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Design Dilemma: Trailer at the Beach

eclectic bedroom how to tips advice

Want a beach house but you can’t afford one? Check out how one inventive soul solved this dilemma. Wanting to rent a home at the Jersey Shore, one resourceful woman realized she couldn’t afford the $2500 a week it would take to rent a house for the season in the area. So instead, she bought a 1998 28 foot Wilderness trailer, spending $5,000 to buy it. She spent another $5,000 to renovate, coming out ahead. Now she has a vacation house she can use all summer long at any time, for the same amount that it might have cost to rent a beach house for just one month!

Here’s the very typical before:

home design how to tips advice
home design how to tips advice

Chintz, green carpet and light oak is pretty typical to many trailers. And here’s the after. The owner says she was going for bright and kitschy:

eclectic bedroom how to tips advice

The owner removed the carpeting after a flood ruined it. But it was no great loss! She replaced it with vinyl flooring that looks like wood. Baskets under the bed provide extra storage. She removed the cabinet doors over the bed and painted the framing an electric cobalt blue. Since the original sofa did not excite her, she opted to keep it pulled out as a bed, which she covered in an IKEA duvet. It’s much more inviting to hang out on.

Here’s a glimpse of the kitchen:

eclectic kitchen how to tips advice

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She painted all the old oak a light gray. To open up the space, the owner removed one of the banquettes and covered the remaining one in an old needlepoint cover. The backsplash is penny cork tile covered in polyurethane. She replaced the old hardware with polished nickel and added a valance. Getting rid of the extra banquette and replacing it with a rattan chair gives the trailer less of a “trailer” feel and more of a “cottagey” feel.

What’s really special about this renovation is the improvised patio, which is 400 square feet and the true heart of the home:

eclectic sunroom how to tips advice
The porch consists of a pad of cracked clay. The owner covered that pad, which tends to get sandy with lumber painted cobalt blue, which is bolted over the pad. Each season, she brings out the lumber and constructs the porch, which, with a futon and chairs, has become a cozy haunt.
What this project proves is that if you can’t afford a beach house, you have an alternative!

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Design Dilemma: A Black and White Inspirational Bathroom

industrial bathroom interiors

It’s not often that we stumble across a bathroom where we’d really want to spend a lot of time. But this particular bathroom we could linger in for hours, soaking up the industrial ambiance while soaping up in the shower.

What we love: the use of classic fixtures, subway tiles in the shower and cement tiles on the floor, in a very graphic, bold and modern way.

Take a look:

industrial interiors

The bathroom was truly small before the renovation. It measured only 33 square feet before it was enlarged and reconfigured by breaking into a nearby linen closet. It now measures 49 square feet. The designer was able to maximize space by using a pocket door rather than a swing in door, and dispensing with a tub altogether.

Exchanging a few traditional elements allowed the owners to add a few touches of luxury. For example, the double sinks.

industrial bathroom interiors

And here:

industrial interiors

And the larger than average shower stall:

industrial bathroom interiors

But what really makes this bathroom a stand out are the fixtures. The vanity is actually a repurposed TV console of reclaimed wood.  It worked perfectly because it was open enough not to have to worry so much about fitting in the plumbing underneath. The industrial faucets of black metal recall the wheels of a train. The railroad theme was an important one, since the house is located near the railroad tracks and the owners wanted to use this motif in their renovation. The P-traps underneath the sink were also found in a matte black that works with the industrial-style pane glass of the shower and the faucets.

And the coup de grace in this modern yet old-fashioned bathroom is the black and white encaustic cement floors.These are the types of floors commonly found in homes in Old World Europe and which have been making a resurgence in the design world in recent years.

industrial bathroom interiors

The faucets in the shower carry on the industrial theme look and match the faucets of the sinks.

industrial bathroom interiors

The hexagonal floor tile in the shower looks fabulous against the subway tile and the cement tile of the main floor.

industrial interiors

The glass panel of the shower is fixed, and designed for easy clean-up. It is paned on the outside, but inside one flat service to allow for easy cleaning.

industrial bathroom interiors

Clean, classic, graphic, bold —- we love how this bathroom has come together!

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Design Dilemma: The Tubless Bathroom

contemporary bathroom home improvement

There’s been a trend afoot in bathrooms in recent years — bathrooms without tubs. Although tubs were for many years a staple of bathrooms, the truth is that today, most of us use them very rarely. Taking a bath has become almost a special occasion ritual reserved for children, dog washing, sore backs, or maybe a romantic interlude complete with candles. It is not, however, the stuff of everyday life, as revealed by one recent poll that found that 56 percent of people surveyed say they never use the tub for taking a bath. So more of us are asking, why do we need a tub anyway? And if we get rid of the tub, what can we do with all that extra space? Below, let’s look at a few ideas.

scandinavian bathroom home improvement

The above bathroom formerly housed a tub underneath the window. But the couple who owned this home in Philadelphia tired of a bathtub they rarely used and decided to open up the space to create an airy, spacious bathroom with a simple open shower, enclosed by a glass panel on one side that is not visible in this picture. The decision was especially easy to make since they have another bathroom with a tub. The bathroom was designed by Brian Osborne of Osborne Construction and Niko Dyshniku of Kole Made.

Here’s what it looked like before they made the change:

home design home improvement

Another successful renovation, below, also eliminates the tub to beautiful effect. The renovated bathroom by Projekt Home (Paul Kenning Stewart Design) uses space efficiently in a condominium home. The room feels light and bright, which it definitely did not before the renovation. Best thing about it all is that the bathroom is virtually maintenance free.

modern bathroom home improvement

Here’s what it looked like before:

contemporary home improvement

Here’s a third renovation that gains a lot in the process of elimination. The shower is now an easy-to-access walk-in shower in a 1920s style home. Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs is behind the look.

modern bathroom home improvement

When you see the before, below, it’s easy to see what the impetus was for change. The old bathroom was run of the mill blah, and not comfortable to use.

home design home improvement
 Wow! These renovations could not be better inspiration to remove your old rarely-used tub to create a spacious new walk-in shower!