Tag Archives: bathroom

Saving Money on Your Project! Think about DIY!

23 Apr

Do It Yourself

Sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow you to buy that bathroom fixture! The fixture that where you had torn the picture right of a magazine and have literally been obsessing over; for about four months now.

You’ve actually have fallen madly in love with the fixture, dreaming how it would look in your needed bathroom renovation.

AND you’ve found out that you need tile! A lot of it! Remembering square footage means more! This was Delia’s story!

Don’t fret! It’s all about saving! There are alternatives! Did you know, you can buy home improvement supplies from specialty online retailers?

Instead of paying top price at a national chain store – shave up to 50%off of fixtures and more at sites such as:




My favorite is http://www.overstock.com

Then go to http://www.diyornot.com for giving it a try to do it yourself. A step-by-step instructions on projects at your fingertips! You will be surprised how the dollars in savings add up!

Oh! Don’t forget HGTV too! http://www.hgtv.com

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & DesignLetia 🙂

The Little Bathroom That Could! Be Wonderful!

28 Apr

Eljer Vintage AdverismentPerhaps you can show us a bathroom makeover with a specific budget, how it can go a long way with the right selections and make an impact?

I said “Boy…… do I have the perfect bathroom in mind!”

Loving the challenge, I wanted to think of how I was going keep the bathroom’s charm!

It’s in the design, right! Let’s say the bathroom is small, how small?  In and out, one at a time…kind of bathroom!

To give you an idea, it’s 1950’s styled bathroom.  This is the time period where the kitchens were in that mustard or avocado green color!

It is so common to find a 1950s bathroom decorated in pink, blue or peach-colored  tile. This bathroom was all pink, with a burgundy floor!

Don’t laugh..some of you have had a mint green colored bathroom in your lifetime. You just don’t want anyone to know, as with others  –  they’re quite actually proud of it!  They will tell you it’s vintage in a minute!

So let me give you some trivia, why Pink?

Pink was THEE representative color of the 1950s.  It’s popularity is attributed to First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower, who loved the shade so much it became known as “Mamie Pink”.

She even decorated the presidential bedroom in it, right down to the monogrammed wastebasket.  Reporters even started calling the White House the “Pink Palace.” And when she was staying in an adjoining suite at a Denver Hospital, where Ike Eisenhower was recovering from a heart attack.  It was said that she even had a pink toilet seat flown in.   I’ll leave that alone…no comment!  Later on  through the years new design colors followed, like blue, peach and the infamous mint green!

Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse

So my home improvement store choice for this project was Lowes.  Reasonable prices for getting the materials needed for this bathroom renovation.

I’d picked out the tile, determined to make the bathroom seem a  little larger that is it really was.  The space was small and when you included the tub, you had 4.5 feet of standing space.

So a complete tear down, remember the hampers in the wall? Well gone!  The huge tub, what we called a real tub (built like a truck)! Gone!  The old-time mirrored medicine cabinet in the wall?  Gone!  And last but not forgotten, the old exhaust fan, which sounded like you were in the airport, ready to take off!  You know what I mean, especially when you turned off the fan, as the blade is slowing down to stop – you can still hear the clinking with a ding, ding knock sound!  🙂

Great memories, but it all had to go!  A deadline of 5 days turned into 10 days.  The first day of construction, we had a minor delay – which ultimately worked out to my advantage; for I took some more time to think about making a few changes and finding a mirror.   Whether to get a traditional vanity mirror insert or stick to my instinct and get a classy mirror; which still reminded me of the 1950’s.

The construction workers were very talented and did great tile work.  There were some miscommunications with the head contractor; which I am not used to; so I found it a bit frustrating.  I’m used to having a certain kind of energy, anticipating the client’s reaction and having the crew’s chests sticking out, often about the great work they’d performed.

For this job, it was a little nervy, however everyone was professional; which is very important.  Don’t get me wrong delays and changes are to be expected when doing a renovation.  When asking when the work will be finished, remember it is a projection, you should add a week or two to the date stated; in order to get a real sense of the time you are going to be inconvenienced.

Now… if you have surprises.  Then there’s bound to be more money to be put out, so be ready and extra time will be added to the projected date….definitely to fix those surprises!!! 😦

It was a bit different for this renovation, the home was renovated a few years back (including the electrical) – however this bathroom was not included in the renovation.   Memories, kept the owner from changing the bathroom (sometimes we like to hold on to memories for a while and leave things just as they are!).

Let’s talk about the design which is very simple; giving you the sense of new, but an old classy feel:

  • White tiles were laid in a subway style design around the entire perimeter of the bathroom 4 ft from the floor. For tub area, the tiles were placed all the way up to the bathroom’s ceiling; giving height and depth.
  • Multicolored glass tiles were selected as an insert border, placed the entire perimeter of the bathroom.  I carefully chosed a glass tile, which had squares of white, celandon, light beige and clear.  By having the clear glass included; whatever ensemble chosen, the color would be picked up and reflected.
  • Flooring was also a white mosaic tile, giving an old edge.
  • Modern pedestal sink, no cabinet to give more room and a slightly higher energy-efficient toilet (16.5 from the rim), to also add the appearance of height.
  • Art Deco inspired light fixture with the option to brighten or dim.
  • Dual shower heads and new hardware design for sink and tub.
  • For a feminine touch, a mirrored/crystal shower rod with matching hooks for magazine photo. Then changed for a masculine touch, a curved shower rod with silver hooks and barber styled accessories.
  • Lastly, a vintage styled mirror.  Glass edge of mirror embossed with leaves, picking up from the same colors of the multicolored glass tiles.

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HGTV Magazine

How much did I go over the budget  $54.37!  I am happy about the outcome!

The goal was to use a local improvement store, not too much over the top detail,  deflect the size of the bathroom, stick to the budget, make an impact and most of all…SAVE MONEY!  Everybody is happy!

Related articles

Letia 🙂


HGTV Magazine, Food Network Magazine published by Hearst Magazines Division, Hearst Communications, Inc. © “HGTV” and associated marks and logos are the registered trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC and are used under license. All Rights Reserved.  Design by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design LLC., Contruction by Metro USA Construction of Jamaica NY, Bathroom materials purchased at Lowes: American Olean, Aquasource, American Standard, Booz.  Benjamin Moore Paint – Halo OC-46.    Marshalls® for bathroom ensemble.  

Bathroom Tile – Beginning of a Renovation

9 Apr

Decisions, decisions!

I’d spent 2 hours today deciding the tile for an upcoming project.. it’s renovating a very small bathroom.  How do you keep the character of a bathroom, making it seem new? I am gearing towards modern with a classic edge; defining an old feel.

Tomorrow I will meet with my contractor with some sample selections, view paint colors and discuss the budget.  Due to the size of the bathroom, white will be the overall color.  The goal is to make the bathroom seem bigger with an offset of a dynamic paint color that pops.

I’d selected an octagon white mosaic tile for the floor.  A 3×6 subway tile for the wall.  As a Plan B decision a 6×6 tile for the wall also and finally glass tile in neutral colors intended to cut for inserts also on the wall.

When deciding on your selections, always look for an open box of the tiles you are interested in.  Once opened, you can buy tiles separately.

The prices can range from 45 cents to as high as over $125.00; depending on the choice and type.  If there are no open boxes, ask for a sample.

Once you take the tiles home; you can make a decision. First, ask about the store’s return policy before purchasing the tiles.  Just in case you change your mind on your choices, you want to make sure you can return them.

Oh! Also have a budget and stick to it.   Yes, always have a budget, having no budget is like a prescription for overspending!

I will keep you posted on my progress with the bathroom!  It’s spring and if you are planning also to do a bathroom renovation, start looking at some tiles to see what’s your taste!  Make sure you measure to get the square footage to factor in the costs.  🙂

Guest Bathroom Napkins Alternative!

30 May

Having visitors at your house or even a small party!  Your first worry comes to mind is about the powder room!  Although you place guest bathroom  napkins; with the wastebasket placed strategically close by – it never fails they may be flushed in the toilet!   Too much paper down the toilet and you will have more than a great party; but a major plumbing problem.

So why not take a different approach?

Here’s what I do!  Look around the house for a basket, I’m pretty sure you have one around from a gift basket you received and another large basket (like a laundry basket) to place on the floor.   Then go to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy 12 white washcloths (more if your party is large).  If this store is not your choice, Marshalls® or the clearance section in one of the bargain stores near by is great too!

I usually give the washcloths a wash in the quick wash choice of my washing machine with extra fabric softener.  After drying, take one and leave to the side.  With the remaining, take each washcloth and roll them the longest length; placing them in your basket.

Keep placing the wash cloths; until the basket is filled or you have reached the desired amount.   Now in the powder room or bathroom; place the basket right next to the sink on the counter.

If no room; it can sit on top of the toilet tank.   Take the large basket and place on the floor near by and throw in that one washcloth you’ve left to side.   Fill your soap dispenser or have a nice bar of soap at hand.

Remove all paper products from the bathroom; except the toilet tissue!  <smile>

If you have more than one bathroom, then follow the same steps in each.

Once the evening is over, you just take the large basket and pop the washcloths back in the washer machine and store for the next time!

Now your guests will love the fact; you have nice scented towels at hand and YOU don’t have to worrying about the plumbing!

This is a great idea; for your daily face rituals too!

Try it and let me know how it turned out!

Letia 🙂

P.S.  You can always use a beautiful hand towel; if you have no room!  However, keep at least two more handy; to replace throughout the evening!

Does Your Bathroom Have Personality?

23 Feb

Part 3 of “Does It Go Great Together” series.    Whether it’s the powder room or your bathroom, it always amazes me – how this is the one area that is sometimes forgotten.   It matters! Many people think, that it’s the least of their worries; in and out!

You ever visited someone’s home and it is really put together.   Then you ask where is the powder room or bathroom and there is always an explanation on the way; about the decor “We’ve really haven’t gotten around to renovating it”. 🙂

Remembering reading in a 2008 Domino Magazine article, it brought attention to just that! How these rooms need personality and it really doesn’t take too much effort to do so!

It doesn’t mean gutting out walls and floors.   A little work, not too much to include the bathroom or powder room; bringing cohesiveness with the rest of the home.  Here are some changes you can do?

  • Wallpaper  adds depth and character.
  • A Mirror is key,  replace with an oversize mirror, forgo the traditional medicine cabinet mirror.
  • Do a sink update with an affordable pedestal,with a clean lined basin.
  • If you have a window, you have light! To add more, try some sconces on the side of the mirror.
  • For the toilet seat, there are wood seats and a variety of colors too.
  • Flooring – can be expensive, so nice bath rugs can do the trick.
  • Some nice towels, bath accessories, soaps and candles.
  • Declutterize!

Lowes® and Home Depot® have some affordable selections and don’t be afraid to use wallpaper, they have some great patterns!

It’s all about change and even if you can’t do some of the things I’ve listed at this time.  A cosmetic change like  new bathroom towels or bath rugs can also do the trick too!

Letia 🙂

* Rita Konig Domino magazine editor, http://www.dominomag.com

Glam Up your Desk From Bath Accessories!

10 Feb

Hey, you ever thought about giving a glam effect to your desk! Many desk accessories are OK, but guess what you can also use? Bathroom accessories! Next time you are in the bed and bath area of a store, look at the styles you perhaps might would like also on your desk!

Bathroom ensembles are very decorative and fashionable now.  Why not choose a holder, one does not have the toothbrush holes, but has slots (or  is detachable)?  This can be used for holding pens or pencils on your desk!   The drinking cup can be used also as a holder!

Some tissue holders are usually designed with a slot at the top; nothing on the bottom.  Turn it over and you have a vase to hold silk flowers to put on your desk.  Or better yet, if you want real flowers, put a smaller glass vase inside, fill it with water and place your steams.   If you can’t use it for what I mentioned, still use it as a tissue holder, but place it on your desk!

Soap dish holders can be used to hold paper clips, rubber bands, staples, change etc.  The wastebasket at your desk,  does not have to be drab!  Use the decorative bathroom wastebasket and place it right by your desk!

If you notice, it appears the wastebaskets are getting smaller in diameter, they also can be used as a vase!  Got you thinking???   The soap dispenser, does not have to be in the bathroom.   You can fill it with hand sanitizer; it will be a rather nice way to keep you hands clean for you and those who visit!    These are just some ideas to bring some brightness to your desk, the way you like it!  Let’s call it room recycling!

See what’s on my desk,  see the pencils, that’s a toothbrush holder!  Really!  I love silver and its accented with broken mirror pieces.  A little different; but kind of  nice for my desk!!

I was also using the matching wastebasket as a vase, until one of my girlfriends said, that it would make a wonderful EARLY birthday present!   All I can say to that, is that I don’t have it anymore! 🙂

So the next time you are in a store, take a look!  There are so many styles to choose from!   You don’t have all the accessories at your desk, but choose a couple!    Your space is important and it’s fun to be creative!

Remember; there are no rules!

Letia 🙂

P.s.  Don’t forget to look in the clearance section too!

Pearly Queen, Bathroom ensemble by Blonder Bath, ®

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