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When I spotted this bathtub and shower combo, I could hardly believe it was real.

KOS rain shower

But apparently, this dream set up is a reality. Designed by Italian company KOS, this gigantic soaking tub and overhead shower create a rain-like experience for the most luxurious bathrooms. I think that if I had an outdoor shower and bath like this I might never, ever leave it.

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I’ve always been a fan of this bathroom renovation by California-based designer Christopher Grubb featured in’s Designers’ Portfolio. And apparently I’m not the only one gaga over the contemporary dual-sink vanity with its clean, classic lines and ample storage.  Turns out, Christopher is including this vanity (among several other beauties) in his new furniture line, The C.G. Collection. Christopher shared with me how fans factored into the pieces featured in his new line.

Christopher Grubb Designers' Portfolio Bathroom

Here’s what he had to say:

Christopher Grubb: I’ve been getting a minimum of two requests a month for the dual sink vanity, ever since this bathroom renovation was featured in As it’s a custom piece, it’s expensive to fabricate and difficult to ship nationwide. While I was developing The C.G Collection, I shared with Modern Bathroom anecdotes about the popularity of this piece with HGTV fans. They agreed it was a very appealing design, so I re-designed it in four sizes and four finishes to accommodate various bathroom layouts. It’s now one of Modern Bathroom’s top sellers, and we recently added a tower and a small cabinet that complement the vanity.

The C.G. Collection furniture line currently features seven different collections all based on custom pieces from past renovations. Each vanity can be customized from the top down with various wood finishes, sink styles and countertop materials. Head over to Modern Bathroom and start designing yours. And to see more of Christopher’s past projects, check out his work on Designers’ Portfolio.

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Global traditional designs are making a big push this spring. Anna just sent around links to Anthropologie and West Elm’s new product releases which both feature rich, ethnic patterns.

resist dye chair

Architect Elizabeth Roberts’ bathroom chair (featured in a home tour on Remodelista), is right on trend with its resist dye mud cloth upholstery. Resist dye is a traditional African dying technique similar to its more popular cousin, tie dye. The deep blue color that results is a lovely stand-out in this otherwise subdued palette.

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Remember when I shared this bathroom inspiration board? Things are finally starting to look just as I planned. As of today, our master bathroom looks like this:

She’s pretty, yes? Ken has been hard at work laying our 360Flooring tile (with radiant floor heating), grouting, finishing the sauna, prepping trim and gearing up for the big plumbing finale: toilet, sink and shower.

And while he’s been toiling away for weeks, we’ve still got quite a bit of work left. Here’s our to do list, complete inspiration board, so you can envision what I’m thinking!

Honey, Do Check Out The List

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I’ve been living in denial that I have an ugly bathroom. Sadly, the prettiest thing in there is the retro-print Kleenex box. As a renter, I’m stuck with the unfortunate-looking countertop, linoleum flooring and cabinetry. Instead, I’ve focused my decorating energy on every other room in my apartment. But someday soon, I hope to own a home, and I’m already scooping out cool vanity ideas on HGTV’s Fast Fix Bathrooms.

Whether you want to dedicate an entire weekend or just an afternoon, there’s plenty of stylish updates to fit your look and schedule. Each project features an handy materials list and step-by-step instructions with photos to help you complete it with ease.


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Face it; we’ve all been there. The early morning alarm buzzes, you pad into the bathroom to take a shower and eek! you’re greeted with cold floors. What? I’m not the only one?

I suppose there’s more to radiant floor heating than the luxurious benefit of having warm-to-the-touch tile (like energy savings due to convection and increased return on investment) but to be honest, Husband and I installed it for the sheer purpose of pampering our tootsies. A small price to pay and a simple installation process that will skyrocket the average bathroom into serious spa-like territory; the other stuff is just a nice bonus.

Flooring Can Be Fun!

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While tons of people obsess over certain Hollywood A-Listers, I find myself weak in the knees for the unsung heroes of glamour — shelter magazine photographers. My obsession is somewhat justified, because, unless you’re going to barge into the home of my latest client, you’re most likely going to see my work (and hire me) through the work of these photographers. And interiors shoots are kinda fascinating. Not in an OMG-look-what-Suri-Cruise-is-wearing-on-the-playground type way. More like in a WOW-that’s-how-the-Egyptians-made-the-Pyramids kinda way. So prepare to be amazed, like one of those TV specials, as I reveal…secrets of shelter magazine photographers.

After this post, when looking at interior photos, you’ll not only appreciate the work it took to create them, you’ll — like I do — notice the curious absence of everyday things like corners. And toilets. And if you do see them, you’ll know that someone either made a major faux pas or deliberately embraced the photographer’s “kiss of death.”

I could keep typing, but, instead, I’m going to let the professionals do the talking since (a) I find myself irritating after two paragraphs (b) this is all about photographers anyway (c) I have a photo shoot in an hour, and if I don’t leave now, someone else will snatch the peonies, and I’ll be left with Alstroemeria.


Foyer: Neely Design Associates, Brian Watford ID | Living Room: Liza Bryan Interiors

Clicky-Click for the Q&As

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…And Not Completely Lose Your Cool. I will preface this post by saying you will absolutely lose your cool at some point during a renovation. In fact, I think the term “losing your cool” was invented by a gal who was renovating her home. I’m not totally sure, but it’s a valid theory.

Welcome to our on-site disaster zone.

So to help re-frame my current situation and gain a bit of perspective, I’ve listed a few rules for living in two places. This goes out to anyone who is remodeling, renovating or relocating.

5 Keep-Your-Cool Rules

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This week I took a last-minute trip to Washington DC to participate in a forum organized by the Department of Labor and booked a room at the W Hotel located hardly a block from the White House. Having traveled extensively in the last five years since I became a professional blogger, I’ve seen every sort of hotel room that exists, and once came face to face with a discarded condom wrapper underneath my pillow. Didn’t know it was physically possible, but I jumped like a cat and ended up hanging from the ceiling by my fingernails.

Last year when I was thirty-weeks pregnant I embarked on a three-week book tour visiting nine different cities and sleeping in nine different hotel rooms. And those rooms were all perfectly fine, some very nice and at times lovely. But you know when you’re watching a makeover show and a client sees her redecorated bedroom for the first time? And without fail she will say, “I feel like I’m in a boutique hotel room!”

She did not stay in the hotel rooms I stayed in.

Of course, she’s probably not thirty-weeks pregnant, either. That can affect your mood.

Until this week. Until I walked into this room, saw the decor and fell madly, deeply in love. It was everything I imagined my dream home would look like. From the eclectic mix of furniture in the sitting area (I love how they covered such a traditional, hard-edged chair in white leather and paired it with a soft suede, semi-circle couch):


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Red fabricsValentine’s Day is almost here, and it’s one of my favorite holidays. An entire day devoted to love — and the color red. Now that’s inspiring!

I found instructions for cute handmade cards on The Purl Bee. Made from small pieces of fabric, they are a good way to use up the scraps from your decorating projects. Out of scraps? Head to the remnant section of the fabric store and pick up some heart-worthy cloth.

Don’t stop with handmade cards for your sweetie. Get ideas for adding red to your home decor at Pop of Red. Check out the red coat rack and the needlepoint L-O-V-E pillow! I’m also crazy about this cabernet-colored wallpaper by Ballard Designs. Liven up a room by using it on one wall as an accent.

If you’re inspired to add Valentine’s-Day-style year round, try red and gray in the master bedroom. Sink by VitruvitAnd of course, shades of red in the master bedroom call for some crimson in the master bath or powder room. Check out this hot sink by Vitruvit.

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Big_Etsy_Logo_SmallOur friends at Etsy are back this week with another Get The Look: Home Decor Edition inspired by rooms from Designers Portfolio.  This week they dive into traditional styling and have some great finds for your traditional living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.  Some of my favorites are:


We were so inspired by Etsy that we felt like continuing the fun by taking a look at items for a traditional home office and a traditional dining room.

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Sadly, soaking for me usually means I’ve managed to stain a favorite piece of clothing, and doing laundry includes an extra step. In the Japanese culture, however, soaking is a ritual intended to promote relaxation, rejuvenation and renewal. I can’t think of one adult I know (including me) who couldn’t use a little time in a soaking tub. No cell phones allowed! Sound good?

Just run the water nice and hot and step inside.

Image by Fawn Art Photography

Designer David Hertz tucked this fabulous tub into an Asian-inspired bathroom. Soaking tubs have been considered a luxury trend in bathrooms along with other amenities such as heated floors and televisions. They are as beautiful as they are useful.

 This bathroom beauty is handmade by traditional Japanese craftsmen at Ki Arts.

This bathroom beauty is crafted at Ki Arts in California. Traditional tubs are built so that the bather can sit upright and be immersed in water up to the chin. Most tubs are round or square and are deeper than a typical bathtub. They are not meant for bathing but rather for soaking after one has bathed. And there are no jets. The water is still, quiet and calm.

If you don’t have plans to renovate a bathroom any time soon or just aren’t sure if soaking is for you, see if any spas within driving distance have a focus on soaking.  Check out this sweet retreat in Asheville, North Carolina.

Oh, to soak among the oaks!

Oh, to soak among the oaks!

Now that is my kind of vacation.
Do you have a Japanese soaking tub in your home? If not, would you give up your bathtub’s jets for the serenity of a good soak?
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Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m obsessed with bathrooms. More specifically, I’m obsessed with sinks. Whether touring a friend’s new home, staying in a boutique hotel, or even browsing this site’s ideas, I make a b-line for the bathroom to eyeball the goods.

An odd fixation maybe, but if you saw my minuscule bathroom and my pathetic sink, you’d understand. Actually, I can’t even call it a “sink.” It’s a mini-sink: a 10 by 10-inch basin attached to a wall. No countertop or vanity, just an equally small medicine cabinet above. Don’t even get me started on the salmon color! (I’ll spare you the picture.)

This week, my sink envy went into overdrive when I saw this beauty from eco-architect Michelle Kaufmann:

Made from recycled porcelain (material otherwise bound for landfills) and concrete, the mkPURE sink is too chic for words. How it melds into the countertop area is just magic. It looks like it’d be simple to clean, too. With a $1,950-plus price tag, this sink is a little rich for my blood (and probably my landlord’s), but it definitely gets a spot on my dream home wish list.

A structural or atypical sink can be such a centerpiece in the bathroom. Sure, your toothbrush holder or cosmetic case might mar its grandeur, but hey, that’s what cabinets are for — hide the realities! We spend a lot of time in the bathroom so why not surrounds ourselves with some design stars?

But surely, I’m preaching to the choir. Here are some other eco-lovelies I’ve been eyeballing lately:

Moso Bamboo Vessel Sink

Gleen Glass Vessel Sink

Signature Erosion Sink by Gore Design Co.

Some other eco options:
VitraStone Cement Sink: made from 75 to 80 percent recycled materials
Ecohaus Recycled Copper Sink: this one’s Fair Trade, too

Of course, my tiny bathroom might benefit from this creative solution:

Whatever I choose, my dream sink will be outfitted with a faucet aerator — to cut down on water waste and costs. Then it’ll be truly perfect and totally green.

What sinks, conventional and creative, have you been lusting after lately?

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