Special Guest Bathroom Design

guest-bath-vanity-webThe guest bathroom generally gets the least amount of attention in a home. It’s the smallest room in your house, and your focus when you’re planning your new home is on your kitchen first, and then on your master bathroom and other areas where your family will be spending a lot of time. It makes sense to place the guest bath at the end of your list of priorities.

But if you think about it, chances are almost every visitor to your home will see your guest bathroom at some point. So it has a direct affect on how they view your home. And this is actually the most cost-effective room to create design drama, because the space is so small. A minimum investment can provide the maximum design impact. Let’s take a look at some of the guest bathroom designs in recent Fulton Home models to get some ideas of approaches you might want to take to give your guest bath some extra style.

First Impressions:basha-legacy-powder-room-3-web

Think about what your guest bathroom will look like from the hallway. Even if your visitors don’t actually use the bathroom, they will probably walk past and glance in. That first impression will have an effect on the entire hallway.

In this photo to the right, the eye is automatically drawn to the copper artwork on the far wall. Other features such as the tile and the mini-chandelier come into focus later. Altogether this is a luxurious and well-integrated guest bathroom.

This first bathroom involves a serious investment in options to create a feeling of luxury. This was appropriate as it was part of the Legacy series of homes, which was a luxury line. But you don’t need to invest as much in options as was spent in this model to create drama.

view-from-hall-web

Take a look at the guest bathroom to the left. The vanity is nice-looking but fairly straightforward with a sink embedded in the countertop. The tub and surround are a solid surface which is less expensive than tile. But the tile chosen for the flooring and the coordinated tile inset added to the solid surface in the tub surround makes this bathroom pop.

In this case creativity and thoughtful style take the place of expensive options to make this bathroom stand out. Add an interesting coordinating shower curtain and some towels to emphasize the contrast and you have a guest bathroom that shows your personality without a big investment.

Lighting:basha-legacy-powder-room-2

Because of its small size, smaller light fixtures can have a big punch in a guest bathroom. And if you want to take a chance with a different look, a guest bath is a great space for experimenting. The simple wall sconce on the right adds a touch of charm in a guest bathroom. After all, this is not a space where you need bright lights, and a gentle glow is flattering when people look in the mirror.

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The photo on the left shows another fun way to use lighting in a guest bathroom. By adding a light under the vanity, the room doesn’t have a blinding glare when a guest hits the switch, and the look is unusual and interesting. In this case the sink is also translucent – notice the photo at the top of this blog – so the light also makes the sink glow. This choice gives you the opportunity to add some drama to your guest bathroom while not taking up any additional space.

Tile Trim:basha-legacy-powder-room-1

Whether you choose a simple row of tile to outline your vanity or expand your tile choices to cover an entire wall, tile has a special place in many bathrooms. In the photo to the right you can get a closer look at the Legacy bathroom we visited above. In this case a full wall of tile is complemented with a rich row of glass tile trimmed with a darker border just above the vanity, serving as a backsplash. It provides the feeling of wainscoting and pulls every element in this room together. The border also adds some welcome contrast.vanity-cropped-web

You don’t need to use this much tile to have a design impact in a guest bathroom. Take a look at the vanity on the left. The countertop uses a simple tile pattern to create a charming rustic feel. Then a six-inch backsplash of narrow rectangular tile picks up the tones of the vanity’s wood finish to create an integrated design element that makes this guest bath memorable. The oil-rubbed bronze hardware with its rustic flavor makes so much sense with this look.

Finishing Touches:bath-2-web

Don’t stop with the design elements. Once you move in, take the time to find the right art and accessories to complete the look in your guest bathroom. In the photo above, the design of the bathroom is enhanced by the choice of shower curtain, towels, art and accessories.

Notice that although the design itself is neutral, it left the homeowner open to introduce color into the room. By bringing in orange-red and the grey-blue, the neutral elements actually connect with the color palette. While you don’t need to be afraid to pull color into your design choices, if you would rather keep your permanent options neutral, think about what colors you will want to bring in with more temporary elements later. You may want to bring some of those colors with you to your design appointment.

Above all with a guest bathroom, have fun! It’s the smallest room in your home so it’s OK to take a few chances. And those extras aren’t going to break the bank with the minimum square footage involved. So as you wander through the Fulton Design Center, if you spot a special sink, faucet, tile design or light fixture you can’t resist, why not consider the guest bath for its home?

 

Create Cozy

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-074 - Copyit’s not hard to make your family room to feel cozy and welcoming like this one. Here are some suggestions to bring the cozy into your home.

Darker Walls: You may have heard that darker walls make a room feel smaller. Not true. Instead, dark walls make you feel more secure and enclosed. The dark grey wall in the back adds warmth even though it is a cool color. It also provides a nice contrast to the bright windows.

Comfortable Upholstered Furniture: Getting comfy is an important part of feeling cozy. This plush sectional offers plenty of room to sit or stretch out. Throw pillows add comfort. You can tuck one or two under your head or at your feet on the coffee table.

Floor and Table Lamps: Ceiling light fixtures alone can’t add the ambiance that floor and table lamps can. Set your ceiling lights at a low level and turn on the lamps to create a cozy feel to any space.

Low Furniture: The television, coffee table and console are all close to the ground. This means that you can sit on the floor and still access everything. It’s an inviting space for lounging.

Carpeting: The choice of carpeting or a large rug adds softness to a room. Once again, a comfy soft flooring surface invites lounging on the floor.

Make your family room a place where friends want to linger. Create a cozy space for relaxing and fun evenings with guests or just family. Visit the models at Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch for a closer look.

Bedroom with Nautical Theme

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-070Decorating with a theme makes a room fun, and this nautical option offers lots of choices for colors and accessories. Let’s take a look at this inviting bedroom above to get some ideas.

Color scheme: Blue is a given. You want to capture the color of water when you bring in a beach/boat theme. The secondary color – the focal hue on the back wall – captures the feeling of sand.

Patterns: Notice the wave pattern on the bedspread. This gives the feeling of water in the room. The woven bases on the table lamps remind you of fishing nets, bringing in another element of the ocean to this beach-like bedroom.

Accessories: An anchor appliqued on the throw pillow certainly brings a nautical element into the space. Several model sailboats also contribute to the mood. A final fun element comes from the oars hanging on the walls. The paint choices make these items particularly interesting, Creativity certainly came into play in this space.

You don’t have to live on the water to bring an oceanside feeling into your home. With a little planning and some flair, you can create a beach space even if you live inland. To see this room in person, visit our Sycamore model in Warner Groves in Morrison Ranch.

Gold Tones Warm up Family Room

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-072 - CopyWhen you want to create a warm living space, consider choosing gold as the primary color. The hue fills a space with warmth. It also lends a sense of light.

In Renaissance times, furniture and accessories were often covered in gold leaf, creating a sparkle to any space. Today gold leaf is less common, but the choice of a blend of gold tones still works in any room.

Let’s start with the gold sofa. This sectional is the primary piece of furniture in the room, and it sets the feeling for the entire space. Every other element is built around it. The pillows provide a strong contrast with the sofa and also introduce the darker and lighter elements present in the room – navy blue and a bright yellow-gold.

The cocoa color on the back wall really helps the sofa to pop, and complements the mid-tone gold carpeting. This medium shade for the carpeting is a smart choice – not too dark but dark enough to maintain the mood in the room. All of the major elements hover in a mid-range, but then the pops of dark and light tones in the artwork and accessories keep the room interesting.

Notice the artwork. It depicts a natural scene with enough bright colors to draw the eye. Pieces such as that and the bright yellow bottle on the coffee table help make the room shine.

Decorating a room with a single color makes it restful and inviting, but be sure to add those color surprises to help the room sparkle too!

A Welcoming Way Into Your Home

Warner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-webHave you ever stopped and just taken a look toward your front door from the back of your house? Most of us walk in the garage and then keep going, focusing on what we’re trying to accomplish rather than taking the time to really look around our homes.

Well, it’s worthwhile to take a break and look around as though you are a visitor in your own home. Here are the key areas you should check out – those places you rarely see but guests see all the time.

From your front door: Since most of us enter our homes through the garage, it’s rare that we actually walk in our own front doors. Start by standing just outside the front door and see how everything looks. Does your home give a nice first impression? Make any changes you need to make sure that it does.

Facing your kitchen: You probably tend to stand in your kitchen and face out. Take a look at how your kitchen looks from the other side. Too cluttered? Too dull? What can you change to make the most of that view?

From the back of your home facing front: This is the view you see in the photo above. What you see in this Fulton Model in Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch is there are lots of interesting things to the left and less going on to the right. But in this case artwork, built-in cabinetry and details such as the arched doorways along with the white trim against the darker walls keep things equally interesting on the right side.

As you plan your new Fulton Home, be sure to think about how it will look from all angles – those you will be seeing and those visible for your guests.

Cozy Guest Room Doubles as Lounge

cozy-guest-room-doubles-as-loungewIf you have family and friends who enjoy visiting, particularly when the weather is wintery where they live, having a guest room makes everyone feel welcome. But that’s a lot of space to sacrifice for just a few weeks of use a year. Consider using it as an additional lounging space for family members the rest of the time.

This comfy guest room from the Capital model at Seaboard in Cooley Station has everything needed to make a house guest feel right at home. The bed is roomy and set up with a nice quilt and extra pillows and the desk includes a comfy chair for reading or writing smug postcards or Facebook posts to people back home in colder climates. There’s also a nice lamp for reading. The dark brown walls add to the warmth of the room.

Then once your guests are gone, this room can become an extra space for any family member who wants to relax and spend some alone time. Maybe it works for your high-school student who needs to finish a paper or study without distractions or a parent who wants some quiet time before dinner. It might be the right spot for a few of the junior-high set to plan a party or for mom to sit alone while penning a thank-you note to a favorite aunt.

Having an extra space for relaxing, thinking, reading or chatting that’s set a bit away from the rest of the living space can be nice at times. And this guest room is the perfect opportunity to create a room for this type of double duty.

Finishing an Empty Space

finishing-an-empty-spacewWhen you move into a new home, you may find that there are walls or corners in a room or at the end of a hallway that feel empty. Take advantage of those spaces to create a mood that matches your personal style.

Maybe you have a yearning for retro furniture and accessories. Or possibly there’s a secret ultra-feminine girly girl inside you that would love to hang a wreath of dried flowers and stack antique hatboxes on a spindle-leg table. Or you may go in totally the opposite direction with a contemporary sculpture sitting on a sleek mirrored dresser. This photo shows one interesting choice from the Capital model at Seaboard in Cooley Station. Let’s take a look at the design decisions made here.

Dresser: This piece of furniture might have been used in a family bedroom once upon a time and is no longer needed. Or it could have been purchased at a consignment store. The finish might be original, but if you found a piece and liked the lines it wouldn’t be difficult to refinish or paint something like this. Another option would be to decoupage the front of the drawers with old maps, flower plates or other images. It’s also easy to change out hardware to get just the look you want.

Mirror: A mirror is always a good choice when finishing up an extra space. Everyone appreciates the chance to make sure they are looking their best, and mirrors add light and space to every room. This mirror has extra interest thanks to the framing. It has the appearance of an oriel window, which makes it inviting and worth an extra look.

Accessories: Chances are you have some extra items that you would like to display. Look for a mix of heights, colors and textures that will suit the space.

Finally, consider all the extra storage you’re giving yourself with those drawers. That might be the perfect place to store table linens, extra towels or out-of-season sweaters. We can all use extra storage. Above all, have fun with these surprising spaces and make them your own.

 Make Room for Art

make-room-for-artwWhen decorating a home, many people focus only on the big items such as furniture and then slowly add accessories over time, and this is a good approach. But while you’re furnishing your new home, be sure to include art in your plans.

If you’ve been living in an apartment, you may find that your current collection of wall art looks rather small in your new larger rooms. This photo shows one way to deal with this – by hanging two smaller pieces together. This way the art takes up more space. Two or more pieces like these – with the same size, the same kind of frames and the same feel to the art – work well as a team on the wall.

Don’t limit your art thinking to walls. Notice the book set on the stand on the counter to the right of the photo. With the luscious photo on the cover, this book positions itself nicely as another art piece. In fact, if you didn’t look closely, it could be a small canvas set on an easel. You may have books or other elements that can double as art in your home if you take a look around.

If you would like more art on your walls but your budget is limited, consider photographs. Visit the Library of Congress photo collection online to view a rich choice of historical and other photos. You can have these reproduced for a minimal cost and frame them to create instant art at an extremely reasonable price. And family photos can be enlarged at your closest warehouse store at good rates.

Thrift shops and consignment stores are also a great resource for art at good prices. This is also an excellent place to pick up inexpensive frames. Just replace the art you don’t like with something that you do.

Take advantage of all your options to add art to your home. It can contribute color, interest, style and personality to your décor.

Integrating Space in an Open Floor Plan

integrating-space-in-an-open-floor-planwLiving with an open floor plan has so many advantages.  The space works well for families and entertaining and arrangements can be modified to expand and contract living and dining areas to meet specific needs. However, open architecture does present decorating challenges. Here are some tips to make your open living space work well.

Define living areas: Use furniture, area rugs and artwork to define each living area. Without walls you can have the back of a sofa, a bookshelf, or a table set limits for a particular space.  Notice in this photo from the Cooley Station community how the sofa defines the end of the dining area and the start of the living area. Large pieces of furniture like sofas are some of the best tools for defining each space.

Create transitions: The plants on the kitchen counter and the floor and artwork make a softer natural transition between the kitchen and the dining area. Without these, the adjustment from one area to another can feel too abrupt. Having two larger houseplants in the dining area also helps define that space and keeps it connected.

Use lighting: Chandeliers such as the one over the dining table also help create a specific mood in one area of a large living space. Often the family room will have a ceiling fan. Our brains turn those light fixtures into room definitions.

Use color: Pulling the same accent colors throughout the space helps everything feel integrated. Throw pillows, area rugs, artwork and accessories in this room all use dark rust and peach tones to tie this living space together.

A Ceiling with Personality

web-a-ceiling-with-personality-blogWhen people plan their home’s décor, they think about flooring and the walls, but many ignore the sixth surface – the ceiling. Fulton Homes understands something that custom homebuilders have known for years – your ceiling provides an opportunity to showcase the lines of your home.

There are many ways to incorporate your ceiling into the design of a space. This photo shows some of the most effective options.

Dimension: By adding dimension to the ceiling the spaces are clearly defined. The living area ceiling builds an enclosure and creates a comfortable coziness. This type of ceiling, known as a coffered ceiling, has a long tradition. In this open living space it adds a line of demarcation as well as providing an additional appealing style element.

Color: By pulling the wall color up into the center of the coffered ceiling, the space is more clearly defined. The combination of dimension and color makes the ceiling even more dramatic. By using the same color on the ceiling as the walls the space has a warm centralized feel.

Lighting: Notice the light running along the edge of the coffered ceiling. This emphasizes the personality of the ceiling and creates a natural focal point at night. Entertaining in this room will be particularly effective thanks to this ceiling design.

It’s easy to ignore a ceiling, but if you do you’re sacrificing an opportunity to add style and drama to your home. Take a moment to picture this room without any furniture. Even empty, this space has its design own strength, and the ceiling is the reason why.