full bathroom, because of the high moisture.

3. Needlework makes a striking wall accent. For instance, sampler patterns from Colonial America are easily available and a few samplers grouped on a wall create a totally unique bathroom.

4. For color and charm, throw a rug on the floor. In a dull or drab bathroom, a rag rug or oriental carpet will add charm and beauty. Just be certain to use a non-skid pad underneath, especially if anyone will be stepping out of a tub or shower.

5. Collections can spark interest and admiration. Pottery is an unusual accent piece for any bathroom. Or you might consider old bottles, perfume atomizers, shaving mugs or other flea market collectibles. One especially exciting bathroom included replicas of old bottles with genuine antique stoppers made of silver and fashioned into old-time designs.

In a bathroom, be certain there is ample space for your collectibles, like a wide shelf with a lip or a generous window sill. Broken pottery or glass isn't helpful in any room - but it's especially destructive in a bathroom.

6. Color is, of course, the quickest, cheapest and easiest way alter any bathroom. Unusual colors on a bathroom wall, like melon, chocolate brown or peach, will add drama. Accents like brightly colored towels in a monochromatic bathroom will provide an outstanding accent.

7. Architectural details can spark interest. A piece of beaded or crown molding halfway up the wall or near the ceiling can transform a room, especially if it's painted a funky color. A more elaborate addition would be grooved paneling over half the wall. Even a shelf or picture rail adds interest.

8. Add living color with plants or freshly cut flowers. The energy of plants is soothing and creates a zen-like atmosphere that is very conducive to relaxation and letting go of stress.

9. A piece of furniture, space permitting, can add unusual detail to any bathroom. Furniture need not be expensive. Most Goodwill or Salvation Army stores will have a battered piece of furniture that can be revived with sanding, paint and some unusual and classy handles or knobs.

All nine of these ideas won't fit every bathroom, nor should they. Simply choose one or two, as your budget permits, and begin slowly adding details. And don't forget the 'before and after' pictures!

A Checklist for Bathroom Remodeling Plans -

Careful planning is the key to a successful bathroom-remodeling project. Before you begin any work in the bathroom, create a budget, a floor plan, a list of supplies, a timetable, and important legal considerations. Let's break it down by subject.

First, create a budget. Determine how much money you can comfortably spend, and save about 20 percent for emergencies. Get estimates for the work that needs professionals, and always include electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, and drywall installation costs in your budget.

Second, design a floor plan. Ask yourself, will you be working with the existing space or will you be adding on or knocking down walls? Check to make sure you will not disturb the electrical wiring, plumbing, or zoning regulations. Next, measure the amount of space you have and draw a floor plan. In drawing the plan, first put in all the items that are fixed. For example, if the toilet must be in one place because of plumbing, it is a fixed item. Experiment with how you like your floor plan, using different arrangements, with different types of cabinetry, shelves, or even walls. You might try pocket doors to save space, and corner sinks, floating sinks, or pedestal sinks to save even more space. L-shaped vanities and alcoves also save space. In addition, corner showers conserve space, and clear glass in showers creates the illusion of even more space. You may want to add windows or mirrors to let in light.

Third, make a list of the supplies you'll need and make sure they are available when you need them. Some typical supplies include sinks, flooring, wall tile, countertops, lighting, medicine cabinets, showers, bath tubs, cabinets and cabinet handles, toilets, extra storage, faucets, toilet paper holders, paint or wallpaper, chairs, accessories (like storage containers and/or artwork), as well as tools you have or can buy.

Fourth, create a timetable. Talk to experts or people at home improvement stores to plan how much time you'll need. If you're hiring contractors, work with them to design a timetable you all can follow.

Plan projects according to the time you have available. Put in a new toilet and sink one weekend, for example, and paint another. You don't have to do it all at once, so plan sensibly. Don't paint the walls or install woodwork until the hardware is taken care of — you don't want to damage work you've already done. Above all, be flexible and allow time for the unexpected or even emergencies to happen.

Fifth, keep in mind legal considerations. Get and post a building permit, pay any necessary fees, make sure you, your contractor, and any workers have insurance coverage, and keep children and animals away from the construction area.

By following these checklists, your bathroom remodeling plans will be a snap.

A Guide to Kids Shower Curtains -

Decorating a kids bathroom can be fun. There are so many possible themes, such as Disney characters, animals, the ocean, and geometric shapes, just to name a few.

When decorating a kids bathroom, an important consideration is color. Many children enjoy bright, bold colors such as bright blues, reds, and yellows. Others prefer more subdued colors such as pastels. Some prefer a mix of many colors, while others prefer that one or two colors predominate.

When deciding on a theme and color scheme for a childrens bathroom, you might want to first shop for shower curtains. In many bathrooms, the shower curtain is the most prominent feature. If you find a shower curtain you particularly like, it is usually easy to decorate the entire bathroom to match.

Kid shower curtains are available in most of todays popular characters, such as Hello Kitty, Barbie, Disney princesses, Sponge Bob Squarepants, and Bob the Builder. If you do not wish to use character decorations, many other kid-friendly themes are available as well. Ocean themes are popular choices for bathrooms. They can be fun and funky or simple and elegant, depending on colors used and the types of prints. Other well-liked styles are jungle prints, sports themes, rainbows, clouds, and nature scenes.

Another consideration is how long you need the dcor to last. If you plan to change the bathroom often, it is okay to use your childs favorite characters and bold, vibrant colors. However, if you want a style that will last, you should probably consider more traditional dcor. Floral patterns, polka dots, checks, and stripes in pastels or understated colors are style elements that can grow with your child.

Like their adult counterparts, shower curtains for children are available in many different materials, such as vinyl, fabric, and plastic.

Kid shower curtains are readily available at most department stores, bedding stores, home improvement stores, and many online stores.