Category Archives: Bath

Warm AND Well-Appointed: 5 Ways to Cozy Up to Your New Bathroom

Carrara marble, ceramic tile, natural stone—all the beautiful materials that create today’s most appealing and sophisticated bathrooms—are also all the things that can leave your space feeling cold and austere if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of options and work-arounds you can discuss with your bath designer prior to construction or remodeling to ensure you are creating the warm and inviting sanctuary space you need with all the materials and finishes you want.

  1. The Extra Benefits of Soaking & Whirlpool Tubs

While a hot bath in a traditional tub is surely a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, upgrading to a soaking tub allows you to submerge several more inches of your body in pure warm, aquatic bliss. Many homeowners have embraced this trend just for the enhanced opulence these tubs add to a room, but when you factor in the additional depth per soak, you gain the max benefits of form and function from your fixture.

Soaking Tub
314 Design Studio designed this client’s master bath with a modern soaking tub

Jetted or whirlpool tubs are another option with added benefit. Although they have been around for some time, the latest iterations of these fixtures create more than just a balmy, bubble bath. Today’s models offer options like hand-held shower features, waterfall lights and even luxury cushioned headrests. In-model heaters can also make sure you don’t have to run additional hot water while you’re enjoying your hydro massage. What will they think of next? Optional TVs? Oh, yeah—they already have that!

314 Design Studio created this master bath with whirlpool tub
314 Design Studio created this master bath with a modern whirlpool tub with a curved tiled surround and bench. The fireplace adds ambiance and warmth
  1. The Power of the Steam Shower

Isn’t any shower with hot water a “steam shower?” Surprisingly, no. A steam shower combines the best of the shower experience with the benefits of a sauna. The enclosed and controlled environment of the steam shower produces water vapor that surrounds the body with the help of a humidifying steam generator. The health benefits of steam showers are numerous. They include increased circulation, cleansing the body of toxins, enhanced recovery from exertion, and stress management. Steam showers can also improve the complexion by opening your pores to promote clear skin.  Remember the last time you had sore muscles and then think about how much better you would have felt if you had a steam shower to step into for instant relief.

Photo courtesy of Kohler - Steam Shower
Photo courtesy of Kohler – Steam Shower
  1. Bane of Thrones

Knowing that your porcelain god could be ice-cold when you need to use it in the middle of the night can send shivers up your spine. Fortunately, the evolution of our home thrones has been quite dramatic—a far cry from earlier versions of seats with plastic cushioning —today’s models offer smart technology with quiet-close lids, flushing and freshening devices, and wonderful, glorious warmth; some 20-plus degrees above room temperature, if you like. Prices vary widely depending on which features are must-haves for you, but warmer experiences are possible for less than $200 per throne.

LumaWarm fitted toilet seat photo courtesy of Brondell
LumaWarm fitted toilet seat photo courtesy of Brondell
  1. Heated Towels = Happy Bodies!

Europeans have known this concept for years; even modest hotels abroad offer this as a standard bathroom appliance. When it comes to home appointments, these handy accessories have expanded to include a variety of finishes and sizes, and offer wall-mounted or free-standing styles. While you will need to exercise extra care with young children in the home, in general, towel warmers are specifically designed to operate at a maximum temperature between 100 and 150 degrees to provide the best towel-drying benefits without being a fire hazard.

shutterstock_heated towel rack - resize
Heated towel rack

Every Blissful Step

Talk about happy feet! Heated floors provide an extra heated layer between the ground and your ten tootsies which can be a game changer in winter. Even  in warmer climates, cold tiles can be an issue—it’s just the nature of the material. Heated floor systems, which are either electrically based or use hydronics (heated water circulating through a system of tubing in the floor), are energy efficient and can actually help save money over time. Cost per square foot varies per region, but you can ask any homeowner who included this feature in their build budget, and they’ll tell you, it was worth every penny.

Photo courtesy of Postroika
Photo courtesy of Postroika

Want to create a bathroom that is as comfortable and convenient as it is beautiful? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with just the right materials, fixtures and creature comforts to create a space that not only maximizes function and form, but blends substance with your unique sense of style. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.

 

Our Holiday Checklist

 

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Getting your home ready for the holidays only weeks after Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming. Focusing on one area at a time and creating a plan of what can be prepared in advance can make things much more manageable. Check out our list below for some things you can do to make the next few weeks go by a little more smoothly.

Update Your Emergency Kit

We’re not just talking band aids, gauze and antiseptic (although it’s important to restock these as well!). But assure that you have these items in stock and ready to go in case of any little accidents:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Good for wine stains. (Blot the spill with a paper towel, then combine one teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Soak a clean sponge in the mixture, squeeze it halfway dry, then gently blot the stain. Continue until the stain lifts. After that, sponge the stained area with warm water)
  • CLR toilet and sink de-clogger
  • An Extra Place Setting: It’s always a good idea to plan for an extra seat.

In the Kitchen

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  • Take the time now to organize your pantry to save you the headache of pulling out all of the cans searching for something you’re sure you bought
  • If you’ll be serving the holiday meal make sure you know what you’ll be cooking and what family members will be bringing. Start a master shopping list. Try to do your shopping before the 20th when the stores get even more hectic
  •  Go ahead and set the table a week or so before. Make it even easier by putting a sticky note on each platter that states what dish you plan to serve on it
  • Clean the fridge out as much as possible several days before Christmas.
  • Make a few meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer. The week before Christmas is always hectic. No matter how much you plan ahead, things come up. and you still need to have dinner.  Save yourself a lot of stress and cleanup by having meals all ready to pop in the oven.

Bed & Bath

  • To make any overnight guests feel welcome put together a basket of towels, wash clothes and extra toothbrushes before your guests arrive. This will also save you the stress of scrambling around last minute
  • Keep sets of clean sheets all together by slipping them inside the pillowcase
  • Track down extra blankets and have them handy.

An Inviting Entry

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  • Make an inviting entry while also helping keep mud at bay with a cheery mat outside the front door. Be sure to check the lights along the front walkway.
  • Establish a place to collect all warm weather apparel, including boots. Add extra hangers to your coat closet or designate a room to collect these.
  • You should also consider adding an extra doormat for wet boots. If you plan for this ahead of time your entrance won’t become a cluttered mess upon everyone’s arrival.

Extra Extra

  • Consider putting together some fun things for the younger visitors that you will have. A box of assorted Legos, a stack of colored paper and a box of colored pencils are all simple but can help to keep them busy.
  • Don’t forget to buy batteries for any toys or electronic gifts.
  • Recharge the batteries on your camera or video recorder.

It may not seem like you’re accomplishing 314-holidaya lot in the grand scheme of this holiday season when there is always so much to do.  By checking off some of these smaller tasks in the weeks before  it can allow you more relaxation and less stress on the big day, We hope you & your families have a wonderful holiday!

How to properly clean your washing machine

 

If your washing machine is smelling worse than your gym clothes, it may be time to give it a thorough cleaning. Believe it or not even washing machines get dirty and need to be cleaned. The easiest test to determine if your washer needs to be washed is to, well….stick your head in and smell the inside.

Soils from laundry, detergents and hard water minerals can build up in areas that are hard to see which can develop an odor over time. Mold, grime and mildew in the washer lid and the door are another problem area.  It’s recommended that you try these steps below every six months to keep your washer in tip-top shape.

Top loading washers

Set your washer on the highest level, as well as the hottest setting. Add 4 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. After the cycle starts, pause the machine and allow it to sit for an hour. During this time, wipe down the top of the washer with a cloth dipped in the hot vinegar water. Use an old toothbrush to clean the fabric softener and bleach dispensers as well. After an hour, continue the wash cycle.

Next, run another wash cycle using one cup of baking soda. At the end of the cycle, wipe the top inside of the washer tub to remove any scum.

Front loading washers

The rubber gasket at the front of the washer accumulates water, dirt, mildew and other grime. Before cleaning the washer drum, clean the gasket by spraying it with white vinegar and wiping with a damp cloth.

Set the washer to the highest level and the hottest water temperature. Add two cups of white cleaning vinegar to detergent dispenser. Run it through a complete cycle.

Run another cycle on the highest level and at the hottest water temperature, this time adding one-half cup of baking soda to the drum. When cycle is done, wipe inside drum of washer with a damp cloth.

Bonus Tip: Help to subdue mildew and mold by leaving the lid or door open when not in use.