Design & Planning Bathroom


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April, 2009

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream bathroom in mind.

Style with a Conscience

Style with a Conscience

Functional and sustainable used to be the only options in green home design and décor for those concerned with protecting the environment. But green has undergone a transformation. With more demand for environmentally-friendly products, designers and manufacturers have responded with upscale and luxurious options that prove sustainable can be stylish.

Green Foundation

Build an eco-friendly room from the ground up with some of the newest options on the market. 100 percent recycled floor tiles made of materials such as rich recycled leather provide a fashionable and environmentally responsible alternative to chemically-treated rugs and manmade flooring. For the ultimate in wood-like flooring, ask for products made from rapidly renewable resources, such as fast-growing bamboo, which requires no replanting and little fertilization or pesticides. If you still prefer carpeting, try an all-natural wool rug that is untreated and toxin-free.

Wise Walls

In many states, leftover latex or oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste. To combat the environmental and health hazards often caused by chemical-laden paints, companies like east coast manufacturer Phillip Jeffries Ltd. are now producing alternative home wall coverings made from environmentally-friendly materials, like hemp, linen, bamboo, cork and recycled paper. Stylish, sophisticated and natural, these wall coverings are anything but ordinary.

Faucet Flow

Homeowners waste gallons of water every day leaving the faucet running while washing their hands and performing other tasks at the sink. But, new hands-free electronic faucets, like the Destiny™ powder room faucet from ShowHouse® by Moen®, conserve water while reflecting your personal style. With sleek minimalist design and a distinctly-styled spout that produces a sheeting water flow, Destiny reduces water waste, providing water only when it is needed. Make the switch to hands-free and watch your style quotient go up and your water bills go down.

When shopping for a new faucet, also look for the WaterSense® logo from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Similar to the ENERGY STAR program which indicates appliances have met strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy, the WaterSense logo indicates that a faucet has met similarly strict standards for water-efficiency. The new Fina™ single-handle faucet from ShowHouse by Moen is certified to meet WaterSense criteria. Highlights of the Fina faucet include its high-arc, marquise-shaped spout, lever handle and contemporary-shaped base. Fina features a flow-optimized aerator that allows water to flow at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), versus traditional aerators that flow at 2.2 gpm, reducing water usage by up to 32 percent.

Window to Tomorrow

High-efficiency, large-scale windows let more daylight into the home and decrease the need for electrical lighting. But, large scale windows can sometimes call for large, expensive and resource-consuming window treatments. For a great green option, forgo window treatments altogether and install frosted glass panes throughout your home. To supplement natural lighting, replace energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent lighting fixtures.

Furniture Faux Pas

Each year, millions of furniture items are dumped at landfills, polluting the environment and wasting precious space. Why not consider holding a garage sale or donating to your local Goodwill or other charitable organizations? You can also shop at your local flea market or antique store to do your part to help recycle old items and find unique shabby chic treasures that are no longer in production.

If new furniture is a must, look for pieces created from a single piece of rapidly renewable wood, such as tropical monkey pod. For couches and chairs, look to companies that produce sustainable selections, such as Lee Industries. The company manufactures its own NaturalLEE earth-friendly upholstery products, with soy-based cushions, recycled fiber pillow filling, natural fabrics and Forest Stewardship Council- (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative- (SFI) certified wood frames.

As going green continues to gain momentum, it's easier than ever before to make a style statement in your home while still having a conscience.

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