Tips and tricks for a bigger-looking bath

Do you wish you had a bigger bathroom? If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Moen, almost half the respondents wished they could make their bathroom larger. But, a complete bathroom overhaul isn’t in the cards for most homeowners. And when your bath is too small, it can quickly go from being a retreat from the outside world to a stress-inducing, cluttered place.

Whether you’re hoping to update the guest bath or the master suite, you can create a larger-looking bath without actually expanding your space. With a thorough cleaning and some space-expanding illusions, you’ll be relaxed and rejuvenated in your new bigger bath in no time.

Blend in, but make a statement

Using an intense color palette is not always the best technique when it comes to a tiny bathroom. Bold, dark colors can weigh a room down, making it look even smaller. Instead, use pale and cool colors, like soft whites, pastels and neutral tones to add size and depth. Continue the color scheme to the woodwork, trim, vanity and door to create a disappearing look that will lengthen the walls. By eliminating the hard edges created by drastic changes in color, your eye will flow smoothly across the room.

It’s important to look at the small details, like faucets and accessories, to create a statement. Choosing a sophisticated design, such as the Moen Weymouth faucet in Chrome, LifeShine Brushed Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze or the new LifeShine Polished Nickel finish, can provide a beautiful focal point in your bath. Available in single-handle, widespread and wall-mount styles, faucets in the Weymouth collection feature traditional detailing, like porcelain inlays and a generously sized spout. The unique collection additionally offers matching faucets for the shower or tub, and a complete selection of accessories to provide the perfect eye-catching detail.

Take a look in the mirror

A mirror in the bathroom can do more than just show your reflection – it can stretch the space by reproducing it. Additionally, mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light, making a smaller room look bigger and brighter by bouncing illumination throughout.

Don’t think that mirrors need to only be above the sink. A great trick for improving your room’s reflective qualities is to hang a large, horizontal mirror along the longest wall of the bath. However, if a large mirror is out of your budget, or not practical for your space, the same effect can be created by grouping an arrangement of smaller mirrors. Unique mirrors can often be found at flea markets in different shapes and sizes. Simply paint each frame in complementary colors and group them along the longest wall. This allows for the room to stretch, while also providing a design element that’s uniquely yours.

Another easy, dramatic way to use mirrors is to turn the fronts of vanity cabinets into your canvas. Use glue to attach large, square mirrors, or tiny mirror tiles – either square or round – to the outside of cabinets and drawers. For a never-ending room, position two mirrors on opposite walls to create the perfect illusion. Whatever technique you choose, mirrors are great decor pieces that won’t muddle a small bath.

Say no to big and bulky

Traditional, large vanities with cabinet drawers can make an already petite-looking bath appear even smaller. In order to avoid this common misstep, there are two paths to follow: either install a vanity with open storage areas; or try suspending shelving for a contemporary feel. This will create a more spacious look – without losing precious storage – by giving the shelving a light and airy appearance. Open shelving is perfect for towels and linens, plus items like tissues and cotton balls, which can be stored in decorative jars or containers. Avoid a cluttered look by placing large wicker baskets on the bottom shelf of the vanity for large everyday items, such as brushes, toiletries and makeup.

You can create a beautiful bath – regardless of the square footage – that will become a place of relaxation and worthy of attention. Use these tips to turn a compressed and uncomfortable space to one that feels spacious and soothing – without a major remodel. For more information about Moen products, visit

Courtesy of BPT

Enhance your outdoor space with an outdoor fireplace

(BPT) – Winter lingered far too long this year. It was cold, it was blustery, and many of us were left wondering if it would ever end. Now summer is here – and it’s time to get outdoors.

Instead of being forced to labor through the same old spring chores, use this abbreviated spring as an excuse to stay outside. Fire up the grill, dust off the patio furniture and envision relaxing on a cool night around an outdoor fireplace.

Your vision

Think of an outdoor fireplace as the functional focal point of your backyard or patio. It can anchor your landscaping, accent your decor, and extend your outdoor entertaining season. It can also be a missing link to your ultimate outdoor living room.

In fact, outdoor spaces are the No. 1 desired amenity by homebuyers, according to a National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) study. Second on that list is a fireplace. And according to the Marshall & Swift Residential Cost Handbook, outdoor gas fireplaces can add $3,500 on average to home values.

Where to start?

For many of us, big, blazing bonfires just aren’t practical. And they’re not safe or permitted in many residential areas. Modern outdoor gas fireplaces can provide that rustic outdoor ambiance, with the safety and convenience suitable for today’s homes.

The Heat & Glo Carolina is a great place to start. It comes in two sizes and has enough heat output to warm a quaint porch, or a large backyard patio.

The Carolina is unique for having FireBrick technology: a patented material which is molded into detailed brick styles and increases heat output by as much as 25 percent. It works similar to cast iron, capturing radiant heat and spreading that heat outward, warming friends and family around the fire. Flip a switch on the wall, or press one button on its remote and this fireplace is ready for company.

Another route

For those looking to add some flare to the backyard, the Twilight Modern does just that. This see-through, indoor/outdoor fireplace installs directly into an exterior wall and creates a two-for-one fireside experience.

When the unit isn’t running, it acts as a hurricane-rated window. Turn it on, and crisp flames rise through colored glass. The result is an artistic appearance with solid heat output – perfect for relaxing inside or socializing outside.

The Twilight Modern is completely sealed and uses Direct Vent technology, expelling 100 percent of exhaust outside of the home. No venting or chimney is required.

Take control of your summer

This summer season, make the most of your backyard or patio. Extend your living into the outdoors and increase your home value. An outdoor gas fireplace creates another way to enjoy the great outdoors, and another way to accent your home.

Visit to search and compare outdoor fireplaces and connect with your local dealer.

Courtesy of BPT